10 reviews on the virus that is still shaking our world.

Global Literature on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). World Health Organization (WHO), 2021.

Breslin, Tony. Lessons from lockdown: the educational legacy of COVID-19. Routledge, 2021. 240p bibl index ISBN 9780367639266, $155.00; ISBN 9780367639297 pbk, $21.95; ISBN 9781003121343 ebook, $21.95.
Reviewed in CHOICE March 2022

Breslin, an educational commentator, a curriculum development specialist, and a governance trainer in the UK, convened 108 educators in focus groups and through individual interviews and written submissions to develop six themes to follow for a successful recovery from COVID-19. These include putting well-being first; closing the achievement gap; rethinking curriculum and its assessment; growing digital connectivity and digital literacy; building new relationships between schools, families, and communities; and creating a teaching profession and schooling system prepared for an unknown future. He details the history of changes in British education during the last two decades; schooling, parental engagement, and learning at home during the lockdown; economic policy and societal inequalities; and national curriculum and assessment to lead into the controversy of grading the 2020 national exams during the pandemic. The conflict between schools’ senior leadership teams and the center-assessed grades, which factor in teachers’ grades, reveal the diverse nature of school headship in the UK. Although “[it is] hard to get a universal education system that works for everyone,” Breslin concludes, “it just got a whole lot harder, but it would be a good idea.” Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, faculty, and professionals. —D. L. Stoloff, Eastern Connecticut State University

Communication in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, ed. by Theresa MacNeil-Kelly. Lexington Books, 2021. 104p bibl index ISBN 9781793639912, $86.00; ISBN 9781793639929 ebook, $45.00.
Reviewed in CHOICE August 2022

This book edited by MacNeil-Kelly (Florida Southern College) explores diverse facets of intimate and mass communications during the COVID-19 pandemic’s early stages. Four of the five contributing authors are from the same institution. One of the more interesting chapters, “#Kidstogether,” by Jobia Keys, describes Nickelodeon’s streaming and on-demand cable television services, which focused on COVID-19 orientation for children and teenagers, including topics such as handwashing techniques and social distance information. “Agenda Setting,” by the editor, provides a thematic analysis of New York Times COVID-19 coverage between March and April, 2020, finding the most salient topics were COVID’s economic impact, public dread of the virus, and efforts to mitigate its spread. Other chapters focus on analysis of, e.g., family communication, community and caregiver interpersonal communications, and social media messages about sports (especially lacrosse) during the pandemic. Some chapters additionally focus on communication about COVID-19 among African Americans and Native Americans. All research is grounded in qualitative methods. Each chapter provides a list of references. This book will be useful to scholars in communication and media studies programs. A good companion read is the new book by Katarzyna Kopecka-Piech and Bartłomiej Łódzki, The COVID-19 Pandemic as a Challenge for Media and Communication Studies (2022). Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates. Graduate students. —R. A. Logan, emeritus, University of Missouri—Columbia

Coronavirus politics: the comparative politics and policy of COVID-19, ed. by Scott L. Greer et al. Michigan, 2021. 662p bibl index ISBN 9780472038626 pbk, $45.00; ISBN 9780472902460 ebook, contact publisher for price.
Reviewed in CHOICE November 2021

This book provides a comparative analysis of how health systems worldwide responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, offering a high quality example of rigorous hypothesis testing in political science research. The editors offer an exceptionally well-researched volume on an urgent public policy issue, considering non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing and test-trace-isolate support. Early use of such systems allowed Vietnam and New Zealand to successfully manage the pandemic. The book covers a wide range of countries from Asia to Europe, the Americas, and Africa, including chapters on the EU, Central Asia, and the World Health Organization. All country studies focus on three core variables: public health and social policy measures, why the government made certain decisions, and policy recommendations. The major finding is that social policy is decisive for the effectiveness of pandemic response. Authoritarian regimes were not more effective than democratic regimes, and having a strong public health establishment did not contribute to effective response when sidelined and manipulated by government (US, UK). Some “majoritarian” regimes (US, UK) were ineffective, whereas others (Australia, Canada) effectively managed COVID-19. The conclusion distinguishes between countries that reacted swiftly with strong health and social policies (Vietnam, South Korea) and those that made wrong policy decisions—embracing “denialism”—leading to surging case numbers (Brazil, India). Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates. Graduate students, faculty, and professionals. —M. E. Carranza, Texas A&M University–Kingsville

COVID-19 (coronavirus): ADB Information Centre. BMJ Publishing Group, 2021. Contact publisher for pricing. Internet Resource. 
Reviewed in CHOICE November  2021

COVID-19 (Coronavirus): ADB Information Centre “provides open access to evidence-based clinical decision supports, online courses, patient information, pamphlets, and procedural videos on coronavirus disease (COVID-19),” intended “for frontline health care workers in Asian Development Bank (ADB) regional member countries,” wrote Marcia Salmon for ccAdvisor. “It is a creditable, authoritative source of evidence-based COVID-19 medical information,” she added. “Content is primarily [drawn] from BMJ Best Practice, an authoritative source of clinical health decision support with a rigorous knowledge synthesis and peer review process to provide the most current clinical, evidence-based practice material for clinical decision support, patient information, and procedural videos,” Salmon noted. Meanwhile, BMJ Learning provides high-quality, evidence-based continuing education courses for doctors and other health care professionals. Together, the information from BMJ Best Practice and BMJ Learning offers the latest guidance on diagnosis and treatment, essential skills on caring for patients, and other pertinent information. As Salmon further elaborated, “the evidence-based content is continuously updated.”

