Research Insights About Covid-19

We attempt to provide selected highlights in recent research findings

Last Update on 1 December 2020

September 2020

September 25, 2020 (Journal of Business Research)

Convergence innovation in the digital age and in the COVID-19 pandemic  crisis

Sang M. Lee, Silvanna Trimi

This paper presents the concept of convergence innovation (CI), which is “powered by the exponential fusion effect of the various objects, technologies, ideas, and strategies, as a new sustainable core competence of organizations”. The paper also rather optimistically explores how CI can be a catalyst for managing the current COVID-19 pandemic and charting the path to post-crisis. 



September 24, 2020 (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)

The rise of COVID-19 cases is associated with support for world leaders

Kai Chi Yam, Joshua Conrad Jackson, Christopher M. Barnes et al.

This paper finds a strong and significant positive association between new daily confirmed and total confirmed COVID-19 cases and support for the heads of government across 11 countries/regions and 50 USA States. The authors cautiously suggest that their findings could have important voting implications. If citizens do “rally ‘round the flag,” then-upcoming elections during or in the aftermath of COVID-19 could potentially be advantageous for some incumbents.


September 17, 2020 (Science)

Self-experimentation, ethics, and regulation of vaccines

Christi J. Guerrini, Jacob S. Sherkow, Michelle N. Meyer et al.

The urgent need to develop vaccines for COVID-19 has prompted many DIY approaches in the belief that ethical review and approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or institutional ethical board is not necessary. This belief is incorrect and caused  misunderstanding leading to serious public health implications. It could also undermine public trust in all vaccines. There is growing proliferation of citizen science efforts to fight COVID-19 and the  confusion that surrounds the regulation of such research, we need to establish proper regulation to safeguard us.



September 16, 2020 (Journal of Air Transport Management)

Risks, resilience, and pathways to sustainable aviation: A COVID-19 perspective

Stefan Gossling.

This paper discusses the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to reconsider the foundations of the global aviation system.  Pandemics and aviation's contribution to climate change are examples of long-standing negative factors  that have been ignored in assessments of aviation's economic performance. Stefan questions whether a return to business-as-usual is desirable. The volume growth model pioneered by industry and aviation proponents may have to be replaced with an alternative model of a smaller air transport system that is economically less vulnerable and causing less negative environmental impacts.

September 13, 2020 (Social Science & Medicine)

Health risks and outcomes that disproportionately affect women during the Covid-19 pandemic: A review

Jade Connor, Sarina Madhavan, Mugdha Mokashi et al.

This short but extensively referenced paper assesses data from previous disease outbreaks coupled with literature from the Covid-19 pandemic to examine the impact of gender on women's SARS-CoV-2 exposure and disease risks and overall health status during the COVID-19 pandemic.The authors admit that due to the evolving nature of the pandemic, data regarding gendered COVID-19 health differences are limited. Much of the literature cited here regarding gender and disease outbreaks come from the SARS, Ebola, and Zika outbreaks.  Nevertheless, the authors conclude that the pandemic will have immediate and long-term effects on women's health, and they highlight the importance of gender analysis in its planning and response. They propose that when preparing for the aftermath of Covid-19, healthcare providers and administrators should take a gender-inclusive approach.


September 9, 2020 (Journal of Public Economics)

Economic uncertainty before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Dave Altig, Scott Baker, Jose Maria Barrero et al.

The authors consider several economic uncertainty indicators for the US and UK before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as stock market volatility, Twitter chatter about economic uncertainty, uncertainty about business growth. They find all indicators show huge uncertainty jumps in reaction to the pandemic  and high volatility in share prices.


September 9, 2020 (Journal of Public Economics)

Economic uncertainty before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Dave Altig, Scott Baker, Jose Maria Barrero et al.

The authors consider several economic uncertainty indicators for the US and UK before and during the pandemic sucj as stock market volatility, newspaper-based policy uncertainty, Twitter chatter about economic uncertainty, uncertainty about business growth, forecaster disagreement about future GDP growth. All indicators show huge uncertainty jumps in reaction to the pandemic and its economic fallout.


September 8, 2020 (Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives)

The influence of passenger air traffic on the spread of COVID-19 in the world

Yves Morel Sokadjo, Mintodê NicodèmeAtchadéb

The pandemic has affected air travel due to restrictive policies and even stopped passenger air traffic. This study aims to study how passenger air traffic might influence the spread of COVID-19. They used data sets of cases from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and air transport from the World Bank. The findings suggest that when passenger air traffic increases by one unit, the number of cases increases by one new infection.

September 6, 2020 (Research in Social Stratification and Mobility)

Sociodemographic inequality in exposure to COVID-19-induced economic hardship in the United Kingdom

Dirk Witteveen

The UK government implemented a furlough scheme that temporarily secured earnings up to 80% of regular pay to mitigate the effects on the financial stress of employees and households. Witteveen uses data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study COVID-19 Supplement to  study the extent to which different earnings groups and sociodemographic groups (gender, race/ethnicity, class background) succumbed to economic hardship between March and May of 2020. The results indicate that lower earnings groups were more than twice as likely to experience economic hardship relative to top earners.

September 4, 2020 (Value in Health)

Willingness to Accept Trade-Offs Among COVID-19 Cases, Social-Distancing Restrictions, and Economic Impact: A Nationwide US Study

Shelby Reed, Juan Marcos Gonzalez, F. Reed Johnson

The authors conduct an experiment to quantify Americans’ acceptance of SARS COV-2 infection risks for earlier lifting of social-distancing restrictions and diminishing the pandemic’s economic impact. The results of 5953 adults across all 50 states show that Americans have diverse preferences pertaining to social-distancing restrictions, infection risks and economic outcomes.



