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This page explores some of the many ways members of the CSSH community are engaging with broader audiences in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic. If you are a member of CSSH, please submit news items you would like to see featured.

Research and Engagement

The Data Portal is a key part of BARI’s efforts to collect and disseminate information that foster policy/research collaborations. The database draws from a variety of administrative and social media sources, contextualized within a broader geographic structure that allows seamless linkage across data sets. It includes both the original records, often with enhanced content, and custom aggregate measures (e.g., neighborhood-level metrics). This product was made possible by generous support from Northeastern University’s COVID-19 Crisis Seed Funding, expanding on the activities associated with BARI’s NSF-funded Boston Data Portal.

Boston Data Portal for COVID-19

The State of the Nation: A 50-State COVID-19 Survey

The survey and corresponding report was created by David Lazer, University Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Computer and Information Sciences; Matthew A. Baum, Harvard University; Katherine Ognyanova, Rutgers University; John Della Volpe, Harvard University, with support from Alexi Quintana, Hanyu Chwe, Stefan McCabe, all PhD Students at Northeastern’s Network Science Institute. The survey was conducted from April 17 – 26 across all fifty states, with the results presented in the report.

Victoria Cain, Associate Professor of History, has joined the leadership team of this digital archive. Cain and Ellen Irmiter, a history major at CSSH, will also serve as curators. Inspired by the digital archive Dan Cohen, now Dean of Libraries at Northeastern, helped establish after 9/11, this digital repository is a collaborative effort to crowdsource images, oral histories, videos, and stories about the global experience of COVID-19. One of its primary aims is to ensure the archive represents diverse experiences—that it isn’t limited to the experiences of a particular generation, ethnic group, socioeconomic strata, or the like—but sufficiently captures the breadth and depth of experiences during this uncertain time.

A Journal of the Plague Year: An Archive of COVID-19

COVID-19: How to be Safe and Resilient

Many scholars across the university contributed to the COVID-19 short course organized by Stephen Flynn, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Global Resilience Institute. The hour-long online course, free and accessible to anyone, provides a credible, digestible collection of skills to help individuals and households manage the pandemic. The following CSSH faculty helped create the content utilized on the site and in the online course.

  • Brian Helmuth, Professor, Marine and Environmental Science Center, College of Social Science & Humanities
  • Alisa Lincoln, Professor of Sociology (CSSH) and Health Sciences (Bouvé); Associate Dean of Research (CSSH); Director, Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research (Bouvé)
  • Jennie Stephens, Director of Strategic Research Collaborations, Global Resilience Institute; Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy

Sari Altschuler, Associate Professor of English, and Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, Distinguished Professor of English, are crowdsourcing a public syllabus on pandemics, community, and health in the context of COVID-19.

#coronavirussyllabus: a crowdsourced cross-disciplinary resource

Northeastern Jewish Studies Blog

The Jewish Studies program at Northeastern University has created a blog to engage students, faculty, and the community during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Initial posts have been created by Simon Rabinovitch, Associate Professor of History, and Deanna Schwartz ’22, 2020 Ruderman Scholar. Students, faculty, and the larger CSSH community is encouraged to submit proposals for posts (including texts, images, video, and sound) on any topic in Jewish studies to

The Writing Program and Writing Center will sponsor three weeks of online writing workshops for NU faculty, staff, students, and the community at large. How can we begin to process and account for our experience during this time of unrest, loss, and suspension? We believe that writing can be a powerful tool for reflecting and healing. We hope that these workshops will begin to provide a space for healing to happen.

Workshops are free, open to the public, and welcome writers of all levels and disciplines. Each workshop is a week long (Monday-Friday). During this time, participants will receive daily writing prompts and readings, which will culminate in an online session together at the end of the week. Those interested will receive feedback on a single piece of writing that they have produced during the week.

