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.

  • 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

    Dec 30, 2020

    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.

  • Volunteers help at an annual Thanksgiving turkey giveaway, Inglewood, California, November 23, 2020, photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19 Has Offered Opportunities for Communities to Come Together

    Jan 13, 2021

    The past year has been among the most turbulent in recent memory. Might recent crises provide a catalyst for a renewed sense of civic engagement that transcends some of the race and class divisions COVID-19 has exacerbated?

Explore Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

  • Universal Studios and CityWalk are closed due to COVID-19 concerns in Hollywood, California, May 14, 2020, photo by Ted Soqui/Reuters

    Commentary

    Industry Mix in L.A. Area Helps Explain Recent Record Unemployment Rates

    The Los Angeles Combined Statistical Area reported more than 270,000 job cuts between March and early August. Considering which industries have cut jobs may provide a window into the area's unique labor market and help explain how the area currently has among the highest unemployment in the nation.

    Aug 25, 2020

  • United States Postal Service employee Brandis Neal delivers mail in Houston, Texas, August 18, 2020, photo by Adrees Latif/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Postal Service Is More 'Essential' Than You Thought

    The U.S. Postal Service is an essential service that delivers mail to every address in the country, connects rural communities, and contributes to public safety. But it is still mistakenly thought of as a private business that should be able to turn a profit.

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Testimony

    Testimony

    The Strategic National Stockpile and COVID-19: Rethinking the Stockpile: Addendum

    Document submitted August 21, 2020, as an addendum to testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on June 24, 2020.

    Aug 24, 2020

  • Homeless encampments along Central Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, California, photo by MattGush/Getty Images

    Report

    How Social Service Providers in L.A. County Are Responding to COVID-19

    Social service providers have adapted quickly to ensure continuity of care for their clients during the pandemic. Obstacles have included a lack of technology access among clients, reductions in revenue and workforce, difficulties having clients shelter in place, and other stressors on staff.

    Aug 24, 2020

  • NYPD officers distribute face masks in Washington Square Park, New York City, May 10, 2020, photo by nycshooter/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Police Officers: This Article Will Make You Better at Combatting Misinformation

    By deliberately addressing misinformation, police officers can promote safe and healthy behaviors among those in their communities. The actions they take to combat misinformation and improve protections in their communities are a critical part of the collective campaign to end the pandemic and help people return to their normal lives.

    Aug 24, 2020

  • Blog

    Radicalization, the Gender Pay Gap, Israel-UAE Deal: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the potential for a new era of radicalization, insights into the gender pay gap, why the Israel-UAE deal doesn't merit the hype, and more.

    Aug 21, 2020

  • Globed hand holding a vial makred COVID-19 Vaccine with a syringe drawing liquid, photo by Ridofranz/Getty Images

    Commentary

    It's Going to Be the Vaccination, Stupid!

    The increasingly positive news on COVID-19 vaccine development is also bringing growing alarm over whether Americans will trust these vaccines when they become available. While we were clearly not prepared for this virus, we now need to understand how we are going to roll out any proven vaccine.

    Aug 21, 2020

  • Two children wearing backpacks bump elbows as a greeting during the COVID-19 pandemic, photo by ake1150sb/Getty Images

    Multimedia

    RAND 20/20: Teaching and Learning During a Pandemic

    In this remote video conversation, RAND's Laura Hamilton discusses how teachers, school leaders, and parents are navigating the challenges of educating during a pandemic. Brandon Baker hosts.

    Aug 20, 2020

  • Woman using a phone with a coronavirus tracking app installed, photo by kzenon/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Mobile Health Surveillance Is Here to Stay. How Do We Protect Privacy?

    Mobile phone surveillance can augment public health interventions to manage COVID-19 and might help countries prepare for the next outbreak. But these programs collect sensitive health and behavior data. That raises significant risks to personal privacy and civil liberties.

