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.

  • Polygonal image of COVID-19 virus superimposed on a digital world map, photo by Andrii Pokliatskyi/Getty Images

    Blog

    Global Challenges to Maintaining a Healthy Workforce During a Pandemic: Views from RAND Experts

    May 15, 2020

    As nations across the globe remain in lockdown to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, questions about the future of employment and workforce productivity emerge. During a recent webinar, RAND experts discussed how to get people back to work and improve productivity post COVID-19.

  • 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.

Explore Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

  • Blog

    Medical Supply Shortfalls, Parenting Through the Pandemic, North Korea: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on reducing medical supply shortfalls, understanding who's in charge during a pandemic, North Korea's nuclear blackmail, and more.

    Apr 17, 2020

  • An N95 respirator mask at a laboratory in Maplewood, Minnesota, March 4, 2020, photo by Nicholas Pfosi/Reuters

    Report

    How to Reduce Medical Supply Shortfalls During Pandemics

    Pandemics present a high risk of medical supply shortfalls. But shortfalls in “hot spot” regions could be reduced by minimizing idle inventory and acquisitions of new supplies in regions where the number of infections is low. A backstop mechanism could help assure these “cool spots” that, if they release supplies and delay acquiring new supplies, they will have priority access in the future.

    Apr 16, 2020

  • 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

    Commentary

    Coronavirus Will Necessitate Changes in Schools When They Reopen

    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.

    Apr 16, 2020

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a COVID-19 news conference at the Javits Center, New York City, March 27, 2020, photo by Jeenah Moon/Reuters

    Q&A

    Who Calls the Shots During a Pandemic, the U.S. Government or States? Q&A with RAND Experts

    The tension between the federal government and state and local authorities has highlighted a fundamental challenge of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic: Who's in charge?

    Apr 16, 2020

  • A woman prays alone in Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church on Palm Sunday amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Worcester, Massachusetts, April 5, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Role of Faith-Based Organizations During the Pandemic

    Maintaining social and spiritual connections in the midst of COVID-19 are not the only challenges facing communities of faith. Congregations play critical roles in providing social services within communities. How can their services, such as food assistance, be delivered safely?

    Apr 16, 2020

  • Naomi Hassebroek holds her son Felix while working with her husband Doug Hassebroek at their home, during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brooklyn, New York, March 19, 2020, photo by Caitlin Ochs/Reuters

    Commentary

    Can We Emerge from COVID-19 with a Healthier Work Culture?

    American families want greater choices in determining how their work and their families fit together. Post-pandemic, can we create a system that fits workers? If so, we have the opportunity to emerge from this crisis with both healthier employees and better performing organizations.

    Apr 16, 2020

  • Back view of large group of students paying attention on a class at lecture hall, photo by skynesher/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Is It Time to Rethink the Separation Between the High School and Postsecondary Systems?

    We do not yet know how long or deep this economic downturn will be, or how the pandemic will affect the way we work and learn. But just as the post-coronavirus workplace is surely being re-envisioned, this crisis should motivate us to reconsider the structure of our educational system. Early college is a model that can help inform these discussions.

    Apr 16, 2020

  • Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America

    Multimedia

    Who Has Jurisdiction Over a Pandemic, the U.S. Government or States?

    RAND experts discuss the recent buildup of tensions between the federal government and state and local authorities. When it comes to planning for and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, who's in charge?

    Apr 15, 2020

  • Medical staff are seen at the NHS Nightingale Hospital at the ExCel Centre as the spread of COVID-19 continues, in London, Britain, April 14, 2020, photo by John Sibley/Reuters

    Commentary

    How COVID-19 May Affect NHS Staff

    COVID-19 may leave a long legacy of poor health and well-being in the National Health Service workforce. This could affect quality of care and the financial performance of the system. We need to ensure that NHS organizations provide significant support for health care workers.

