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Thinking through the COVID-19 crisis

It’s been several months since our daily lives were turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the catchphrase of the hour sounds optimistic, we are aware that the reality is infinitely more complex than this slogan suggests. More than ever, we know how necessary it is to understand the ecological, economic and political origins of the current crisis, to identify its social and cultural ramifications, as well as its impact on our societies and environment.

We thought it would be relevant to draw up a list of articles from various human and social science disciplines related to current economic and social issues. The articles, all available in open access, will be presented to you successively in the coming weeks in through our Facebook and Twitter page. We therefore invite you to follow us on these social networks, or to regularly consult this page where they are listed:

Bioethics and the crisis

Henri-Corto Stoeklé and Christian Hervé (Université de Paris) talk about the important role that bioethics can play in resolving the current crisis. To achieve this, the researchers argue that the discipline must renew itself towards “interdisciplinarity” and “the interest of each and everyone”.

Read more in the Canadian Journal of Bioethics :

The impacts of the pandemic on First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities

In this article from International Indigenous Policy Journal, learn more about the complexities of modeling the impacts of COVID-19 on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities.

Researchers at the University of Manitoba present a unique model to calculate the impact of the pandemic on Canada’s Indigenous populations:

Vulnerable populations and the pandemic

The impacts of the pandemic are complex and affect particularly vulnerable populations. In an article in the International Indigenous Policy Journal, researchers from the University of Toronto and Western University are studying the effects of the crisis on Indigenous Peoples in Canada, using a social diagnostic tool and the Community Well-Being Index.

In addition, the article presents important insights to guide decision-making during the pandemic:

What role does the distribution of drinking water play in the spread of infectious diseases?

In this article in the Journal of Water Science / Revue des sciences de l’eau, researchers from the Université Paris-Sud and the Paris Water Department look at the emergence of pathogens in water and their impact on public health, particularly in the context of its distribution.

To discover the full article:

Could the economic consequences of the pandemic have been avoided?

In an article from the journal Politique et Sociétés (Société québécoise de science politique), Matthew Hayes (professor at St. Thomas University) presents statistics on the distribution of income in Canada, the United States and Great Britain, and demonstrates how the social transformation brought by neoliberalism and its crisis has also introduced a new phase in capitalist accumulation.

Published in 2012, the article sets out three possible directions for the future development of this trend in Northern countries and interprets the crisis on the basis of Marxist theories:

The increase of viral pandemics and the crisis

In this article from the journal M/S: médecine sciences, Hervé Chneiweiss (researcher at Inserm) studies the factors that contributed to the significant rise in the number of viral pandemics during the early 2000s.

To learn more about the origins of this phenomenon, we invite you to read the full article here:

Conspiracy theories and the crisis

Have you heard any conspiracy theories lately?

In order to better understand the reasoning behind these theories, we share with you an article written by Emmanuel Taïeb in Sociologie et sociétés. The author analyses the foundations and forms of conspiracy theories throughout history and questions, among others, some of the theories that emerged following the vaccination campaigns against the influenza A (H1N1) virus.

To learn more about the logic of conspiracy theories, read the article here :

Global inequalities in access to health care

Which impacts will the current crisis have on countries suffering from inequalities in access to health care ?

In this article published in 2007, Ryoa Chung, professor in the Department of Philosophy at Université de Montréal, offers an analysis of the ethical issues raised by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, particularly in terms of global justice. In addition, she studies the consequences this pandemic had on populations in sub-Saharan Africa and questions the role of the international community regarding this situation.

An article published in Philosophiques (Société de Philosophie du Québec – SPQ):

The distribution of vaccines in the context of a pandemic

If a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, how can we ensure its equitable distribution among the population?

The development of a vaccine in the context of a pandemic raises a number of relevant ethical questions. In this article, Ben Saunders (Professor at the University of Southampton) analyses several distribution models based on the lottery principle. The author also presents different perspectives on the concept of equity.

Read more in Les ateliers de l’éthique / The Ethics Forum :

Preparing for pandemics

John B. Osborne (professor at the University of Pennsylvania) recounts the actions taken by the cities of Montreal, New York and Philadelphia in response to the cholera pandemic of 1832.

The article, which recalls the latest events, traces the introduction of measures such as quarantine, isolation of hospitals and general sanitation in the cities. It also discusses the importance of inter-city cooperation in preparing for the crisis.

An article published in Urban History Review / Revue d’histoire urbaine:

The rights of teleworkers and the crisis

How will Quebec society adapt to the significant increase of teleworkers in the upcoming years?

This article by Johanne Drolet and Karim Lebnan discusses the legal implications of telework, particularly in terms of workers’ privacy. In light of Quebec and Canadian laws, the authors explore the various challenges brought by this growing form of work.