  • April 27 to May 1 – “Chronicle of Healing” with Cat Tyc
  • May 4 to May 8 –  “We Are All Sitting In Rooms” with Ed Steck
  • May 18 to May 22  – “Writing as Healing: Of Being Numerous” with Emmalea Russo

Writing As Healing During COVID-19

COVID-19 Pandemic in the African Continent

Richard Wamai, Associate Professor of Cultures, Societies and Global Studies, has co-authored a paper for medRxiv, which examines the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Africa. The paper is the first systematic attempt to provide prevalence, incidence, and mortality estimates across Africa. His research concludes that less urbanized countries with low levels of socio-economic development (hence least connected to the world), are likely to register lower and slower transmissions at the early stages of an epidemic. However, the same enabling factors that worked for their benefit can hinder interventions that have lessened the impact of COVID-19 elsewhere.

Daniel Aldrich, Professor and Director of the Resilience Studies program in the Department of Political Science, received a grant from CSSH to conduct a multilevel investigation of regional and institutional factors such as social ties, health care capacity, and mobility that may be the core drivers in stopping (or accelerating) infection of COVID-19.

Social Ties, Quarantine Policy, and the Spread of COVID-19

Faculty In The News

Boston Globe, Prof. David Lazer
Survey suggests support for more restrictions in Mass.

News@Northeastern, Prof. Nikos Passas
How to spot a counterfeit COVID-19 vaccine

NBC News, Prof. Alicia Sasser Modestino
Amid COVID-19, moms leaving the workforce could have lasting impact on economy

News@NortheasternProf. Stephen Flynn
Free online COVID-19 vaccine course fills the gap in public health messaging

News@Northeastern, Prof. Wendy Parmet
Here’s why we need a PSA for the COVID-19 vaccine

Indianapolis Star, Prof. David Lazer
‘A dangerous situation’: COVID-19 kills more than 2,000 Hoosiers in December, another record

News@Northeastern, Prof. John Basl
Are COVID-19 vaccine trials ethical?

News@NortheasternProf. David Lazer
Third party voters unhappy with Trump’s covid-19 response are leaning Biden

News@NortheasternProf. David Lazer
Here’s how states are dealing with mail-in voting ahead of the election

Inside Higher EdProf. Alicia Sasser Modestino
Women are falling behind

News@NortheasternProf. David Lazer
Most us residents don’t think it’s safe for k-12 schools to reopen for in-person learning, new national survey finds

News@NortheasternProf. Nikos Passas
Here’s how states are dealing with mail-in voting ahead of the election

WBURProf. Alicia Sasser Modestino
‘Shecession’: the pandemic’s impact on women in the workforce

Gotham GazetteProf. Alicia Sasser Modestino
Providers, participants scramble for scaled down summer youth employment program

News@NortheasternProf. David Lazer
Democrats and Republicans both strongly support new round of COVID-19 pandemic aid, study says

WGBHProf. Alicia Sasser Modestino
Eviction threat looms again with moratorium end

Kaiser Health NewsProf. David Lazer
COVID testing choke points

The Times of IsraelProf. David Lazer
Mass anti-Netanyahu rallies are likely not a major health hazard — US expert

News@NortheasternProf. David Lazer
Racial justice protests were not a major cause of COVID-19 infection surges, new national study finds

News@NortheasternProf. David Lazer
Polls show trust in scientific, political institutions eroding

News@NortheasternProf. David Lazer
Think everyone will be clamoring to get a COVID-19 vaccine? Think again, a new national study says.

News@NortheasternProf. David Lazer
Timely test results are necessary to slow the coronavirus. But a new study shows critical delays across the U.S.

News@NortheasternProf. William Dickens
Here’s what could happen if the U.S. suspends federal pandemic unemployment benefits

News@NortheasternProf. William Dickens
An unexpected consequence of the covid-19 pandemic? A national coin shortage.

Boston GlobeProf. Alicia Sasser Modestino
Northeastern researchers find lack of child care has been a significant challenge for workers during the pandemic

News@NortheasternProf. Dan O’Brien
Imagine leading a city through a pandemic and mass protests. Now imagine doing it from home.

POLITICOProf. David Lazer
Governors find their moment — and peril

News@NortheasternProf. David Lazer
How COVID-19 is affecting support for mail-in voting

MetroWest Daily News, Prof. Alicia Sasser Modestino
Economists express caution over surprising jobs report

Boston HeraldProf. Alicia Sasser Modestino
Public-sector cuts next cloud on jobs horizon

Fast Company, Prof. Joan Fitzgerald
Emissions dropped during COVID-19. Here’s what cities can do to keep them from rising

Washington PostProf. Elizabeth Bucar
Trump wants masks to be a 2020 wedge issue. But Americans, including Republicans, support them.

