Giving Compass' Take:

• Researchers are conducting plans that address issues caused by COVID-19 pandemic, such as dealing with racially-driven bias, fake news, and manage stress. 

• How can donors support this pandemic plan? 

• Read more on responding to hate crimes due to COVID-19

The plan in the journal Nature Human Behaviour considers research stretching over the past half-century to offer insights about how to address current circumstances.

“The COVID-19 pandemic represents a massive, global health crisis,” says Jay Van Bavel, an associate professor in the psychology department at New York University.

“Because the crisis requires large-scale behavior change and poses significant psychological burdens on individuals, insights from the social and behavioral sciences are likely going to be very helpful for optimizing pandemic response.”

“This interdisciplinary review points to several ways in which research can be immediately applied to optimize response to this pandemic, but also points to several important gaps that researchers should move quickly to fill in the coming weeks and months,” adds Robb Willer, a sociologist from Stanford University.

The analysis focuses on phenomena linked to COVID-19, connecting existing scholarship to potential courses of action in several areas, including the following: “group threat,” “fake news and misinformation,” “social norms,” and “stress and coping.”

“Urgent action is needed to mitigate the potential devastation of COVID-19, and drawing from existing knowledge can help ensure we are taking constructive steps,” Van Bavel says.

“In addition, the lessons from past studies should be relevant to future pandemics and other public health crises. Whether policy makers are trying to increase vaccination rates or reduce the harm of climate change, they will be fundamentally facing many of the same issues in the future.”

“By applying the knowledge gained from earlier research, we hope that public health experts will be better equipped to communicate effectively and drive behavior change in a manner that yields global benefits,” adds Willer.

Read the full article about a pandemic plan by James Devitt at Futurity.