A snapshot of a pandemic: The interplay between social isolation and COVID-19 dynamics in Brazil
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In response to the coronavirus pandemic, governments implemented social distancing, attempting to block the virus spread within territories. While it is well accepted that social isolation plays a role in epidemic control, the precise connections between mobility data indicators and epidemic dynamics are still a challenge. In this work, we investigate the dependency between a social isolation index and epidemiological metrics for several Brazilian cities. Classic statistical methods are employed to support the findings. As a first, initially surprising, result, we illustrate how there seems to be no apparent functional relationship between social isolation data and later effects on disease incidence. However, further investigations identified two regimes of successful employment of social isolation: as a preventive measure or as a remedy, albeit remedy measures require greater social isolation and bring higher burden to health systems. Additionally, we exhibit cases of successful strategies involving lockdowns and an indicator-based mobility restriction plan.