“Content includes decision supports, online courses, patient leaflets, videos, news, and webinars,” and is available in English, Russian, and Mandarin. The site offers a clean, user-friendly interface, so that even inexperienced users can easily navigate the content. Although search functions are not available, users may browse content with the navigation bars at the top of the home page, which “also includes a brief description of the content with links to those sections.”

“Although Best Practice is an authoritative source of evidence-based practice documents on COVID-19, the comprehensiveness of the Centre site would be greater if clinical health decision supports had sources other than Best Practice,” Salmon concluded. There are “not many evidence-based, clinical decision support websites [that] directly compete with COVID-19 (Coronavirus): ADB Information Centre,” though EBSCO’s DynaMed: COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) is a possible competitor. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students and faculty.

This review is a summary of a longer review by Marcia Salmon, York University, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2021 by The Charleston Company. —Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

The COVID-19 crisis: social perspectives, ed. by Deborah Lupton and Karen Willis. Routledge, 2021. 240p bibl index ISBN 9780367628956, $160.00; ISBN 9780367628987 pbk, $44.95; ISBN 9781003111344 ebook, $44.95.
Reviewed in CHOICE April 2022

This book provides a multidisciplinary, international perspective on the global COVID-19 pandemic in 17 chapters. Contributions from researchers in Africa, Australia, Canada, Europe, the UK, and the US are organized into five parts, with two introductory chapters authored by Lupton (Univ. of New South Wales) and Willis (La Trobe Univ.). The editors frame the collection in terms of “COVID society,” characterized by a range of different sociocultural experiences of contagion, pointing out that COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across social, cultural, environmental, and economic landscapes. Subsequent parts of the book examine, e.g., changed perceptions of space and time during the lockdown phases; how health care systems worked (or did not work); how day-to-day changes were related to people’s type and degree of connectedness; and how various marginalized communities, including people with disabilities, were impacted differently, sometimes more intensely, than others. This collection was conceived, written, and finalized within seven months of the pandemic declaration by the World Health Organization, making the book a true snapshot in time during what has turned out to be an ongoing, multi-year catastrophe with no end in sight. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates. Graduate students and faculty. —D. M. Braquet, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

COVID-19 pandemic, geospatial information, and community resilience: global applications and lessons, ed. by Abbas Rajabifard, Greg Foliente, and Daniel Paez. CRC Press, 2021. 532p bibl index ISBN 9780367775315, $190.00; ISBN 9781000402940 ebook, open access.
Reviewed in CHOICE September 2022

One of the most compelling visualizations of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard (, a web-based mapping dashboard that millions continue to view. This edited volume highlights similar mapping technologies used worldwide primarily in urban resilience studies. Contributions from more than 120 scholars representing more than 30 countries are organized into 47 chapters, providing an extensive global resource. Reflecting a partnership between the UN Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) network and the University of Melbourne, the text includes studies of geotechnologies, spatial data infrastructure (SDI), and spatial behavior across the globe. Technical aspects of presented case studies include use of OpenStreetMap, web-based dashboards, and contact tracing applications. Discussions include coverage of social vulnerability analysis, social media analytics, network analysis, and image processing. Case studies of spatial behavior, including urban mobility, transportation use, and city park access, complement the technical discussions well. The text concludes with lessons learned and recommendations for handling future pandemics, stressing the urgent need for open data and development of SDI frameworks across local, national, and regional scales. Overall, this text provides a comprehensive snapshot of the geotechnical response to the current pandemic and is especially recommended for scholars interested in integrating GIS, public policy, public health, and urban planning in their work. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates. Graduate students, faculty, and professionals. —C. A. Badurek, SUNY Cortland

Framework for equitable allocation of COVID-19 vaccine, ed. by Helene Gayle et al. National Academies Press, 2020. 272p ISBN 9780309682244, $65.00; ISBN 9780309682275 ebook, $54.99.
Reviewed in CHOICE July 2021

The Committee on Equitable Allocation of Vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus, convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, met throughout the summer of 2020 to formulate and gather public comment on the Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine. The committee’s charge, result of its meetings, and structure of the framework are presented in this Consensus Study Report. The framework is an evolving recommendation to adapt and refine in the face of new understandings over the course of the pandemic. The report offers guidance to health care systems/providers as they consider the most equitable approach to distributing the now available COVID-19 vaccines. Chapter 2, “Lessons Learned from Other Allocation Efforts,” addresses the ethics of allocating therapies to hospitalized patients and criteria for prioritizing groups to receive vaccination. The report also speaks to the power of racism, poverty, and bias and their potential to affect not only the distribution but also the perception and acceptance of health care efforts across the diverse populations of the US and the entire world. Chapter 6, “Risk Communication and Community Engagement,” outlines the role of state, tribal, local, and territorial (STLT) authorities in establishing needed transparency. The suffering, deaths, and societal dysfunctions, so palpably apparent throughout the pandemic, provide the background. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, faculty, and professionals. —M. P. Tarbox, emerita, Mount Mercy University

