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A survey open to all is to analyse the impact of social distancing on everyday behaviour

A survey open to all is to analyse the impact of social distancing on everyday behaviour

A project by the CSIC, with the participation of UPF, has launched a participatory survey to better understand the impact of social distancing on mobility and social contact of the citizens of Spain. The data, which are completely anonymous, will help understand how the disease will continue to spread and steer further measures towards controlled lifting of lockdown with minimal risk.

19.05.2020

Imatge inicial

In the coming months, steps will be taken to gradually lift lockdown, with a progressive return to mobility in the region and with this, increased contact between people. To better understand the dynamics of the spread of Covid-19 in the coming months, we need a systematic study of mobility and its relationship with sociodemographic aspects as well as monitoring other micro-changes that will take place in our social behaviour.

This is the purpose of the Distancia-COVID (https://distancia-covid.csic.es/) project of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), which uses computing and data science techniques to analyse the effect of lockdown measures on mobility and social behaviour in Spain. It aims to stop the spread of the disease and steer new measures towards a controlled lifting of lockdown with minimal risk.

An anonymous survey to help with decision-making

The project has launched a survey on mobility and social contacts, entitled “Impact of social distancing measures on the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic in Spain”, whereby the researchers seek to better understand the impact of social distancing on our everyday behaviour.

The survey does not collect any personal data, is totally anonymized by encryption, and will enable obtaining a statistical basis from which to generate a series of scenarios and help take decisions concerning possible measures for implementation. The survey is being carried out in the framework of a methodology used previously in epidemiological studies and in coordination with other European countries.

Distancia-COVID-19, coordinated by the scientists José Javier Ramasco, of the IFISC, and Frederic Bartumeus, of the CEAB-CSIC and of the CREAF, also involves John Palmer, a Marie Curie researcher at the UPF Department of Political and Social Sciences, linked to the DemoSoc and GRTITM-UPF research groups. Their involvement will focus on the various surveys included in the project: this initial one and others based on locations via an app.

The project involves the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems (IFISC), a joint centre of the CSIC and the University of the Balearic Islands; the Centre for Advances Studies of Blanes (CEAB-CSIC), the Institute of Physics of Cantabria (IFCA-CSIC), Pompeu Fabra University, and the Institute of Economics, Geography and Demography (IEGD-CSIC).

The survey, whose dissemination is crucial in order to obtain study results, can be completed in Spanish, Catalan, Basque, Galician and English. It is one of the four surveys launched by the CSIC to ascertain the social impact of the pandemic. The other three focus on health, housing and food.

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