SARS-CoV-2 & COVID 19 –

Select resources and readings, with an emphasis on humanities-based and critical-theoretical inquiry

What follows both reflects and informs my current research, most notably on the medical and cultural debates over masks and the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Other sections are an attempt to document the formation of select parts of COVID-19’s “archive” and the compound question of evidence that has appeared with the pandemic.

This is a working document, one that will change and expand over time. As such it is inevitably partial, a work in progress. Updates will occur weekly-ish. Suggestions for additions are welcome.

All but a few of the entries below are links.

Updated 14 August 2020


1/ Medical-scientific resources on SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19

2/ Special issues & collected essays on COVID-19

3/ SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 – critical bibliographies, syllabi, and databases

4/ Public health databases and resources on COVID-19

5/ COVID-19—disproportionate impact and structural racism

6/ Bioethics and biopolitics

7/ Arguing about COVID-19 – responses and essays from the early days of the pandemic

8/ The question of evidence

9/ SARS-CoV-2 transmission & masks – the scientific, cultural, and political debate

1/ Medical-Scientific Resources on SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 (mostly open access, for now)

The Lancet – Coronavirus Resources

JAMA Portal

Oxford, The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine

New England Journal of Medicine – COVID-19

British Medical Journal COVID-19 Hub

WHO resources on COVID-19

Scientific American special section on COVID19

MIT Press – Selected Articles for Understanding Pandemics and Epidemiology

MedRxix/bioRxiv – COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 preprints (take some care here; not yet peer-reviewed)

Genomic Study Points to Natural Origin of COVID-19

Substantial undocumented infection facilitates the rapid dissemination of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) (Science Magazine) 

Statement on data sharing

2/ COVID-19 – Special Issues & Collected Essays

Critical Inquiry, Posts from the Pandemic

Philosophy & Rhetoric special issue – In the Midst of COVID-19

The Philosophers’ Magazine, Forum: Thinking Through the Pandemic

McSweeney’s, FLATTENED BY THE CURVE – Essays from health and medical workers on C-19)

 AES, Pandemic Diaries

Telos 191 (Summer 2020): Going Viral

Journal of Psychoanalysis, Coronavirus and philosophers (late Feb. – one of the earliest reflections)

LA Review of Books, The Quarantine Files

The Syllabus, Coronavirus Readings – The Politics of COVID-19 (poorly titled – a wide-ranging and international collection from the early days of the pandemic.)

Middlebury College, Humanities During COVID-19, A list of articles, blogs, and other media about humanistic inquiry and work related to and during the COVID-19 pandemic (quite the title…a big collection that appears to have ran out of steam in late June)

Jama Network Humanities essays

TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies- Special Issue on COVID19

Townsend Center, Cal-Berkeley, Pandemic Diaries

SSRC essays on COVID-19

Duke university Press collection on pandemics and contagions

Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics – May 2020…

Public Philosophy Journal (3:1 – 2020)

3/ SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 – bibliographies, syllabi, and databases (includes critical, medical, and scientific resources)

Social Science Research Council, COVID-19 syllabus

University of Pittsburgh, Center for Bioethics and Health law, COVID-19 Medical Humanities Resources (a good set of readings, including materials for teaching)

COVID-19 & Philosophy: Towards a Bibliography

Duke university Press collection on pandemics and contagions

Elsevier, COVID-19 related papers

Sage Journals – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Research (some open access)

JSTOR – General resource page

            JSTOR, Teaching Pandemics Syllabus  (an interesting early collection)

JSTOR A science reader on COVID-19 (also an early collection)

Journalism – collections/special sections

The Atlantic, What you need to know about COVID-19 (ongoing series)

Boston Review, Thinking in a Pandemic

CHE, Live Coronavirus Updates

4/ /Public health databases and resources on COVID-19

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center

University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics

China CDC Weekly

The Covid Tracking Project

Covid Racial Data Tracker

World Health Organization (WHO) Situation Reports

American CDC 

5/ COVID-19—disproportionate impact and structural racism (also see above – e.g. special issues and collections)

NAACP, Coronavirus Equity Considerations (includes a large collection of articles/media reports from the early months of the pandemic)

United Nations on COVID-19

National Urban League. State of Black America Unmasked.

