A model for social spreading of Covid-19: Cases of Mexico, Finland and Iceland

Rafael A. Barrio*, Kimmo K. Kaski, Guđmundur G. Haraldsson, Thor Aspelund, Tzipe Govezensky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

The shocking severity of the Covid-19 pandemic has woken up an unprecedented interest and accelerated effort of the scientific community to model and forecast epidemic spreading to find ways to control it regionally and between regions. Here we present a model that in addition to describing the dynamics of epidemic spreading with the traditional compartmental approach takes into account the social behaviour of the population distributed over a geographical region. The region to be modelled is defined as a two-dimensional grid of cells, in which each cell is weighted with the population density. In each cell a compartmental SEIRS system of delay difference equations is used to simulate the local dynamics of the disease. The infections between cells are modelled by a network of connections, which could be terrestrial, between neighbouring cells, or long range, between cities by air, road or train traffic. In addition, since people make trips without apparent reason, noise is considered to account for them to carry contagion between two randomly chosen distant cells. Hence, there is a clear separation of the parameters related to the biological characteristics of the disease from the ones that represent the spatial spread of infections due to social behaviour. We demonstrate that these parameters provide sufficient information to trace the evolution of the pandemic in different situations. In order to show the predictive power of this kind of approach we have chosen three, in a number of ways different countries, Mexico, Finland and Iceland, in which the pandemics have followed different dynamic paths. Furthermore we find that our model seems quite capable of reproducing the path of the pandemic for months with few initial data. Unlike similar models, our model shows the emergence of multiple waves in the case when the disease becomes endemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126274
Number of pages11
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Volume582
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Epidemiological modelling
  • Geographical spread
  • Non linear dynamics
  • Pandemics
  • Social behaviour
  • Stochastic processes

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