Rosalind Martin – Project I

Isolation and Inclusion in a Post-Social Distancing COVID World

The disparate impacts of COVID-19 and the associated lockdown have been much discussed recently, particularly in terms of age, deprivation, or employment sector. As the UK and other countries emerge from quarantine, it is equally apparent that the after-effects are likely to be long-lasting, whether through continued mitigation efforts such as social distancing or the economic impacts of economic shutdown, and that these after-effects are likely to further unevenly impact some groups over others. There are many dashboards reporting information on COVID cases and deaths, but information on the impacts on general population and businesses is missing. 

Our main objective is to advance understanding of the social and spatial impacts of emergence from lockdown, identifying those households and places at risk of further isolation, under a scenario of continued social distancing, high unemployment, and a potential contraction of local service provision, including public transport. We have three research questions:  

  • Are some typical household structures more vulnerable than others as a result of social distancing (and what are they vulnerable to, e.g. unemployment, social isolation, decreased service provision versus decreased access to existing services, decreased mobility, etc.)?
  • Is there a critical intersection of mobility, employment status and social distancing rules that predispose households with particular structures to isolation?
  • Based on current neighbourhood patterns and planning, what is the geography of isolation vulnerability?

 

It is expected that each of these scenarios have a particular geography. The creation of this dashboard should help predict where geographies of isolation under intersecting scenarios occur. Identifying areas at risk of isolation and exclusion through this project could prove invaluable to local councils who will be working to ensure all individuals are given access to relevant levels of assistance and resources during COVID-19 recovery, rather than allowing pre-existing disparities to widen.