Read more in Les Cahiers de droit:

Literacy problems and the crisis

We invite you to read this article published in Reflets : revue d’intervention sociale et communautaire, where Rachel Anne Normand (a graduate of the University of Ottawa) and Suzanne Benoit (director at Coalition ontarienne de formation des adultes) discuss the difficulties faced by people with low literacy skills in accessing health information.

This issue, which represents a major obstacle for many Quebecers, is all the more important at a time when health measures are the most rigorous.

To read the full article, click here:

The impacts of the crisis on the film industry

How will the film industry (already significantly transformed by the rapid rise of digital technologies) be affected by the health crisis?

In this 2017 study, Christian Poirier (professor-researcher at Centre Urbanisation Culture Société de l’INRS) presents a portrait of the film industry in Quebec and compares the situation of movie theatres with platforms that broadcast on-demand film content.

This analysis proposes several lines of thought to review our perspectives of this industry in the digital age.

An article from the journal Recherches sociographiques:

Statistical models and the crisis

How can statistical models help decision-making in times of health crisis?

This article by Antoine Flahault compares the two main types of statistical models used at the time of the SARS epidemic to estimate the basic reproductive rate of the disease (where the infectious agent responsible for transmission is a coronavirus).

An article published in M/S: médecine sciences :

Epidemics and Indigenous peoples

We invite you to read this article from Frank James Tester, Paule McNicoll and Quyen Tran, researchers at the University of British Columbia, for Études Inuit Studies.

The authors study the case of a tuberculosis outbreak in the community of Eskimo Point in 1962 and describe the structural violence and housing policies in Inuit communities that have contributed significantly to the progression of the disease:

The CHSLDs and the crisis

How can the difficulties encountered in the implementation of the AMV approach help us better understand the factors that led to the current situation in the long-term care facilities (CHSLDs)?

In this article, Jacky Ndjepel, a researcher for Université Laval, shares a critical reflection on the AMV approach and analyzes the factors that made its implementation in long-term care facilities (CHSLDs) difficult in the early 2000s. To discover in Revue Service social:

Companies and crisis management

How can companies better manage, or even anticipate, a crisis?

In this article, Toufik Serradj, studies director of Ecole Supérieure De La Sécurité Sociale in Alger, reflects on the phenomenon of crisis in a business context. He proposes different approaches that can be adopted in order to handle an unforeseen event.

To discover in Insurance and Risk Management:

Seniors and the crisis

How do seniors experience loneliness? In order to reflect on the realities affecting seniors living alone during the crisis, we are sharing with you this article by Laurie Kirouac and Michèle Charpentier, both professors at École de travail social – UQAM. They’re studying the issue of loneliness among seniors based on several testimonials.

An article from in Sociologie et sociétés:

Impact of Epidemic Influenza in Canada

In this article by Janice P. Dickin McGinnis, professor at University of Calgary, we invite you to read about the negative effects of the “Spanish” flu pandemic on the Canadian economy (mainly due to the mandatory closure of many businesses), but also some of its positive impacts.

An article published in Historical Papers/Communications historiques :

Loneliness and literary endeavour

While for some of us it is a time to rest, for others it becomes a time when domestic space offers a world of possibilities. Away from social adornments, out of sight and suspended in time and space, we are free to create or embody almost whatever we want.

In this perspective of creation in a time of isolation, we are pleased to share with you this article published in Revue Liberté, in which Robert Melançon reviews the poetry of Emily Dickinson, mostly written in a state of great solitude:

State responsibility and health crisis

In this article published in the Revue de Droit de l’Université de Sherbrooke RDUS, Lara Khoury, professor at McGill University, studies the responsibility of the state in times of health crisis and the relevance of collective actions in the event of negligence towards its duties:

The challenges of distance learning

In this article published in the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, Hosam Al-Samarraie evaluates the different types of platforms and methods existing for videoconference teaching.

He also considers the learning opportunities they generate, but also the challenges they pose to members of the academic community:

Attitudes towards epidemics

Denis Goulet and Othmar Keel, both professors at the University of Montreal, look back on the representations and attitudes of Quebec society towards major epidemics since the 19th century and study the concept of contagion.

An article form the journal Anthropologie et Sociétés:

Migration and Quarantine

Did you know that for more than a century, Grosse Île, anchored in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, served as a quarantine station for thousands of immigrants?

To learn all about this historic site marked by the great epidemics of the past centuries, read this article written by André Sévigny in 1992 for Cahiers des dix:

Women and the city in times of epidemic

Magda Fahrni, professor in history at Université du Québec à Montréal, studies heroic contribution of women during the time of the “Spanish flu” and the impact that the epidemic had on their relationship to the city.

Discover her research through her article « Elles sont partout… » Les femmes et la ville en temps d’épidémie, Montréal, 1918-1920 published in the Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française :