COVID-19 Updates & Resources
- A Gender Lens
- A Disparities Lens
- General Resources
- Caring for Providers
- Mental Health PPE
- In the News
- Hot Topics
- Get Involved
COVID-19: A Gender Lens
Statement from the American Medical Women’s Association
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust our nation into unprecedented times and highlighted disparities of race, ethnicity, and gender.
Sex and gender differences impact all health conditions and must inform clinical decision-making concerning COVID-19 at every level of care, including prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. In addition, sex and gender must be considered as crucial variables in any research or public health surveillance conducted. The American Medical Women’s Association calls for sex-disaggregated data in all COVID-19 surveillance reports as well as clinical and basic science research.
While women comprise about 75% of the healthcare workforce and thus will likely be disproportionately impacted during the pandemic, women healthcare leaders continue to be largely underrepresented across the nation. In addition, women healthcare professionals usually serve as primary caretakers on the home front, and the challenges of work/life integration will be compounded by exposure to potentially fatal occupational hazards. As with other crises, especially those resulting in loss of jobs and increased risks of anxiety and substance abuse, higher rates of domestic violence against women have been reported. Inclusion of women in leadership is essential to identify disparities that affect women in the workplace and at home. We must safeguard principles of equity, address gender bias and discrimination, and ensure that health care is based on the science of sex and gender differences.
Sex and Gender Based Health Differences in COVID 19
- Can Estrogen and Other Sex Hormones Help Men Survive COVID-19? (The New York Times)
- Coronavirus Is Killing More Men Than Women – Why That Matters (Healthy Women)
- Gender and COVID-19: Where Can Research Help? (Inter Press Service)
- Do testicles raise coronavirus risk for men? (Los Angeles Times)
- Delayed clearance of SARS-CoV2 in male compared to female patients: High ACE2 expression in testes suggests possible existence of gender-specific viral reservoirs. (medRxiv)
- Does Covid Hit Men and Women Differently? U.S. Isn’t Keeping Track (New York Times)
- Coronavirus Seems to Be Infecting and Killing More Men Than Women (Wall Street Journal)
- Prevalence and predictors of PTSS during COVID-19 Outbreak in China Hardest-hit Areas: Gender differences matter (Psychiatry Research)
- Sex difference and smoking predisposition in patients with COVID-19 (The Lancet Respiratory Medicine)
- COVID-19: the gendered impacts of the outbreak (Lancet)
- Why Women May Face a Greater Risk of Catching Coronavirus (NY Times)
- Gender differences in patients with COVID-19: Focus on severity and mortality (Frontiers in Public Health)
- Who is getting sick, and how sick? A breakdown of coronavirus risk by demographic factors (Stat News)
- Men Represent Majority Coronavirus Cases (Yahoo News)
- Why the Coronavirus Seems to Hit Men Harder Than Women (New York Times)
- Do Women and Men Have a Coronavirus Risk Gap (Forbes)
- Men are more likely to die of coronavirus than women, even when women catch it more often. This might be why. (The Independent)
- The New Coronavirus Appears to Take a Greater Toll on Men Than on Women (NPR)
- Sex- and Gender-Specific Observations and Implications for COVID-19 (Western Journal of Emergency Medicine)
- Women and COVID-19: Studying the Impact of Sex and Gender (Rand Corporation)
- Men are more likely to die of coronavirus than women, even when women catch it more often. This might be why (Independent)
Gender Equity and COVID -19
- The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on gender equality (Center for Economic and Policy Research)
- COVID-19 Could Set Women Back Decades on Gender Equality (U.S. News & World Report)
- In a World with COVID-19, Gender Equality Matters More Than Ever (LinkedIn)
- Covid-19 will worsen women’s health, income inequality (The Print)
- Paying attention to women’s needs and leadership will strengthen COVID-19 response (UN Women)
- Gender and the Coronavirus Outbreak (Think Global Health)
- As Cities Around the World Go on Lockdown, Victims of Domestic Violence Look for a Way Out (TIME)
- COVID-19’s Gender Implications Examined in Policy Brief from CARE (CARE)
- The Impact of COVID-19 on Gender Equality (Northwestern)
- Playing the Long Game: How a Gender Lens Can Mitigate Harm Caused by Pandemics (Center for Global Development)
