The recent COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant societal impacts. Besides loss of life there were large additional costs incurred by every country including the treatment of patients and costs to implement response plans. The pandemic resulted in major economic disruptions and stalled growth worldwide due to travel bans, lockdowns, social distancing, and non-essential business closures. Public health officials in almost every country implemented and encouraged Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) such as contact tracing, social distancing, masks, and isolation. Human behavioral decision-making concerning social isolation was a major hindrance to the success in curbing the pandemic worldwide. In many developing countries individuals’ choices were motivated by the competing risk of losing jobs, and daily income. In this chapter we focus on human behavior concerning social isolation in the context of decision-making during the pandemic. We developed a conceptual framework and deterministic model that integrated evolutionary game theory within our disease transmission model. We illustrate scenarios numerically simulating the model. This study highlights the idea that human behavior is an important component in successful disease control strategies. Economic resilience, especially in low-income countries, can improve public understanding and uptake of NPIs.
Part of the book: Current Perspectives on Viral Disease Outbreaks