Examining and Understanding the Dynamics of COVID-19 Pandemic and the Ecosystems Theory-Social Work Perspectives

Hope Attipoe


The novel COVID-19 has affected every aspect of our lives in tremendous and unimaginable ways. The systems impacted include healthcare, education, economy, employment, and social systems including children and families. It has also affected our political and legal systems including individual rights as well as national discourse and international travel and relations. The advent of this unique and extraordinary issue requires that professionals like social workers, doctors, counselors/therapists, and psychologists adapt their approaches, strategies, skills, services and interventions to better serve clients/patients and operate effectively in the new societal order. This article explores the effect and response to the COVID-19 Pandemic within the United States as well as in the global context and draw an analytical relationship between it and the ecosystems theory. Thus, using the conceptual framework of the ecosystems theory, I draw a relationship between human behavior and the social environment using anecdotal cases in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. I contend that the polarized reactions from certain groups of individuals in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and mask mandates are because people are social beings and are inextricably impacted by their social and ecological environment, as well as factors within this environment, and requires a special examination, understanding, knowledge, adaptation, and strategic approach. Finally, I recommend best practice intervention approaches to social workers who are interacting and intervening with, and/or providing services to these unique clients to support healthy working relationships, and to facilitate a formidable needs assessment that leads to a successful and safe interaction and intervention. 

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijsw.v9i1.19641


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