- The Coronavirus is a Disaster for Feminism (Atlantic)
- Global Rapid Gender Analysis for COVID-19 (CARE)
- The COVID-19 Outbreak and Gender: Key Advocacy Points from Asia and the Pacific (UN Women)
- Coronavirus: Five ways virus upheaval is hitting women in Asia (BBC News)
- Coronavirus: A Look at Gender Differences in Awareness and Actions (Kaiser Family Foundation)
- COVID-19: Reducing the risk of infection might increase the risk of intimate partner violence (Eclinical Medicine)
- Women Are Losing More Jobs in Coronavirus Shutdowns (NPR)
COVID-19 Other Gender Issues
- COVID-19 PPE Gender Divide: No One-Size-Fits-All? (Medscape)
- Sexism on the Covid-19 Frontline PPE Is Made for a 6ft 3in Rugby Player (Guardian)
- COVID-19 Exacerbates Gender Inequality. Let’s Ensure PPE Doesn’t Neglect Women’s Bodies (Ms. Magazine)
- General Articles on PPE and Gender
COVID-19, Reproductive Health, and Pregnancy
- Universal Screening for SARS-CoV-2 in Women Admitted for Delivery (NEJM)
- Should Infants Be Separated from COVID-19 Positive Mothers? (JWH)
- Clinical characteristics and intrauterine vertical transmission potential of COVID-19 infection in nine pregnant women: a retrospective review of medical records (Lancet)
- What are the risks of COVID-19 infection in pregnant women? (Lancet)
- Potential Maternal and Infant Outcomes from Coronavirus 2019-nCoV (SARS-CoV-2) Infecting Pregnant Women: Lessons from SARS, MERS, and Other Human Coronavirus Infections (MDPI)
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Pregnancy: What obstetricians need to know (American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology) — Journal pre-proof
- Resources for Maternal Health from the Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance
- Novel Coronavirus “COVID-19”: Special Considerations for Pregnant Women (Kaiser Family Foundation)
- COVID-19: A Gender Lens. Protecting sexual and reproductive health and rights, and promoting gender equality (United Nations Population Fund)
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Pregnancy: What obstetricians need to know (American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology) — Journal pre-proof
Underserved populations in the United States suffer from health inequity based on race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and geographic location. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only thrust our nation into unprecedented times, but has highlighted on-going racial and ethnic disparities. Now is the time to help protect our most vulnerable populations and improve the quality of life for these marginalized groups.
As social determinants of health impact all health conditions, understanding these differences in terms of risk factors for COVID-19, disease presentation, treatment, and prognosis must inform our research and clinical decision-making at all levels. This paradigm underscores the need for data disaggregated by race and ethnicity in both clinical and basic science research. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated vast differences in infection rates, illness, and death rates in underserved communities compared to other groups but data are lacking from many states.
The American Medical Women’s Association calls for the following:
- Data collection and dissemination. HHS, CDC, CMS, and other state and federal government organizations should collect and release nationwide racial and ethnic demographic data on COVID-19 testing, confirmed cases, ventilator access, intubation time, and deaths. Data should be collected in a national, standardized, valid, and inclusive manner while promoting autonomy and transparency among participants engaging in data collection.
- Guidance. Immediate and explicit guidance from HHS, CDC, and CMS on mitigating health disparities
- Immediate resource allocation to impacted communities. Federal, state, and city/county governments should provide the following to heavily impacted communities: targeted testing, contact tracing, outreach to residents through community-based organizations, PPE for all essential employees (not limited to healthcare workers), additional healthcare workers, oxygen and ventilators.
- Equitable resource allocation. Medical and public health interventions and allocation of resources and funding must be guided by data. Social and structural determinants of health must be considered as part of the decision-making process about allocation of all resources including but not limited to: healthcare providers, medicines, medical equipment, adequate nutrition, and clean water to ensure that minoritized groups are not denied needed resources that could prevent unnecessary harms.
