Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

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COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus first identified in late 2019. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting nearly every facet of daily life and claiming lives across the globe.

As leaders grapple with how to respond, RAND experts seek to address and inform policy options and examine how different countries and communities are managing the crisis. Topics include health care capacity, telemedicine, social distancing, countering misinformation, economic effects, school closures, and online learning.

  • A young woman having a counselling session with a psychologist using a video conferencing tool, photo by PeopleImages/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How COVID-19 Lessons Can Transform U.S. Mental Health Care

    Jun 2, 2021

    It would be a powerful conclusion to the pandemic if Americans reimagined a health system that was resilient against future threats, including the resulting psychological trauma. Policymakers have the opportunity now to cut short the pandemic's long tail of mental illness by taking decisive action.

  • Lydia Hassebroek hands out candy to classmates at her birthday party in Brooklyn, New York, July 12, 2020, photo by Caitlin Ochs/Reuters

    Commentary

    We Studied COVID-19 Cases After Birthdays. Family Gatherings Can Still Be Dangerous

    Jun 28, 2021

    The high toll of COVID-19 in the United States is likely partly due to informal social gatherings that have not been subject to state and local restrictions. They are often small, intimate, and involve people we trust. And that makes them dangerous.

Explore Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

  • Young woman pausing to take a breath in nature, photo by swissmediavision/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Four Gifts for Your Mental Health This (Pandemic) Holiday Season

    Our mental health relies on our ability to cope with and adapt to difficult situations, but the length and the scope of the impact of the pandemic on our lives is something most of us have never experienced. Here are four evidence-based strategies to support your mental health this holiday season.

    Dec 21, 2020

  • A man receives the first of two Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 shots, at Guy's Hospital in London, UK, December 8, 2020, photo by Victoria Jones/Pool/Reuters

    Commentary

    A Case for Vaccinating Teachers First

    Most agree that America's 18 million health care workers should top the list for COVID-19 vaccination. The 3.3 million teachers should come next. Vaccinating teachers could make it possible to open schools permanently and get parents back to work. That would help the economy recover.

    Dec 19, 2020

  • Blog

    Americans' Financial Struggles, COVID-19 Vaccinations, Virtual Schools: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Americans' ongoing financial struggles, how we can learn from the first phase of COVID-19 vaccinations, why virtual schools may be here to stay, and more.

    Dec 18, 2020

  • Lynn Jones receives the COVID-19 vaccine at Jackson Madison County General Hospital in Jackson, Tennessee, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, photo by Stephanie Amador/The Jackson Sun via Imagn Content Services, LLC/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Compensation System for Potential Side Effects Is an Important Part of a COVID-19 Vaccine Campaign

    Concern about potential COVID-19 vaccine side effects and their consequences may be contributing to Americans' reluctance to get vaccinated. Policymakers and the public should carefully consider what types and levels of compensation for any adverse effects of vaccination are truly fair and appropriate.

    Dec 18, 2020

  • Blog

    RAND Commentary Highlights from 2020

    The roughly 400 op-eds and blog posts published by RAND researchers during the year reflected an enormous variety of expertise and perspectives, from remote education to election cybersecurity to the economic harms of racial disparities. Here are 10 highlights that landed in high-profile news outlets.

    Dec 18, 2020

  • News Release

    News Release

    Financial Woes Grow Worse Over Course of Coronavirus Pandemic; More Families Report Trouble Paying Bills

    The economic challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic have grown worse since the spring for many American families, with an increasing number reporting that they have trouble paying bills.

    Dec 17, 2020

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    The economic benefits of equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines

    Researchers used a global macroeconomic model to examine the economic effects of vaccine nationalism. This brief highlights the cost to 30 high-income countries if low and middle-income countries miss out on initial access to COVID-19 vaccines.

    Dec 17, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Communication Missteps During COVID-19 Hurt Those Already Most at Risk

    Emergency risk communication is a crucial part responding to crises, but it's also a critical part of preventing negative outcomes from communication missteps.

    Dec 17, 2020

  • Cars line up during a food drive in East Rutherford, New Jersey, November 24, 2020, photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    Report

    Americans' Financial Difficulties Continue

    As the pandemic continues, many U.S. households are struggling to pay their bills. No income group has been spared financial difficulties, but the most-vulnerable households have been hit the hardest. There are severe challenges among lower-income workers and among Black and Hispanic households.

