About this Research Topic
The present COVID-19 pandemic is challenging each of us and society in unique ways. One positive outcome, however, is the extraordinary effort being made to try and bridge the physical gap as a result of lock-down measures. So too in academia, international teams of researchers from universities and institutes across the globe are collaborating to try to better understand the effect of self-isolation and distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. On 22-24th July, Social BRIDGES (Building Research Interdisciplinary Groups through E-conferences) a virtual exchange was held presenting up-to-date research investigating how society, behavior and psychology are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies about the disruptive energies of the pandemic and the collective worldwide steps into the new normal were presented in three main sections:
1. Individual behavior during and after lock-down;
2. Doing things together during and after lock-down and
3. Mental health care: challenges and proposed solutions
Topics covered by a global line-up of 37 speakers spanning four continents included how we have adapted our individual and collective behavior during lock-down, and how policy has and should shift to increase community cohesion and promote adherence to measures alleviating the effects of the pandemic.
Questions that were posed included:
• How has (social) media consumption changed during lock-down? And how has it affected our well-being?
• How have changes in the amount and quality of our physical interactions impacted our mental health and well-being?
• How have we compensated for the effects of physical distancing?
• How has (large scale) data been collected during lock-down and how should it be analyzed?
• What differences can be observed in behavior and the impact of lock-down across cultures?
• What special populations are at particular risk of suffering from mental health issues resulting from lock-down?
• Perceived fear and threat: a tool to motivate pro-social behavior or a major driver of racial animus?
This Research Topic will serve to highlight the wide-ranging efforts that have been made to answer these and many other questions related to how we have dealt with and been affected by the COVID-19 lock-down. This conference-based collection therefore seeks papers that address the above topics, and especially welcome efforts that create bridges across disciplines and research domains. Article types can also include mini reviews, opinion pieces as well empirical studies and brief reports.
COVID-19 was unprecedented and presented us with unique challenges, which we are still learning how to address. Yet, it would be naive to assume that this pandemic is the last or the most severe global crisis we are to face. Understanding the dynamics of individual and group behavior as well as the well-being consequences of COVID-19 is thus crucial not only to foster more effective policies for this pandemic, but also to prepare for future crises that the humankind may encounter.
Keywords: COVID-19, mental health, policy, social norms, cross-cultural comparisons, coping, resilience, fear, stress, loneliness, emotion, pandemic, health crisis, wellbeing, social distancing, coronavirus
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.