Research Insights About Covid-19

We attempt to provide selected highlights in recent research findings

Last Update on 1 February 2021

December 2020

December 26, 2020 (Safety Science)

Government policies, national culture and social distancing during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic: International evidence

Yan Wang

The authors assess the impact of national culture and government policies on social distancing to fight COVID-19 across major economies during the first wave of the pandemic. They do this by regressing government stringency index from the Oxford COVID-19 government response tracker together with Hofstede’s national culture scores on social distancing data from Google mobility reports. Government stringency is found to have a far larger impact on social distancing than national culture. Social distancing increases with government stringency and decreases with the cultural factor ‘Long-term Orientation’; the opposite is true for the cultural ‘Indulgence’. Results indicate that policymakers must act decisively rather than allowing for cultural factors.



December 25, 2020 (Health Policy and Technology)

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in India: An analysis of policy and technological interventions

Isha Goel, Seema Sharma & Smita Kashiramka.

This study uses secondary data to analyse the underlying epidemiological situation in India and explain the possible impacts of policy and technological changes. The spread of COVID-19 in India was initially characterized by lower case numbers and fewer deaths compared with numbers in many developed countries. This was mainly due to stringent lockdown and demographic factors. However, economic constraints forced a staggering lockdown exit strategy, resulting in a spike in COVID-19 cases in June 2020. Subsequently, India became the third-worst affected country worldwide. Low spending on health as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) meant there was a shortage of hospital beds and ventilators and a lack of medical personnel, especially in the public health sector. Nevertheless, technological advances, supported by a strong research base, helped contain the health and economic damage resulting from the pandemic. The authors posit that measures such as asymptomatic testing, public-private partnerships, and technological advances will be essential until a vaccine against COVID-19 can be developed and rolled-out in India.


December 24, 2020 (Journal of Business Research)

The effect of political ideology and message frame on donation intent during the COVID-19 pandemic

Patrick Van Esch, Yuanyuan (Gina) Cui, Shailendra Pratap Jain.

This paper investigates COVID-19 related consumers’ donation intent predicated on their political ideology and the message frame - one emphasising the statistical number of affected victims, and the other focusing on a specifically identified victim. Rather unsurprisingly, from three studies, it is found that the impact of the message frame depends on consumers’ political ideology. “Politically conservative” consumers respond to the identifiable victim (vs. statistical victims) frame more favourably, while “politically liberal” consumers are indifferent across the two frames (Studies 1 and 2). The paper concludes with some implications for practice.


December 22, 2020 (Public Health in Practice)

Early detection of change patterns in COVID-19 incidence and the implementation of public health policies: a multi-national study

Steven S. Coughlin, Ayten Yigiter, Honyan Xu et al.

For this multi-national study, the authors examined data from 20 countries in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Eastern Mediterranean and West Pacific regions, and aggregated daily new case data for the European Union including 27 countries were used. The analysis enabled the identification of possible change or turning points as indicated by the dynamics of daily COVID-19 incidences. Days when change points were detected, were ahead of the actual policy implementation days. In most countries included in this study, the decision lagged the change point days by too long a period to prevent potential widespread extension of the pandemic. The authors suggest that globally, social distancing measures may have been most effective in smaller countries with single governmental and public health organizations.


December 21, 2020 (Social Science & Humanities Open)

When the gigs are gone: Valuing arts, culture and media in the COVID-19 pandemic

M. Sharon Jeannotte

This article proposes a four-part conceptual framework that uses economic, social, creative, and sustainability lenses to examine the immediate impact of the pandemic on creators, curators and the media. They review a sample of policy and creative responses to these challenges and then discusses theimplications for how governments and citizens benefit from the creative initiatives.


December 17, 2020 (Journal of Social Work)

Social work involvement in the COVID-19 response in China: Interdisciplinary remote networking

Zhihong Yu, Qiqi Chen, Guanghuai Zheng et al.

This article introduces the innovative interdisciplinary remote networking framework which both provides a guide for medical and community social workers’ involvement during the pandemic. This framework also provides an effective model for setting up a targeted and sustained service system that links social workers with psychological and medical resources. The frontline experiences of social work interventions in China may serve as an example for other countries. This framework presents implications for future practice development in both disaster social work and public health social work.


