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Health Care Worker Strikes and the Covid Pandemic. 

Essex R, Weldon SM. 

N Engl J Med. 2021 Apr 7. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp2103327. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33826818.


Impact of COVID-19 on drug markets, use, harms and drug services in the community and prisons


Since early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the way we live, with European countries having to introduce unprecedented measures to protect public health. As with all areas of life, drug consumption, related harms and drug markets have been impacted, as have the services established to respond to drug-related problems. During the first weeks of the pandemic, the EMCDDA instigated two rapid assessment studies to identify the initial impact and implications of COVID-19.

This current study, conducted between January and March 2021, is a follow-up to the two previous assessments and aims to revisit the initial findings from the earlier studies and identify any signs of further developments in this area. The results from this study provide a first glimpse into new developments emerging both during and in response to the pandemic, and which could have important implications for the future. (EMCDDA, Lissabon, April 2021)


WHO. COVID-19 continues to disrupt essential health services in 90% of countries

Some signs of recovery emerging but major efforts required to restore and strengthen health services. (WHO, 23.04.2021)


Covid, cocaine take Europe to ‘breaking point’, says Europol

The coronavirus pandemic could fuel organised crime for years to come in Europe, a continent already at “breaking point” from an unprecedented flood of cocaine, the EU’s policing agency warned Monday (12 April). (euractiv.com, 12.04.2021)


UK. Drugs in the Time of COVID: Interim Report (April 2021)

Since the beginning of the first national coronavirus lockdown, Release has operated a public, online survey designed to monitor how people are buying their drugs. The purpose of this survey, which is open to anyone residing in the UK over the age of 18, is to determine the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic, and corresponding restrictions, have had on buying illegal substances. In the same way that the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted all aspects of our lives, it is reasonable to expect that with lockdowns and global restrictions on movement, the drug market will also be impacted. (Release, UK, April 2021)


Lessons from the influx of preprints during the early COVID-19 pandemic

Brierley, Liam

The Lancet Planetary Health, Volume 5, Issue 3, e115 - e117 


UK. Drugs in the Time of COVID: Interim Report

Since the beginning of the first national coronavirus lockdown, Release has operated a public, online survey designed to monitor how people are buying their drugs. The purpose of this survey, which is open to anyone residing in the UK over the age of 18, is to determine the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic, and corresponding restrictions, have had on buying illegal substances. In the same way that the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted all aspects of our lives, it is reasonable to expect that with lockdowns and global restrictions on movement, the drug market will also be impacted. (Release, UK, Februar 2021)


Coronapandemie mobilisierte Forschung

(…) Außerdem seien bis Ende November etwa 75.000 wissenschaftliche Publikationen zu COVID-19 erschienen, die meisten Beiträge seien aus den USA und China veröffentlicht worden. Auf der ganzen Welt hätten Forschungsdatenbanken und wissenschaftliche Verlage den Informationsaustausch gefördert, in dem sie etwa Bezahlschranken für Veröffentlichungen entfernten. (aerzteblatt.de, 28.01.2021)


Reducing stigma and discrimination associated with COVID-19: early stage pandemic rapid review and practical recommendations.

Gronholm PC, Nosé M, van Brakel WH, Eaton J, Ebenso B, Fiekert K, Hanna F, Milenova M, Sunkel C, Barbui C, Thornicroft G. 

Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci. 2021 Jan 28:1-23. doi: 10.1017/S2045796021000056. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33504412.


Anxiety and Panic Buying Behaviour during COVID-19 Pandemic—A Qualitative Analysis of Toilet Paper Hoarding Contents on Twitter. 

Leung J, Chung JYC, Tisdale C, Chiu V, Lim CCW, Chan G.

