Special Issue "Life in the Time of a Pandemic: Social, Economic, Health and Environmental Impacts of COVID-19—Systems Approach Study"
A special issue of Systems (ISSN 2079-8954).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021).
Interests: systems thinking and system dynamics; climate change risk assessment; water, energy and climate nexus; decision support systems; integrated participatory modelling; modelling of socioeconomic/ecological systems
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
2. Coastal and Marine Research Centre (Adjunct), Griffith University, Queensland, Australia
Interests: systems thinking and system dynamics; coastal science; process-based modelling of socioecological systems; decision support systems; apps in research
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
As of mid-March 2020, the confirmed cases of COVID-19, also known colloquially as ‘coronavirus’, had surpassed 400,000, and 19,500 recorded deaths had been recorded across the globe. In many countries, the number of identified cases as well as the number of deaths are increasing an exponential rate. Life around the world is changing drastically as COVID-19 interferes with all aspects of life.
The role of governments around the world is aimed at containing and reducing the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19; however, their respective responses have not been consistent. Aggressive measures imposed by some governments have resulted in ‘complete lockdown’ that has disrupted all facets of life and poses massive health, social, and financial impacts. Other countries, however, are taking a more ‘wait and see’ approach in an attempt to maintain ‘business as usual’.
COVID-19 has forced governments to impose new rules and restrictions affecting our safety and liberty. People around the world have begun distancing themselves (social distancing) from their friends and families and avoiding public places (self-isolation). The movement restrictions have already affected 1.5 billion people around the world, and this number is likely to increase as countries progressively introduce stricter responses to the virus. Prolonged lockdowns without certainty about their duration coupled with the loss of income and social cohesion are likely to cause anxiety and stress that could lead to serious mental health problems.
As the confirmed cases and the death toll in many countries continue to rise, the pandemic is also impacting many industries due to reduced demand and supply shortages, exacerbated by the heavy reliance on global supply chains and the panic buying that has been observed in many communities, adding to greater uncertainty over the global economy. The economic downturn could cost millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in lost GDP globally. People working in service industries, such as restaurants, retail, and tourism, are particularly vulnerable to the global shutdown of international and national borders and self-isolation that is unfolding. A sharp rise in job loss has the potential to trigger a major crash in the property market, resulting in a housing crisis.
Collectively, these challenges reflect a super wicked problem that places immense pressure on economies and societies and requires the strategic management of health systems to avoid them being overwhelmed—this has been linked to the public mantra of ‘flattening the curve’, which acknowledges that while the pandemic cannot be stopped, its impact can be regulated so that the number of cases at any given time is not beyond the capacity of the health system. There is also awareness that this super wicked problem is characterised by nonlinear behaviour (i.e., the prevalence of the term ‘exponential growth’ and ‘doubling time’ in the media) and delays (i.e., the prevalence of discussion regarding the implications of acting now or later; the flattening of the curve).
Simulation modelling using systems thinking/system dynamics is a framework that can be used as a lens for understanding and providing informed knowledge on COVID-19. It is a framework that naturally facilitates the understanding/exploring of complex problems, of searching and finding the best option(s) from all practical solutions where time dynamics are essential.
The SI editors invite submission of papers that provide research insights into this super wicked problem and case studies exploring the interactions between social, economic, environmental, and health factors through the use of a systems approach. We welcome papers from a wide range of topics including impacts of COVID-19 on socioeconomic systems; identification and analysis of high-leverage strategies for preventing COVID-19; effective control strategies of the COVID-19 by considering social, economic, and environmental factors; and papers that contribute to the discourse and understanding the dynamics of the super wicked problem that is COVID-19.
Dr. Oz Sahin
Dr. Russell Richards
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Systems is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Systems models for COVID-19
- System dynamics modelling for COVID-19
- Decision support tools for COVID-19
- Climate change adaptation planning for water systems
- Systems methods and tools for understanding COVID-19 impacts
- The resilience of communities/nations in the face of COVID-19 pandemic