- Immediate housing support. Local and state governments should work with hotels, uninhabited rental spaces, empty schools, and other organizations to provide safe housing to individuals experiencing homelessness to promote social distancing and self-quarantine. Housing for recently discharged individuals experiencing homelessness should be prioritized.
- Research and analysis of the most affected communities by infectivity and mortality rate. This will guide future healthcare modeling for clinicians. Moreover, such data will serve to guide instruction for the necessary preparation our healthcare system needs in the event of future disaster pandemics.
Furthermore, the focus on resolving pre-existing health disparities and inequities must extend beyond this pandemic, with the goal of eliminating the implicit biases and prejudices that have historically influenced resource allocation. Data collection on health disparities, guidance on mitigating disparities, and improved resource allocation to underserved communities must remain federal and state priorities.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and COVID-19
- Redefining vulnerability in the era of COVID-19 (Lancet)
- The COVID-19 DEI Crisis Action Strategy Guide (NIXLA)
- DEI Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Inclusion Tips (MSU)
- Companies: Now Is Not The Time To Put Diversity And Inclusion On The Back Burner (Forbes)
- COVID-19 and African Americans (JAMA)
- Failing Another National Stress Test on Health Disparities (JAMA)
- COVID-19 and Racial Disparities (JAAD)
- Disparities in the Population at Risk of Severe Illness From COVID-19 by Race/Ethnicity and Income (AJPM)
- The COVID-19 Pandemic: A Call to Action to Identify and Address Racial and Ethnic Disparities (J. Racial Ethn. Health Disparities)
- FDA Updates on COVID-19
- COVID-19: What Do We Know About Transmission Routes and Surface Survival? (Medscape)
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 7.2 (UN)
- 50 State Health Department COVID-19 Resources for Patients and Healthcare Providers
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Systematic Review of Imaging Findings in 919 Patients (AJR)
- What is the biggest lesson that we can learn from this pandemic?
- How do you think this pandemic will affect PPE production long-term?
- Will there be a physician shortage and what solutions do you suggest?
- U.S. FDA approves first rapid coronavirus test with 45 minutes detection time
- CDC Coronavirus Testing Decision Likely To Haunt Nation For Months To Come (Kaiser Health News)
- Free Orbita COVID-19 Screening Chatbot
- Coronavirus Impacts on Alzheimer’s Caregivers
- What should we be advising our older citizens (many stores are implementing early shopping hours for seniors)?
- What tips do you have for people who are at home? How can they stay healthy and keep their immune system strong?
Regulatory Changes During the Pandemic
- Increased coverage for telemedicine: Medicare Telemedicine Health Care Provider Fact Sheet and FAQ Sheet
- CMS Announces Relief for Clinicians, Providers, Hospitals and Facilities Participating in Quality Reporting Programs in Response to COVID-19
- Transmission Potential of SARS-CoV-2 in Viral Shedding Observed at the University of Nebraska Medical Center
- Position Statement of the ESC Council on Hypertension on ACE-Inhibitors and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (European Society of Cardiology)
Aerosol and surface stability of HCoV-19 (SARS-CoV-2) compared to SARS-CoV-1
- General Information and U.S. Activity Map
- Evaluating and Testing Persons for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Discontinuation of Home Isolation for Persons with COVID-19 (Interim Guidance)
- Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control FAQs for COVID-19
- Interim U.S. Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Healthcare Personnel with Potential Exposure in a Healthcare Setting to Patients with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
- CDC Statement for Healthcare Personnel on Hand Hygiene during the Response to the International Emergence of COVID-19
- Preparing for COVID-19: Long-term Care Facilities, Nursing Homes
- Interim Guidance for Healthcare Facilities: Preparing for Community Transmission of COVID-19 in the United States
- Health Care Workers – Leaders on the Line
- University of Nebraska – a leader in “treatment, training, and quarantine methods for highly infectious diseases.” Includes protocol for UV germicidal irradiation to decontaminate N95 facemasks.
