COVID-19 Pandemic: Insights from RAND

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread illness and death, economic devastation, day-to-day challenges, and long-term uncertainty. RAND research and analysis provide insights on the effects of this monumental crisis—and can help determine the best ways forward.

As the pandemic continues to ravage communities all over the world, health care workers are stretched thin; leaders are balancing decisions about reopening schools and businesses while preventing further spread; and countries, states, and localities have begun massive campaigns to produce and distribute vaccines.

What are the implications of a vaccine rollout that fails to support poor countries? What do we know about vaccine hesitancy among Americans? And how is the pandemic exacerbating inequities in health, economic, and education outcomes?

These are just a few of the important questions that RAND researchers are tackling. 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.

Vaccinations, Health Care, and Well-Being

  • A girl getting a COVID-19 vaccination, photo by valentinrussanov/Getty Images


    How to Boost COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance in the United States

    Sep 9, 2021

    Vaccine hesitancy is a major challenge to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Reaching herd immunity will require boosting confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines, combatting complacency about the pandemic, and increasing the convenience of getting vaccinated.

Workers and the Economy

  • Britni Mann waits to speak with potential employers during a job fair at Hembree Park in Roswell, Georgia, May 13, 2021, photo by Christopher Aluka Berry/Reuters


    Will Unemployment Insurance Be Reformed? Ask Businesses, Not Workers

    Sep 15, 2021

    The expiration of pandemic benefits points to the flaw at the heart of unemployment insurance: The constituency that pays for benefits isn't the constituency who receives them. Lasting reform to the unemployment insurance system will mean finding a way to benefit employers directly.


  • Tracey Pucci helps her son Foxton Harding, 12, with a school assignment for Northshore Middle School, which has moved to online only schooling for two weeks due to coronavirus concerns, at their home in Bothell, Washington, U.S. March 11, 2020, photo by Lindsey Wasson/Reuters


    The Rise of Virtual Schools

    Aug 30, 2021

    Since the pandemic began, America's school districts have been offering more remote instruction options. This includes a ninefold increase in the number of districts running standalone virtual schools.

Vulnerable Populations

  • A woman receives a box of donated food items during the COVID-19 pandemic in her car, photo by SDI Productions/Getty Images


    Striking Rates of Food Insecurity in Two Pittsburgh Neighborhoods

    Feb 9, 2021

    The number of Americans experiencing food insecurity has increased since the pandemic began. And rates are higher among African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, and Alaska Natives. Proactive and aggressive policy actions could help reduce the inequities in places like Pittsburgh's Hill District and Homewood neighborhoods.

National Security and International Affairs

  • Seabees coordinate transportation of sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt who have tested negative for COVID-19 from Naval Base Guam to military-approved commercial lodging, in Guam, April 3, 2020, photo by MC Matthew R. White/U.S. Navy via Reuters


    Lessons from COVID-19 Infections on U.S. Navy Ships

    Sep 21, 2021

    The U.S. Navy's handling of the early COVID-19 outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt revealed some cracks in the service's readiness to respond to major medical events. The relative lack of severe consequences in this instance should not prevent the Navy from reviewing those shortfalls and their implications for readiness.

View all of RAND's COVID-19 related work