Democracy and Mobility: A Preliminary Analysis of Global Adherence to Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions for COVID-19
18 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 7, 2020
In the absence of vaccines or therapeutics, and with cases of COVID-19 continuing to grow each day, most countries are relying on non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The goal of NPIs – decreasing mobility in order to decrease contact – comes with competing socioeconomic costs and incentives that are not well-understood. Using Google’s Community Mobility data, we visualized changes in mobility and explored the effect of economic, social, and governmental factors on mobility via regression. We found decreases in mobility for all movement categories except in residential areas; these changes corresponded strongly with country-specific outbreak trajectory. Mobility increased with GDP per capita, though this relationship varied among movement categories. Finally, countries with more authoritarian governments were more responsive with respect to mobility changes as local case counts increased; however, these countries were also less likely to report mobility data to Google. These preliminary findings suggest that country-specific outbreak trajectory, GDP per capita, and democracy index may be important indicators in assessing a given population’s adherence to NPIs.
Note: Funding: This work was supported in part by grant T32HD040128 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health.
Conflict of Interest: The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Keywords: coronavirus, COVID-19, social distancing, non-pharmaceutical interventions
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