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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 45-46

The role of social capital in the implementation of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic

1 Department of Health Services Management, School of Health, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran
2 Department of Health Services Management, School of Management and Medical Information, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Date of Submission16-Aug-2020
Date of Acceptance20-Sep-2020
Date of Web Publication9-Feb-2021

Correspondence Address:
Mehran Alijanzadeh
School of Health, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/shb.shb_55_20

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How to cite this article:
Alijanzadeh M, Harati T. The role of social capital in the implementation of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Asian J Soc Health Behav 2021;4:45-6

How to cite this URL:
Alijanzadeh M, Harati T. The role of social capital in the implementation of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Asian J Soc Health Behav [serial online] 2021 [cited 2023 Dec 3];4:45-6. Available from: http://www.healthandbehavior.com/text.asp?2021/4/1/45/308813

Dear Editor,

Distance from society is an aspect of human behavior that is of special importance from an epidemiological point of view; therefore, distance from society is very important in humans due to the fight against some diseases. Reports indicate that small changes in human behavior can have major effects on disease transmission patterns during a global epidemic.[1] Research has shown that social distancing can control the epidemic to some extent and reduce the rate of onset of the epidemic.[2] Hence, until an effective vaccine or drug treatment for COVID-19 is available, individuals can protect themselves and others by social distancing. In addition, behavioral changes in the improvement of preventive behaviors, such as wearing a mask and hand washing, can control transmission and fight infectious diseases.[3] Therefore, research has emphasized the importance of improving preventive behaviors.[4],[5],[6],[7]

The scientific community has emphasized the importance of social distancing because the social distancing is a necessary and main strategy to reduce the prevalence of diseases. Hence, governments around the world have recommended or enforced guidelines to improve the situation in epidemics.[8] However, social distancing will have many economic and social effects on individuals and communities, including increased psychological distress.[9],[10],[11] In most countries exposed to the epidemic, authorities have taken steps to impose social distancing to control the virus and reduce mortality. Studies have shown that these government actions, along with public cooperation and social cohesion, can reduce the spread of the virus.[12],[13] Social capital represents the resources and benefits that individuals and groups gain through communication with others. Adherence to these shared values strengthens cooperation as well as real social relationships.[14] Therefore, the existence of social capital in society will be highly correlated with the observance of health laws. Distance from the community can reduce the spread of COVID-19 if the citizens follow this issue and implement their social distance in society.[15] For example, In the early stages of COVID-19, voluntary social distancing was higher in people who felt a more civic duty. The results of a study in the United States showed that the inter-social distancing was greater in areas with higher social capital.[16] This evidence points to the importance of social capital in designing public policy responses to epidemics. The implementation of social distancing in response to formal orders in areas where people were less involved in community activities and more willing to bear individual costs to participate in social goals goes further.[17] The “stay at home” policy has significantly helped reduce the COVID-19 epidemic. However, other interventions should be considered. Wearing a mask and hand washing are important interventions.[18]

Therefore, it can be argued that social capital in countries leads to a greater commitment of individuals to their own health and society. Thus, the role of social capital in improving the health status of society and reducing the burden of disease, especially in infectious diseases, is very important and prominent. Paying attention to this issue in the world will lead to a reduction in mortality and better disease control.

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  References Top

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Olivera-La Rosa A, Chuquichambi EG, Ingram GPD. Keep your (social) distance: Pathogen concerns and social perception in the time of COVID-19. Pers Individ Dif 2020;166:110200.  Back to cited text no. 18

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