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(3):1127. doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031127 


Coronapandemie senkt Nachfrage nach HIV-Präexpositionsprophylaxe

Berlin – Die Nachfrage nach der Präexpositionsprophylaxe (PrEP) ist in der Coronapandemie deutlich zurückgegangen. Das zeigt eine interne Abfrage des Robert-Koch-Instituts (RKI) unter Einrichtungen, die PrEP verschreiben, wie aus einer Antwort der Bundesregierung auf eine Kleine Anfrage der FDP-Fraktion im Bundestag hervorgeht. Demnach hat die Nachfrage nach PrEP bei 76 Prozent der Zentren abgenommen. (aerzteblatt.de, 04.02.2021)


WHO. 2021 designated as the International Year of Health and Care Workers

Member States at the resumed virtual, 73rd World Health Assembly, recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of the millions of health and care workers at the forefront of the Covid-19 pandemic, unanimously designated 2021 as the International Year of Health and Care Workers (YHCW). (WHO, Genf, 11.11.2020)


UN75—Race, COVID-19, and the War on Drugs (Video)

While the 2020 U.S. elections delivered an unprecedented wave of victories for drug policy reform measures across all parts of the country, this year also brought to the forefront the most egregious aspects of the war on drugs and racial inequality, magnified through the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and too many others. Violence and police misconduct, especially against people of color, continues to be rationalized by being tied to victims’ alleged and actual involvement with drugs. At the same time, Black, Preto, and BAME communities have suffered some of the worst health related effects of COVID-19.

In this discussion we bring together UN experts on racism and discrimination, parliamentarians, journalists, and activists to look at how race, drugs, and repression affect the United States, the United Kingdom, and Brazil, and how these new, but not novel, abuses of power can be addressed effectively, through high-level policy change and tireless activism on the streets.

This event is part of UN75 Dialogues, an initiative to spark conversations on priorities for the future, obstacles to achieving them, and the role of international cooperation in making progress. (OSF – Open Society Foundations, USA, 04.12.2020, Video, 01:27:35)


Springer Nature CEO calls for greater collaboration across the research community to accelerate open science, building on lessons learnt from COVID-19

Partnership and collaboration fundamental to achieving benefits of open science, says Vrancken Peeters. (Springer Nature Group, London, 12.01.2021)


The 432-year-old manual on social distancing

BBC Future, 07.01.2021


USA. COVIDLAND – ein Kurzfilm über Hoffnung auf Überleben in einer Intensivstation

Im November und Dezember vergangenen Jahres filmte Prof. Jeffrey B. Teitler, MFA, auf der Intensivstation am Hartford Hospital in Hartford in Connecticut, vor welchen schwierigen Entscheidungen die Ärzte in der Corona-Pandemie manchmal stehen.

Teitler ist ein preisgekrönter Dokumentarfilmer und Professor am Department of Communication an der Central Connecticut State University, New Britain. Er erhielt die Erlaubnis, einige Tage die Intensivmedizinerin Dr. Megan Panico zu begleiten und schuf mit seinen Beobachtungen eine sensible Hommage über den täglichen Kampf am Krankenbett. (Medscape, 14.01.2021, Video,07:28)


Rückblick 2020: Die Welt im Griff des Virus

Aerzteblatt-online - Jahresrückblick 2020


Characterizing Weibo Social Media Posts From Wuhan, China During the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Qualitative Content Analysis. 

Xu Q, Shen Z, Shah N, Cuomo R, Cai M, Brown M, Li J, Mackey T. 

JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2020 Dec 7;6(4):e24125. doi: 10.2196/24125. PMID: 33175693; PMCID: PMC7722484.


EMCDDA. EMCDDA releases study findings on the impact of COVID-19 on drug markets, use and services in the southern ENP region

The emergence of new drug trafficking routes, the reduced availability of drug-related health services and the adaptation of drug treatment protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic are among the findings highlighted today in a new EMCDDA report: Impact of COVID-19 on drug markets, drug use, drug-related harms and responses in south European Neighbourhood Policy countries. (EMCDDA, Lissabon, 22.12.2020)


New psychoactive substances: global markets, glocal threats and the COVID-19 pandemic — an update from the EU Early Warning System


In this update from the the EU Early Warning System aims to provide insights into what is happening with new psychoactive substances in Europe, based on data from the agency’s early warning and risk-assessment activities. The report covers the period until October 2020 and this year focuses on global markets, glocal threats and the COVID-19 pandemic. (EMCDDA, Lissabon, Dezember 2020 


Participation of the nursing workforce to address COVID-19 among people who use alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. 

Guilamo-Ramos V, Benzekri A, Thimm-Kaiser M, Abram M, Hagan H. 

Int J Drug Policy. 2020 Sep;83:102831. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102831. Epub 2020 Jul 3. PMID: 32654929; PMCID: PMC7332926.