December 15, 2020 (Contemporary Education Dialogue)

Teachers’ Voices on the Impact of COVID-19 on School Education: Are Ed-Tech Companies Really the Panacea?

Samta Jain, Marie Lall & Anviti Singh.

This article presents the voices of teachers affected by the pandemic in India and critically examines the role of Ed-Tech companies, which pertain to fill the online teaching gap. Between 29 April 2020, and 29 May 2020, an online survey was administered to 550 Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) teachers, of which 288 responded. The data show that the inequalities between private schools and government schools are sharpened by the move to online education. This is compounded by the fact that students from economically weaker sections of society have become hard to reach, and teachers do not know how to support hard-to-reach students who are also severely affected by the pandemic.  The paper notes that so-called “Ed-Tech companies” have been presenting themselves as a panacea to this problem. However, the authors conclude that Ed-Tech solutions are not relevant for hard-to-reach students or teachers in schools that serve hard-to-reach communities.


December 15, 2020 (Clinics in Dermatology)

Rescuing Medical Education in Times of COVID-19

Virginia A. Jones, Kayla A. Clark, Carolina Puyana et al.

The COVID pandemic has impacted on medical education affecting career progression and outcomes. The authors assessed the effects of COVID-19 on dermatology clinics, residency education and medical education. They explored recommendations and offered additional suggestions.



December 8, 2020 (Journal of Economics and Business)

Economic sentiment during the COVID pandemic: Evidence from search behaviour in the EU

Wouter Van der Wielen & Salvador Barrios

The authors show that the health crisis and the ensuing lockdown came with an unseen shift in households’ economic sentiment. First, using a European dataset of internet searches, they document a substantial increase in people's business cycle related searches. People's unemployment concerns rose drastically and a significant, coinciding slowdown in labour markets and consumption. The analysis shows that the ensuing shift in sentiment was significantly more outspoken in those hardest-hit countries. Various unprecedented fiscal policy actions, such as the short-time work schemes implemented or reformed at the onset of the COVID-crisis, however, have not eased economic sentiment.


December 5, 2020 (Forensic Science International)

Violence against women in the Covid-19 pandemic: A review of the literature and a call for shared strategies to tackle health and social emergencies

A. Viero, G. Barbara, M. Montisci et al.

Viero et al conducted a critical review about the relationship between violence against women (VAW) and the current pandemic. The review confirmed that the “stay at home” policies to contrast the pandemic have increased the problem of VAW. However, rigorous studies estimating the relationship between VAW and pandemic are scarce, most published data are derived from social media, internet, anecdotal evidence and helplines reports. Creative solutions are needed to solve the VAW problems.


December 3, 2020 (Heliyon)

Economic stimulus for COVID-19 pandemic and its determinants: evidence from a cross-country analysis

Md. Nur Alam Siddik

This research reports the extent and progress of stimulus packages by proposing a multidimensional index that standardizes governments' economic responses so that we can examine the differences in economic policies. The Euclidean distance formula is applied to develop the new index and then identify the determinants of such economic stimulation. Chile, Switzerland, Croatia, Sweden and the Netherlands responded more strongly to the COVID-19 pandemic, while the remaining countries responded slightly to the pandemic.

Dec 1 2020 (Personality and Individual Differences)

Personal economic anxiety in response to COVID-19

Frank D.Mann, Robert F.Krueger, Kathleen D.Vohs

This study examines individual differences in who may experience economic anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An online survey was collected from a sample of 513 adults using the Amazon's Mechanical Turk Prime platform. Data collection began on March 17th. Results indicate that younger adults tended to report greater anxiety than older adults. Black respondents reported significantly more anxiety, whereas respondents without children living at home reported less anxiety. Low collective self-esteem, low conscientiousness, and low openness to experience were associated with greater economic anxiety. High neuroticism, perceived vulnerability to disease, and belongingness stemming from large group activities also were associated with greater anxiety.

C. Social Sciences, Humanities and Public Policy