COVID-19 and local community resilience in the Westfjords of Iceland.

Publication date: Dec 01, 2024

Remote Arctic communities have often been depicted as being particularly vulnerable to the challenges of disasters, with their location and lack of infrastructure exacerbating risk. This study explores the characteristics of local resilience in the Arctic using the case study of the communities of the north-western Westfjords. A total of 42 semi-structured interviews were carried out with various community members, seeking to uncover the features of inbuilt resilience that contribute to successes and vulnerabilities. These were transcribed, coded, and categorised in relation to an integrated framework for assessing community resilience in disaster management, which groups topics via the themes of environmental, social, governance, economic, and infrastructure. All themes played a role in the success of local coping strategies, with easy access to the natural environment central to physical and mental well-being. Despite this, vulnerabilities of the community were evident, including insufficient local healthcare workers during a severe COVID-19 outbreak in a care home, the absence of a local quarantine hotel, and insufficient information in foreign languages for non-natives of Iceland. The general trend of following rules and expert advice was demonstrative of strong social capital, with locals trusting those in charge, nationally and locally, to manage the pandemic.

Concepts Keywords
Arctic community
Covid environment
Environmental Pandemic
Interviews remoteness
Pandemic resilience


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
disease VO LACK
drug DRUGBANK Spinosad

Original Article

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