2020/27 LEM Working Paper Series

Assessing the Impact of Social Network Structure on the Diffusion of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): A Generalized Spatial SEIRD Model

Giorgio Fagiolo
Corona Virus Disease; COVID-19; Diffusion Models on Networks; Spatial SEIRD Models.

  JEL Classifications
C64, D85
In this paper, I study epidemic diffusion in a generalized spatial SEIRD model, where individuals are initially connected in a social or geographical network. As the virus spreads in the network, the structure of interactions between people may endogenously change over time, due to quarantining measures and/or spatial-distancing policies. I explore via simulations the dynamic properties of the co-evolutionary process dynamically linking disease diffusion and network properties. Results suggest that, in order to predict how epidemic phenomena evolve in networked populations, it is not enough to focus on the properties of initial interaction structures. Indeed, the co-evolution of network structures and compartment shares strongly shape the process of epidemic diffusion, especially in terms of its speed. Furthermore, I show that the timing and features of spatial-distancing policies may dramatically influence their effectiveness.
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