CDC, COVID-19 in Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups

BLM, COVID-19 Resources

Cal – Berkeley Public Health, Responses to COVID-19

AAAS, COVID-19 and Human Rights Resources

Egede, at al, Structural Racism, Social Risk Factors, and Covid-19 — A Dangerous Convergence for Black Americans (NEJM – several useful citations)

Berkowtiz, et al, Covid-19 and Health Equity — Time to Think Big (NEJM)

Garber, et al, Structural inequities in the global supply of personal protective equipment (BMJ)

Crear-Perry, et al Moving towards anti-racist praxis in medicine (Lancet) (useful citations)

Price-Haywood et al, Hospitalization and Mortality among Black Patients and White Patients with Covid-19 (NEJM, early study)


WSJ, Doctors, Community Groups Struggle to Tackle Covid-19 Racial Disparities (8.10)

WP, Pandemic’s weight falls on Hispanics and Native Americans, as deaths pass 150,000 (31.7)

NYT, The Fullest Look Yet at the Racial Inequity of Coronavirus

6/ Bioethics and biopolitics

WHO, Ethics in epidemics, emergencies and disasters: Research, surveillance and patient care (2015)

University of Pittsburgh, COVID-19 Ethics Resources

AMA, COVID-19 Ethics Resource Center

World Emergency COVID19 Pandemic Ethics (WeCope) Committee

Miami University – Pandemic Ethics Resources

Italy: SIAARTI (Società Italiana di Anestesia, Analgesia, Rianimazione e Terapia Intensiva): Raccomandazioni di etica clinica per l’ammissione a trattamenti intensivi e per la loro sospensione, in condizioni eccezionali di squilibrio tra necessità e risorse disponibili (2020) (Clinical ethics recommendations for admission to intensive treatments and for their suspension, in exceptional conditions of imbalance between needs and available resources SIAARTI translation; Raho translation).

Switzerland: Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences and Society of (2020) Intensive Care, COVID-19 pandemic: triage for intensive-care treatment under resource scarcity (2020)

 The Extraordinary Decisions Facing Italian Doctors

Pandemic Politics

Atlantic, All the President’s Lies About the Coronavirus

Lancet editor Richard Horton has harsh words for Trump, hope for science

United Nations on COVID-19

Digital rights in the COVID-19 era (co-sponsored with UNS-G)

Key political documents & declarations 

Declaration of US National Emergency

7/ Arguing about COVID-19 – responses and essays from the early days of the pandemic

Arguing about COVID-19

Early Responses – speeches and forums:

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa – extension of national lock-down

Speech by Emily Landon, chief infectious disease epidemiologist at University of Chicago Medicine  Full speech here (starts at 34.50)

Johns Hopkins SNF Agora Symposium on the Politics and Policy of COVID-19

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on COVID-19

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on COVID-19

South African President declaration of a national lockdown (compare the tone with that in the US!) 

A substantive interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci

Select essays and articles from the early days of the pandemic:

Luu, When Language Goes Viral

Restarting America Means People Will Die. So When Do We Do It?

Lessons from the confinement

On the term ‘epidemic’

The Social-Distancing Culture War Has Begun

The great empty 

How the Pandemic Is Magnifying America’s Class Divide

Let Andrew Cuomo speak for America, not Trump (an op-ed on the demands of public speaking)

Science, Preventing COVID-19 prejudice in academia

McSweeney’s, A force outside myself: citizens over 60 speak

Judith Butler discussing COVID-19

COVID-19 and the Global Ethics Freefall

The Medical Ethics of the Coronavirus Crisis

Slavoj Zizek: Biggest threat Covid-19 epidemic poses

8/ The question of evidence

Failing the Test — The Tragic Data Gap Undermining the U.S. Pandemic Response

CEBM, Transmission Dynamics of COVID-19

Re 6 feet/2 meters/15 minutes

Sun, at al. The efficacy of social distance and ventilation effectiveness in preventing COVID-19 transmission (Sustainable Cities and Soc) (7.8)

Qureshi et al. What is the evidence to support the 2-metre social distancing rule to reduce COVID-19 transmission? (CEBM 22.6)

Resnick, 6 feet away isn’t enough. Covid-19 risk involves other dimensions, too. (VOX 16.6)

LiveScience, Is 6 feet enough space for social distancing?

