The occurrence of a heat wave during the pandemic may be the clearest example of an overlapping disaster in the near term, but we'll likely see more and more overlapping disasters brought about by a changing climate.
The phrase “flatten the curve” familiarized Americans with epidemiological models used to estimate virus transmission, cases, and potential deaths from COVID-19. But new models are needed as the country enters a different stage of the crisis.
RAND's new publicly available COVID-19 interventions impact tool uses epidemiological and economic models and continually refreshed data to estimate what could happen as restrictions are eased. Our tool cannot make the choices confronting state leaders less painful, but it can provide clear evidence-based estimates of the health and economic trade-offs.
Much like America's aging physical infrastructure, America's digital infrastructure needs updating. To fix these urgent problems, local, state, and federal governments could turn to best practices used in the private sector to develop more reliable software.
The Hampton Roads area in Virginia is home to more than 1.7 million people, a major port, and more military installations than anywhere else in the United States. Its rising sea levels and floods brought together civilian and military officials on a project to mitigate damage and foster resiliency.
More widespread availability of rideshare for non-emergency medical transport may save lives, reserve emergency resources for those who need them, and provide safe pathways to primary care for the chronically ill. It could also save livelihoods, providing employment in a time of economic hardship.
Access to food could be critical to getting through the COVID-19 pandemic. Local leaders and policymakers may find themselves having to devote new resources to make sure all citizens have access to food and to protect those on the front lines.
There are significant epidemiological and economic risks and uncertainties with physical distancing policies put into effect in the United States to reduce the growth of COVID-19. We have estimated the economy-wide impacts of a set of these policies to provide a sense of their likely economic toll.
The Catholic Church joined with technology companies in February to release the “Rome Call for AI Ethics,” which it hopes will lend meaning if not governance frameworks for the use of artificial intelligence. Making sure that “everyone can benefit” from AI by making its discoveries widely available will be important. This is perhaps where the church can be most effective.
When a hurricane comes ashore or a wildfire ignites, most of a community's vulnerability to disaster is already set. Emergency managers including FEMA, states, and localities could do much more to identify statewide risks and build community resilience before an event makes headlines.
As an Australian, Melissa Finucane has watched with anguish as massive bushfires devastated wide swaths of her home country. As a researcher who studies community resilience, she can't help but think of how much blood, sweat, tears, and money will be required to recover.