How Much Are Individual Choices Worth

by Paolo Pin and other Universities 

The diffusion of COVID19 is calling governments and public health authorities to interventions that limit new infections and contain the expected number of critical cases and deaths. Most of these measures rely on the compliance of people, who are asked to reduce their social contacts to a minimum. However, individuals' adherence to prescriptions and reduction of social activity may not be efficacious if not implemented robustly on all social groups, especially on those characterized by intense mixing patterns. Actually, it is possible that, if those who have many contacts reduce them proportionally less than those who have few, then the effect of a policy could backfire: the disease would take more time to die out, up to the point that it could become endemic. In a nutshell, unless one gets everyone to act, and specifically those who have more contacts, a policy may even be counterproductive. We plan to study the efficacy of containment measures using the Social Connectedness Index  and the COVID-19 Mobility Data Network from Facebook.

The Paper: "Covid19: unless one gets everyone to act, policies may be ineffective or even backfire" by Alessio Muscillo, Paolo Pin and Tiziano Razzolinia