On the Shape of Epidemics
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Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our societies and re-shaped the way we go about our day-to-day lives—from how we work and interact to the way we buy groceries and attend school. Leveraging global data sets that represent billions of people, I will present a series of studies demonstrating how our behavior, mobility, and social network patterns have altered and been altered by COVID-19 and the non-pharmaceutical interventions implemented to control its spread. Next, I will examine how we can better incorporate stochasticity, social network heterogeneity, link directionality, and mechanistic uncertainty into infectious disease models. Finally, with these results, I will demonstrate how the complexity of epidemics recapitulates well-known epistemological challenges in the study of socio-biological systems.