This Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) highlights the urgent need for social, behavioral, economic, health communication, and epidemiologic research relevant to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and COVID-19. This NOSI encourages urgent competitive supplements and administrative supplements to existing longitudinal studies that address key social and behavioral questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including adherence to and transmission mitigation from various containment and mitigation efforts; social, behavioral, and economic impacts from these containment and mitigation efforts; and downstream health impacts resulting from these social, behavioral, and economic impacts,including differences in risk and resiliency based on gender, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and other social determinants of health.
As people across the United States and the rest of the world respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of behavioral and social factors in health and illness is being highlighted. Most of the current mitigation efforts are non-pharmacological interventions grounded in social and behavioral principles of prevention (e.g. risk communication, handwashing adherence, physical distancing, working from home, paid sick leave). The evidence base for many of these containment and mitigation efforts is based on limited research from prior influenza and SARS epidemics. However, we have minimal experience with a pandemic of this scope and the impacts of these extensive containment and mitigation efforts on transmission rates. Moreover, we have limited understanding of the impact on the personal and economic costs and downstream health and well-being impacts such as suicide and mental health exacerbations, substance abuse, adoption or reduction in healthy lifestyle behaviors (e.g tobacco use, dietary and physical activity regimens), and stress-based physical disorders.