COVID-19 Pandemic: Insights from RAND

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus first detected in late 2019 has now become a global pandemic. This has led not only to widespread illnesses and deaths, but also to economic devastation, day-to-day challenges, and long-term uncertainty for people all over the world.

RAND research and expertise provide insights and analysis that can assess the effects of this monumental crisis—and help determine the best ways forward.

How can hospitals ensure that they have sufficient critical care capacity to treat a surge of COVID-19 patients? What might it take for the global economy to recover from the pandemic? How are schools, teachers, and students dealing with the transition to distance learning?

These are just a few of the important questions that RAND researchers are tackling as the pandemic continues to unfold. Their efforts can help inform immediate policy responses to address the disastrous effects of COVID-19—and help communities, businesses, and individuals recover long after the disease stops spreading.

Hospitals, Health Care, and Well-Being

  • Tool

    New Tool Can Help Policymakers Manage Responses to COVID-19

    May 4, 2020

    State and local officials implemented a range of interventions to slow the spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing and school closures. As leaders consider lifting some of these measures, a new RAND tool can help them weigh both the public health and economic consequences of different approaches.

Workers and the Economy

  • Crowds gather at Buffalo Bayou Park as social distancing guidelines to curb the spread of COVID-19 are relaxed in Houston, Texas, May 4, 2020, photo by Callaghan O'Hare/Reuters


    Relaxing COVID-19 Restrictions Presents Stark Health and Economic Choices

    May 18, 2020

    RAND's new publicly available COVID-19 interventions impact tool uses epidemiological and economic models and continually refreshed data to estimate what could happen as restrictions are eased. Our tool cannot make the choices confronting state leaders less painful, but it can provide clear, evidence-based estimates of the health and economic trade-offs.


  • Hallways are empty during school closures in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, in Milton-Union Exempted Village School District in West Milton, Ohio, March 13, 2020, photo by Kyle Grillot/Reuters


    Coronavirus Will Necessitate Changes in Schools When They Reopen

    Apr 16, 2020

    Schools will likely need to modify their practices so that their teachers, staff, and students maintain social distancing standards whenever they reopen. If a federal agency would create guidance, then educators could focus on teaching students.

Vulnerable Populations

  • Agricultural workers clean carrot crops of weeds amid an outbreak of COVID-19 at a farm near Arvin, California, April 3, 2020, photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters


    Forgotten on the Frontlines of the Food Supply Chain

    Apr 3, 2020

    The working and living conditions of farmworkers make practicing social distancing, self-isolation, or quarantine impossible. In the food supply, farmworkers are the first responders who keep the supply chains going. FEMA, the CDC, and state governments should include farmworkers and agricultural communities in their emergency response plans.

National Security and International Affairs

  • A woman walks past a portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Shanghai, China March 12, 2020, photo by Aly Song/Reuters


    Don't Be Fooled by China's Mask Diplomacy

    May 5, 2020

    China has provided coronavirus-related aid to hundreds of countries. This appears to be an effort to make the world forget its role in the COVID-19 crisis—and to take advantage of its neighbors' current distraction.

View all of RAND's COVID-19 related work