At the time of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Poland, many scientists from the University of Silesia representing various fields of science began research on the impact of COVID-19 on selected spheres of social life. The area of their research interests mostly focuses on school education, interpersonal relations, religion and its relations with compliance with restrictions, as well as the impact of the disease on the human respiratory system and speech.
The results of the study were presented in the video entitled “University Research in the Context of the Pandemic – the Impact of the Pandemic on Society”, available on the university’s YouTube channel. It was created as part of the project entitled “Science Closer to You – promotion of the effects of scientific and research activity of the University of Silesia”, the aim of which is to popularise the scientific achievements of university employees and the research they conduct.
Arkadiusz Rojczyk, PhD, DLitt, Associate Professor from the Institute of Linguistics presented the results of the study on the influence of COVID-19 on various aspects of human functioning, including the respiratory system and speech. Speech diagnostics carried out by a team of scientists have shown that difficulties in expression and articulating thoughts may be caused by the changes in the brain resulting from the disease. Scientists from the University of Silesia are currently working on rehabilitation methods for people struggling with similar problems.
In turn, Irena Przybylska, PhD, DLitt, Associate Professor from the Institute of Pedagogy, presented the results of the study conducted in the field of education. The data collected by the researchers revealed problems connected with the education system (not necessarily caused by the pandemic itself and the distance learning it enforced). You can read more about the results of the research on the education system in the article entitled “Distance learning in Silesia during the second wave of the pandemic”.
University employees also studied how the pandemic affected our mental health. Marcin Moroń, PhD, from the Institute of Psychology presented the conclusions of the scientists who conducted reserach on emotional responses of isolated or struggling with COVID-19 people. Moroń, PhD, talked about the ways of dealing with stress in crisis situations in an interview entitled “Nowa Nadzieja” (New Hope) published in the October issue of “Gazeta Uniwersytecka UŚ (University of Silesia Magazine)” 2021, No. 11.
Agnieszka Turska-Kawa, PhD, DLitt, Associate Professor from the Institute of Political Science and Irena Pilch PhD, DLitt, Associate Professor from the Institute of Psychology conducted a research on the influence of religiousness of the citizens on their complience with pandemic restrictions. The collected results show that religiousness significantly strengthened the acceptance of more controversial restrictions, such as forced labour in some places of employment during the pandemic. According to Prof. Turska-Kawa, the reason for this attitude is the faithful trust in the church and strong position of the hierarchs of the Catholic Church in Poland.
The project entitled “Science Closer to You – promotion of the effects of scientific and research activity of the University of Silesia” was co-financed from the programme entitled “Scientific Social Responsibility” of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. You can read more about the project on the website.
Photo from the video “University Research in the Context of the Pandemic – the Impact of the Pandemic on Society”