Original Published Date: 
Thursday, July 16, 2020

Full article issued by The University of Sydney.

Epidemic research by a group of ARC-supported pandemic modellers led by The University of Sydney's Centre for Complex Systems Director, Professor Mikhail Prokopenko, suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic will not spell the end of globalisation and migration.

Disease outbreaks, civil unrest and war often bring about the biggest movements of people. The end of the Second World War saw the largest movement of people in Europe’s history, with millions settling in Australia in the decades following 1945.

In 2015-16, the Syrian conflict displaced over four million people who dispersed across the world seeking safety, while the Ebola crisis similarly saw both temporary and permanent relocation.

“While many countries’ borders are now closed, making migration virtually impossible, a post-pandemic world might look very different,” says Professor Prokopenko, who recently contributed to the G08 Covid-19 Federal Advisory report, Roadmap to Recovery.

“Our theoretical modelling suggested that, when faced with either threat or opportunity, people tend to avoid risks, seek an advantage, or both. One can stretch these scenarios and imagine how attractive a destination Australia may appear if the local transmission of COVID-19 is eliminated in our country," said Professor Prokopenko.

Photo credit: 

Image: Pxhere (Public Domain).