Tipping the scales: a theoretical model to describe the differential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mortality

Mor Saban, Vicki Myers, Osnat Luxenburg, Rachel Wilf-Miron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in changes in almost every aspect of life. The fatal consequences of the pandemic have been clearly reported, with direct and indirect effects; however, there is some evidence of a positive secondary impact, such as fewer motor accidents, lower influenza burden and reduced air pollution. Methods/model: We present a model to describe the differing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mortality, taking into account external pressures and internal resources and their relationship with resilience and health behaviors, which affect mortality risk, inspired by elements of the salutogenic model. Individuals with lower resources and from more deprived communities are likely to be more negatively affected by the external changes occurring, while those with more resources may be more likely to experience the benefits. Both individual and community resources affect coping and influence both mental and physical health. Conclusions: Decision makers should consider ways to incorporate the positive changes which occurred as part of the exit strategy. Societies should invest in building resources to improve both individual and community resilience to help people be better prepared and more able to cope and adapt in times of crisis. Special emphasis should be given to weaker populations most affected by external changes, including older people, low socioeconomic groups, those with mental health issues and minority groups, in order to reduce disparities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140
JournalInternational Journal for Equity in Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Covid-19
  • Health behavior
  • Model
  • Morality
  • Pandemic
  • Resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Tipping the scales: a theoretical model to describe the differential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mortality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this