Reflections on the Impact of “Flatten the Curve” on Interdependent Workforce Sectors

Thu. 22 April 2021 12:00 pm

Speaker: Prof. Joost Santos, Ph.D.
Co-hosts: The Society for Risk Analysis Economics and Benefits Analysis Specialty Group (EBASG) and Engineering and Infrastructure Specialty Group (EISG)

The expression “flatten the curve” has gained significant attention in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea is to decrease and/or delay the peak of an epidemic wave so as not to strain or exceed the capacity of healthcare systems. There has been an increasing number of policy recommendations across the globe that favor the use of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to flatten the curve. NPIs encompass mitigation and suppression measures such as quarantine, travel restrictions, and business closures. This talk aims to provide perspectives on the impact of mitigation and suppression measures on interdependent workforce sectors. Reflections on the trade-offs between flattening the curve versus personal liberty and socioeconomic disparities are also presented.

Speaker’s Bio
Prof. Joost Santos is currently an associate professor in the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering at the George Washington University. His research interests lie at the intersection of systems engineering, disaster risk analysis, and economics. Prof. Santos is one of the principal investigators in the 2018 “Mitigation Saves Version 2.0” report that has been cited by many journals, news media, and research agencies across the world. He is also one of the principal investigators in an ongoing multi-university National Science Foundation grant: “CRISP 2.0 Type 2: Collaborative Research: Organizing Decentralized Resilience in Critical Interdependent-infrastructure Systems and Processes (ORDER-CRISP).” He has received two Best Paper awards from the Society for Risk Analysis, as well as the Leontief Memorial Prize from the International Input-Output Association.