September 3, 2020 (Health Policy and Technology)

The COVID-19 pandemic in Italy: policy and technology impact on health and non-health outcomes

Berardi Chiara, Antonini Marcello, Genie Mesfin et al.

The outbreak of COVID-19 significantly affected Italy with severe health, social and economic consequences. The paper aims to analyse the policies implemented by the government and their impact on health and non-health outcomes. They investigate the impact of policies on the daily reported number of deaths, fatality rate, confirmation rate, intensive care unit saturation and financial and job market indicators across three areas in Italy. They suggest that the strictness and timing of containment and prevention measures played a key role in controlling the pandemic. Future government interventions should be based on evidence to balance the benefits against adverse social and economic cost.

September 3, 2020 (Science)

An ethical framework for global vaccine allocation

Ezekial J. Emanuel, Govind Persad, Adam Kern et al.

Vaccine nationalism, a very controversial topic, is widely publicised and misunderstood today. How are the governments going to ensure an adequate, fair and just distribution of a finite quantity of vaccine to the world population? This multi-national team proposes the Fair Priority Model as a practical way to fulfil pledges to distribute vaccine fairly and equitably.  A well-reasoned and balanced framework that should be pondered over by world leaders, industries, NGOs and international organisations.

September 2, 2020  (Scottish Medical Journal)

Role of immersive technologies in healthcare education during the COVID-19 epidemic

Matthew Pears, Marina Yiasemidou, Mohamed A Ismail, et al

The pandemic presents a unique challenge worldwide. The lack of resources and knowledge to manage the pandemic has established the need for adoption of emerging and future technologies to address the issue. We witness a rapid decline in in-person education with no clear solution. This presents an extreme challenge for educators. In this paper the authors propose several innovative solutions to deliver medical education while maintaining overall safety.

September 1, 2020 (Global Social Welfare)

Social Protection as a Key Tool in Crisis Management: Learnt Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Hamidou Taffa Abdoul-Azize, Rehab El Gamil

Recently many countries started to implement social protection programs to reduce the negative impacts of the pandemic and enhance community resilience. This study aims to explore the current implementation of social protection programs in the most affected countries.The authors searched through WOS, Google Scholar, ILO, World Bank reports, and Aljazeera Television to reveal that social protection programs are a strategic tool to respond to the pandemic, however, some countries lack comprehensive strategy.

Sept 2020  (International Immunopharmacology)

Use of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to predict SARS-CoV-2 infection from Full Blood Counts in a population

Abhirup Banerjee, Surajit Ray, Bart Vorselaars et al

The aim of the study was to use machine learning (ML), an artificial neural network (ANN) and a simple statistical test to identify SARS-CoV-2 positive patients from full blood counts without knowledge of symptoms or history of the individuals. The authors reported that with full blood counts random forest, shallow learning and a flexible ANN model predict SARS-CoV-2 patients with high accuracy between populations on regular wards (AUC = 94–95%) and those not admitted to hospital or in the community (AUC = 80–86%). 


Sep 2020 (Journal of Systems Architecture)

A Survey on Deep Transfer Learning and Edge Computing for Mitigating the COVID-19 Pandemic

Abu Sufian, Anirudha Ghosh, Ali Safaa Sadiq

The authors present a systematic study of Deep Learning (DL), Deep Transfer Learning (DTL) and Edge Computing (EC) to mitigate COVID-19. They survey existing DL, DTL,  EC and Dataset to mitigate the pandemics with potentials and challenges. They also point out that a shortage of reliable datasets of an ongoing pandemic is a common problem.

Sep 2020  (Environmental Research)

Understanding COVID-19 diffusion requires an interdisciplinary, multi-dimensional approach

Elza Bontempi, SergioVergalli, Flaminio Squazzoni

The authors focus on certain limitations of current research about environmental-to-human COVID-19 transmission. They caution against simplistic analyses and show the benefit of an adopting an interdisciplinary, multi-dimensional approach to understanding the geographical diversity of contagion diffusion patterns.

They propose this should not only involve the medical and natural sciences, but also engineering, political, economic, social, and demographic disciplines. Thy suggest that COVID-19 can be the real accelerator towards a synthetic, trans-disciplinary science which could also help better prepare for other systemic shocks such as climate change that will require a coordinated, rapid response.


September 2020  (Safety Science)

Estimating and projecting air passenger traffic during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and its socio-economic impact

Stefano MariaIacus, Fabrizio Natale, Carlos Santamaria et al

This paper presents forecasts of air traffic for more than 222,557 routes around the world, concerning 3,909 origin airports and 3,897 destination airports and involving 234 countries using historic data sets. These forecasts are then discounted, through different scenarios, for the COVIV-19 related flight ban from January 2020. The scenarios are based on both observed routes and flights cancellation using a mix of flight tracking data and on-line booking data, as well as hypotheses based on previous pandemic experience that affected the aviation sector. The authors then try to calculate the socio-economic impact measured in terms of loss of GDP due to up to 30 million potential job losses in the aviation and related sectors. In 2020 up to 1.67% of world GDP could be lost due to reduction in aviation. The authors note a number of caveats related to their scenarios and methodological assumptions.

C. Social Sciences, Humanities and Public Policy