|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2021 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 45-46
The role of social capital in the implementation of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic
Mehran Alijanzadeh1, Tooraj Harati2
1 Department of Health Services Management, School of Health, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran
2 Department of Health Services Management, School of Management and Medical Information, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
|Date of Submission||16-Aug-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||20-Sep-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||9-Feb-2021|
School of Health, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Alijanzadeh M, Harati T. The role of social capital in the implementation of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Asian J Soc Health Behav 2021;4:45-6
Distance from society is an aspect of human behavior that is of special importance from an epidemiological point of view; therefore, distance from society is very important in humans due to the fight against some diseases. Reports indicate that small changes in human behavior can have major effects on disease transmission patterns during a global epidemic. Research has shown that social distancing can control the epidemic to some extent and reduce the rate of onset of the epidemic. Hence, until an effective vaccine or drug treatment for COVID-19 is available, individuals can protect themselves and others by social distancing. In addition, behavioral changes in the improvement of preventive behaviors, such as wearing a mask and hand washing, can control transmission and fight infectious diseases. Therefore, research has emphasized the importance of improving preventive behaviors.,,,
The scientific community has emphasized the importance of social distancing because the social distancing is a necessary and main strategy to reduce the prevalence of diseases. Hence, governments around the world have recommended or enforced guidelines to improve the situation in epidemics. However, social distancing will have many economic and social effects on individuals and communities, including increased psychological distress.,, In most countries exposed to the epidemic, authorities have taken steps to impose social distancing to control the virus and reduce mortality. Studies have shown that these government actions, along with public cooperation and social cohesion, can reduce the spread of the virus., Social capital represents the resources and benefits that individuals and groups gain through communication with others. Adherence to these shared values strengthens cooperation as well as real social relationships. Therefore, the existence of social capital in society will be highly correlated with the observance of health laws. Distance from the community can reduce the spread of COVID-19 if the citizens follow this issue and implement their social distance in society. For example, In the early stages of COVID-19, voluntary social distancing was higher in people who felt a more civic duty. The results of a study in the United States showed that the inter-social distancing was greater in areas with higher social capital. This evidence points to the importance of social capital in designing public policy responses to epidemics. The implementation of social distancing in response to formal orders in areas where people were less involved in community activities and more willing to bear individual costs to participate in social goals goes further. The “stay at home” policy has significantly helped reduce the COVID-19 epidemic. However, other interventions should be considered. Wearing a mask and hand washing are important interventions.
Therefore, it can be argued that social capital in countries leads to a greater commitment of individuals to their own health and society. Thus, the role of social capital in improving the health status of society and reducing the burden of disease, especially in infectious diseases, is very important and prominent. Paying attention to this issue in the world will lead to a reduction in mortality and better disease control.
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
Del Valle S, Hethcote H, Hyman JM, Castillo-Chavez C. Effects of behavioral changes in a smallpox attack model. Math Biosci 2005;195:228-51.
Kelso JK, Milne GJ, Kelly H. Simulation suggests that rapid activation of social distancing can arrest epidemic development due to a novel strain of influenza. BMC Public Health 2009;9:117.
Williams L, Rasmussen S, Kleczkowski A, Maharaj S, Cairns N. Protection motivation theory and social distancing behaviour in response to a simulated infectious disease epidemic. Psychol Health Med 2015;20:832-7.
Chang KC, Strong C, Pakpour AH, Griffiths MD, Lin CY. Factors related to preventive COVID-19 infection behaviors among people with mental illness. J Formos Med Assoc 2020. In press.
Baviskar M, Kharde A, Gadekar S, Sheth S, Chordiya A. From flummoxed to focused: A mixed-methods study of preventive practices during the COVID-19 pandemic among intern doctors working in a rural tertiary care hospital of Maharashtra, India. Soc Health Behav 2020;3:133. [Full text]
Rieger MO. To wear or not to wear? Factors influencing wearing face masks in Germany during the COVID-19 pandemic. Soc Health Behav 2020;3:50.
Lin CY, Imani V, Majd NR, Ghasemi Z, Griffiths MD, Hamilton K, et al
. Using an integrated social cognition model to predict COVID-19 preventive behaviours. Br J Health Psychol 2020. In Press.
Hartl T, Wälde K, Weber E. Measuring the Impact of the German Public Shutdown on the Spread of COVID19. Covid Economics, Vetted and Real-Time Papers, Vol. 1. CEPR Press; 2020. p. 25-32.
Coibion O, Gorodnichenko Y, Weber M. Labor markets during the covid-19 crisis: A preliminary view. Nat Bur Econ Res 2020. In Press.
Lin CY, Broström A, Griffiths MD, Pakpour AH. Investigating mediated effects of fear of COVID-19 and COVID-19 misunderstanding in the association between problematic social media use, psychological distress, and insomnia. Internet Interv 2020;21:100345.
Chen IH, Chen CY, Pakpour AH, Griffiths MD, Lin CY. Internet-related behaviors and psychological distress among schoolchildren during COVID-19 school suspension. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2020. In Press.
Anderson RM, Heesterbeek H, Klinkenberg D, Hollingsworth TD. How will country-based mitigation measures influence the course of the COVID-19 epidemic? Lancet 2020;395:931-4.
Viner R. M, Russell SJ, Croker H. School closure and management practices during coronavirus outbreaks including COVID-19: A rapid systematic review. Lancet Child Adolesc Health 2020;4:397-404.
Kawachi I, Subramanian SV, Kim D. Social capital and health. In: Social capital and health. New York, NY: Springer; 2008. p. 1 26.
Kawachi I, Berkman L. Social cohesion, social capital, and health. Social Epidemiology 2000; 9;174-90.
Barrios JM, Benmelech E, Hochberg YV, Sapienza P, Zingales L. Civic capital and social distancing during the covid-19 pandemic. Nat Bur Econ Res 2020. In Press.
Ding W, Levine R, Lin C, Xie W. Social Distancing and Social Capital: Why US Counties Respond Differently to COVID-19. Available from: SSRN 3624495. [Last accessed on 2020 Jun 10].
Olivera-La Rosa A, Chuquichambi EG, Ingram GPD. Keep your (social) distance: Pathogen concerns and social perception in the time of COVID-19. Pers Individ Dif 2020;166:110200.