Petrov, A.N., Welford, M., Golosov, N. et al. Lessons on COVID-19 from Indigenous and remote communities of the Arctic. Nat Med (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01473-9
The Arctic provides unique insights into the COVID-19 pandemic that are of considerable importance to government policies around the world, yet experiences from the Arctic are missing from the global public-health debate. Arctic remote settlements have limited access to healthcare and possess few healthcare resources with which to fight the disease. In addition, Arctic populations often demonstrate higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, tuberculosis, hepatitis and other conditions. Despite this, in most cases, Arctic regions have fared better in the COVID-19 pandemic than have temperate areas south of the Arctic in the same countries
Andrey N. Petrov, Mark Welford, Nikolay Golosov, John DeGroote, Michele Devlin, Tatiana Degai and Alexander Savelyev (2021). The “second wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Arctic: regional and temporal dynamics
This article focuses on the “second wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Arctic and examines spatiotemporal patterns between July 2020 and January 2021. We analyse available COVID-19 data at the regional (subnational) level to elucidate patterns and typology of Arctic regions with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. This article builds upon our previous research that examined the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic between February and July 2020. The pandemic’s “second wave” observed in the Arctic between September 2020 and January 2021 was severe in terms of COVID-19 infections and fatalities, having particularly strong impacts in Alaska, Northern Russia and Northern Sweden. Based on the spatiotemporal patterns of the “second wave” dynamics, we identified 5 types of the pandemic across regions: Shockwaves (Iceland, Faroe Islands, Northern Norway, and Northern Finland), Protracted Waves (Northern Sweden), Tidal Waves (Northern Russia), Tsunami Waves (Alaska), and Isolated Splashes (Northern Canada and Greenland). Although data limitations and gaps persist, monitoring of COVID-19 is critical for developing a proper understanding of the pandemic in order to develop informed and effective responses to the current crisis and possible future pandemics in the Arctic. Data used in this paper are available at https://arctic.uni.edu/arctic-covid-19.
Andrey N. Petrov , Mark Welford , Nikolay Golosov , John DeGroote , Tatiana Degai & Alexander Savelyev (2020). Spatiotemporal dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic in the arctic: early data and emerging trends, International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 79:1, 1835251, DOI: 10.1080/22423982.2020.1835251
Since February 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic has been unfolding in the Arctic, placing many communities at risk due to remoteness, limited healthcare options, underlying health issues and other compounding factors. Preliminary analysis of available COVID-19 data in the Arctic at the regional (subnational) level suggests that COVID-19 infections and mortality were highly variable, but generally remained below respective national levels. Based on the trends and magnitude of the pandemic through July, we classify Arctic regions into four groups: Iceland, Faroe Islands, Northern Norway, and Northern Finland with elevated early incidence rates, but where strict quarantines and other measures promptly curtailed the pandemic; Northern Sweden and Alaska, where the initial wave of infections persisted amid weak (Sweden) or variable (Alaska) quarantine measures; Northern Russia characterized by the late start and subsequent steep growth of COVID19 cases and fatalities and multiple outbreaks; and Northern Canada and Greenland with no significant proliferation of the pandemic. Despite limitations in available data, further efforts to track and analyze the pandemic at the pan-Arctic, regional and local scales are crucial. This includes understanding of the COVID-19 patterns, mortality and morbidity, the relationships with public-health conditions, socioeconomic characteristics, policies, and experiences of the Indigenous Peoples.
Petrov, A.N., Hinzman, L.D., Kullerud, L. et al. Building resilient Arctic science amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Nat Commun 11, 6278 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19923-2
Arctic research faces unprecedented disruptions due to COVID-19. This ‘pause’ gives an opportunity to reflect on the current state and the future of Arctic science and move towards a more resilient, thus equitable, coordinated, safe and locally-embedded Arctic research enterprise. Arctic science has been greatly affected by COVID-19. This comment looks forward to how Arctic science could be conducted in the future.