COVID-19 Social Monitor
Real time monitoring of the impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the lives and the health of the Swiss population
Following the first major local outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the beginning of 2020, COVID-19, which is caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, has developed into a global pandemic within a few short weeks. Its effects have been enormous. On the one hand, the disease itself has caused numerous deaths and is an enormous burden on the health care systems of the affected countries. On the other hand, measures have had to be taken to contain the epidemic. These include restricting the mobility of residents (social distancing) and a ban on social gatherings, as well as closing schools, shops, restaurants, and other private and public meeting places: the so-called "lockdown".
Based on detailed information about the impact of these measures on the population, problems can be identified early and understood better. This includes, for example, aspects of social isolation, actual or anticipated job loss, effects on productivity, and the psychological effects of this extraordinary situation. The social and health changes in the population associated with the corona crisis can thus be described as they arise.
Our study continuously collects indicators on the well-being, physical and mental health, health behavior, and employment situation of the Swiss population. This enables changes over time and negative developments to be recognized at an early stage.
- In the short term, statements can be issued quickly on the effectiveness and immediate positive and negative effects of official measures to combat the coronavirus.
- In the medium term, the consequences of the COVID 19 crisis and public health measures on the health of the population can be determined (e.g., social isolation, physical and mental health, or restricted access to health care).
- In the long term, for example, the public acceptance of measures and their fine-tuning can be investigated. Important insights can be gained for dealing with a possible future epidemic.
Our indicators are collected regularly using a sample that is representative of the Swiss population. We regularly survey around 2,000 representatively selected participants of the LINK Internet panel. These are recruited by phone in the three language regions of Switzerland (i.e., German- and French-speaking Switzerland and Ticino).
We assess a number of established indicators of well-being, physical and mental health, activities, health care, employment, and health behavior.
We publish our results as soon as possible in order to provide the public, the scientific community, and the authorities with topical information on the broad impact that the coronavirus crisis and the related public health measures have on the lives and the health of the population. In this way, we aim to contribute to a better management of this extraordinary situation.
Marc Höglinger, ZHAW School of Management and Law, Winterthur Institute of Health Economics (WIG), Health Care Research
André Moser, University of Zurich, Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Maria Johanna Carlander, ZHAW School of Management and Law, Winterthur Institute of Health Economics (WIG), Health Care Research
Oliver Hämmig, University of Zurich, Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Simon Wieser, ZHAW School of Management and Law, Winterthur Institute of Health Economics (WIG), Health Care Research
Milo A. Puhan, University of Zurich, Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Team: Anja Collenberg, Stephanie Dosch, Klaus Eichler, Sarah Heiniger, Flurina Meier
We thank the participants of the survey for their great commitment.
The following persons have made an important professional contribution: Nico Ebert, Ben Jann, Christina Tzogiou, and Fabio Wasserfallen.
This project is supported by the Federal Office of Public Health and Health Promotion Switzerland.