Dangerous ideas: at the cutting edge of our knowledge
In Australia, COVID-19 intervention policies centered on strict travel restrictions and gathering size limits, which persisted in an elimination mode until the introduction of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2. While effective at preventing transmission of the virus, these policies accrued enormous economic, social, and human costs. While it is clear that the distributions of these costs were not uniform in the population, characterising this inequity is a challenge. In this talk I will discuss two studies in which the distribution of these impacts was measured through surrogate indicators (travel rates and home internet usage) and examined as a function of socioeconomic factors. I will then describe an agent-based modelling framework that me and my team are currently developing in order to simulate the behavioural response to interventions.
Cameron Zachreson is Research Fellow with the School of Computing and Information Systems at The University of Melbourne. His role focuses on the development and analysis of computational models capturing the salient features of infectious disease dynamics.
In general, his research applies agent-based modelling to studies of complex systems to understand emergence of collective group behaviour from the interactions of individuals. He is interested in human behavioural dynamics, especially in the context of complex interventions or crisis scenarios such as pandemics or natural disasters. In reflection on the many natural experiments of the COVID-19 pandemic, he is developing a new focus on the incorporation of ethical theories into policy-relevant modelling practices.