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.
- health policy
- health systems
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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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