    Apr 15, 2020

  • People wearing protective face masks wait for a bus in front of St. Paul's Cathedral in London, Britain, March 19, 2020, photo by Simon Dawson/Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19: The Questions Ahead for Future Travel and Transport

    COVID-19 could have lasting effects on future travel patterns. Future scenarios, a method for visualizing different possible futures, can help inform decisions in deeply uncertain situations and can be used to think about policies that are important for people's quality of life regardless of how the future unfolds.

    Apr 15, 2020

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits a drill of long-range artillery sub-units of the Korean People's Army, North Korea, image released by Korean Central News Agency on March 2, 2020

    Commentary

    The Coronavirus and North Korea: Is There a Cure for Kim's Nuclear Blackmail?

    Despite the pandemic, North Korea's recent activities suggest that Kim Jong Un will likely stay the course in his ongoing campaign against the United States and the broader Northeast Asia region.

    Apr 13, 2020

  • Multi-ethnic group of women, photo by andresr/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Women and COVID-19: Studying the Impact of Sex and Gender

    Much of current medical evidence is based largely on men. The current COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique opportunity to examine the potential value of asking questions about sex and gender differences to inform ongoing policy decisions.

    Apr 13, 2020

  • Temporary closed signage is seen at a store in Manhattan following the outbreak of COVID-19, in New York City, March 15, 2020, photo by Jeenah Moon/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Danger of Converting a Health Crisis into a Financial Crisis

    The impulse to do something to help businesses right now is well-intended, but lending to companies that were highly leveraged pre-crisis is a risky bet. Assistance could be best directed toward sound enterprises that are likely to survive and contribute to boosting the economy in the coming years.

    Apr 13, 2020

  • The General Assembly Hall at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, September 18, 2015. photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why COVID-19 Will Not Stop Globalization

    Commentators have predicted that the outbreak will upend how we think about the flow of people and goods across borders and leave a markedly different world in its wake. But while COVID-19 will change the mechanics of globalization, it will likely not spell globalization's death knell.

    Apr 13, 2020

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    Content

    COVID-19 Pandemic: Insights from RAND

    RAND research and expertise can inform immediate policy responses to address the disastrous effects of COVID-19—and help aid in recovery long after the disease stops spreading.

    Apr 10, 2020

  • Employees and volunteers prepare relief boxes at the South Texas Food Bank in Laredo, Texas, March 20, 2020, photo by Veronica Cardenas/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Do You Do with a Problem Like COVID-19?

    Over the last several decades, Americans' trust in their government and its institutions crumbled. Beyond that, the value of truth and expertise, the common bedrock of sound policymaking, was decaying in American society. COVID-19 might present an opportunity to correct some of these ills.

    Apr 10, 2020

  • Businessman stops domino effect, photo by ridvan_celik/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Tapping Business Interruption Insurance Coverage to Assist Small Business During the Pandemic

    Legislation has been introduced in several states that would require insurers to cover business interruption losses due to the COVID-19 outbreak. What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a law? If policymakers were to proceed with such an approach, then what design considerations should they keep in mind?

    Apr 10, 2020

  • Blog

    Hospitals' Critical Care Capacity, Unemployment Insurance, Farmworkers: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how hospitals can increase critical care capacity, reforming the U.S. unemployment system, supporting farmworkers, and more.

    Apr 10, 2020

  • Two men looking at a phone and wearing face masks, photo by ozgurdonmaz/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How to Contain the Disinformation Virus

    Like COVID-19, disinformation spreads only if we help it spread. While we have all been asked to stay at home as responsible citizens to contain the virus, we should also feel responsible for making it harder for disinformation to spread.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • Woman working at home at a computer, photo by SolStock/Getty Images

    Commentary

    It Is More Important Than Ever for Employers to Look After Staff Health and Wellbeing

    COVID-19 will likely have a direct effect on the health and wellbeing of employees. While many employers responding to the COVID-19 crisis have understandably been concerned with business resilience, processes, and performance, it is important that they also continue to focus on the health and wellbeing of staff.

    Apr 9, 2020