News@NortheasternProf. Richard Wamai
The immunization effect in Africa

The AtlanticProf. Tiffany Joseph
Where fears of deportation made the pandemic worse

News@NortheasternProf. David Lazer
A majority in the U.S. supports making mail-in voting easier, new study shows

FiveThirtyEightProf. David Lazer
Most Americans Haven’t Stopped Trusting Scientists

News@NortheasternProf. David Lazer
New survey shows growing partisan divide in support for reopening the U.S.

VoxProf. Alicia Sasser Modestino
You can’t turn the economy back on like a light switch

News@NortheasternProf. David Lazer
Trump’s pandemic approval ratings rise for the first time, new national study finds

Medical EconomiesProf. Timothy Hoff
Patient-doctor trust and the COVID-19 vaccine

News@NortheasternProf. David Lazer
Wearing masks is on the rise. Physical distancing isn’t.

News@NortheasternProf. Alicia Sasser Modestino
The recovery of the U.S. economy after COVID-19 hinges on federal support

News@Northeastern, Prof. Mai’a Cross
Why isn’t Europe joining the U.S. and UK rush to vaccinate for COVID-19?

The Atlantic, Prof. David Lazer
Where year two of the pandemic will take us

News@NortheasternProf. David Lazer
The leading source of false claims about COVID-19? Hint: it’s not Facebook or Twitter.

New York TimesProf. Alicia Sasser Modestino
Workers face permanent job losses as the virus persists

WBURProf. Alicia Sasser Modestino
Data shows many in Mass. have left the workforce

VOA News, Prof. Max Abrahms
Trump tells UN to hold China accountable for coronavirus

Kaiser Health NewsProf. David Lazer
‘It’s science, stupid’: a school subject emerges as a hot-button political issue

News@NortheasternProf. David Lazer
Survey finds COVID-19 test results are getting faster, but not for everyone

News@NortheasternProf. Costas Panagopoulos
Trump campaign scrambles to cope without its biggest asset

NPRProf. David Lazer
COVID-19 Test Results Get Faster, But Still Too Slow To Help Slow Disease Spread

AxiosProf. Alicia Sasser Modestino
Child care crisis is denting the labor market

VOA News, Prof. Max Abrahms
Trump tells UN to hold China accountable for coronavirus

News@NortheasternProf. David Lazer
Trust in COVID-19 vaccines aligns with political parties, new national study finds

The New York Jewish Week, Prof. Phil Brown
Decades before covid, a Catskills vacation was the ultimate guilt trip

News@Northeastern, Prof. Rory Smead
The person walking past you isn’t wearing a mask. What should you say?

WiredProf. Daniel Aldrich
A ‘Hyperactive’ Hurricane Season Is About to Strike

News@NortheasternProf. Tiffany Joseph
What about the people who aren’t self-isolating?

Nonprofit Quarterly, Prof. Daniel Aldrich
Going the Distance: Redefining the Narrative In the Pandemic

Boston GlobeProf. Alan Clayton-Matthews
Layoffs begin to mount as virus forces Massachusetts economy to shrink

Boston GlobeProf. Alan Clayton-Matthews
Bear market could hurt employment in Boston, particularly at fund firms

SalonProf. Daniel Aldrich
Why “social distancing,” if done wrong, can make you more vulnerable

BenzingaProf. Stephen Flynn
COVID-19 Exposing Funding Shortfalls at US Ports

News@NortheasternProf. John Kwoka
There aren’t enough ventilators and hospital beds. Anti-trust laws have a lot to do with it.

Boston GlobeProf. Victoria Cain
Journaling during the pandemic, for yourself and the historians

CitylabProf. David Lazer
To combat coronavirus, scientists are also breaking down barriers

NewsweekProf. Tiffany Joseph
Trump’s immigration policies are making the coronavirus pandemic worse

Washington PostProf. Sari Altschuler
Covid-19 is forcing us to dwell in uncertainty. History can help.

