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  • Director of Center
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© Research
Publication :

Integrating Social Sciences to Mitigate Against Covid

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in - 01 Dec 2021

Richard Paul, Olivier Telle, Samuel Benkimoun

Link to DOI – 10.1007/978-981-16-5727-6_3

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has led to the implementation of unprecedented
public health intervention measures, not least the lockdown of countries
worldwide. In our hyperconnected world exemplified by social media, it is now
possible to derive quantitative measures of human mobilities at useful spatial scales.
In this chapter we discuss how the use of Facebook data enables us not only to
capture the impact of lockdown on human mobility but also to assess how changes
in mobility contribute to the spread of the virus. By performing a comparative analysis
across four countries of differing levels of lockdown—Sweden, US, France and
Colombia—we show that mobility contributes a substantial amount to the spread of
the disease. This contribution is strongest when the local number of cases is low, but,
importantly, is maintained even when the virus is widespread. Current epidemiological
models do not take into account such mobility patterns and yet there exists a
developed theoretical framework within whichmobility can be included. Inclusion of
mobility datawould allowpublic health authorities to focus on highly connected hubs
of infection and, because mobility patterns are relatively stable over time, would also
enable forecasting of how the spread of this or another novel virus is going to occur.
Anticipating epidemics and their spread is key for developing suitable but targeted
intervention strategies and avoiding draconian lockdowns that are so harmful to the
economy.