Geographia Polonica (2021) vol. 94, iss. 3

Social response and spatial mobility change due to COVID-19 pandemic in Poland

Joanna Stępień, Tomasz Michalski, Jakub Grabowski, Przemysław Waszak, Maja Grabkowska, Aleksandra Macul, Jakub Jan Rojek

Geographia Polonica (2021) vol. 94, iss. 3, pp. 381-396 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0210

As global communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increasing emphasis on public health strategies, like implementation of ‘lockdowns’, closure of educational institutions and offices, cancellation of events, and enforcement of social distancing measures to slow the rate of transmission. The main objective of this article is to find out how the public health interventions and national lockdown affected people’s perception and attitudes to limited mobility and how people reacted by their spatial mobility behaviours in new reality of the first weeks of COVID-19 pandemic in Poland. The study is based on the on-line survey research conducted among Polish residents supplemented by the analysis of data on changes in the spatial mobility based on Google dataset. The obtained results highlight high level of self-discipline in the populationin response to restrictions and social distancing obligations, and as a result significantly lower spatial mobility level, before the restrictions began to be lifted. The size of the respondents’ place of residence had the greatest impact on changes in spatial mobility.

Keywords: social response, spatial mobility change, COVID-19 pandemic, Poland

Joanna Stępień [joanna.stepien@ug.edu.pl], Department of Socio-Economic Geography, Institute of Geography University of Gdańsk, Bażyńskiego 4, 80-952 Gdańsk: Poland
Tomasz Michalski [tomasz.michalski@ug.edu.pl], Department of Regional Development, Institute of Geography University of Gdańsk, Bażyńskiego 4, 80-952 Gdańsk: Poland
Jakub Grabowski [jakub.grabowski@gumed.edu.pl], Department of Developmental Psychiatry, Psychotic and Geriatric Disorders Medical University of Gdańsk, Skłodowskiej-Curie 3a, 80-210 Gdańsk: Poland
Przemysław Waszak [p.waszak@gumed.edu.pl], Department of Hygiene & Epidemiology, Department of Developmental Psychiatry, Psychotic and Geriatric Disorders Medical University of Gdańsk, Skłodowskiej-Curie 3a, 80-210 Gdańsk: Poland
Maja Grabkowska [maja.grabkowska@ug.edu.pl], Department of Socio-Economic Geography, Institute of Geography University of Gdańsk, Bażyńskiego 4, 80-952 Gdańsk: Poland
Aleksandra Macul [aleksandramacul@gumed.edu.pl], Adult Psychiatry Scientific Circle, Department of Developmental Psychiatry, Psychotic and Geriatric Disorders Medical University of Gdańsk, Skłodowskiej-Curie 3a, 80-210 Gdańsk: Poland
Jakub Jan Rojek [jakubjanrojek@gumed.edu.pl], Adult Psychiatry Scientific Circle, Department of Developmental Psychiatry, Psychotic and Geriatric Disorders Medical University of Gdańsk, Skłodowskiej-Curie 3a, 80-210 Gdańsk: Poland