Published: Aug. 30, 2021
Digital map of COVID-19 spikes around the world.

Professor Donna Goldstein and Ph.D. student Anna Wynfield's COVID 19 policy research featured in A&S Magazine. Their research studies the challenges and successes of social distancing policies country to country.


Since COVID-19’s discovery in Wuhan, China in Jan. 2020, one of the greatest challenges of managing its spread has been the patchwork-policy approach around the world—from complete shutdown of borders like New Zealand’s to the initial attempt at “herd immunity” in Sweden. 

Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder, as part of a collaboration led by Elizabeth Alvarez of McMaster University, though, hope to provide clarity about what policies actually worked.

The effort, COVID-19 Policies & Epidemiology Research Project, is a comparative analysis of the challenges and successes of mitigating COVID-19, looking at the effectiveness of social distancing policies and their epidemiological outcomes from country to country.

“What will social distancing and masking do in a range of countries across the globe to stem the tide of COVID?” asks Donna Goldstein, a CU Boulder anthropology professor and one of the project’s researchers. 

“What I really continued to believe in about this project and what I love about it is, it really has at its core this comparative depth that can really show you what worked and what didn’t work where and what things fell apart.”

On a Zoom call in April 2020, Alvarez, an assistant professor in the department of health and research methods, evidence and impact at McMaster University, presented the project to Goldstein and other researchers on the CONVERGE (National Science Foundation initiative housed at the CU Boulder Natural Hazards Center) collaborators Zoom call with the project’s leading question: What public physical distancing policies were implemented to combat SARS-CoV-2 and how did they influence the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2?

From there, some of the researchers, including Goldstein, decided to get involved.

Read the article in it's entirety - A&S Magazine