Padilla-Pozo’s work examines urban mobility patterns in Andalusia, Spain during the pandemic

When looking at mobility at the beginning of the pandemic lockdown, researchers have noted differences across sociodemographic groups in the ability to restrict mobility and avoid risk of exposure to COVID-19.

A new paper by Álvaro Padilla-Pozo (Cornell Soc) and co-authors asks, what happens to daily mobility patterns when restrictions were relaxed, though risk remained ubiquitous?

In this particular study, Padilla-Pozo et al. examine daily mobility in Andalusia, Spain, one and a half months after the 2020 lockdown, to examine how people’s movement changed as restrictions on mobility lessened (lifting of travel bans, curfews, etc.), while COVID-19 and its associated health risks remained pervasive.  This is referred to as the de-escalation period, “a time when moving was allowed but strongly discouraged from a political, social and public health perspective.”

In their research, Padilla-Pozo et al. examined which groups of people had greater daily mobility and what was motivating said movement, with a focus on how patterns of mobility change were structured by socioeconomic resources and social roles. 

Results show that mobility related to work and care responsibilities contributes to disparities in risk of exposure to COVID. Dissimilar to pre-pandemic times, this study found that people living with children and in extended households were less likely to move for caretaking purposes. 

Additionally, gender, age, and socioeconomic differences were found to be important variables in relation to mobility differences, with older people being the least mobile group, women being more likely to remain immobile, and nonqualified and manual workers being more likely to be highly mobile.

Read the full article in Population, Space and Place and learn more about how these important findings, of differences in mobility amongst various Andalusian groups, played out during the pandemic de-escalation period.

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Andulgasia, Spain