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Author:Michelangelo Paganopoulos (Ton Duc Thang University, Vietnam)
Paper short abstract:
This overview of the mathematical models used at LSHTM as they emerged out of the Covid-19 crisis highlights methodological and ethical issues in the implementation of data as public health policy.
Paper long abstract:
In proposing a collaborative role for anthropology in the post-Covid-19 world society, this paper looks at how the integration between epidemiology and anthropology emerges in real time as a necessity during and through the global crisis brought by the pandemic. The underlying hypothesis of the paper is that the ambiguities in information given to the public, along with delays in seeing the results of counter-measures, the lack of equipment, and general unpreparedness to combat the spreading of the disease, reflect upon deeper methodological and ethical issues in the processes of integration of epidemiology and anthropology via the enlargement of ethnography on a global scale. In these terms, the paper theoretically sketches the "third space" of Covid-19 as a contested arena in which knowledge still emerges in the "meantime", the time in-between grounded truths and great events through which ethnographies emerge out of the circumstances (Fischer 2018). In doing so, the paper focuses on research conducted by the LSHTM's Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases (CMMID) in reference to previous research on Ebola in Africa and further research conducted in China and India on the pathogenic and socioeconomic consequences of the distribution of the virus. By investigating how gaps in methodology may correspond to gaps in public policy, the paper examines the emerging processes of integration and enlargement between social epidemiology and culturally oriented medical anthropology.