Wageningen University & Research: A population that trusts each other recovers more rapidly from a covid-peak

Scheffer and his colleagues at the University of Exeter and the American Santa Fé Institute investigated why some countries are more successful in combatting covid than others. In other words: why do some waves of infections and deaths develop differently from others? Explaining resilience in complex systems lies at the core of Scheffer’s work.

The scientists studied the corona waves in over 150 countries. Most waves show exponential development. This means that the speed at which the wave decreases can be characterised by a single number (exponent). The differences in the rate of decrease (resilience) between countries are considerable.

China, Australia, Western and Northern European countries, and some states in Central Africa are very resilient. In contrast, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States perform poorly. The most resilient country (Mauritius) recovers forty times faster than the least resilient nation (Costa Rica). The severity of the measures is partially responsible for this discrepancy.

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