Shock (Im)mobilities

Shock (Im)mobilities

Shock (im)mobilities are dramatic incidents of mobilities and immobility caused by acute disruptions and uncertainties. The COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, led to lockdowns of unprecedented scale, which, in turn, triggered panicked flights in many instances. The patterns, duration, density, demographic composition, and temporal dynamics of shock mobilities remain a black box in many cases.

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Following the COVID-19 outbreak, Turkey closed its borders and implemented stay-at-home measures, disproportionally impacting the livelihoods of daily-wage workers, seasonal workers, and refugees and asylum seekers in the informal sector. — Esra Demirkol
Despite its lax response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brazil has imposed harsher mobility restrictions on Venezuelan migrants. International relations, mobility regulations, and public health policies are deeply intertwined. — Jáfia Naftali Câmara
The pandemic appears as different shocks because it brings together multiple contradictions. Shocks induced migrants’ shock mobilities, but, more importantly, migrants’ shock mobilities created widespread shocks across society. — Ranabir Samaddar, Biao Xiang
To contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, the states were forced to tighten their borders. Closure of land borders within India became an increasing concern and witnessed unprecedented levels of mobility restrictions for the migrants. — S. Irudaya Rajan, H. Arokkiaraj
What does “public” mean in “public health” and “public crisis”? There are publics imagined from above (e.g. “Herd immunity”), and publics constituted from below (e.g. the migrant solidarity movement). — Ranabir Samaddar, Biao Xiang
Brazil and Paraguay’s widely different approaches to handling the COVID-19 pandemic led to humanitarian tensions at the border. When Paraguayans attempted to return to their country across the Ponte da Amizade, they were denied entry through closed borders and became stuck for days, ‘living’ on the international bridge. — Jáfia Naftali Câmara
Effective mobility restrictions rely on organized mobilities that ensure the delivery of essential goods and services whenever needed. Widespread socioeconomic security amongst residents is another precondition for a lockdown to work. So what would happen if mobility restrictions are imposed in a society that lack these capabilities to sustain immobility? How do we measure for those capabilities? — Jelena Dzankic, Timothy Jacob-Owens, Lorenzo Piccoli, Biao Xiang
The World Health Organization's International Health Regulations (2005) required countries to seek approval from WHO before halting international flights, otherwise deeming such activity a violation of international law. However, this rule is very likely to be changed at the 74th World Health Assembly (24 May-1 June 2021), despite support from previous research. What kinds of travel restrictions were imposed in different parts of the world during the pandemic—and how and what were the consequences? — Jelena Dzankic, Timothy Jacob-Owens, Lorenzo Piccoli, Biao Xiang
The Kuwaiti government offers amnesty to undocumented workers in order for them to return to their home countries, but provides insufficient facilities for those waiting to return. The slowness of response from the Indian government prolongs the migrants’ plight. — S. Irudaya Rajan, H. Arokkiaraj
In March 2020 the Russian government introduced quarantine measures, suspended non-essential business activities, and closed borders. Hundreds of Central Asian migrant workers who headed home were stranded at the Russian-Kazakh border. — Nurlan Muminov
Patients rushed from one hospital to another seeking care in Dehli in April 2021 and in Wuhan, China, in February 2021. These frantic movements could save lives but also exacerbate infection and anxiety. What are the causes, and what could be alternative ways of channelling limited care resources?  — Mukta Naik, Biao Xiang
With COVID-19 restrictions hampering the mobility of humanitarian workers and emergency aid, Cyclone Harold and Super-cyclone Amphan have shown the importance of local coordination and training in order to build sustainable community resilience to natural disasters. — Will Jernigan
Constraints on public transport during the COVID-19 pandemic pushed many urban residents to travel in overcrowded vehicles, and even take to clandestine means. — Jáfia Naftali Câmara
Shock mobilities are sudden human movements in response to acute disruptions. They can be short lived, but may have long lasting impacts. — Biao Xiang
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