Real time monitoring of the evolution of an epidemic regarded as a physical relaxation process

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Epidemic, COVID-19, Complex systems, Hierarchical organization


The emergence of an epidemic evokes the need to monitor its spread and assess and validate any mitigation measures enacted by governments and administrative bodies in real time. We present here a method based on previous models of relaxation in fractal structures to observe and quantify this spread and the response of affected populations and governing bodies, and apply it to COVID-19 as a case study. This method provides means to simultaneously track in real time quantities such as the mortality and the recovery rates as well as the number of new infections caused by an infected person. With sufficient data, this method enables thorough monitoring and assessment of an epidemic without ad-hoc assumptions regarding the evolution of the pandemic in the future.