Chris Harkins, Senior Public Health Research Specialist, Glasgow Centre for Population Health
History tells us that pandemics, such as COVID-19, do not affect all communities or social groups equally. Attention must be paid to the differential impacts on different groups and communities or approaches to prevent the spread of the disease will not only be hindered but will also exacerbate existing health inequalities. It is crucial and timely to emphasise the concepts of community recovery and resilience within the narratives surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
This report by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) presents an initial rapid review of available and related evidence which is designed to be a timely support to the developing understanding of community recovery and resilience in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This evidence review is structured around three sections:
- Section 1: Identifies communities and population sub-groups with additional vulnerability to COVID-19, including the unintended impacts resulting from disease containment policy.
- Section 2: Focuses on the mental health and psychological impacts of COVID-19 (and related coronaviruses) and how these can be mitigated as part of community recovery.
- Section 3: Explores the broader potential characteristics of community recovery from the current pandemic and how future resilience can be fostered.
An overarching message in the report is that approaches to promote community recovery and resilience in response to COVID-19 must incorporate the views, insights and wisdom of community members and those identified as having additional vulnerability to the disease.
What is also clear is that a commitment to effective and transformational community recovery from COVID-19 is a commitment to equality, inclusion and the development of a range of responses and modifications to existing services that is sensitive to vulnerable groups.