9/ SARS-CoV-2 transmission & masks – the scientific and political debate

Medical/Engineering/Physics debate:

Lednicky et al. Viable SARS-CoV-2 in the air of a hospital room with COVID-19 patients (Medrxiv – not peer reviewed)

Mittal. The COVID-19 Airborne Transmission (CAT) Inequality: A Simple Mathematical Framework for Estimating Airborne Transmission of COVID-19 (arXiv – not peer reviewed) (3.8)

Fischer et al. Low-cost measurement of facemask efficacy for filtering expelled droplets during speech (Sciences Advances) (7.8)

Wilson et al. Airborne transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 to healthcare workers: a narrative review (Anaesthesia) (1.8)

Gandhi, et al. Masks Do More Than Protect Others During COVID-19: Reducing the Inoculum of SARS-CoV-2 to Protect the Wearer (J Gen Int Med) (31.7)

Santarpia et al Aerosol and surface contamination of SARS-CoV-2 observed in quarantine and isolation care (Nature 29.7)

Fennelly, Particle sizes of infectious aerosols: implications for infection control (Lancet 24.7)

Brosseau  and Sietsema, COMMENTARY: Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data (4.20/7.20 – an interesting before and after) (significant bibliography)

Morawska, It is Time to Address Airborne Transmission of COVID-19 (open letter to WHO)

Lindsley et al. COVID-19 and the workplace: Research questions for the aerosol science community (Aerosol Science and Tech) (14.7)

Kohanski, et al. Review of indoor aerosol generation, transport, and control in the context of COVID‐19 (Int F of Allergy and Rhinology) (11.7)

Sommerstein et al. Risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission by aerosols, the rational use of masks, and protection of healthcare workers from COVID-19 (Antimicrob Resist Infect Control) (6.7)

Smith et al. “Masking the evidence”: Perspectives of the COVID‐19 pandemic (J Clinical Nursing) (3.7)

Chen et al, Short-range airborne route dominates exposure of respiratory infection during close contact (Building and Environment 6.2020)

Chu, et al. Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis (Lancet) 1.6)

Evans, AVOIDING COVID-19: AEROSOL GUIDELINES (8.6) (pre-print – not peer reviewed) (extensive bibliography)

Anfinrud etal Visualizing Speech-Generated Oral Fluid Droplets with Laser Light Scattering (15.4/NEJM)

Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Transmission Dynamics of COVID-19

Papers about effectiveness of basic masks #masks4all (google doc – extensive lit review)

Morawska, et al. Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2: The world should face the reality (4.10)

Minimal transmission in an influenza A (H3N2) human challenge-transmission model within a controlled exposure environment

A sneeze

Coughing and Aerosols (six feet?)

Mittal et al. The flow physics of COVID-19 (J of Fluid D) (20.5)

Simonds. ‘Led by the science’, evidence gaps, and the risks of aerosol transmission of SARS-COV-2 (Resuscitation) (14.5)

Xiao et al Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures (20.5)

Konda et al. Aerosol Filtration Efficiency of Common Fabrics Used in Respiratory Cloth Masks (ACS Nano) (24.4)

Sunjaya et al Rationale for universal face masks in public against COVID‐19 (Respirology) (30.4)

Howard, et al Face Masks Against COVID-19: An Evidence Review

(PNAS 10.4)


Public Health Policy:

 CDC, Considerations for Wearing Masks (updated 7.8)

Also see J. Wallace below for early policy debate

Critical work:

Tsevat, Deep Breathing (6.27)

Goh, et al. The face mask: How a real protection becomes a psychological symbol during Covid-19? (Brain, Behavior, and Immunity) (1.8)

Wallace, Masking: Response-ability, in Unsteady, Broken Breaths (P&R) (30.5)

Transmission/masks in the popular media:

WP, Face masks with valves or vents do not prevent spread of the coronavirus, CDC says (13.8)


Appiah (WSJ), The True Face of Freedom Wears a Mask (6.8)

WSJ, The Hidden Danger of Masks (5.8)

WSJ, Fear and Loathing in Covid America (3.8) Cites Xiao et al as ev – see above)

NYT, The Mask Slackers of 1918 (1.8)

Marr, Yes, the Coronavirus Is in the Air (30.7)

NYT Ed. Masks for All (29.7)

Hill, Gohmert blames mask for positive COVID-19 test (29.7)

Fox, Taller people face higher risk of catching COVID-19, survey says (29.7)

Diamond, When I see you with a mask (McSweeney’s) 15.7)

1918 Anti-Mask League of San Francisco

WSJ, How Face Masks Work and Which Types Offer the Best Covid-19 Protection (28.7)

NYT, We Made a Mistake with Masks. Now It Could Be Tests (28.7)

WP, Wearing masks might help you avoid major illness even if you get coronavirus, experts say (28.7)

Vice, Customers Who Refused Masks Assault Trader Joe’s Workers, Send One to the Hospital (28.7)

Atlantic, Hygiene Theater Is a Huge Waste of Time (27.7)

Fox, Surgeon General Jerome Adams sides with Trump on opposing national coronavirus mask mandate (20.7)

WSJ, Face masks do matter (20.7)

White anti-mask protesters jeered a black pastor demanding Tulsa race massacre reparations (18.7)

