Noyce Conference Room
  US Mountain Time
Feng Fu (Dartmouth College)

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Abstract: Pandemics are not new to human societies, yet tremendous challenges still remain particularly in the wake of the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Top-down intervention approaches, like drastic lockdowns and public health mandates of mask wearing and social distancing, consider the society as a whole and attempt to optimize pandemic mitigation measures from the perspective of central planners. On the contrary, adopting personal intervention measures such as face covering and vaccine uptake incurs a cost to oneself, and thus the tragedy of the commons can arise as a result of ‘free-riding’ in this important context. The multiple waves of infections fueled by the virus evolution and compliance and adherence issues underscore the importance of integrating both top-down and bottom-up modeling approaches. This talk will focus on the social dilemma aspect of disease control and unravel the previously unforeseen “hysteresis" effect in bottom-up public health behavior dynamics that is responsible for resistance to top-down public health recommendations, ranging from mask hysteria, distancing disobedience, and vaccine hesitancy. Synergistic integration of top-down and bottom-up perspectives is needed to increase the awareness and preparedness of epidemics of disease.



Feng FuFeng Fu
Research Collaboration
SFI Host: 
Jen Dunne