WUWFProf. Timothy Hoff
Health Care Professor: ‘Pandemic Could Be Catalyst For Change’

Washington ExaminerProf. James Alan Fox
Coronavirus crime wave threatens to emerge from economic downturn and prisoner releases

Time MagazineProf. Richard Wamai
What Trump’s WHO Funding Freeze Means for the Most Vulnerable Countries

Boston GlobeProf. James Alan Fox
Experts predict plummeting state revenues will put Mass. in dire straits

Boston.comProf. James Alan Fox
‘Unprecedented’ upheaval leaves hazy picture of state’s post-coronavirus recovery, experts say

HuffPostProf. James Alan Fox
As Nation Stays Home, Early Indicators Suggest Rise In Domestic Violence Killings

experienceProf. Richard Wamai
Our gaping blind spot in the fight against pandemics

The AtlanticProf. Tiffany Joseph
America’s Patchwork Pandemic Is Fraying Even Further

Boston Globe, Profs. Dan O’Brien and Alicia Sasser Modestino
Innovation will help us rebuild

Boston Globe, Profs. Alan Clayton-Matthews and Alicia Sasser Modestino
With plummeting revenues, state should impose a temporary tax increase

The ConversationProf. Costas Panagopoulos
Coronavirus: new survey shows how Republicans and Democrats are responding differently

Arab NewsProf. Elizabeth Bucar
Niqabi women speak out about the surge in mainstream face-covering

GristProf. Daniel Aldrich
Forget the TP: Here’s what you really need to get through a disaster

Washington PostProf. Elizabeth Bucar
Masks are here to stay. And they’re quickly becoming a way to express ourselves.

NBC Boston, Prof. David Lazer
Clash continues over when to reopen Maine

MassLiveProf. Alan Clayton-Matthews
Massachusetts economy declined 6.1% in first quarter says economists who warn of more coronavirus pain to come

WBURProf. Alicia Sasser Modestino
Bills, Taxes, Donations: How People Are Spending Their Coronavirus Relief Money

News@NortheasternProf. David Lazer
U.S. public is ‘firmly opposed’ to reopening the economy immediately

News@NortheasternProf. Alicia Sasser Modestino
How will the economy bounce back after COVID-19?

Washington PostProf. David Lazer
These three governors are reopening their states faster than their voters want

Los Angeles Times, Prof. Daniel Aldrich
Isolation is hazardous to your health. The term ‘social distancing’ doesn’t help

Washington PostProf. James Alan Fox
D.C. seeing drop in robberies during pandemic, but assaults are up

PreventionWebProf. Daniel Aldrich
Cultivating social ties in the age of physical distancing

Medical EconomicsProf. Timothy Hoff
How will other needed care be provided during the pandemic?

The Gloaming PodcastProf. Daniel Aldrich
Resilience in the time of COVID-19

MassLiveProf. Alan Clayton-Matthews
Massachusetts employer confidence takes historic nosedive in March

News@NortheasternProf. Williams Dickens
Is a recession necessary to fight COVID-19?

News@NortheasternProf. Alisa Lincoln 
‘Why am I having such a hard time when I’m not sick with the virus?’

News@NortheasternProf. Stephen Flynn
Is it time for President Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act?

WBURProf. Stephen Flynn
Resiliency Expert: ‘This Is A Pearl Harbor Moment’

News@NortheasternProf. Robert Triest 
Interest rate cut leaves U.S. Federal Reserve with little ammunition to fight potential recession

News@NortheasternProf. Mai’a Cross
How is the European Union dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and financial meltdown?

News@NortheasternProf. Daniel Aldrich
What U.S. communities shouldn’t forget in the COVID-19 state of emergency

BBCProf. Daniel Aldrich
How firms move to secret offices amid Covid-19

Boston GlobeProf. James Alan Fox
Look on the bright side: Arrests are way down during the coronavirus outbreak

Washington PostProf. Daniel Aldrich
Is ‘social distancing’ the wrong term? Expert prefers ‘physical distancing,’ and the WHO agrees.