Kolumbien. Drogensucht in Bogotá »Ich musste von Leuten stehlen – einfach nur, um ›glücklich‹ zu sein« 

In der Hauptstadt Kolumbiens sind viele Obdachlose abhängig von Basuco, einem Kokain-Nebenprodukt. Einige konnten den Pandemie-Lockdown für den Entzug nutzen – in der sogenannten Oase. (Spiegel online, 28.11.2020)


EMCDDA-Webinar: COVID-19 induced recession and drug-related problems (16th of December at 12:00 (Lisbon time) (13:00 in Berlin)

A conversation with
Paul De Grauwe - John Paulson Chair in European Political Economy, European Institute, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom
James Windle - Lecturer & Director of BA Criminology, Department of Sociology, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
Bruno Casal Rodriguez - Professor of Applied Economics, University of A Coruña, UDC · Department of Applied Economics I, Coruña, Spain
Chairperson: Claudia Costa Storti, EMCDDA;
Opening remarks: Jane Mounteney, EMCDDA 


Australien. Decline in reported availability of methamphetamine and heroin during COVID-19 restrictions

(…) Out of the 884 people interviewed from capital cities who regularly inject drugs as part of the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS), 71 per cent of those who commented noted a decline in availability since COVID-19 restrictions for crystal methamphetamine and 45 per cent for heroin.

Interviewees also noted that the price of crystal methamphetamine (62 per cent) and heroin (91 per cent) had increased since the beginning of March since COVID-19 restrictions compared to before. (Drug Trends, University of New South Wales' National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, 05.11.2020)


The impact of heroin illicit market in the framework of COVID 19 pandemic. 

Marinelli E. 

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2020 May;24(10):5197-5198. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202005_21299. PMID: 32495850.


Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020. Publishing Perspectives Talks: Academic Publishing Leaders (Video)

Top executives at the world's leading academic and scholarly publishing companies come together to exchange experiences and insights dealing with the most important issues facing their businesses today, including open access, transformative agreements, sustainability, and more.

Steven Inchcoombe, Chief Publishing and Solutions Officer Springer Nature

Michiel Kolman, Senior VP of Information Industry Relations Elsevier

Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief Publishing Perspectives (Moderator)

Jay Flynn, Chief Product Officer of Research, oversees Wiley’s portfolio of research products ranging from journals to digital platforms Wiley

(Buchmesse Frankfurt 2020, 14.10.2020, Video 60:00)


Kim Sledge rocks 73rd World Health Assembly with special edition cover of We Are Family (Video)

Kim Sledge, Grammy Award winning international artist and member of the legendary group Sister Sledge, and global social impact enterprise the World We Want, have joined forces with the World Health Organization and the WHO Foundation to promote global solidarity and health for all through the “We Are Family” campaign. Kim has released a special edition cover of the classic song, “We Are Family,” and a unique video for the song was prepared for the resumed 73rd World Health Assembly, and aired on 9 November 2020. (Video, 04:51)


Europa. Triage-Empfehlungen grenzüberschreitend betrachtet - Eine Befragung europäischer Intensivmediziner 

Die Belastung der Gesundheitssysteme durch die COVID-19-Pandemie hat eine grenzüberschreitende Debatte darüber angestoßen, wie über die Zuteilung intensivmedizinischer Ressourcen entschieden werden sollte, wenn diese nicht mehr für alle Behandlungsbedürftigen reichen (sog. Triage-Situation). Mittlerweile gibt es dazu verschiedene Leitlinien, Empfehlungen und Handreichungen. Unsere Befragung europäischer Intensivmediziner vermittelt einen Eindruck, welches Vorgehen in neun Ländern empfohlen wird. (Katja Gelinsky, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, 23.10.2020)


Susceptibility to misinformation about COVID-19 around the world

Jon Roozenbeek , Claudia R. Schneider , Sarah Dryhurst , John Kerr , Alexandra L. J. Freeman , Gabriel Recchia , Anne Marthe van der Bles and Sander van der Linden

R. Soc. open sci.7201199, doi.org/10.1098/rsos.201199


A global survey of potential acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Lazarus, J.V., Ratzan, S.C., Palayew, A. et al. 

Nat Med (2020). doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-1124-9