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Analysis and Commentary

Queen's academics provide their research-led commentary on topics related to Coronavirus, ranging from psychology and wellbeing to law, economics and data mapping.  


Queen's research finds an increase in faith online during the coronavirus pandemic

A research study from Queen’s has revealed how faith leaders and communities on the island of Ireland adapted and responded to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

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School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics: Life in Lockdown blog

Contributions from students and academics on a range of topics including lockdown, loneliness, learning new skills and political commentary.

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Global trading: the good, the bad and the essential

Dr Lucy McCarthy, along with academics from the University of Nottingham, considers some of the flaws in our globalised food systems and the historical trading patterns upon which they are based.

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Global food supply chains in times of pandemic

The public health crisis unfolding before us is unprecedented, unimaginable and catastrophic. It will profoundly impact our values and lifestyles as it exposes the implications of national austerity measures on public services and the precariousness of our globalised production and consumption systems.

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The impact of lockdown on isolation and loneliness

Researchers from Queen’s Centre for Improving Health-Related Quality of Life are examining the impact of physical distancing regulations on social interaction, isolation and loneliness.

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Watch: Cancer Care in the Era of COVID-19

Queen’s has been playing a leading role in the fight against COVID-19, particularly in the cancer domain. In this panel discussion, two leading cancer specialists from Queen’s, Professor Mark Lawler and Professor Joe O’Sullivan, are joined by pioneering patient’s advocacy campaigner Mrs Margaret Grayson MBE to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on cancer care.

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‘Giant’ of astronomy to host live school lessons

Leading astronomer Professor Stephen Smartt from Queen’s Astrophysics Research Centre (ARC) is hosting a series of live video lessons for children aged 8-12.

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How the pandemic is further alienating the disabled community

From early press briefings with no sign language interpretation to resuscitation guidelines that prioritise neurotypical patients, the pandemic has brought societal prejudices against those living with disabilities to the fore, says Dr Bronagh Byrne, a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s.

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COVID-19 in China: From ‘Chernobyl Moment’ to Impetus for Nationalism (Made in China Journal)

Dr Chenchen Zhang from School Of History, Anthropology, Philosophy And Politics examines thei mpact of COVID-19 on Chinese Nationalism.

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Listen: COVID-19 and Older People: a Queen’s University podcast

In this podcast episode, Professor Stuart Elborn, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, hosts a discussion of the impact on older people, and their families, of the current coronavirus pandemic.

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Home cooking means healthier eating – there’s an opportunity to change food habits for good (The Conversation)

Danielle McCarthy, Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, discusses the dramatic transformation in our access to and the availability of food in the past month.

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Engaging your child to learn during lockdown

With the news that two thirds of school children haven’t logged into online lessons, Professor Karola Dillenburger, Director of the Centre for Behaviour Analysis at Queen's offers tips and advice to help your child overcome barriers and learn something new.

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How Can and Should the European Union respond to COVID-19 beyond short-termism…?

Professor Dagmar Schiek looks at the EU's response to date to the Covid crisis and asks what more should the European Union be doing?

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Why careful consideration must be given to when we reopen schools and how (QPol)

Professor Tony Gallagher puts forward several key considerations which should be applied before any decision to reopen schools in Northern Ireland is taken.

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COVID-19 pandemic – A focused review for clinicians (QPol)

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 remains a significant issue for global health, economics and society. A wealth of data has been generated since its emergence in December 2019 and it is vital for clinicians to keep up with this data from across the world at a time of uncertainty and constantly evolving guidelines and clinical practice.

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Coronavirus: how economic rescue plans can set the global economy on a path to decarbonisation (The Conversation)

As states contemplate how to restart the global economy after the pandemic, it’s important to remember that we’ve been here before. The global financial crisis of 2008 didn’t cause as much social and economic harm as COVID-19 has, but it did force governments around the world to intervene in the economy, to limit the fallout from the crash.

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Performing Artists in the age of COVID-19: A moment of urgent action and potential change (QPol)

In this special long read, Drs Ioannis Tsioulakis and Ali FitzGibbon take an indepth look at the devastating impact the COVID pandemic is having on the performing arts sector.

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Who counts when we count cases and deaths from covid-19?

Carmel Hughes, Michael Tunney and Kate Lapane look at why covid-19 deaths in care homes are not being counted, and what needs to be done to protect those most at risk

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Stay well: Our expert guide to wellbeing during lockdown

Social distancing measures isolating us from those we care about can leave some feeling lonely, anxious or depressed. Dr Karen Winter from Queen’s School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work has these stay-well tips to help you look after your mental health during lockdown.

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Coronavirus and the need for a new social and economic contract (QPol)

In order to stem the inevitable economic downturn that will follow the COVID-19 crisis, we need something that provides every single person with the basic economic security they are entitled to. We need a Universal Basic Income says Patrick Brown, PhD student, Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice.

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Working parents are feeling the strain of lockdown

The logistics of working from home while juggling childcare duties is leaving many parents challenged with an impossible juggling act. They will need the support, trust and understanding of employers to get through it, says Queen’s PhD student Caroline Millar.

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How is coronavirus affecting animals?

From wildlife roaming free in deserted urban areas to a captive tiger with coronavirus, Dr Neil Reid, Senior Lecturer in Conservation Biology at the Institute for Global Food Security and the School of Biological Sciences at Queen's University Belfast, discusses the impact coronavirus has had on animals around the world.

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The Threat Posed by COVID-19: Talk by Professor Stuart Elborn (QPol)

Professor Elborn discusses the current threat posed by Covid-19 and recent relevant research.