- Response to COVID-19 in Taiwan Big Data Analytics, New Technology, and Proactive Testing (JAMA), TIME, NBC
- The premium, medical apparel brand MEDELITA has offered their collection of industry-leading performance fabric uniforms, compliant with CDC laundering recommendations, to the AAP’s members. For 30% OFF, use code FRONTLINES. (View the Flyer)
- Free Pro-bono Therapy for Frontline Health Providers (Project Parachute)
- Leading with Compassion: Supporting Healthcare Workers in a Crisis (The Schwartz Center)
- Caring for Yourself & Others During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Managing Healthcare Workers’ Stress (The Schwartz Center)
- The Ultimate List of Resources, Discounts & Offers For Healthcare Workers During COVID-19 (Nurse.org)
- Doctors Are Writing Their Wills (NY Times)
- COVID-19 and Medical Devices: Safe Respirator Usage When Supplies Are Short
- How is COVID-19 Affecting HCP Emotional and Mental Health? (Medscape)
- COVID-19 App for healthcare providers
- Coronavirus Tech Handbook for Doctors part of CoronavirusTechHandbook
Taking Care of the Providers
- Health Workers’ Voices and Safety Must Be Protected
- Ten Percent Happier: (free for healthcare workers)
- Headspace (free for providers through 2020 with NPI number)
- Free AAA Services (AAA)
- Practice Wellness from Home with Zeamo
- I’ll Be Seeing You: A Reflection in the Time of COVID-19
Dr. Mary Rorro, co-founder of our AMWA Music and Medicine Committee, composed the MWIA Centennial Congress theme song “Physicians, Healers.” Inspired by the tremendous dedication, sacrifice and compassion that physicians around the world have shown in battling COVID-19. Dr. Rorro composed this variation on her centennial song, with lyrics to honor the “Physicians, Heroes” of COVID-19.
Dr. Mary C. Rorro (composer), April 2020
Mental Health PPE
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought professional and personal stress the breath of which this generation of physicians has never seen. We are treating a communicable disease that we know precious little and fear we can take home to those we love. Many have changed to an isolated manner of living in their own homes while having the unexpected task of schooling and childcare. Virtually all hospitals have changed their operations. Some have the unanticipated financial loss having been furloughed due to the decrease in patients. We witness patients dying alone without their family’s hands and hugs to say goodbye. Without a cure or herd immunity the end is not known. There may be days when our spirit is fatigued. There may be days when our soul is scarred. There may be days when we are broken.
These burdens may weigh more heavily on the hearts and minds of women physicians. A March 2020 JAMA article of healthcare workers in Wuhan China indicated that women, nurses and frontline healthcare workers are more likely to experience adverse psychological effects. On April 26, a New York City emergency physician took her own life after recovering from COVID. The news rocked the community with the feeling if it happened to her it could be any one of use. We have physical PPE- we now also need to focus on mental PPE.
Suicidal ideation can happen with overwhelming situations (such as COVID, malpractice, divorce, death of a child, etc.). The thought of killing oneself can crop up when a physical or psychological pain overwhelms the coping tools at that moment. With enough stress it could happen to any human being. The trick is to alter the balance with less pain and increased coping. This is much easier to do if one has a plan before getting into the crisis situation.
A Safety Plan is a mental health equivalent of putting on a car seat belt. It could help save your life one day or the life of someone you love. One can develop a personal crisis management plan (PCMP) to call on when thinking starts to go off the rails. It is something to hold on to from a time with a clearer frame of mind. It is important to remember that most people do not want to die-they want to be out of pain. The PCMP gives concrete suggestions of another course of action.
Each plan in individual but tend to share the common threads of:
- Calling (purpose, sense of enjoyment, reason for living).
For help in developing your own personal crisis management plan, please download this Personal Crisis Management Plan document.
AMWA Spokesperson Dr. Saralyn Mark on COVID-19
- Dr. Saralyn Mark quoted in Forbes article: How The NASA SpaceX Launch Will Shed Light On COVID-19: Isolation, Telehealth, PPE
- Dr. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber (AMWA Past President) RadioMD Covid 19 Podcast Interviewing
- Dr. Saralyn Mark on MSNBC, 4/5. Watch HERE.
