The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been deep and wide. In spite of unprecedented efforts to understand the COVID-19 disease and its causative virus SARS-CoV-2, months after the emergence of the first local case in Europe (San Matteo hospital, Pavia, 21st February 2020) significant knowledge gaps persist. While social and natural scientists managed to develop new research and shed light on the dynamics of the outbreak and the most effective possible containment measures, governments have been increasingly faced with the need to adopt urgent decisions. Against this background, PERISCOPE plans to contribute to a dramatically deeper understanding of the dynamics of the outbreak, by means of an intense multi-disciplinary research, both theoretical and experimental, and the consideration of different viewpoints: clinic and epidemiologic; humanistic and psychologic; socio-economic and political; statistical and technological.
The overarching objectives of PERISCOPE are to map and analyse the unintended impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak; develop solutions and guidance for policymakers and health authorities on how to mitigate the impact of the outbreak; enhance Europe’s preparedness for future similar events; and reflect on the future multi-level governance in the health as well as other domains affected by the outbreak. In pursuing this objective, PERISCOPE sheds new light on the unintended and indirect consequences of the outbreak and the related government responses, with the intention to preserve evidence-based policymaking by collecting an unprecedented amount of data and information on the social, economic and behavioural consequences of the current pandemic. At the same time, PERISCOPE will produce new information on the conditions that led to the impact of the pandemic, the differences in “policy mix” adopted at the national level in EU and associated countries, and the behavioural impacts of both the outbreak and the policies adopted.