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2.
Health Policy ; 126(3): 234-244, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1620689

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the complex relationship between science and policy. Policymakers have had to make decisions at speed in conditions of uncertainty, implementing policies that have had profound consequences for people's lives. Yet this process has sometimes been characterised by fragmentation, opacity and a disconnect between evidence and policy. In the United Kingdom, concerns about the secrecy that initially surrounded this process led to the creation of Independent SAGE, an unofficial group of scientists from different disciplines that came together to ask policy-relevant questions, review the evolving evidence, and make evidence-based recommendations. The group took a public health approach with a population perspective, worked in a holistic transdisciplinary way, and were committed to public engagement. In this paper, we review the lessons learned during its first year. These include the importance of learning from local expertise, the value of learning from other countries, the role of civil society as a critical friend to government, finding appropriate relationships between science and policy, and recognising the necessity of viewing issues through an equity lens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Communication , Emergencies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom
3.
Br J Soc Psychol ; 61(3): 971-990, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1583667

ABSTRACT

A key requirement of COVID-19 pandemic behavioural regulations in many countries was for people to 'physically distance' from one another, which meant departing radically from established norms of everyday human sociality. Previous research on new norms has been retrospective or prospective, focusing on reported levels of adherence to regulations or the intention to do so. In this paper, we take an observational approach to study the embodied and spoken interactional practices through which people produce or breach the new norm. The dataset comprises 20 'self-ethnographic' fieldnotes collected immediately following walks and runs in public spaces between March and September 2020, and these were analysed in the ethnomethodological tradition. We show that and how the new norm emerged through the mutual embodied and spoken conduct of strangers in public spaces. Orientations to the new norm were observed as people torqued their bodies away from each other in situations where there was insufficient space to create physical distance. We also describe how physical distance was produced unilaterally or was aggressively resisted by some people. Finally, we discuss the practical and policy implications of our observations both for deciding what counts as physical distancing and how to support the public to achieve it.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Physical Distancing , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Prospective Studies , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
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