- Dr. Saralyn Mark on FOX News, 3/31: Can’t forget coronavirus treatments’ potential side effects: Former White House medical adviser. Watch HERE
- Dr. Saralyn Mark on FOX News with Dana Perino, 3/16. Watch HERE.
- Dr. Saralyn Mark on MSNBC with Alicia Menendez, 3/14, 7pm. Watch HERE.
- Dr. Saralyn Mark on MSNBC with Alicia Menendez, 3/14, 4pm (with AMWA Board Member Dr. Ana Viamonte Ros). Watch HERE.
- Dr. Saralyn Mark on MSNBC with Ari Melber, 3/13. Watch HERE. Read the transcript.
- Dr. Saralyn Mark on Fox News with Dana Perino, 3/10. Watch HERE.
- Dr. Saralyn Mark on MSNBC with Alicia Menendez, 3/8. Watch HERE.
AMWA Applauds the Heroic Work of Dr. Helen Chu
Student Efforts to Support the Medical and Local Community
Reopening the Country
When will coronavirus end in the US? (Independent)
Clinical Trials on Therapeutics Need to Answer:
-What–what is the most effective and safe dose?
-How-how is the drug administered such as by pill, injection, infusion, patch?
-When-when should the drug be administered during the course of the illness?
Antibody Dependent Enhancement Syndrome
Molecular Mechanism for Antibody-Dependent Enhancement of Coronavirus Entry (Journal of Virology)
4 Myths About Coronavirus Antibodies (Forbes)
How AMWA Members Can Be A Resource for Their Communities
HEALTH RESERVE CORPS in every state.
A COMMUNITY RESERVE CORPS will help neighbors who are senior citizens and have medical conditions and should not leave their homes. Help them stay out of hospitals and clinics if possible. Neighbors can be sure they have food, supplies and medical care if needed.
Simple steps for community members:
- Designate yourself to be a block leader.
- Get contact information for your neighbors and share the list.
- List if anyone is a health professional.
- If anyone has face masks, gloves -offer them to health professional neighbors.
PPE SHORTAGE: Calling All People Who Sew And Make: You Can Help Make Masks…(Forbes)
Resources and Updates on COVID-19
Have something to add? Please submit HERE
Share your experience of managing the COVID-19 pandemic in your institution. How are you keeping your family safe? How are you handling the PPE shortage? Follow us @AMWADoctors as we share this information.
PPE For Healthcare Workers – Join #GetUsPPE
- WRITE TO CONGRESS: HEALTHCARE WORKERS NEED PPE’S. Look up your representative HERE.
AMWA Outreach to Other Countries
As a member organization of the Medical Women’s International Association, AMWA has been in touch with colleagues in countries around the world where women physicians are often on the front lines of treating COVID-19 patients. Through the American Women’s Hospitals Service, we are working to provide support both abroad and here in the U.S. To support this effort, donate to AWHS and designate COVID-19 support and the funds will be directed as needed.
- How can medical students help out during these challenging times?
- University of Minnesota Medical Students Pitch In Check out MNCOVIDSitters
- University of Michigan Medical Students
- Medical Student Division President-Elect Lawren Wooten Co-Founds DC COVID Sitters to Help Local Healthcare Workers
- Plasma Donation or Request – American Red Cross
- AMWA and The Robonauts Partner to Meet Healthcare Need
- One World, One War Against COVID-19: Western Pacific and Canadian Leaders and the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) Come Together, May 20, 5:30pm EST
- One World, One War Against COVID-19: European Leaders and the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) Come Together (April 21, 2pm EST) Access the webinar HERE.
- AMWA and Indiana University Center of Excellence in Women’s Health Webinar: Your Will…Is It Updated? Mamta Shah, Executive Director at Morgan Stanley and regional trust specialist. (March 8)
- Webinar with COVID-19 Crisis Response Team at Taiwan’s Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Watch the Recording and view the full slide deck with Q&A answers HERE. View the agenda HERE. Read more about how Taiwan has successfully managed the pandemic in JAMA, TIME, NBC
- Indiana University School of Medicine Webinar: Surviving COVID-19: Help for people with enhanced risk due to extra weight. (April 22, 12:00-12:30 PM) Register HERE.