Balancing socio-economic and public health impact of COVID-19 for its sustainable control and mitigation (SOPHIA)

01 November 2020 → 31 October 2021
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Modelling and simulation
  • Social sciences
    • Psychopathology
    • Group and interpersonal processes
  • Engineering and technology
    • Human health engineering
    • Geospatial information systems
socio-economic analysis spatial model and measures psychological analysis
Project description

Given the uncertainty about the further development of the

COVID-19 pandemic, decision makers urgently need to balance the

immediate public health impact of the virus and the - yet

uninvestigated - psychological and socio-economic impacts of the

mitigation measures that were imposed to safeguard our health care

system. Just as the spread of COVID-19 itself, these effects are

spatially heterogeneous and scale dependent, hence the need to

study the intertwined psychological and socio-economic impacts at

multiple spatial scales. To better understand the spatial heterogeneity

of these effects, the inverse question is equally important: how does

the socio-economic condition of a region affect both the virus spread

and the impact of the measures?

We will consider data on suicides, use of psychofarmaca,

absenteeism due to psychological suffering, burnouts,... Since

analysis of these data by the responsible governmental agencies

lags at least one year, we will collect raw data and conduct

(geostatistical) data analyses in relation to spatio-temporal variation

in the measures to support decision-making on further control and

mitigation strategies. We will use available socio-economic data at a

high spatial resolution to infer relationships among the spacedependent

parameters in the spatial COVID-19 model, the observed

local spread of the virus and the psychological and socio-economic

response on the measures. At the smallest spatial scales, this will

require geostatistical methods.