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System dynamics analysis of COVID-19 prevention and control strategies

Shuwei Jia, Yao Li & Tianhui Fang

 Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2022


The COVID-19 pandemic now affects the entire world and has many major effects on the global economy, environment, health, and society. Focusing on the harm COVID-19 poses for human health and society, this study used system dynamics to establish a prevention and control model that combines material supply, public opinion dissemination, public awareness, scientific and technological research, staggered work shifts, and the warning effect (of law/policy). Causal loop analysis was used to identify interactions between subsystems and explore the key factors affecting social benefit. Further, different scenarios were dynamically simulated to explore optimal combination modes. The main findings were as follows: (1) The low supervision mode will produce a lag effect and superimposed effect on material supply and impede social benefit. (2) The strong supervision mode has multiple performances; it can reduce online public opinion dissemination and the rate of concealment and false declaration and improve government credibility and social benefit. However, a fading effect will appear in the middle and late periods, and over time, the effect of strong supervision will gradually weaken (but occasionally rebound) and thus require adjustment. These findings can provide a theoretical basis for improving epidemic prevention and control measures.