Coronavirus reading list

This is a continuously curated list of resources - academic and otherwise - to understand the pandemic in all its contexts: social, economic, political and historical.


  1. Difference between a pandemic and an epidemic - A short article explaining the differences between an outbreak, an epidemic, and a pandemic.


  1. Discussion on why the stock prices went haywire during the Coronavirus outbreak - One of the fallouts of the Covid19 outbreak has been the enormous impact it has had on financial markets. This academic paper discusses the dynamics of the extremely large movements seen in the stock market.

  2. What a coherent government response to the crisis should look like - Zucman and Saez are one of the foremost economists on the sources of inequality in the world. In this short note, they propose that governments provide a form of social insurance by buying the goods produced by the economy. This could take the form of actual buying of inventory or by directly paying businesses as if the businesses were still operating under normal circumstances.

  3. Levels of preparedness between Nigeria and the US - Interesting perspective on the levels of preparedness of Nigeria vis-à-vis United States. It is low on details but a thought-provoking read nonetheless.

  4. Will the current pandemic lead to the end of austerity (French) - All of us have been pretty frustrated with the French systems’ efforts in facing the covid crisis. Hopefully we will put an end to the austerity policies which have gutted the health care system of the 6th largest economy in the world.


  1. What another recent pandemic could teach us - What we can and probably should have learned from the Swine flu pandemic from 10 years ago.

  2. Boccaccio’s Decameron and attitudes to quarantine - A wonderful analysis of how Decameron influenced physicians’ attitudes towards treating disease centering reading, storytelling and singing. Remember that the Decameron is a story about ten florentines taking shelter in an isolated villa to escape the plague.

  3. What can previous pandemics tell us about the current one - I am huge fan of podcasts for their ability to transmit a lot of information through a discussion between experts. This one is no exception.

Social issues

  1. Amazon workers fighting for their lives and livelihoods

  2. Disaster socialism in America - The current coronavirus crisis has laid bare the problems with american capitalism. Precariousness runs abound. Perhaps now is the time for the american working class to come together and push for healthcare coverage for all.

  3. We are not the virus - Ever since lockdowns have been announced in Europe and become the preferred means of battling the coronavirus, there have been numerous stories about how the environment is bouncing back and that somehow We are the virus. This article reminds us that such a misanthropic reading of the situation sweeps the issue of who is ultimately responsible for climate change under the carpet.

Dhruv Sharma
Dhruv Sharma
Researcher - Portfolio Construction, Risk Management, Agent-Based Models, Statistical Physics.

Physicist turned economic modeler trying to make sense of the world through ABMs.