Research Insights About Covid-19

We attempt to provide selected highlights in recent research findings

Last Update on 1 December 2020

July 2020

July 28, 2020 (Asia-Pacific Journal of Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation and Technology)

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sports and exercise

Ashley Ying-Ying Wong, Samuel Ka-Kin Ling, Lobo Hung-Tak Louie

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214687320300674

How effective is wearing a facemask for sportspersons during outdoor activities? Participation in sports and exercise, typically regarded as healthy activities, were also debated. Large spectating crowds and players are potential infectious hazards. Wong et al analyse video footage of professional football players to track each players’ time of close body contact and frequency of infection-risky behaviours. A controlled lab study on volunteers to investigate the physiological effect of wearing a facemask during exercise. This suggests that the infection risk was high for the players, even without spectators. The laboratory study to investigate the physiological effect of wearing a facemask found that it significantly elevated heart rate and perceived exertion.

July, 2020   (Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives)
Responsible Transport: A post-COVID agenda for transport policy and practice

Lucy Budd, Stephen Ison

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trip.2020.100151

The pandemic has created an urgent reconsideration of transport and its contribution to post-COVID economic recovery. This piece proposes a new concept of Responsible Transport to help educate and shape our transport policy and practice. This proposal has the novel aspect that it incorporates not only environmental sustainability but also includes considerations of individual and community health and wellbeing. Furthermore, it stresses the role of the individual as a responsible autonomous actor participating in socially desired transport outcomes. This pandemic presents an opportunity for us to reconfigure future transport policy and practice.

 

July 24 2020  (Science)

Ecology and economics for pandemic prevention

Andrew P. Dobson, Stuart L. Pimm, Lee Hannah et al

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/369/6502/379.full

The authors recognize they have provided no more than a sketch of the key components of an economically feasible set of ecological pandemic prevention strategies. Limits on the availability of information limit the ability to conduct a more exhaustive analysis. Instead, readily available information is tallied to evaluate how likely it is that an investment of the costs of pandemic prevention would yield positive net benefits to the world.

July 21, 2020 (JAMA)

Health Care Policy After the COVID-19 Pandemic

Victor R. Fuchs

https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.10777

This Viewpoint discusses the necessity and prospects for health care reform in the wake of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, reviewing policy options to fund universal coverage, incentivize efficiencies, and reduce political opposition to change.

 

July 21 2020  (Progress in Decision Science)

Effects of misinformation on COVID-19 individual responses and recommendations for resilience of disastrous consequences of misinformation

Zapan Barua, Sajib Barua, Salma Aktar

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2590061720300569

This poorly edited study employs a conceptual framework to assess the effects of misinformation on individual responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors conclude “Future studies are encouraged to include a large number of samples (because current study considered only 483 sample) from multiple countries since the COVID-19 is a global issue. Further, the study reports a strong relationship between predictors variables and endogenous constructs. In that case it can be better to include mediating or moderating variables like involvement recognition, situational motivation, in the model in order to produce more generalized deeper insights since by referring Baron and Kenny [1], Barua et al. [2] noted that in the presence of the strong relationship between exogenous and criterion construct, introduction of mediating variables is better to explore deeper understandings”.

July 20 2020  (Big Data and Society)

Going viral: How a single tweet spawned a COVID-19 conspiracy theory on Twitter

Anatoliy Gruzd, Philip Mai

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2053951720938405

This article addresses how the rise of the #FilmYourHospital conspiracy from a single tweet demonstrates the ongoing challenge of addressing false, viral information during the COVID-19 pandemic. It notes that while the spread of misinformation can potentially be mitigated by fact-checking and by directing people to credible sources of information from public health agencies, neverthe less, false and misleading claims that are driven by politics and supported by strong convictions and not science, are much harder to counter.

 

 

July 8 2020  (Asian Ethnicity)

Many-faced orientalism: racism and xenophobia in a time of the novel coronavirus in Chile

Carol Chan & Maria Montt Strabucchi

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14631369.2020.1795618

This article relates how the COVID-19 pandemic has provoked an abrupt increase in specific older patterns of representations of Chineseness, anti-Chinese racism, and anti-China sentiments in Chile. Sadly, it reveals the superficial and problematic nature of the Chilean government’s recent efforts to respond.

 

July 10, 2020 (The Lancet Digital Health)

Machine learning for COVID-19—asking the right questions

Patrik Bachtiger, Nicholas S Peters, Simon LF Walsh

Enthusiasm around around machine learning-based technology in medical imaging has been present even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this pandemic, chest x-ray and CT have quickly produced a large amount of data on COVID-19, enabling the development of machine learning algorithms, a form of artificial intelligence (AI). However, the question remains as to how many of these applications will prove to be clinically useful. In this article, the authors discuss questions s that need to be answered whilst developing machine learning algorithms.