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Coronavirus: why young and old must pull together to survive this (QPol)

Thinking and acting in terms of solidarity and cooperation is going to be increasingly important as the virus spreads and more social and economic consequences are felt says Dr Gemma Carney.

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Coronavirus treatments: what drugs might work against COVID-19? (The Conversation)

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the world, killing thousands and bringing economies to their knees, doctors, scientists and governments are on the lookout for safe and effective treatments to help those who are sick. And yet a large issue with COVID-19 is that there is, as yet, no cure.

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Coronaviruses – a brief history (The Conversation)

Most of us will be infected with a coronavirus at least once in our life. This might be a worrying fact for many people, especially those who have only heard of one coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, the cause of the disease known as COVID-19.

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The Coronavirus Act: Where it Falls Short

As the UK government works to patch the holes in hastily drawn up crisis legislation, Professor Dagmar Schiek from Queen’s School of Law says there is a renewed case for an adequate welfare state.

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Is Ireland turning to religion during the Covid-19 crisis? (RTE)

Dr Gladys Ganiel of Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, explains how religion may play a greater than expected role for many in Ireland as the crisis unfolds.

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Economic rebirth after COVID-19

While our primary focus should be humanitarian, the economic damage of COVID-19 is devastating. However, Queen’s Senior Economics Lecturer Dr Graham Brownlow is hopeful the crisis might jump-start a self-cleanse of the UK economy.

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Coronavirus and the new appreciation of teachers

From embracing remote learning opportunities to providing emergency childcare, our teachers have stepped up to the plate. They more than deserve the new-found appreciation being shown to them, says Professor Tony Gallagher from the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at

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‘Make room for fun’: home-schooling for parents

Don’t be too hard on yourself – or them - make time for fun and seek out reliable online resources. Professor Tony Gallagher from the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s shares his advice for parents during lockdown.

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The ethics of ordering non-essential items online during the coronavirus lockdown (The Conversation)

Laura Steele, Queen's Management School, on the ethical considersations of online shopping for non-essentials during lockdown, including the working conditions of those who handle the goods.

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Coronavirus jargon buster – how to sound like an expert (The Conversation)

Lindsay Broadbent, Research Fellow, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, explains several terms that you will have heard recently but may be new to you.

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Coronavirus: once you have antibodies, are you safe? (The Conversation)

Connor Bamford of Queens' Wellcome-Wolfson Centre for Experimental Medicine, on the prospects and pitfalls of relying on antibodies to protect us, how our immune system behaves during a coronavirus infection, and how it could protect us in the future.

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COVID-19: Don’t bank on a rapid economic recovery

Hopes that government-administered CPR can jolt the economy back to life after the coronavirus recession are too optimistic, says John Turner, a Professor of Finance and Financial History at Queen's Management School.

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COVID-19: Curbing a loneliness epidemic

With a government-imposed lockdown isolating us from our family and friends, clinical psychologist Dr Christopher Graham, a Senior Lecturer in Queen’s School of Psychology, shares his tips for keeping in touch while keeping your distance.

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Why a collaborative research culture is needed to address the COVID-19 challenge

With scientists around the world mobilised to use their skills to help fight COVID-19, institutional and international cooperation is key, says Queen’s leading haematologist Professor Ken Mills. Has the landscape of global research changed forever?

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COVID-19 Cases Tracker - Northern Ireland

Conor Graham is a Geographical Information Science (GIS) researcher and educator at the Centre for GIS and Geomatics, School of Natural and Built Environment. 

Working with Dr Brian Johnson, Professor Jenny McKinley at Queen’s and partners at ESRI Ireland, Mr Graham is mapping the confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Northern Ireland, as published by the Northern Ireland Public Health Agency, via their Daily COVID-19 Surveillance Reports.

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How to exercise safely during a pandemic

Dr Grace C Roberts is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine. As a Molecular Virologist and a running coach, Dr Roberts provides some advice on the safest ways to stay fit during a pandemic.

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How soap kills the COVID-19 virus

Dr Dan Corbett from Queen’s School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering explains why old-fashioned soap is an unlikely weapon in the war against COVID-19.

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Explained: the importance of behavioural responses when implementing a lockdown

How do life-changing situations affect our behaviour? Dr Martin Dempster from the School of Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast is working to find out.

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Coronavirus and Spanish flu: economic lessons to learn from the last truly global pandemic (The Conversation)

As news of the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) emerged, global financial markets reacted pessimistically and behaved in ways not seen since the 2008 financial crisis. The closest parallel is the 1918 influenza pandemic, popularly known as the Spanish flu. Dr Chris Colvin from Queen's Management School explores the lessons from this historical pandemic for policymakers today.

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Five tricks your mind might play on you during the COVID-19 crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has spread panic faster than the virus itself. Clinical psychologist Dr Christopher Graham, a Senior Lecturer in Queen’s School of Psychology, talks about our natural human responses in this crisis, and suggests positive ways to channel anxiety.

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This is what an emergency looks like - Lessons from the pandemic for addressing our planetary emergency

Imagine Belfast Festival 2020

Professor John Barry, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics. "Which is more important? Wealth or health? This is one of the lessons from the coronavirus, what happens to states and citizens when we are forced to choose health, specifically public health, as the over-riding social imperative?"

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An expert’s guide to working from home

John Moriarty, a Lecturer in Queen’s University’s School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, gives his advice for how to stay happy and healthy working from home during the COVID-19 crisis.

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Hard Choices at the Frontline - Nuffield Council on Bioethics 

Article by Professor Emeritus David Archard, from the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics and Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, on rationing of care for COVID-19

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Coronavirus is changing funerals and how we deal with the dead - The Conversation UK 

Professor Heather Conway, School of Law, on how how funerals are changing and how we deal with the dead in relation to COVID-19

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