Research Insights About Covid-19
We attempt to provide selected highlights in recent research findings
Last Update on 20 September 2020
C. Social Sciences, Humanities and Public Policy
Dec 1 2020 (Personality and Individual Differences)
Personal economic anxiety in response to COVID-19
Frank D.Mann, Robert F.Krueger, Kathleen D.Vohs
This study examines individual differences in who may experience economic anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
An online survey was collected from a sample of 513 adults using the Amazon's Mechanical Turk Prime platform. Data collection began on March 17th. Results indicate that younger adults tended to report greater anxiety than older adults. Black respondents reported significantly more anxiety, whereas respondents without children living at home reported less anxiety. Low collective self-esteem, low conscientiousness, and low openness to experience were associated with greater economic anxiety. High neuroticism, perceived vulnerability to disease, and belongingness stemming from large group activities also were associated with greater anxiety.
Oct 2020 (Data in Brief)
Economic Resilience Dataset in Facing Physical Distancing During COVID-19 Global Pandemic
Muhammad Fitri, Rahmadana Gaffar, Hafiz Sagala
Note that this is a “Data Article”.
In reporting their study of physical distancing data in Indonesia the authors state that In order to make the data more informative, researchers conducted a descriptive statistical analysis, ANOVA, Kruskal Wallis, and the Spearman's Rank correlation. They go on to say that “analysis of the data provides valuable information related to the interrelation of each item and the pattern of economic resilience that the urban city household has as a consequence of the COVID-19 global pandemic”. Unfortunately, the article provides little descriptive analysis and the reader is left to interpret the results tables to determine whether the authors are correct in their assertion.
Oct 2020 (Technological Forecasting and Social Change)
Misinformation sharing and social media fatigue during COVID-19: An affordance and cognitive load perspective
A.K.M. NajmulIslam. Samuli Laato, Shamim Talukder et al
Data was collected from young adults in Bangladesh (N = 433). The results show that people who are driven by “self-promotion and entertainment”, and those suffering from “deficient self-regulation”, are more likely to share unverified information.
“Exploration” and “religiosity” correlated negatively with the sharing of unverified information. However, exploration also increased social media fatigue.
The authors state their findings indicate that the “different use purposes of social media introduce problematic consequences, in particular, increased misinformation sharing”.
Oct 2020 (Safety Science)
Does culture matter social distancing under the COVID-19 pandemic?
Toan Luu Duc Huynh
This is another article that would have benefitted greatly from improved editing. It concludes that the study confirms the finding from Borg (2014) and Gaygısızet et al (2017) that cultural determinants play an important role in controlling infection behavior. They suggest core cultural values relevant to potential threats are embedded to nudge people to avoid social gathering under the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oct 2020 (Progress in Disaster Science)
Ecosystem-centric business continuity planning (eco-centric BCP): A post COVID19 new normal
Mahua Mukherjee, Ranit Chatterjee, Bhagat Kumar Khann, et al
This poorly edited short article seeks to make a case for an Eco-centric Business Continuity Planning approach to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It presents an overall model and sets out the ten key principles behind such a model. The paper includes a number of normative statements: A strong political will and sense of urgency are required towards this critical aspect of integrating scientific advice on sustainability and climate change into policies and guidelines to protect the environment along with rejuvenating the economy.
Oct 2020 (Computers in Human Behavior)
COVID-19 and digital inequalities: Reciprocal impacts and mitigation strategies
Elisabeth Beaunoyer, Sophie Dupéré, Matthieu J.Guitton
The author studied how the COVID-19 pandemic is increasing digital inequalities.
Digital inequalities are increasing the vulnerability to the COVID-19 virus and to the consequences of the crisis. They proposed that the impact of digital inequalities on COVID-19 vulnerability should be embedded in the governmental responses. Moreover, mitigation strategies targeting the individuals and the messages are proposed.
September 8, 2020 (Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives)
The influence of passenger air traffic on the spread of COVID-19 in the world
Yves Morel Sokadjo, Mintodê NicodèmeAtchadéb
The pandemic has affected air travel due to restrictive policies and even stopped passenger air traffic. This study aims to study how passenger air traffic might influence the spread of COVID-19. They used data sets of cases from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and air transport from the World Bank. The findings suggest that when passenger air traffic increases by one unit, the number of cases increases by one new infection.
September 4, 2020 (Value in Health)
Willingness to Accept Trade-Offs Among COVID-19 Cases, Social-Distancing Restrictions, and Economic Impact: A Nationwide US Study
Shelby Reed, Juan Marcos Gonzalez, F. Reed Johnson
The authors conduct an experiment to quantify Americans’ acceptance of SARS COV-2 infection risks for earlier lifting of social-distancing restrictions and diminishing the pandemic’s economic impact. The results of 5953 adults across all 50 states show that Americans have diverse preferences pertaining to social-distancing restrictions, infection risks and economic outcomes.
September 3, 2020 (Health Policy and Technology)
The COVID-19 pandemic in Italy: policy and technology impact on health and non-health outcomes
Berardi Chiara, Antonini Marcello, Genie Mesfin et al.