 

July 2020  (Brain, Behavior, and Immunity)

Sentiment analysis of social media response on the Covid19 outbreak

Muzafar Bhat, Monisa Qadri, Noor-ul-Asrar Beg et al

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159120307091

In this short article the authors note that the COVID-19 pandemic has been the most trending and talked about issue online ever since it was first reported in the last week of February 2020 [sic]. For netizens, social media have become a significant interface to share vital information and also a potent space of any misinformation for many users around the world. Through an AI supported analysis of 92,646 and 85,513 tweets with hashtags #COVID-19 and #Coronavirus it was observed that most of the tweets i.e. 48,157 (51.97%) expressed positive sentiments, while 31,553 (34.05%) were neutral and rest of the tweets-amounting to 12,936 (13.96%) – accounted for negative sentiments in case of #COVID-19.

The authors conclude that despite being stressed and under lockdown, netizens appreciated the efforts of their respective governments and frontline warriors like the health workers, police personnel, etc.

 

July 9, 2020 (NEJM)

Disease Control, Civil Liberties, and Mass Testing — Calibrating Restrictions during the Covid-19 Pandemic

David M. Studdert, Mark A. Hall

https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMp2007637

This short reflective piece considers civil liberties aspects of testing. “To be sure, testing itself is an intrusion” state the authors. However, while they conclude that In ordinary times, a comprehensive program of testing, certification, and retesting would be beyond the pale, nevertheless it seems like a fair price to pay for safely and fairly resuming a semblance of normal life.

 

July 9  2020  (Health Information & Libraries Journal)

Global responses of health science librarians to the COVID‐19 (Corona virus) pandemic: a desktop analysis

Mayank Yuvaraj

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/hir.12321

This paper uses the method of desktop analysis of the websites of selected library associations to identify the responses of health science librarians to the COVID‐19 pandemic. The study highlights significant initiatives taken by some health science librarians which can be replicated by others to meet the needs of library users in the COVID‐19 health crisis. While the paper notes that Elsevier has created a Novel Coronavirus Information Center to provide free information related to SARS‐CoV‐2 and COVID‐19 it fails to identify the covid-19bibliometric site which you are now accessing.

 

July 7, 2020 (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)

Economic and social consequences of human mobility restrictions under COVID-19

Giovanni Bonaccorsi, Francesco Pierri, Matteo Cinelli et al.

https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2007658117

To what extent personal freedom of choice (liberty) ought to be restricted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?  The authors suggest several ways to  assess public policies to control COVID-19. They propose a model to prioritize the admission of COVID-19 patients to hospital and a second model to evaluate the desired social choices. They also examine the suggestion that the lockdown of communities is a better method to control the spread of COVID-19. They then outline some factors that could obstruct economic recovery, especially the moral and ethical questions raised by policies to control it.

Jul 4 2020  (Public Health)

COVID19, race and public health

A.C.K. Lee, N.A.Alwan, J.R.Morling

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033350620302900

This is an editorial piece that highlights the underlying / structural aspects of race and inequality in healthcare which has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They state that racism “is a systemic cancer of society that needs to be eradicated, not tolerated” and “COVID19 gave us more on how structurally racist systems can seriously disadvantage certain racial groups' health and existence”.

July 2 2020  (PNAS)

The challenges of modeling and forecasting the spread of COVID-19

Andrea L. Bertozzi, Elisa Franco, George Mohler,et al

https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/07/07/2006520117

Modeling and forecasting the spread of COVID-19 remain a challenge. In this paper the authors  present three models for forecasting and assessing the course of the pandemic. They aim to demonstrate the utility of these models for understanding the pandemic and to provide a framework for generating policy-relevant insights into its course. These models highlight the dangers of relaxing nonpharmaceutical public health interventions in the absence of a vaccine or therapeutic agent.

July 2020  (International Review of Financial Analysis) 

COVID-19 pandemic, oil prices, stock market, geopolitical risk and policy uncertainty nexus in the US economy: Fresh evidence from the wavelet-based approach

ArshianSharif, ChakerAloui, Larisa Yarovaya et al

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S105752192030140X

The authors examine the relationship between two serious shocks affecting the US economy: the spread of the novel COVID-19 pandemic and the recent oil price slump. The y conclude the combination of these two problems will likely initiate a long-term economic downturn and drive the US economy into the next recession. The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak is causing unprecedented effects on the US stock markets’ volatility whose levels rival or exceed those observed during October 1987, December 2008 and during the 1929 crash.

C. Social Sciences, Humanities and Public Policy