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1.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307039

ABSTRACT

Social distancing and isolation have been introduced widely to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. However, more moderate contact reduction policies become desirable owing to adverse social, psychological, and economic consequences of a complete or near-complete lockdown. Adopting a social network approach, we evaluate the effectiveness of three targeted distancing strategies designed to 'keep the curve flat' and aid compliance in a post-lockdown world. These are limiting interaction to a few repeated contacts, seeking similarity across contacts, and strengthening communities via triadic strategies. We simulate stochastic infection curves that incorporate core elements from infection models, ideal-type social network models, and statistical relational event models. We demonstrate that strategic reduction of contact can strongly increase the efficiency of social distancing measures, introducing the possibility of allowing some social contact while keeping risks low. This approach provides nuanced insights to policy makers for effective social distancing that can mitigate negative consequences of social isolation.

2.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294013

ABSTRACT

Variations in the age patterns and magnitudes of excess deaths, as well as differences in population sizes and age structures make cross-national comparisons of the cumulative mortality impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic challenging. Life expectancy is a widely-used indicator that provides a clear and cross-nationally comparable picture of the population-level impacts of the pandemic on mortality. Life tables by sex were calculated for 29 countries, including most European countries, Chile, and the USA for 2015-2020. Life expectancy at birth and at age 60 for 2020 were contextualised against recent trends between 2015-19. Using decomposition techniques, we examined which specific age groups contributed to reductions in life expectancy in 2020 and to what extent reductions were attributable to official COVID-19 deaths. Life expectancy at birth declined from 2019 to 2020 in 27 out of 29 countries. Males in the USA and Lithuania experienced the largest losses in life expectancy at birth during 2020 (2.2 and 1.7 years respectively), but reductions of more than an entire year were documented in eleven countries for males, and eight among females. Reductions were mostly attributable to increased mortality above age 60 and to official COVID-19 deaths. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered significant mortality increases in 2020 of a magnitude not witnessed since WW-II in Western Europe or the breakup of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe. Females from 15 countries and males from 10 ended up with lower life expectancy at birth in 2020 than in 2015.

3.
Int J Epidemiol ; 51(1): 63-74, 2022 02 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1437834

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Variations in the age patterns and magnitudes of excess deaths, as well as differences in population sizes and age structures, make cross-national comparisons of the cumulative mortality impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic challenging. Life expectancy is a widely used indicator that provides a clear and cross-nationally comparable picture of the population-level impacts of the pandemic on mortality. METHODS: Life tables by sex were calculated for 29 countries, including most European countries, Chile and the USA, for 2015-2020. Life expectancy at birth and at age 60 years for 2020 were contextualized against recent trends between 2015 and 2019. Using decomposition techniques, we examined which specific age groups contributed to reductions in life expectancy in 2020 and to what extent reductions were attributable to official COVID-19 deaths. RESULTS: Life expectancy at birth declined from 2019 to 2020 in 27 out of 29 countries. Males in the USA and Lithuania experienced the largest losses in life expectancy at birth during 2020 (2.2 and 1.7 years, respectively), but reductions of more than an entire year were documented in 11 countries for males and 8 among females. Reductions were mostly attributable to increased mortality above age 60 years and to official COVID-19 deaths. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic triggered significant mortality increases in 2020 of a magnitude not witnessed since World War II in Western Europe or the breakup of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe. Females from 15 countries and males from 10 ended up with lower life expectancy at birth in 2020 than in 2015.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Europe/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Life Expectancy , Male , Middle Aged , Mortality , Pandemics , Research Design , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Nat Hum Behav ; 4(6): 588-596, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-531316

ABSTRACT

Social distancing and isolation have been widely introduced to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. Adverse social, psychological and economic consequences of a complete or near-complete lockdown demand the development of more moderate contact-reduction policies. Adopting a social network approach, we evaluate the effectiveness of three distancing strategies designed to keep the curve flat and aid compliance in a post-lockdown world. These are: limiting interaction to a few repeated contacts akin to forming social bubbles; seeking similarity across contacts; and strengthening communities via triadic strategies. We simulate stochastic infection curves incorporating core elements from infection models, ideal-type social network models and statistical relational event models. We demonstrate that a strategic social network-based reduction of contact strongly enhances the effectiveness of social distancing measures while keeping risks lower. We provide scientific evidence for effective social distancing that can be applied in public health messaging and that can mitigate negative consequences of social isolation.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control/methods , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Social Isolation , Social Networking , COVID-19 , Humans
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