PNAS paper featured in Science Magazine

December 8, 2020

Our paper exploring an awareness-driven behavior model of Covid-19, recently published in PNAS, was featured in Science Magazine. Professor Weitz was interviewed for the feature.

“Epidemics don’t necessarily have a single peak after which the risk subsides,” said Joshua Weitz, Patton Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences and founding director of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Quantitative Biosciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “People’s behaviors are both influenced by and influence epidemic dynamics, potentially driving plateaus, and oscillations in incidence.”

“If people are aware of the severity of the epidemic, they may change their behavior, and if they change their behavior, there will be fewer severe outcomes,” Weitz went on to describe. “But if awareness is short-term, individuals may tire of public health regulations and the virus will come roaring back. Instead of a single peak in cases, there can be plateaus or oscillations balanced between cautious behavior and relaxation.”