• PandemicsGlobal COVID Rise Continues; 50 Nations Report B117 Variant

    By Lisa Schnirring

    In its weekly snapshot of global COVID-19 trends, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday that after lower reporting over the 2-week holiday period, cases and deaths are on the rise again in all but one of its regions and that 50 countries have now detected the more transmissible B117 variant first detected in the United Kingdom.

  • PandemicsSeeking to ‘Flush’ out COVID-19 in Wastewater

    Though it may seem a bit unsavory, studying human waste can tell us a lot about COVID-19 and give governments a leg up on containing the spread of the virus. Researchers can predict if the coronavirus might attack a community by checking sewers for viral fragments in the community’s poop.

  • ExtremismRacist, Extremist, Anti-Semitic Conspiracies Surround Coronavirus Vaccine Rollout

    Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, extremists across the ideological spectrum have used the virus as a platform for elaborate and alarming conspiracy theories. Purveyors of these theories suggest that the vaccine is a new form of population control or elevate debunked fears about the vaccine’s side effects. Some are peddling anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish control of the virus and vaccine, while arguing that Black Americans should be used to test the vaccine’s safety.

  • Pandemic responseModel Used to Evaluate Lockdowns Was Flawed

    In a recent study, researchers from Imperial College London developed a model to assess the effect of different measures used to curb the spread of the coronavirus. A new study, published in Nature, however, claims that the model had fundamental shortcomings and cannot be used to draw the published conclusions.

  • Pandemic responseModeling Can Help Balance Economy, Health During Pandemic

    Using mathematical modeling, new interdisciplinary research determines the best course of action when it comes to walking the line between economic stability and the best possible health outcomes. The model indicates that of the scenarios they consider, communities could maximize economic productivity and minimize disease transmission if, until a vaccine were readily available, seniors mostly remained at home while younger people gradually returned to the workforce.

  • Face masksFace Masks Change the Way We Process Faces

    Ever want to walk over to say hello to someone but you’re not sure the person behind the mask is in fact someone you know? Researchers say you’re not alone.

  • TerrorismTerrorist Groups Using COVID-19 to Reinforce Power and Influence: INTERPOL

    A new report issued by INTERPOL assesses the impact of COVID-19 on global terrorism, trends and potential risks related to attacks on vulnerable targets and bioterrorism is the focus of. As COVID-19 cases subside in some regions and surge in others, the report underlines the critical need to monitor the reaction and response by terrorist networks, violent extremist groups, and other potentially dangerous non-state actors.

  • ARGUMENT: Confrontational politicsPandemic Consequences: The Acceleration of Confrontational Politics

    Soon after the coronavirus began spreading widely around the world, a dominant narrative emerged about its likely effect on global politics: the pandemic would reinforce autocratic governance. Thomas Carothers and Benjamin Press write in Just Security that, indeed, dozens of authoritarian or authoritarian-leaning leaders, from Cambodia to Hungary, quickly seized the moment to amass more power, undercut institutional checks and balances, and restrict citizen freedoms in ways that exceeded public-health necessity. But “almost a year in, another critical trend has become apparent: contrary to the hopes of some observers, the pandemic is also fueling the longer-term ascendancy of confrontational politics,” they write.

  • Pandemic responseCountries with Advanced Digital Skills and Safety Nets Doing Better in Pandemic, Report Says

    By Lisa Schlein

    In this year’s Global Competitiveness Report, the World Economic Forum measures the ability of countries to weather and recover from the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Because of the pandemic and the inability to collect necessary data, country rankings in the report have been suspended. Instead, it examines the factors that help economies better manage and recover from the pandemic.

  • ID during COVIDIdentity Verification in the Age of COVID-19

    Face masks have become a way of life due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We now wear them nearly everywhere we go—at grocery stores, on public transportation, in schools, at work—any situation that requires us to be around others. But what about at places that require a higher level of security, like airports?

  • PandemicExamining Which Approaches Are Most Effective at Reducing COVID-19 Spread

    Researchers have found that physical distancing is universally effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19, while social bubbles and masks are more situation-dependent. The researchers developed a model to test the effectiveness of measures such as physical distancing, masks or social bubbles when used in various settings.

  • ExtremismGermany Worried about “Violent Potential” among Anti-Lockdown Protesters

    Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has identified an “intensified escalation potential” within Querdenker movement that includes coronavirus skeptics. Querdenker adherents, including coronavirus-skeptics and anti-lockdown protesters, claim the COVID-19 pandemic and long-established federal and regional laws aimed at halting the pathogen’s spread infringe on citizens’ liberties.

  • PandemicCoronavirus: Five Ways Some States Have Used the Pandemic to Curtail Human Rights and Democracy

    By Rachel M. Gisselquist and Durgesh Solanki

    In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, at least 95 countries declared a national emergency, empowering governments to act in ways they would not normally to protect citizens. Such exceptional periods pose major risks for democracy and human rights, providing opportunities for leaders and states to consolidate power.

  • PandemicIn Responding to COVID, Nations Copy Policies of Regimes with Similar Political Ideology

    Public policy researchers found that nationalistic governments around the globe are more likely to copy other nationalistic governments in responding to the current pandemic. “While leaders often claim responses are based on the best available advice from scientists and public health experts, recent policy diffusion research suggests that countries are emulating the COVID-19 policies of their neighbors and political peers instead of responding to domestic conditions,” one researcher said.

  • PandemicL.A. Imposes Sweeping COVID Restrictions

    Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles has issued an order for residents to stay at home and minimize other contacts. The order, which supersedes one from June, prohibits public and private gatherings of people from more than one household and states that all businesses in the city which require people to work on location must stop operations. Walking, driving, travel on public transport, bikes, motorcycles and scooters are prohibited, other than for those undertaking essential activities.