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 tween girl wearing a protective mask at her desk in a classroom, photo by JackF/Adobe Stock

    Report

    COVID-19 Testing in Schools Is Complex but Doable

    Mar 9, 2021

    COVID-19 testing can be effectively integrated into K–12 schools' pandemic response plans. And it helps families and staff feel more comfortable with in-person instruction. Insights from early adopters of COVID-19 testing in fall 2020 can help schools reopen safely.

  • The exterior of the Tom Harkin Global Communications Center, otherwise known as Building 19, located on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Roybal Campus in Atlanta, Georgia.

    Report

    Trust in the CDC Declined During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Apr 5, 2021

    From May to October 2020, some Americans lost trust in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The drop in trust was particularly significant among people who intended to vote for a candidate other than Joe Biden in the 2020 election or did not intend to vote at all. This suggests that views of the CDC are now strongly politicized.

Explore Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

  • Chilean president Sebastián Piñera receives the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines in Santiago de Chile, Chile, December 24, 2020, photo by Sebastian Rodríguez/Presidencia/Reuters

    Commentary

    Vaccine Nationalism Has Real Economic Consequences

    Vaccine nationalism, in which countries prioritize their domestic needs at the expense of others, will have significant global economic consequences. Major economies actually have more to gain by helping to make an effective COVID-19 vaccine widely available globally.

    Dec 30, 2020

  • Students wait to receive books during a materials distribution for distance learning at Heather Hills Elementary School in Bowie, MD, on August 26, 2020, photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Sipa USA via Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19's Long-Term Effects on Students

    The pandemic has created an unprecedented set of obstacles for schools and exacerbated existing structural inequalities in public education. It may take years to understand how COVID-19 affected student learning and social and emotional development and to identify any lasting effects on low-income communities and communities of color.

    Dec 29, 2020

  • A worker sits on the back of a delivery truck during a snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, December 17, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Commentary

    Teleworking During the COVID-19 Pandemic Highlights Educational Inequity

    The ability to telework is associated with both reduced risk of COVID-19 infection and with significantly lower risk of job loss. There are large disparities in who is able to telework by race and ethnicity—but even larger ones by educational attainment.

    Dec 23, 2020

  • Laura Bogart, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Q&A

    Medical Mistrust Could Reduce Vaccine Uptake: Q&A with Laura Bogart

    Laura Bogart, a senior behavioral scientist, studies how discrimination feeds medical mistrust and conspiracy beliefs. Her research on how mistrust became a barrier to treatment for Black Americans during the HIV epidemic sheds light on why some might question the safety of a COVID-19 vaccine.

    Dec 23, 2020

  • Blog

    The Most Popular RAND Research of 2020

    Here are the RAND research projects that resonated most in 2020, a year unlike any in living memory. Topics include remote learning, election disinformation, income inequality, and more.

    Dec 21, 2020

  • 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

  • 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

    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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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