Research Insights About Covid-19

We attempt to provide selected highlights in recent research findings

Last Update on 1 December 2020

C. Social Sciences, Humanities and Public Policy 

October 2020

October 29, 2020 (Vaccine)

The public’s role in COVID-19 vaccination: human-centered recommendations to enhance pandemic vaccine awareness, access, and acceptance in the United States

Monica Schoch-Spana, Emily K. Brunson, Rex Long et al.

Vaccine uptake and wide acceptance are a social endeavour that requires consideration of several human factors. To prepare for COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the United States, a 23-person Working Group on Readying Populations for COVID-19 Vaccines was formed. One outcome is a compilation of the major challenges and opportunities associated with a future COVID-19 vaccination campaign and empirically-informed recommendations to advance public understanding and acceptance of vaccines. The recommendations provided are essential for a successful vaccination program.



October 28, 2020 (Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management)

The COVID‐19 crisis and complexity: A soft systems approach

Ola G. El-Taliawi & Kris Hartley

The authors utilise complexity science approach to study increasingly divergent ideological and epistemological perspectives about the crisis. They examine which of the seven stages of soft systems methodology contributes to deeper understandings of COVID‐19 as a policy issue. The discussion outlines implications for practice and places them within the broader debates about tensions between science and politics.



October 27, 2020 (Public Health Report)

The COVID-19 Pandemic: An Opportunity to Transform Higher Education in Public Health

Beth A. Resnick, Paulani C. Mui, Janice Bowie et al.

Higher education in public health faces several challenges during the pandemic. The immediacy of the pandemic forced schools and programs of public health to shift to remote learning and to support response efforts. The authors elucidate opportunities to improve public health education.



October 24, 2020 (Social Sciences & Humanities Open)

The outbreak of COVID-19 in Malaysia: Pushing migrant workers at the margin

Andika Wahab

National policy and containment measures require significant consideration of issues facing migrant workers. Before COVID-19 outbreak, migrant workers in Malaysia were already living in cramped accommodation and unsanitary conditions, with poor access to healthcare. The implementation of various phases of Malaysia’s Movement Control Orders has significant negative consequences on their already precarious living and working conditions. Andika aims to generate initial findings for further in-depth research and provides short-term policy recommendations such as making COVID-19 containment measures a legal commitment and implementing a nation-wide regularization programme to legalize the immigration status of undocumented migrant workers.



October 23, 2020 (Rural Special Education Quarterly)

Free Appropriate Public Education in the Time of COVID-19

J. Matt Jameson, Sondra M. Stegenga, Joanna Ryan et al.

In the spring of 2020, US public schools closed their campuses due to an emerging public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 virus, however, the delivery of educational services continued. This included the provision of services mandated by federal law under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which establish educational protections, processes, and rights for students with disabilities and their families to ensure educational equity. The authors describe the potential legal implications of COVID-19 for schools, students with disabilities and their families.



October 23, 2020 (Rural Special Education Quarterly)

Free Appropriate Public Education in the Time of COVID-19

J. Matt Jameson, Sondra M. Stegenga, Joanna Ryan et al.

US schools were closed during the pandemic, however, the delivery of educational services did not stop. This included the ongoing provision of services mandated by federal law under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The authors describe the potential legal implications for schools, students with disabilities, and their families with a focus on challenges faced in rural areas.



October 17, 2020 (Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization)

Poverty and Economic Dislocation Reduce Compliance with COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Protocols

Austin L. Wright, Konstantin Sonin, Jesse Driscoll et al.

in the US, residents of low-income areas complied with shelter-in-place ordinances less than their counterparts in areas with stronger economic levels. Novel results on the local impact of the 2020 CARES Act suggest stimulus transfers that addressed economic dislocation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic significantly increased social distancing.



October 17, 2020 (Public Health)

Socio-economic status and COVID-19–related cases and fatalities

R. B. Hawkins, E. J. Charles, J. H. Mehaffey.

The authors quantify the associations between socio-economic status and COVID-19–related cases and mortality in the U.S. They use nationwide COVID-19 data at the county level that were paired with the Distressed Communities Index (DCI) and it's component metrics of socio-economic status. This cohort included 1,089,999 cases and 62,298 deaths in 3127 counties for a case fatality rate of 5.7%. They conclude that lower education levels and greater proportion of black residents are strongly associated with higher rates of both COVID-19 cases and fatalities.