    Dec 17, 2020

  • News Release

    News Release

    Remote Learning Here to Stay Despite Challenges

    About two in 10 U.S. school districts have already adopted, plan to adopt, or are considering adopting virtual schools after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Dec 15, 2020

  • A student using her laptop at home, photo by damircudic/Getty Images

    Report

    Despite Its Challenges, Remote Learning Is Here to Stay

    School district leaders are concerned about students' unequal opportunities to learn during the pandemic, students' social and emotional learning needs, and insufficient funding to cover staff. About two in ten still anticipate that a fully remote learning option will become a permanent public school offering.

    Dec 15, 2020

  • People walk near India Gate on a smoggy afternoon in New Delhi, India, November 15, 2020, photo by Adnan Abidi/Reuters

    Commentary

    Curb Climate Change After COVID-19? Fast-Growing India and Brazil Are Key

    India and Brazil are facing pressure to launch recoveries after the economic devastation caused by the pandemic. Will they backslide on their Paris climate agreement commitments, or will the expected return of the United States to the pact encourage them to build a more sustainable economic future?

    Dec 15, 2020

  • Healthcare workers take part in a rehearsal for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, Indiana, December 11, 2020, photo by Bryan Woolston/Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19 Vaccination: Expect the Unexpected

    With emergency use authorization for the first COVID-19 vaccine now in place, states and localities have turned their focus to the logistics of dispensing it as quickly as feasible. Still, uncertainties abound. It is essential to build a process of learning into the plan.

    Dec 15, 2020

  • Woman works at home while her children play video games, photo by filadendron/Getty Images

    Commentary

    COVID-19 Gave Managers a Look at Our Home Lives. Will They Now Penalize Women?

    The pandemic gave managers a window into the struggles of working women. What will they do with this information? Will they accommodate women by making exceptions to their established norms? Or will they do the harder work of remaking their culture so women are no longer the exception?

    Dec 14, 2020

  • Blog

    Civic Education, 'Vaccine Nationalism,' Polar Icebreakers: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how to revive civic education in America's public schools, the costs of "vaccine nationalism," why the United States needs more polar icebreaking ships, and more.

    Dec 11, 2020

  • Health visitor and a senior woman during home visit, photo by FG Trade/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Elevating the Well-Being of Home Care Workers

    More than 2.3 million home care workers are responsible for caring for millions of Americans who are unable to fully care for themselves. It's worth considering policy options to provide them with better access to PPE, improved compensation, and formal recognition that their work is essential.

    Dec 10, 2020

  • People talk outside of Flora Gallery and Coffee Shop near a downed tree in the street after Hurricane Zeta swept through New Orleans, Louisiana, October 29, 2020, photo by Kathleen Flynn/Reuters

    Report

    When Hurricanes Happen During Pandemics

    Hurricanes can change patterns of mobility and expand the spread of COVID-19, for example, to communal shelters. On the other hand, fear of the virus could cause people who might otherwise evacuate to shelter in place, resulting in more deaths from a hurricane. How can policymakers prepare for this threat?

    Dec 9, 2020

  • Blog

    Supporting Working Women, the Intelligence Community, Refugees: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on supporting America's working women, challenges facing the next Director of National Intelligence, how Syria's forever war is creating forever refugees, and more.

    Dec 4, 2020

  • Father with kid working from home during quarantine, photo by len4ik/Adobe Stock

    Report

    How Telecommuting Is Changing During the Pandemic

    The ability to telecommute at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic saved many workers' jobs. Some of them are now returning to their workplaces, but most who can telecommute continue to do so. Telecommuting is also spreading to such occupations as health care and sales. Are these changes likely to persist after the pandemic?

    Dec 3, 2020

  • Blog

    Restoring Public Trust, COVID-19 and Thanksgiving, Vaccinating Teachers: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how the Biden-Harris administration can restore public trust, the risk of Thanksgiving becoming a super-spreader event, why teachers should be among the first to get a COVID19 vaccination, and more.

    Nov 25, 2020