COVID-19 - Coronavirus disease 2019

Containment and health measures to limit COVID-19 transmission: Social experiences in France, Italy and the USA in the time of a pandemic – COMESCOV

Submission summary

COMESCOV complements the AEC2-France project funded by REACTing. It is part of two axes of the ANR call: human and social dimensions of the response; preventive measures in health care settings and in population.
The objective is to document and analyse the social experience of sanitary measures (containment, isolation, distancing, protection) limiting the transmission of Covid19 in France, Italy and the USA. In a transdisciplinary and multi-site approach, we will address the interpretation, understanding, acceptability, compliance with recommendations, daily practices, adaptations or circumventions for different categories of people in times of pandemic. The speed and acceleration in changing instructions over a short period has confused social actors. Special attention will therefore be paid to the temporality of the social life of the measures from the phases of implementation, routinization, trivialization and end of containment to obtain a situated and contextualized understanding.
COMESCOV is part of the Anthropology of Emerging Epidemics Network (RAEE) coordinated by two IRD units. It compte150 Southern and Northern researchers. For example, several teams have worked in 5 countries on a Comparative Anthropology of Ebola (2014-16; Expertise France, Aviesan, Unicef). An intervention programme in line with the WHO's preparedness objective is working on how to co-construct resilience procedures for funeral rites in times of epidemics. Others, in this network, are working on the analysis of the sociological consequences of the epidemic among survivors; on amendments to the response tools; on pedagogical modules and training. These experiences will make it easier to co-construct operational and applied research.
The axes are
- Protection measures for hospital or private paramedical staff (with the French Red Cross Foundation ant association, and with the European Hospital)
- Social experiences of measures by institutional or citizen actors providing assistance to persons confined in vulnerable situations (CRF)
- Social experience of "classroom at home" and containment for children and parents (with schools and teachers)
- Construction of new sociabilities or professional, relational or playful activities
- Induced changes for funeral, burial and mortuary care (with the European Hospital)
In an interventional and participative logic, data will be collected using tools co-constructed with other teams (CORAF in Africa; CORACRISE of SESSTIM, Institut Pasteur-Red Cross Foundation Programme on volunteers, etc.) and especially partners in the field (French Red Cross Foundation ant association, White Cross in Italy, European Hospital, etc.). During the course of the programme, we will make contact with other institutions, collectives of social workers, citizen initiatives or individuals in support of people confined in situation of vulnerability.
The qualitative methods in social sciences will be observation (direct, remote, by delegation), field diary, ethnographic vignettes, individual and collective interviews, press and documentary reviews. Online and social media surveys, but also remote collection techniques (telephone, videoconferencing), will make it possible to overcome the constraints of confinement faced by researchers. The analyses will be refined by a comparative approach with work carried out in other contexts, previously or simultaneously, in both operational and fundamental terms. Permission to circulate will be requested when in situ surveys are imposed. Good ethical practices (adults and minors) and a data management plan are already defined.

Project coordination

MARC EGROT (Laboratoire Population-Environnement-Développement)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


CNE Centre Norbert Elias
LPED Laboratoire Population-Environnement-Développement

Help of the ANR 184,169 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: April 2020 - 18 Months

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