Resilience of Built and Natural Environments in Pandemic Control
Changes in climate impact many infectious diseases, depending on the type, size and mode of transmission of the microbe. Climate and environmental changes also influence animal habitat, which can affect the occurrence of infectious diseases in humans. Developing a monitoring system for hot zones in a community is one way high-risk areas can be identified earlier to assess health status and trends in disease incidence.
Pandemics nearly always include a component of quarantine, which pose unique and significant threats to the health and quality of life of older adults. COVID-19, with its high mortality and morbidity toll in the older adult population, presented even more of a challenge in that regard. Investigating the impact of the pandemic on two critical issues for older adults, aging-in-place and the built environment, will help identify the short- and long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2.
COVID-19 has illuminated the deep relationship between health and the built environment, and the the challenges of the pandemic have forced our built environment to respond and change in entirely new ways. Developing new technologies and processes to reduce the spread of infectious diseases in buildings will allow the built environment to become part of the solution for future pandemics.