The Science of Covid-19: From molecular drug design to data-driven epidemiological models
Transmission mechanisms: Understanding how the SARS-Cov-2 virus spreads has been paramount to control its progression. Thus, numerous research has aimed towards identifying the transmission mechanisms of Covid-19 from multiple points of view. From the micro-scale studies describing the binding mechanisms of Covid-19 to population-wide studies of transmissibility in different social environments, studies addressing viral transmissibility are crucial to create more effective epidemic control measures to stop Covid-19.
COVID-19 & socio-economic impact: Measures to mitigate Covid-19 propagation may have a harsh impact on the economy. Policy makers should plan cautiously which measures to put in place in order to control the spreading without damaging too much the economy. Thus a demand emerges for coupled epidemic-economic models that allow a more global picture of this interplay. Moreover, not all individuals are the same (household size, income, type of job) and cannot endure the countermeasures resiliently. A more fine-grained description of populations, considering socioeconomic features, is needed to avoid putting too much a load on the more fragile classes.
Drug development: At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the healthcare personnel had to face this novel virus without specific drugs, medicines or vaccines to control its spread. In just two years, through a titanic effort from the scientific community, drugs and vaccines have been developed and approved in record time. Despite the effort, many challenges for drug development still prevail. Handling the novel variants of the virus, comorbidity factors or even proposing novel therapeutic targets can be questions of interest for the future of Covid-19 drug development.
COVID-19 modelling: Epidemic spreading modelling has a long-standing and consolidated trajectory but the pandemic caused by this novel virus has highlighted some of the challenges needed to overcome yet. In order to give reliable forecasts and serve as health-policy making tools, there is a demanding need of incorporating very accurate data to inform very sophisticated models, together with a more detailled account of behavioral aspects.
COVID-19 & financial markets: Economic turmoil associated with the COVID-19 pandemic has had wide-ranging and severe impacts upon financial markets, including stock, bond, and commodity (including crude oil and gold) markets (TO BE CONTINUED).