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Social stress drives the multi-wave dynamics of COVID-19 outbreaks

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posted on 2022-05-17, 09:36 authored by Innokentiy A Kastalskiy, Evgeniya Pankratova, Evgeny M Mirkes, Victor B Kazantsev, Alexander N Gorban
The dynamics of epidemics depend on how people's behavior changes during an outbreak. At the beginning of the epidemic, people do not know about the virus, then, after the outbreak of epidemics and alarm, they begin to comply with the restrictions and the spreading of epidemics may decline. Over time, some people get tired/frustrated by the restrictions and stop following them (exhaustion), especially if the number of new cases drops down. After resting for a while, they can follow the restrictions again. But during this pause the second wave can come and become even stronger then the first one. Studies based on SIR models do not predict the observed quick exit from the first wave of epidemics. Social dynamics should be considered. The appearance of the second wave also depends on social factors. Many generalizations of the SIR model have been developed that take into account the weakening of immunity over time, the evolution of the virus, vaccination and other medical and biological details. However, these more sophisticated models do not explain the apparent differences in outbreak profiles between countries with different intrinsic socio-cultural features. In our work, a system of models of the COVID-19 pandemic is proposed, combining the dynamics of social stress with classical epidemic models. Social stress is described by the tools of sociophysics. The combination of a dynamic SIR-type model with the classical triad of stages of the general adaptation syndrome, alarm-resistance-exhaustion, makes it possible to describe with high accuracy the available statistical data for 13 countries. The sets of kinetic constants corresponding to optimal fit of model to data were found. These constants characterize the ability of society to mobilize efforts against epidemics and maintain this concentration over time and can further help in the development of management strategies specific to a particular society.

Funding

The reported study was supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, project No. 075-15-2021-634 (conceptual work on the development of a COVID model), and by RFBR according to the research project No. 20-04-60078 (development of computational algorithms, software for data analysis, and simulations).

History

Citation

Kastalskiy, I.A., Pankratova, E.V., Mirkes, E.M. et al. Social stress drives the multi-wave dynamics of COVID-19 outbreaks. Sci Rep 11, 22497 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-01317-z

Author affiliation

Department of Mathematics

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Scientific Reports

Volume

11

Issue

1

Pagination

22497

Publisher

Nature Research

issn

2045-2322

eissn

2045-2322

Acceptance date

2021-10-26

Copyright date

2021

Available date

2021-11-18

Language

English

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