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Building a multisystemic understanding of societal resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic
  1. Didier Wernli1,
  2. Mia Clausin1,
  3. Nino Antulov-Fantulin2,
  4. John Berezowski3,
  5. Nikola Biller-Andorno4,
  6. Karl Blanchet5,
  7. Lucas Böttcher6,
  8. Claudine Burton-Jeangros7,
  9. Gérard Escher8,
  10. Antoine Flahault9,
  11. Keiji Fukuda10,
  12. Dirk Helbing2,
  13. Philip D Jaffé11,
  14. Peter Søgaard Jørgensen12,13,
  15. Yuliya Kaspiarovich1,
  16. Jaya Krishnakumar14,
  17. Roderick John Lawrence15,
  18. Kelley Lee16,
  19. Anaïs Léger1,
  20. Nicolas Levrat1,17,
  21. Romain Martischang18,
  22. Chantal M Morel1,
  23. Didier Pittet18,
  24. Maxime Stauffer19,20,
  25. Fabrizio Tediosi21,22,
  26. Flore Vanackere1,
  27. Jean-Dominique Vassalli23,24,
  28. Gaélane Wolff25,
  29. Oran Young26
  1. 1Geneva Transformative Governance Lab, Global Studies Institute, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  2. 2Computational Social Science, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  3. 3Vetsuisse Faculty, Veterinary Public Health Institute, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  4. 4Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  5. 5Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva and Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland
  6. 6Computational Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA
  7. 7Department of Sociology, School of Social Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  8. 8Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland
  9. 9Institute of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  10. 10School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China
  11. 11Interfaculty Center for Children's Rights Studies, Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  12. 12Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm, Sweden
  13. 13Global Economic Dynamics and the Biosphere, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden
  14. 14Institute of Economics and Econometrics, Geneva School of Economics and Management, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  15. 15Institute for Environmental Sciences, Geneva School of Social Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  16. 16Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
  17. 17Faculty of Law, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  18. 18Infection Control Programme, University of Geneva Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland
  19. 19Geneva Science Policy Interface, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  20. 20Simon Institute for Longterm Governance, Geneva, Switzerland
  21. 21Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland
  22. 22University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  23. 23Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  24. 24International Institute for the Rights of the Child, Sion, Switzerland
  25. 25Global Studies Institute, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  26. 26Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Didier Wernli; didier.wernli{at}unige.ch

Abstract

The current global systemic crisis reveals how globalised societies are unprepared to face a pandemic. Beyond the dramatic loss of human life, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered widespread disturbances in health, social, economic, environmental and governance systems in many countries across the world. Resilience describes the capacities of natural and human systems to prevent, react to and recover from shocks. Societal resilience to the current COVID-19 pandemic relates to the ability of societies in maintaining their core functions while minimising the impact of the pandemic and other societal effects. Drawing on the emerging evidence about resilience in health, social, economic, environmental and governance systems, this paper delineates a multisystemic understanding of societal resilience to COVID-19. Such an understanding provides the foundation for an integrated approach to build societal resilience to current and future pandemics.

  • COVID-19
  • health policy
  • health systems

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

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Footnotes

  • Twitter @BlanchetKarl, @FLAHAULT, @profplum8

  • Contributors DW did the background research, developed the successive drafts of the paper and designed figure 2. MC designed figure 1. All coauthors contributed content and comments to the paper.

  • Funding The development of this paper was partly funded through a grant from the Geneva Science Policy Interface (https://gspi.ch/). The paper has been written within the scope of the COVID-19 systemic project (Grant 31CA30_196396; https://data.snf.ch/covid-19/snsf/196396), which is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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