Professor Alex Pentland has been studying the effects of social distancing on the spread of COVID-19. His research papers on the topic can be found here. Additionally, he has established a COVID Observatory in conjunction with the World Bank, described as “a global collaboration tracking the real-time evolution of the covid-19 pandemic by quantifying social distancing and purchasing patterns.”
“Our objective is to provide a rapid assessment of the impact of social-distancing policies aimed at mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to quantify the extent to which changes in mobility, social interactions, and purchasing patterns relate to health and economic outcomes at a very high resolution,” according to the site.
The analysis will provide “key information to policymakers, in particular, on how to improve social distancing protocols and implement economic stimulus plans in a timely, efficient, and targeted way.” The related privacy issues will also be studied.
Pentland also participated in a webinar on April 16 entitled, “Look but don’t touch: (how) will social distancing work against COVID-19? “
Watch the video here.