NYT, The Flu May Linger in the Air, Just Like the Coronavirus (7/14)

NYT, The Coronavirus Can Be Airborne Indoors, W.H.O. Says (7/9)

Fox, Does wearing a face mask pose any health risks? (2 July – after DT embraces masks)

WP, Spate of new research supports wearing masks to control coronavirus spread (13.6)

Atlantic,  Everyone Thinks They’re Right About Masks

WP, New face mask guidance comes after battle between White House and CDC (3.4)

Unsorted – From CDC’s 7 August Policy Recomndation (above)

Rothe C, Schunk M, Sothmann P, et al. Transmission of 2019-nCoV Infection from an Asymptomatic Contact in Germany. The New England journal of medicine. 2020;382(10):970-971. PMID: 32003551external icon

  • Zou L, Ruan F, Huang M, et al. SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load in Upper Respiratory Specimens of Infected Patients. The New England journal of medicine. 2020;382(12):1177-1179. PMID: 32074444external icon
  • Pan X, Chen D, Xia Y, et al. Asymptomatic cases in a family cluster with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The Lancet Infectious diseases. 2020. PMID: 32087116
  • Bai Y, Yao L, Wei T, et al. Presumed Asymptomatic Carrier Transmission of COVID-19. Jama. 2020. PMID: 32083643external icon
  • Kimball A HK, Arons M, et al. Asymptomatic and Presymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infections in Residents of a Long-Term Care Skilled Nursing Facility — King County, Washington, March 2020. MMWR Morbidity and mortality weekly report. 2020; ePub: 27 March 2020. PMID: 32240128external icon
  • Wei WE LZ, Chiew CJ, Yong SE, Toh MP, Lee VJ. Presymptomatic Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 — Singapore, January 23–March 16, 2020. MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2020;ePub: 1 April 2020. PMID: 32271722external icon
  • Li R, Pei S, Chen B, et al. Substantial undocumented infection facilitates the rapid dissemination of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2). Science (New York, NY). 2020. PMID: 32179701external icon
  • Furukawa NW, Brooks JT, Sobel J. Evidence Supporting Transmission of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 While Presymptomatic or Asymptomatic [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 4]. Emerg Infect Dis. 2020;26(7):10.3201/eid2607.201595. Link
  • Oran DP, Topol Prevalence of Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Narrative Review [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 3]. Ann Intern Med. 2020;M20-3012. PMID: 32491919external icon
  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Rapid Expert Consultation on the Possibility of Bioaerosol Spread of SARS-CoV-2 for the COVID-19 Pandemic (April 1, 2020). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. icon.
  • Schwartz KL, Murti M, Finkelstein M, et al. Lack of COVID-19 transmission on an international flight. CMAJ. 2020;192(15):E410. PMID: 32392504external icon
  • Anfinrud P, Stadnytskyi V, Bax CE, Bax A. Visualizing Speech-Generated Oral Fluid Droplets with Laser Light Scattering. N Engl J Med. 2020 Apr 15. doi:10.1056/NEJMc2007800. PMID: 32294341external icon
  • Davies A, Thompson KA, Giri K, Kafatos G, Walker J, Bennett ATesting the efficacy of homemade masks: would they protect in an influenza pandemic? Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2013;7(4):413-8. PMID: 24229526external icon
  • Konda A, Prakash A, Moss GA, Schmoldt M, Grant GD, Guha S. Aerosol Filtration Efficiency of Common Fabrics Used in Respiratory Cloth Masks. ACS Nano. 2020 Apr 24. PMID: 32329337external icon
  • Aydin O, Emon B, Saif MTA. Performance of fabrics for home-made masks against spread of respiratory infection through droplets: a quantitative mechanistic study. medRxiv preprint doi:, posted April 24, 2020.
  • Ma QX, Shan H, Zhang HL, Li GM, Yang RM, Chen JM. Potential utilities of mask-wearing and instant hand hygiene for fighting SARS-CoV-2. J Med Virol. 2020. PMID: 32232986external icon
  • Leung, N.H.L., Chu, D.K.W., Shiu, E.Y.C. et al.Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks. Nat Med. 2020. PMID: 32371934external icon
  • Johnson DF, Druce JD, Birch C, Grayson ML. A quantitative assessment of the efficacy of surgical and N95 masks to filter influenza virus in patients with acute influenza infection. Clin Infect Dis. 2009 Jul 15;49(2):275-7. PMID: 19522650external icon
  • Green CF, Davidson CS, Panlilio AL, et al. Effectiveness of selected surgical masks in arresting vegetative cells and endospores when worn by simulated contagious patients. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2012;33(5):487‐494. PMID: 22476275external icon