Professor Michael Widener writes on the role social sciences will playing during and after the COVID-19 Crisis

Professor Michael Widener writes for University College News:

“However, for many of us, our health will not be directly harmed by the virus. This does not mean we are in the clear. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on social and economic systems and we are only beginning to see the repercussions of this disruption. In order to fully appreciate the impact of the pandemic on our lives, in the coming months and years we need to proactively monitor changes to our social systems, with a particular focus on existing and emerging inequalities in health, economic, and social outcomes.

In the social sciences, researchers have long examined the links between health and social systems using their respective disciplinary methods, which are often complementary to the valuable work being done by colleagues in medicine and public health. Many of these social science health (SSH) researchers focus on a concept known as the social determinants of health, which include the different social, economic, and geographic factors that contribute to health outcomes and inequalities in populations. SSH researchers will play an important role in understanding the near- and long-term impacts that COVID-19 and extended isolation measures will have on these social determinants, what the implications of these will be for our most vulnerable communities, and how we might be able to move toward a more robust and equitable society in the future.”

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