Mathematical Epidemiology 
Spread of Covid-19 

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COVID-19 Epidemiological Modelling Project Research Questions

The COVID-19 Epidemiological Modelling Project has developed different research goals that support the public and decision makers with science advise. As we are an independent grouping, we aim to make the project as scientifically transparant as possible. We beleive this is the best way forward in the confusion caused by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.



Epidemiological Mathematical Modelling

This is the current core project in classical mathematical epidemiology. We think the Covid-19 crisis forces us to re-examine the methods and tools that are available:

  • What can we do as scientists to make Covid-19 pandemic data comparable between regions of a country, and in between countries?
  • What are the correct statistical indicators to understand pandemic spread? Is it just the basic reproduction number R_0?
  • If we fit an ascending number of more and more complex dynamic models to Covid-19 data, are results becoming more and more accurate?
  • How can we add optimal treatment and vaccination strategies to dynamic models?
  • What are the optimal responses to avoid Covid-19 second waves of spread?

COVID-19 Virus Micro-Dynamics, Immunology and Pharmacology

There are many practical questions to be answered by science, concerning the pathways of virus transmission. There is an urgent need to develop treatments and most of all, vaccines. All such questions are answered in the interface of physics, chemistry, biochemistry and pharmacology:

  • What is the true physics of virus particle-gas dynamics?
  • How important are surface transmissions?
  • Based on the previous questions, what experiments and statistics do we need to estimate individual to individual transmission probabilities?
  • What is the most likely immunological response to coronamvirus infections?
  • How is an individual's coronavirus infection depending on the individual's health condition, and also previous infections with coronavirus and other SARS-family viruses?
  • What is the fastest way to identify Covid-19 drugs?
  • What are the best candidates for Covid-19 vaccines?

The Pandemic and Decision Making in a Political Environment.

It is clear from the beginning that the Covid-19 pandemic, and its spread characteristics, is inimately linked to human social behaviour, so from a mathematical modelling point-of-view, the two processes can not be separated:

  • Science advise and political decision making are closely linked, however often not in the most obvious way. How can we improve in general the science advice to the public in such a crisis?
  • Can political decisions really be measured in the disease dynamics? And if yes, in which way?
  • Can it be measured how public behaviour changes when confronted with past and current Covid-19 pandemic data?
  • How can we add optimal treatment and vaccination strategies to dynamic models?

Coronavirus Pandemic and Society

We all are aware that the pandemic lockdown measures have enormous consequences for other human systems, such as individual and societal well-being, and cause stress to all economic and financial systems:

  • What are the psychological and sociological consequences of lockdowns, and how can they be best measured?
  • Can the trade-off between economic and financial stress, and avoidance of pandemic spread be measured? Can it be optimised?

Coronavirus Pandemic and Environment

The coronavirus pandemic as an immediate crisis has taken up all of the world's attention. But all the other potential crisis, such as climate change and loss of biodiversity have not stopped to exist.

  • Is there indeed a correlation between air pollution and Covid-19 infection rates?
  • Are there measureable consequences created by the Covid-19 pandemic with respect to the global ecosystem. For example, how much has the global ecosystem benefitted from reduced human activity?

The COVID-19 Pandemic, an Extra-Ordinary Crisis?

Despite all the tragic of the Covid-19 pandemic, the crisis has also created a huge natural experiment for all of science:

  • Can such complex situations such as the Coronavirus pandemic be ranked or compared with other disasters affecting human societies?
  • What is the risk of a similar pandemic? Can human societies, and sub-systems such as the finance and economy be built such that they become more resilient to such shocks?