October 12, 2020 (Journal of Innovation & Knowledge)

All that glitters is not gold. The rise of gaming in the COVID-19 pandemic

M. Ángeles López-Cabarcos, Domingo Ribeiro-Soriano, Juan Piñeiro-Chousac.

At the start of the outbreak, the financial markets collapsed, although not all sectors suffered equally. The gaming and eSports industry prospered during the pandemic. Using a logit–probit model, they analyze the relationship between financial and social variables and the returns offered by the video game and eSports exchange-traded fund (ESPO). The results show that the influence of social factors is weaker than the influence of financial factors. There is a significant inverse relationship between market volatility and ESPO returns and a highly significant relationship between ESPO returns and gold returns.

October 6, 2020 (Journal of Public Affairs)

The geography of the effectiveness and consequences of Covid‐19 measures: Global evidence

Simplice A. Asongu, Samba Diop & Joseph Nnanna.

This useful paper takes a global look at the varying effectiveness of lockdown, movement restrictions, governance and economic, social distancing, and public health measures in tackling COVID-19. The empirical evidence is based on the comparative difference in means tests and correlation analyses. The comparative findings reveal that:

(a) from a holistic perspective, only European countries have favourably benefited from the Covid‐19 measures;

(b) lockdown measures at the global level have not been significant in reducing the pandemic;

(c) the restriction of movement measure has been relevant in curbing the spread in the American continent;

(d) the enforcement of the social distancing measures has been productive in Europe and counter‐productive in Africa;

(e) governance and economic measures have exclusively been relevant in Europe; and (f) overall public health measures have not had the desired outcomes in flattening the infection curve. The authors believe this to be because most of the underlying measures are oriented toward people already infected or are “awareness decisions”.

Oct 2020  (Data in Brief)

Economic Resilience Dataset in Facing Physical Distancing During COVID-19 Global Pandemic

Muhammad Fitri, Rahmadana Gaffar, Hafiz Sagala

Note that this is a “Data Article”.

In reporting their study of physical distancing data in Indonesia the authors state that In order to make the data more informative, researchers conducted a descriptive statistical analysis, ANOVA, Kruskal Wallis, and the Spearman's Rank correlation. They go on to say that “analysis of the data provides valuable information related to the interrelation of each item and the pattern of economic resilience that the urban city household has as a consequence of the COVID-19 global pandemic”. Unfortunately, the article provides little descriptive analysis and the reader is left to interpret the results tables to determine whether the authors are correct in their assertion.



Oct 2020 (Technological Forecasting and Social Change)

Misinformation sharing and social media fatigue during COVID-19: An affordance and cognitive load perspective

A.K.M. NajmulIslam. Samuli Laato, Shamim Talukder et al

Data was collected from young adults in Bangladesh (N = 433). The results show that people who are driven by “self-promotion and entertainment”, and those suffering from “deficient self-regulation”, are more likely to share unverified information.

“Exploration” and “religiosity” correlated negatively with the sharing of unverified information. However, exploration also increased social media fatigue.

The authors state their findings indicate that the “different use purposes of social media introduce problematic consequences, in particular, increased misinformation sharing”.



Oct 2020  (Safety Science)

Does culture matter social distancing under the COVID-19 pandemic?

Toan Luu Duc Huynh

This is another article that would have benefitted greatly from improved editing. It concludes that the study confirms the finding from Borg (2014) and Gaygısızet et al (2017) that cultural determinants play an important role in controlling infection behavior. They suggest core cultural values relevant to potential threats are embedded to nudge people to avoid social gathering under the COVID-19 pandemic.


Oct 2020  (Progress in Disaster Science)

Ecosystem-centric business continuity planning (eco-centric BCP): A post COVID19 new normal

Mahua Mukherjee, Ranit Chatterjee, Bhagat Kumar Khann, et al

This poorly edited short article seeks to make a case for an Eco-centric Business Continuity Planning approach to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It presents an overall model and sets out the ten key principles behind such a model. The paper includes a number of normative statements: A strong political will and sense of urgency are required towards this critical aspect of integrating scientific advice on sustainability and climate change into policies and guidelines to protect the environment along with rejuvenating the economy. 

Oct 2020 (Computers in Human Behavior)

COVID-19 and digital inequalities: Reciprocal impacts and mitigation strategies

Elisabeth Beaunoyer, Sophie Dupéré, Matthieu J.Guitton

The author studied how the COVID-19 pandemic is increasing digital inequalities.

Digital inequalities are increasing the vulnerability to the COVID-19 virus and to the consequences of the crisis. They proposed that the impact of digital inequalities on COVID-19 vulnerability should be embedded in the governmental responses. Moreover, mitigation strategies targeting the individuals and the messages are proposed.