Regional public attention has been critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, impacting the effectiveness of sub-national non-pharmaceutical interventions. While studies have focused on public attention at the national level, sub-national public attention has not been well investigated. Understanding sub-national public attention can aid local governments in designing regional scientific guidelines, especially in large countries with substantial spatiotemporal disparities in the spread of infections. Here, we evaluated the online public attention to the COVID-19 pandemic using internet search data and developed a regional public risk perception index (PRPI) that depicts heterogeneous associations between local pandemic risk and public attention across 366 Chinese cities. We used the Bayesian Spatiotemporally Varying Coefficients (STVC) model, a full-map local regression for estimating spatiotemporal heterogeneous relationships of variables, and improved it to the Bayesian Spatiotemporally Interacting Varying Coefficients (STIVC) model to incorporate space–time interaction non-stationarity at spatial or temporal stratified scales. COVID-19 daily cases (median contribution 82.6%) was the most critical factor affecting public attention, followed by urban socioeconomic conditions (16.7%) and daily population mobility (0.7%). After adjusting national and provincial impacts, city-level influence factors accounted for 89.4% and 58.6% in spatiotemporal variations of public attention. Spatiotemporal disparities were substantial among cities and provinces, suggesting that observing national-level public dynamics alone was insufficient. Multi-period PRPI maps revealed clusters and outlier cities with potential public panic and low health literacy. Bayesian STVC series models are systematically proposed and provide a multi-level spatiotemporal heterogeneous analytical framework for understanding collective human responses to major public health emergencies and disasters.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||International journal of disaster risk reduction : IJDRR|
|State||Published - Jun 1 2022|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Safety Research
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology