Pandemics like COVID-19 are among the most pressing global threats to human life and economic security. The core idea of CorRisk is that infectious disease pandemics created by influenza or corona-viruses have always been more than just a medical problem and that their epidemiology and impact are profoundly shaped by social and economic structures. While the state of the art mainly studies medical risk factors, this project proposes to study the "forgotten" socioeconomic risk factors for unequal morbidity, compliance to the NPIs and labor market consequences.
Using survey data and regression models, we ask three essential questions:
1) What is the morbidity risks among the socially and medically at risk vs. the general population?
2) What is the compliance to the NPIs among the socially and medically at risk vs. the general population, and whether and which of the NPIs (personal protection, environmental, social distancing and travel related measures) is associated with reduced morbidity for the risk groups vs. the general population?
3) Which social and employment groups will be in most need for economic austerity packages in mitigating the expected negative labour market outcomes (layoffs, losing jobs and income) of the pandemic and the NPIs?
CorRisk undertakes finding socioeconomic inequalities in morbidity, NPI compliance and Labour market outcomes. This is a novel approach emphasizing the need to examine risk as a social and not just a medical phenomena. Our new methodological frame will serve future research on (re)emerging diseases.
The CorRisk research group has gathered a strong interdisciplinary and international team of infectious disease and work-life researchers and key national policy-makers in the field of infectious diseases and pandemic preparedness.
Findings will be pivotal for real-time current health policies; optimizing the NPIs to prevent severe pandemic outcomes by reducing social inequalities, to save lives and social & economic losses.
The Guardian (12.04.2020) Inequality doesn't just make pandemics worse – it could cause them