Global Literature on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). World Health Organization (WHO), 2021. Contact publisher for pricing. Internet Resource.
Reviewed in CHOICE September 2021

Global Literature on Coronavirus Disease (Global Literature), a World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 database, is one of the best, if not the best, aggregator of research on COVID-19,” wrote Chana Kraus-Friedberg for ccAdvisor. The database is freely available and “indexes grey literature from international organizations, preprint servers, and trial registers [and] also draws in literature from a number of publishers and databases (i.e., Elsevier, MEDLINEProQuest Central),” Kraus-Friedberg noted, making it a helpful one-stop resource. She added that its “biggest selling point is probably its international focus,” as “it contains more literature specific to non-US countries and incorporates articles more quickly” than “other COVID aggregators.” Global Literature is also larger than other aggregators with more than 200,000 articles, updated Monday through Friday. 

The home page, which is “essentially a results page for all the articles indexed in the database,” features a basic search option, which is fairly limited—“a drop-down menu allows users to search by Title, Subject, and Abstract together or by Title, Author, or Abstract separately”—but “the extensive list of filters on the left” allows “users to narrow their results without or before searching,” Kraus-Friedberg noted. Advanced Search expands the search options slightly to include Main Subject, Journal, or Publication Date along with Boolean operators. However, these limited options are offset by the extensive filters on the home page. 

Other free COVID-focused resources include the National Library of Medicine’s LitCOVID and the Epistemonikos COVID-19 collection. However, Global Literature “is distinguished by its broad geographic/linguistic focus, its inclusion of grey literature, [its size,] and its inclusion of full-text access for most articles,” Kraus-Friedberg concluded. Summing Up: Essential General readers through faculty.

This review is a summary of a longer review by Chana Kraus-Friedberg, Michigan State University, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2021 by The Charleston Company.—Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

Hass, Kristin Ann. Being human during COVID: what the humanities can teach us about COVID-19. Michigan, 2021. 422p ISBN 9780472038787 pbk, $29.95; ISBN 9780472902507 ebook, open access.
Reviewed in CHOICE June 2022

This open-access volume edited by Hass (Univ. of Michigan) brings together the voices of scholars from across the humanities at Michigan. Twenty-eight contributed essays are thematically grouped to document community responses to living through a pandemic: “Naming,” “Waiting,” “Grieving,” “More Waiting/Sheltering,” “Resisting,” and “Not Waiting.” Topics and formatsoffered by various contributors range from poetry and prose addressing Asian-American identity to discussions of photographic expression including an Instagram project tracking posts about grief to a first-person exploration of Buddhism during a pandemic, also including a more traditional literary analysis of COVID-19 considered as a monster story. Instructors in many disciplines, but particularly those interested in digital humanities, may want to use selections from the book in their classes. General readers may find comfort and inspiration in these authors’ varied responses to the global pandemic. Students in library school may like to consider the book as an example of choices currently afforded to libraries for collaborative publishing. Aside from the physical book, this innovative content is offered for free under a Creative Commons licensein various electronic formats, includingan online page-turner version accessed from the publisher site. The latter is a technical implementation enabled by the Michigan-based Fulcrum digital publishing platform, with assistance from the Michigan Humanities Collaboratory ( Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. —A. White, Grand Valley State University

Zhou, Xun. ‘I know who caused COVID-19’: pandemics and xenophobia, by Zhou Xun and Sander L. Gilman. Reaktion Books, 2021. 256p bibl ISBN 9781789145076, $22.50; ISBN 9781789145083 ebook, contact publisher for price. 
Reviewed in CHOICE July 2022

Zhou (Univ. of Essex) and Gilman (Emory Univ.) have jointly written a timely, relevant book that looks at how the COVID-19 pandemic ignited xenophobic tendencies long present in society. Though xenophobia is not particular to epidemics and pandemics, such health events are associated with sparking xenophobic rhetoric and discriminatory acts. After engaging with the theoretical notions of nation and community—both social constructs that pandemics put at risk—the authors offer chapters on four demographic groups to consider how they have been (mis)understood during the COVID-19 pandemic: Chinese/Asians, ultra-Orthodox Jews (Haredim), African Americans and the BAME community, and certain “white” communities Trump emboldened. From associating Asian immigrants with disease, as illustrated in Nayan Shah’s Contagious Divides (2001), to the harm inflicted by the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study, the authors examine the complex relationships among public health, race/ethnicity, identity, and the nation. Citation to Edward Said’s 1978 classic Orientalism would have strengthened the chapter on Asia, but the book references an impressive array of sources, from scholarly works (Arendt) to contemporary cultural discourse (Trump’s tweets). Weaving history, public health, and social commentary together, the book reveals the influence of political rhetoric on policies and health behaviors (e.g., masking, vaccinating) as well as assigning blame during pandemics. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers. —J. A. Beicken, Rocky Mountain College