Social bubbles-THE HINDU-06-06-2020
Social bubbles: Micro-communities that could contain spread of Covid-19.
Research published by the London School of Economics and Political Science says that the concept of social bubbles proved effective for New Zealand since it allowed people to receive the care they need. A couple wear face masks at Buckingham Palace, London. As a Covid-19 vaccine is still months away, questions about the methods that can be adopted to avoid the second wave of infections while easing restrictions have arisen.
A new study published in Nature Human Behaviour suggests that one of the ways of effective social distancing strategies to keep the Covid-19 curve flat include the idea of social bubbles.
What are social bubbles?
Last month, UK’s roadmap for exiting the lockdown stated that people could expand their household groups to include one other household in the same exclusive group, in order to allow those who are isolated some more social contact, “and to reduce the most harmful effects of the current social restrictions, while continuing to limit the risk of chains of transmission. The idea is based on New Zealand’s model of household “bubbles”, an exclusive social group that is allowed to meet with each other amid the pandemic.
Research published by the London School of Economics and Political Science says that the concept of social bubbles proved effective for New Zealand since it allowed people who were isolated, vulnerable or struggling to receive the care and support they needed. Further, such a policy can be an effective policy for other countries to encourage compliance with social distancing regulations while meeting care and support needs.
What does the study say?
The study says that these strategies rely less on confinement and allow strategic social contact while still flattening the curve. With regards to social bubbles, the study says that to create them individuals must decide with whom they want to regularly interact and overtime, they should restrict interactions to just these people.
This reduces the number of contact partners rather than the number of interactions. This strategy of limiting contact to very few others with repeated interactions is in the spirit of a social contract with others, to create social bubbles, allowing only interactions within the same group delineated by common agreement,” the study says.
This could mean clubbing together employees based on their residential proximity.