Research Insights About Covid-19

We attempt to provide selected highlights in recent research findings

Last Update on 1 December 2020

May 2020

May 29, 2020 (Science)

Ethics and governance for digital disease surveillance

Michelle M. Mello, C. Jason Wang

In this article, the authors explore ethical concerns raised by digital technologies and new data sources in public health surveillance during epidemics, focusing on core public health functions of case detection, contact tracing, and isolation and quarantine.

May 28 2020  (Journal of Public Policy and Marketing)

The Pandemic Ripple Effect: Understanding Marketing and Public Policy Opportunities in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Matthew E. Sarkees, M. Paula Fitzgerald, Cait Lamberton

The COVID-19 pandemic placed a heavy price on the trillion-dollar global pharmaceutical industry. The urgency of COVID-19 forced government regulators to speed up the race for effective treatments and care.

The authors  highlight three of the knowledge  gaps: (1) confusion arising from off-label prescribing and emergency use authorization, (2) consumer access to testing, and (3) pharmaceutical supply chain issues.

May 25 2020  (Journal of Public Health)

COVID-19 and social distancing

Meirui Qian & Jianli Jiang

This brief piece notes that the way COVID-19 is transmitted means that taking certain social distance measures is the most effective practice to prevent and control the disease. It reports the unsurprising information that the WHO’s South East Asia Region director Poonam Khetrapal Singh found that it is possible to reduce the virus transmission by following social distancing measures.

May 22, 2020   (Science) 

Ethics of controlled human infection to address COVID-19

Seema K. Shah, Franklin G. Miller, Thomas C. Darton et al

This article addresses some of the ethical considerations associated with controlled human infection studies (CHIs) for vaccine development for severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).  The authors refer to “a comprehensive, state-of-the-art ethical framework for CHIs “ they have been developing that emphasizes their social value as fundamental to justifying these studies. They argue  ethics of CHIs in general are underexplored and ethical examinations of SARS-CoV-2 CHIs have largely focused on whether the risks are acceptable and participants could give valid informed consent. The authors agree on the ethical conditions for conducting SARS-CoV-2 CHIs but differ on whether the social value of such CHIs is sufficient to justify the risks at present. The articles provides ethical guidance for research sponsors, communities, participants, and the essential independent reviewers considering SARS-CoV-2 CHIs. The approach doeas not appear to address the unique time pressures presented by the COVID-19 pandemic but rather argue their framework and analysis support “laying the groundwork for CHIs”. This would involve several steps including “a challenge strain, drafting consensus protocols that address ethical concerns, and engaging stakeholders to enhance their social value, minimize risks, and build public trust”.


May 15, 2020 Science Vol. 368, Issue 6492, pp. 716-718

Policy opportunities to enhance sharing for pandemic research

Michelle Rourke, Mark Eccleston-Turner, Alexandra Phelan4 e al

The authors point out that despite the scale of the pandemic threat, the lack of a clear legal obligation to share pathogens or associated data on genetic sequencing during a health emergency represents a blind spot in international law and governance, impeding pandemic response and scientific progress. Th paper examines the sharing of public health information, biological samples, and genetic sequencing data (GSD ) in the still early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The authors identify barriers to sharing under the current international legal system, and propose legal and policy reforms needed to enhance international scientific cooperation.

May 12, 2020  American Journal of Health Promotion

Social Capital in the Response to COVID-19

Nicholas Pitas , Colin Ehmer

Drawing on evidence from past crises, the authors recommend individuals, communities, and government institutions work to strengthen and expand social networks in order to overcome deficiencies or disruptions in social capital brought about by physical distancing under Covid-19.


 May 12 2020    Business Horizons

The COVID-19 Virtual Idea Blitz: Marshaling social entrepreneurship to rapidly respond to urgent grand challenges

Sophie Bacq, Will Geoghegan, Matthew Josefy et al

The authors describe a virtual on line event that was organized and executed in less than a week and ultimately involved 200 entrepreneurs, coders, medical doctors, venture capitalists, industry professionals, students, and professors from around the world. 21 ideas were developed in five thematic areas: health needs, education, small businesses, community, and purchasing. The paper describes the organisational approach and the key learning of “this spontaneous entrepreneurial endeavour”.



May 12 2020    Psychiatry Research

Psychological Outcomes Associated with Stay-at-Home Orders and the Perceived Impact of COVID-19 on Daily Life

Matthew T.Tull, Keith Edmonds,  Kayla  Scamaldo et al

This study examined relations of both stay-at-home orders and the perceived impact of COVID-19 on daily life to psychological outcomes (depression, health anxiety, financial worry, social support, and loneliness) in a nationwide U.S. community adult sample questionnaire survey.  Being under a stay-at-home order was associated with greater health anxiety, financial worry, and loneliness. The perceived impact of COVID-19 on daily life was positively associated with health anxiety, financial worry, and social support, but negatively associated with loneliness. The authors highlight the importance of social connection to mitigate the negative psychological consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.



May 11, 2020 Personality and Individual Differences

The development and initial tests for the psychometric properties of the COVID-19 Phobia Scale (C19P-S)

Ibrahim Arpaci, Kasım Karataş, Mustafa Baloğlu!

