Our Resources for the Coronavirus

We hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and well.

Events are changing quickly. Lives are being uprooted, global supply chains are being revamped, and governments are scrambling to respond to this crisis.

We've compiled this page to bring together the best information we're able to find.

If you have anything to suggest we add, or news about your country situation, please send it to Chrispine at crl2 (at) williams (dot) edu, and we'll add it up here.

You might also be interested in our webinar series and short courses, hosted by our very own CDE professors! Click here to learn more.

 

You might recognize some of the names of these sources from your courses once upon a time. Many organizations have adjusted their normal operations in order to provide information and data about the development of the crisis.

 

Last updated August 24, 2020

General Resources

Conventional news sites with free access to coronavirus coverage:

The Economist

  • The Economist has been covering both developed and developing countries fairly well

The New York Times

  • News updates from the NYT is pretty US-focused
  • However, the NYT publishes a lot of articles about managing the crisis on a personal level, for example what to do if you're housebound with children, how to transition to virtual gatherings, and so forth.
  • You can also sign up for their newsletter
  • They provide frequent tips on what you can do to limit the spread. We know, we know, they're taking a lot for granted in assuming a developed-country context, but they still have some good information

The Latest Information

Blogs and Short Articles

VoxEU

  • VoxEU has been keeping up a steady stream of coronavirus-related coverage. They're running podcasts, and getting the best researchers to share the newest research out there on their Covid-19 blog page.

VoxDev

Project Syndicate

  • Project Syndicate has been keeping up a steady stream of coronavirus coverage. It includes a fair amount of news on the virus as relates to developing nations.

News Articles

  • Let us help you sift through the mountains of information to get fact-based news that's relevant for you
  • We'll be updating this list as new news comes across our desks

Research Articles

The St. Louis Fed

  • The St. Louis Fed (you might recognize them as the group behind FRED, a tool many professors of macro like to use in their classes) is running a comprehensive page with research updates and all the data you could expect a federal reserve bank to be interested in (financial indicators)

Data Sources

Infographics

Our World in Data (OWID)

  • Recent alums who have taken ECON 501 Economic Growth with Professor Ashraf might recognize OWID from your lecture slides.
  • In response to the dearth of data, OWID has created a coronavirus page that they're updating daily with the latest information on deaths, testing, cases, and mortality, as well as explanations on why these measures are important, and what we don't know.
  • Strangely enough, OWID concluded that the European CDC was the most reliable source of case information

The New York Times

Raw Data

The St. Louis Fed

  • The St. Louis Fed (you might recognize them as the group behind FRED, a tool many professors of macro like to use in their classes) is running a comprehensive page with research updates and all the data you could expect a federal reserve bank to be interested in (financial indicators)

The World Bank

  • The World Bank has compiled a page with links to datasets relevant for assessing information about Covid-19, including datasets on:
    • The World Bank's own response to the pandemic
    • Trade flows and policies as relates to necessary equipment to fight the virus
    • Social protections relating to the virus
    • The effects of these changes on education

Resources for the Homebound

If you're stuck at home, you might be facing challenges you've never faced before. You might also have opportunities and time on your hands like you've never had before.

In recognition of both the challenges and the opportunities, we're providing links here that might be helpful, whether in coping with your kid singing what might be the hundredth round of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," or finding places to pick up some of the skills you've been meaning to get around to.

Keep in mind, though, that taking care of yourself is the top priority. If you would like some recognition of that, see this article on not needing to "emerge from quarantine like a butterfly."

Many of these links are from the New York Times, which has made their coronavirus-related coverage free on their website. If you're a current student, you have a free yearlong subscription that you can set up by following these directions.

Online Courses

Science

Art and Culture

    • Many institutions are running online versions of tours and courses.

Languages

Wellness

  • Missing your gym? You're not the only one. Fortunately, the NYT has posted a list of 22 free workouts you can do from home, which might help to get you started.
  • If you want a more intense workout, check out Athlean X's bodyweight series. This trainer does a great job of talking about the anatomy behind the exercises, so you can see what your form should be, and why it should be that way.
  • If you're having a hard time with your routine, check out this article on building healthy habits. It's hard during times of upheaval, but settling into and staying in a routine will help you deal with all this uncertainty.
  • Astronauts, who spend time hurtling around the planet in a giant can while stuck in the company of a handful of other people, can have useful insights for dealing with isolation. Read some articles on their thoughts here and here.
  • As long as you're stuck cooking at home, try to cook something new! The NYT website has made a lot more recipes free. Being unable to visit, it might be fun to try making a dish from the country of one of your buddies from your time at the CDE.
  • Having a hard time keeping track of time? You're not the only one! See what's going on with that disorientation in this article.
  • Some considerations if you're having trouble sleeping and considering taking melatonin for it.
  • If you're looking for stuff and don't want to shop around, the Wirecutter, owned by the New York Times, has suggestions for just about everything you could want for a summer stuck at home.
For the kids
  • If you're trying to keep your kids engaged (or out of your hair), check out this article for a list of museums, libraries, and science centers that have expanded their offerings to the online world.

Our latest recommendations:

Our Reading List

We'll be updating this regularly. Send us recommendations for books you're enjoying by emailing Jillian at jrs7 (at) williams (dot) edu, and we'll share them on here as well!

The Classics

  • Most classical works in English are available for free download through Project Gutenberg.
  • Many of the books you might get from Project Gutenberg are read aloud in audiobook format on Librivox by volunteers. If you're really bored, you could also offer to read your own book!
  • Although both Project Gutenberg and Librivox are primarily English-language resources, there's also a large library in many other languages including French and Spanish.

Children's Books

  • The Library of Congress has opened up some of the classic children's books in its collection
  • Children's books are also a great way to practice in another language, and cover vocabulary you would never learn elsewhere.

Resources for Current Students

Getting out in Williamstown

Can I go out to get some fresh air?

  • YES! Massachusetts governor Charlier Baker even explicitly said that he did not want people to stay inside for days on end when he issued his advisory to shut down all nonessential industries.
  • Still, keep in mind that there's a lot we don't know about the virus. If, as some experts worry, the virus could be transmitted on aerosols, then you want to avoid breathing the same air as someone who's transmitting the disease. Fortunately, if you're outside on a walk or a bike ride and staying about two meters away from another person, avoiding someone else's air is pretty easy to do here in rural Massachusetts.
  • See here for some recommendations about getting out, but still staying safe

I need groceries/medicine

  • If you take a backpack, you can pick up some essentials by biking out to wherever you need at a time when there are fewer people
  • Stop 'n Shop is about 15 minutes away by bike. The store is reserved for people over the age of 60 from 6-7:30 am. Then it is open from 7:30 am - 8 pm for the general public.
  • If you click here and scroll down on the right, you can see the times when the store is usually busy. If you go with a backpack early in the morning (7:30-9), that's usually your best chance of minimizing contact with anyone else.
  • Dollar General is about 7 minutes away, and Walgreens Pharmacy is about 10 minutes away by bike.
  • Remember not to fill your pack too full! The ride back to the CDE has several big hills.
  • If you have a bike with a bike rack on the back, you can attach your backpack to the rack, which makes it a lot easier to carry things.

Living in Williamstown