covid-19 exposes the long-standing social inequity issues in the U.S.

Authors: Xiao Huang*, University of Arkansas
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Applied Geography
Keywords: COVID-19, social inequity, mobility records, stay-at-home orders
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/11/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 9
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has undoubtedly raised worldwide concerns. As the new epicenter of the pandemic, the U.S. has seen serious health, economic, and social challenges. In this presentation, we aim to highlight the impact of the long-standing inequity issue in the U.S. on the implementation of COVID-19 mitigation measures, providing fundamental knowledge that benefits policy-making for better mitigation strategies of the future pandemics. We investigate fine-grained mobility records (at census block group level) from SafeGraph and find that demographic/socioeconomic variables can explain the disparity in human mobility and home-dwelling time in response to the stay-at-home order, potentially leading to disparate exposures to the risk from the COVID-19. Our study reveals that the long-standing inequity issue in the U.S. stands in the way of the effective implementation of social distancing measures. Policymakers need to carefully evaluate the inevitable trade-off among different groups, making sure the outcomes of their policies reflect the interests of the socially disadvantaged groups.

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