    Aug 20, 2020

  • The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., photo by lucky-photographer/Getty Images

    Blog

    Summer Reading List for Congress

    During the August recess Hill staff should have an opportunity to step back from the fast pace of votes and hearing preparation to examine priorities for the fall and beyond. This list of must-read research and commentary covers some policy issues they will likely be addressing after the break.

    Aug 18, 2020

  • Man talking with his doctor online, photo by fizkes/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Moving on from Telehealth-by-Desperation: What Will Make Telehealth Stick

    During the COVID-19 pandemic telehealth has helped to maintain continuity of care for millions of Americans, preserve personal protective equipment, and facilitate social distancing. But that does not mean that telehealth will be embraced by patients and providers in the long run.

    Aug 18, 2020

  • A member of the Three Percent militia in downtown Stone Mountain, Georgia, where various militia groups stage rallies, August 15, 2020, photo by Dustin Chambers/Reuters

    Commentary

    Could 2020 Spawn '70s-Style Radicalization and Violence?

    The U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic has further cleaved an already deeply divided society. The conditions facing the United States today are reminiscent of those that gave rise to the radicalism of the 1970s and could once again lead to political violence, including terrorism.

    Aug 17, 2020

  • People line up outside Kentucky Career Center prior to its opening to find assistance with their unemployment claims in Frankfort, Kentucky, June 18, 2020, photo by Bryan Woolston/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Unemployment Statistics Obscure About Temporary Layoffs

    As the broadest COVID-19 shutdowns were underway this spring, a historic number of American workers entered temporary layoff. Those temporary layoffs represent an economy put on pause. What has happened to them since then tells us if the economy can hit play again.

    Aug 17, 2020

  • Blog

    L.A.'s High Unemployment, RAND's New Research Center, Twitter: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on unemployment in the Los Angeles area, the new RAND Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy, food consumption in the UK, and more.

    Aug 14, 2020

  • A nurse holds China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine at a hospital in Porto Alegre, Brazil, August 8, 2020, photo by Diego Vara/Reuters

    Commentary

    Who Would Benefit from a Successful Chinese COVID-19 Vaccine?

    China, one of the world's largest producers of vaccines, could be among the first to produce one for COVID-19. If that happens, then would China be able to produce sufficient doses for domestic use? And which other countries would likely benefit?

    Aug 12, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Maintaining Critical Infrastructure Resilience to Natural Hazards During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Hurricane Preparations by US Energy Companies

    This article describes the ways that an energy organization, the regional transmission operator PJM, is preparing for hurricanes during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article has implications for policy makers working to maintain infrastructure resilience to natural hazards during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Aug 11, 2020

  • Residents watch water flowing over the road at the dam of the Guajataca lake after Hurricane Maria in Guajataca, Puerto Rico, September 23, 2017, photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19 Highlights Disaster Policy's Need to Prepare for Multiple, Sequential Emergencies

    The pandemic has highlighted the vulnerabilities many disaster-affected households face. As lawmakers debate a second relief package, they could reconsider how the emergency management framework responds to the effects of simultaneous hazards on individual-assistance and community-recovery programs.

    Aug 11, 2020

  • Young Black woman working on a computer at home with her dog on her lap, photo by filadendron/Getty Images

    Commentary

    COVID-19 Brings Opportunity to Reassess Work Policies

    As certain COVID-19 restrictions lift, and life for some begins to return to a “new normal,” employers may have the opportunity to rebuild work policies to better support those employees who want to continue working from home. This could produce well-being benefits for employees, without compromising on, and often increasing, productivity.

    Aug 11, 2020

  • Blog

    Preparing for a COVID-19 Election, Hurricane Response, North Korea: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on preparing for a COVID-19 election, how the pandemic is affecting artists, North Korea's deadly artillery, and more.

    Aug 7, 2020

  • How Can We Protect Voters?

    Multimedia

    How Can We Protect Voters' Health and Secure the Election?

    RAND's Quentin Hodgson describes several measures in place for combatting cyber threats to the 2020 presidential election and strategies for protecting the health of voters and poll workers.

    Aug 6, 2020