COVID-19, Inequality and Health: MAP Scientists Respond

In Toronto and across the country, people experiencing poverty, homelessness, and other forms of social inequality are being disproportionately affected by the current public health crisis.

Thousands are undergoing significant income loss. People who depend on formal and informal social supports in their day-to-day must now cope in isolation. Drug withdrawal and overdose, worsening anxiety and depression, and increased risk of intimate partner violence are some of the effects already seen in many communities.

As world-leading scientists dedicated to creating a healthier future for all, our mission has never been more important — or more urgent.

MAP is initiating new interventions, mobilizing on-the-ground resources, and engaging government-level partners now.

MAP’s Urgent COVID-19 Priorities

MAP and the St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation have launched a COVID-19 Catalyst Fund to advance our most urgent priority projects:

Building a better health and social system for marginalized populations during COVID-19 and beyond

Dr. Ahmed Bayoumi

This study will examine the myriad negative effects of physical distancing policies on marginalized populations in Toronto, and will develop immediate, effective, on-the-ground solutions. Learn more

Towards better outcomes for COVID-19 and diabetes

Dr. Gillian Booth

The CONNECT study will define and explain the emerging and important relationship between COVID-19, diabetes, and adverse outcomes. We will then rapidly develop solutions including a custom, virtual-care platform. Learn more

How does COVID-19 spread among children and within families?

Dr. Jonathon Maguire

Using TARGet Kids!, Canada’s largest ongoing study of children, this will be the first and largest study worldwide to investigate COVID-19 transmission, socioeconomic context, and effects among children and families. Learn more

Transitioning from prison to the community during COVID-19

Dr. Flora Matheson

At the best of times, people who have experienced incarceration receive substandard health and social care and are marginalized from conventional social life. What are the social and health impacts of reentering the community during the pandemic?

A closer look: Mathematical models to inform local, population-specific COVID-19 interventions

Dr. Sharmistha Mishra

We are working quickly to build granular, nuanced mathematical models to help front-line organizations predict — and disrupt — the spread of COVID-19 among their local client and patient populations.

Keeping women and children safe during COVID-19-related home confinement

Dr. Pat O’Campo

This study will provide lessons — and code — to enable service access and safety planning for women living with violence during the COVID-19 pandemic and future public health crises. Learn more

Direct income support to negate COVID-19

Dr. Nav Persaud

This initiative will help hundreds of families meet their basic needs, will provide indirect data to inform decisions about a basic income, and could offer a new public policy option to contain pandemics in Canada and internationally. Learn more

Preventing COVID-19 infection and hospitalizations through integrated health and social care

Dr. Andrew Pinto

The ANTICIPATE trial will answer the question: if we proactively identify patients at high risk of COVID-19 infection and poor outcomes, and connect them with tailored, integrated health and social care, could it reduce their risk of hospitalization and death?

A clinical trial to prevent COVID-19 after exposure

Dr. Darrell Tan

This groundbreaking clinical trial could be pivotal in the global fight against COVID-19, with the potential to stop the disease before it starts.

Rapidly assessing the impact of the pandemic on people who inject drugs in Toronto

Dr. Dan Werb

This project builds on an ongoing study of approximately 700 people who inject drugs in Toronto. Our findings will be used to rapidly inform how clinical and front-line services are deployed across Toronto. Learn more

COVID-19 News

THE HILL TIMES: Narrow focus to supporting ‘subpopulations,’ says expert, in preparation for second wave of the pandemic. Featuring Dr. Farah Mawani

MCMASTER UNIVERSITY: Pandemic hits youth experiencing homelessness hard. Featuring Dr. Naomi Thulien

HEALTHY DEBATE: COVID-19 has highlighted how we can improve family doctor care. By Dr. Tara Kiran

UNITY HEALTH TORONTO: Our research changes lives for populations experiencing disadvantage. Featuring Drs. Michelle Firestone, Ahmed Bayoumi, Patricia O’Campo, Nick Metheny

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Opinion: COVID-19 has intensified our need for national pharmacare. By Dr. Nav Persaud

CBC NEWS: Métis doctor tapped to help analyze data gaps in counting Indigenous COVID-19 cases. Featuring Dr. Janet Smylie

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Manitoba charts new course by collecting race-based data on COVID-19. Featuring Dr. Andrew Pinto

TORONTO STAR: Canada must improve COVID-19 data collection for Indigenous communities, minister says. Featuring Dr. Janet Smylie

CBC NEWS: Fixing the COVID-19 data gap in urban Indigenous communities. Interview with Dr. Janet Smylie

TORONTO STAR: When is it safe for kids to go back to school? Two Canadian projects adding data to the ‘passionate debates’. Featuring Dr. Jonathon Maguire

UNITY HEALTH TORONTO: Can an existing HIV medication slow the spread of COVID-19? Team of Toronto researchers launches clinical trial to find out. Featuring Dr. Darrell Tan

CBC NEWS: ‘It’s heartbreaking’: Homeless during pandemic left out in the cold — figuratively and literally. Featuring Dr. Stephen Hwang (also interviewed on CBC Radio’s The World at Six)

TORONTO STAR: Indigenous communities, systemic racism and COVID-19. Interview with Dr. Janet Smylie

TORONTO STAR: Opinion: Lack of protection for personal support workers emblematic of their treatment by the system. By Dr. Andrew Pinto

ST. MICHAEL’S FOUNDATION: COVID-19 and the homelessness crisis: Interview with Dr. Stephen HwangDr. Stephen Hwang discusses some of MAP’s COVID-19 projects at 14:35 and tells a story at 21:06 about the Navigator Project

ST. MICHAEL’S FOUNDATION: Flattening the GTA Curve: St. Michael’s Dr. Sharmistha Mishra wins funding for COVID-19 project

TORONTO STAR: Unlike Canadians, Americans at least know how Black people are faring with COVID-19 (very badly). Featuring Dr. Andrew Pinto

CMAJ BLOGS: A story of the twin crises of COVID-19 and homelessness. Featuring Dr. Tara Kiran

CMAJ BLOGS: A fortnight is forever in a pandemic. Featuring Dr. Tara Kiran

BUZZFEED NEWS: Opinion: Resist The Authoritarian Response To The Coronavirus. By Dr. Dan Werb

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Opinion: To understand the Wuhan coronavirus, look to the epidemic triangle. By Dr. Dan Werb