The authors agrue that negative effects of Covid-19 are not limited to psycho-pathological problems with serious physiological, social, and economical difficulties observed in various counties. They suggest a new type of specific phobia associated with Covid-19 is identifiable and is worthy of further research.

May 10, 2020 (Journal of Management)

Corona Crisis and Inequality: Why Management Research Needs a Societal Turn

Bapuji H, Patel C, Ertug G

This wide ranging essay employs the COVID1-19 pandemic as a context and opportuity examine how it affects issues of social inequality. The authors emphasize the need to take a societal turn and research the effect of organizational practices on societal economic inequality. They argue that this societal turn is equally applicable to management research in general, because the pandemic has exposed the neglected and sometimes hidden interdependence between business and society. 


May 10, 2020 (ECNU Review of Education)

Higher Education Development and Student Mobility During Crises: From a Comparative and Historical Perspective

Hantian Wu

In this short essay the author cautions against drawing upon past historical crises to predict outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic in the field of Higher Education. Long-term factors that have driven the rapid increase in the number of Chinese students studying abroad are thought to be unlikely to change in a short period of time due to the sudden crisis. Middle-class families will still be willing to invest in their children’s education abroad. China’s status as a receiving country will not be fundamentally changed by either unexpected crises or short-term incentive policies for similar reasons.


May 10, 2020 (Health Education & Behavior)

Social Distancing and Incarceration: Policy and Management Strategies to Reduce COVID-19 Transmission and Promote Health Equity Through Decarceration

BH Henry

The author argues that prisons are epicenters for COVID-19 transmission, including to the community. Given the high rates of preexisting health conditions, limited access to quality health care, and inability to social distance, it is impossible to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in prisons. It is argued that rapid decarceration (release of prisoners from prison) is needed to control the impact of COVID-19 and to promote health equity (between those incarcerated and those who are not).

May 7, 2020 (Industrial Marketing Management)

The Coronavirus crisis in B2B settings: Crisis uniqueness and managerial implications based on social exchange theory

Roberto Mora, Corteza Wesley, J.Johnstonb

The authors examine differences in response of business-to-business (B2B) organisations to the Covid-19 crisis. A study of 11 businesses in USA, Latin America and Europe identifies four key areas of recovery where 22 practices in the form of recommendations for B2B businesses managers. These include actions such as: implementing digital showrooms for customers; training customers on e-commerce; using social media to disseminate general information or events; using webinars; decentralizing decision-making power (temporariliy); driving morale enhancement; revisiting the marketing budget; regulating tiredness and lack of choice; and reducing distractions and family tension.

May 6, 2020 (J of Health Psychology)

Human needs in COVID-19 isolation

Thiago Matias, Fabio H Dominski, David F Marks

As social distancing and stay-at-home advice is constantly advocated during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to remember that a significant proportion of the population who live alone are vulnerable to mental health problems. Here, the authors discuss one of the most fundamental tools of self-care for health enhancement: increased physical activity.

May 3, 2020  (Annals of Tourism Research)

Towards a post-conflict tourism recovery framework

Maharaj  Vijay Reddy,  Stephen,  W.Boyd,  Mirela Nica

Although not specifically considering the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and its effect upon the tourist industry, this extensive review nevertheless offers some valuable insights into routes to recovery for the tourist industry following major crises. In particular, the authors argue that policy makers need to explore different strategies of response that may involve crisis communication to facilitate repositioning, as well as evaluating tourist reactions on how successful they see those recovery strategies to be.  Importantly they conclude that local communities and their voices need better understanding. Funded in part by British Council and the University Grants Commission of India for their financial support under the umbrella of the UK-India Education and Research Initiative(UKIERI).



May 1, 2020 Journal of Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety Regarding Contracting COVID-19 Related to Interoceptive Anxiety Sensations: The Moderating Role of Disgust Propensity and Sensitivity

Dean McKay, Haibo Yang, Jon Elhai. Gordon Asmundson

A total of 908 Chinese adults (mean age = 40.37 years, SD = 9.27; n = 752 female) participated in a survey distributed between February 24 and March 15, 2020. Results support a moderating relationship between both disgust propensity and sensitivity in the relationship between physical concerns associated with anxiety sensitivity and fear of contracting COVID-19. The authors argue the results lend support for individual variation in the activation of the Behavioral Immune System (BIS) which contributes to pandemics anxiety. Recommendations for public education to target individuals who may experience mental health consequences from pandemics are provided.

May 1, 2020 (Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives)

COVID-19 and airline employment: Insights from historical uncertainty shocks to the industry

Joseph B.Sobieralski

The authors argue that the global nature and severity of the shock of COVID-19 upon the airline industry may be near the upper bound of estimates with a reduction of over 13% of the airline workforce. The analysis uses the vector autoregression (VAR) model to examine the uncertainty shocks and their relation to economic variables.

Their analysis purports to show that the low-cost and regional airlines' business models afford these airlines the ability to weather uncertain times without the large employment reductions seen by the major carriers. Howvever “regional” is not defined nor is the potential for major differemces in “regions” around the globe examined.

Another important finding of this study is that certain categories of employees will face deeper workforce cuts than others. The occupations related to passenger handling at major airlines are hardest hit. The lower skilled employees at airlines appear to receive the majority of the impact from workforce reductions. Some policy implications are examined.

C. Social Sciences, Humanities and Public Policy