The outbreak of COVID-19 significantly affected Italy with severe health, social and economic consequences. The paper aims to analyse the policies implemented by the government and their impact on health and non-health outcomes. They investigate the impact of policies on the daily reported number of deaths, fatality rate, confirmation rate, intensive care unit saturation and financial and job market indicators across three areas in Italy. They suggest that the strictness and timing of containment and prevention measures played a key role in controlling the pandemic. Future government interventions should be based on evidence to balance the benefits against adverse social and economic cost.
September 3, 2020 (Science)
An ethical framework for global vaccine allocation
Ezekial J. Emanuel, Govind Persad, Adam Kern et al.
Vaccine nationalism, a very controversial topic, is widely publicised and misunderstood today. How are the governments going to ensure an adequate, fair and just distribution of a finite quantity of vaccine to the world population? This multi-national team proposes the Fair Priority Model as a practical way to fulfil pledges to distribute vaccine fairly and equitably. A well-reasoned and balanced framework that should be pondered over by world leaders, industries, NGOs and international organisations.
September 2, 2020 (Scottish Medical Journal)
Role of immersive technologies in healthcare education during the COVID-19 epidemic
Matthew Pears, Marina Yiasemidou, Mohamed A Ismail, et al
The pandemic presents a unique challenge worldwide. The lack of resources and knowledge to manage the pandemic has established the need for adoption of emerging and future technologies to address the issue. We witness a rapid decline in in-person education with no clear solution. This presents an extreme challenge for educators. In this paper the authors propose several innovative solutions to deliver medical education while maintaining overall safety.
September 1, 2020 (Global Social Welfare)
Social Protection as a Key Tool in Crisis Management: Learnt Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic
Hamidou Taffa Abdoul-Azize, Rehab El Gamil
Recently many countries started to implement social protection programs to reduce the negative impacts of the pandemic and enhance community resilience. This study aims to explore the current implementation of social protection programs in the most affected countries.The authors searched through WOS, Google Scholar, ILO, World Bank reports, and Aljazeera Television to reveal that social protection programs are a strategic tool to respond to the pandemic, however, some countries lack comprehensive strategy.
Sept 2020 (International Immunopharmacology)
Use of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to predict SARS-CoV-2 infection from Full Blood Counts in a population
Abhirup Banerjee, Surajit Ray, Bart Vorselaars et al
The aim of the study was to use machine learning (ML), an artificial neural network (ANN) and a simple statistical test to identify SARS-CoV-2 positive patients from full blood counts without knowledge of symptoms or history of the individuals. The authors reported that with full blood counts random forest, shallow learning and a flexible ANN model predict SARS-CoV-2 patients with high accuracy between populations on regular wards (AUC = 94–95%) and those not admitted to hospital or in the community (AUC = 80–86%).
Sep 2020 (Journal of Systems Architecture)
A Survey on Deep Transfer Learning and Edge Computing for Mitigating the COVID-19 Pandemic
Abu Sufian, Anirudha Ghosh, Ali Safaa Sadiq
The authors present a systematic study of Deep Learning (DL), Deep Transfer Learning (DTL) and Edge Computing (EC) to mitigate COVID-19. They survey existing DL, DTL, EC and Dataset to mitigate the pandemics with potentials and challenges. They also point out that a shortage of reliable datasets of an ongoing pandemic is a common problem.
Sep 2020 (Environmental Research)
Understanding COVID-19 diffusion requires an interdisciplinary, multi-dimensional approach
Elza Bontempi, SergioVergalli, Flaminio Squazzoni
The authors focus on certain limitations of current research about environmental-to-human COVID-19 transmission. They caution against simplistic analyses and show the benefit of an adopting an interdisciplinary, multi-dimensional approach to understanding the geographical diversity of contagion diffusion patterns.
They propose this should not only involve the medical and natural sciences, but also engineering, political, economic, social, and demographic disciplines. Thy suggest that COVID-19 can be the real accelerator towards a synthetic, trans-disciplinary science which could also help better prepare for other systemic shocks such as climate change that will require a coordinated, rapid response.
September 2020 (Safety Science)
Estimating and projecting air passenger traffic during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and its socio-economic impact
Stefano MariaIacus, Fabrizio Natale, Carlos Santamaria et al
This paper presents forecasts of air traffic for more than 222,557 routes around the world, concerning 3,909 origin airports and 3,897 destination airports and involving 234 countries using historic data sets. These forecasts are then discounted, through different scenarios, for the COVIV-19 related flight ban from January 2020. The scenarios are based on both observed routes and flights cancellation using a mix of flight tracking data and on-line booking data, as well as hypotheses based on previous pandemic experience that affected the aviation sector. The authors then try to calculate the socio-economic impact measured in terms of loss of GDP due to up to 30 million potential job losses in the aviation and related sectors. In 2020 up to 1.67% of world GDP could be lost due to reduction in aviation. The authors note a number of caveats related to their scenarios and methodological assumptions.
August 27, 2020 (Health Policy and Technology)
The first months of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain
Josefa Henríquez, Eduardo Gonzalo Almorox, Manuel Garcia-Goni et al.
This paper examines the spread of COVID-19 in Spain from February to May 2020, as well as the public policies and technologies used to contain the evolution of the pandemic. In particular, it aims to assess the effectivity of the policies applied within the different communities. They show that a stringent confinement policy enforced through fines is needed to contain the spread. It resulted in a substantial reduction in mobility and economic activity.
August 27, 2020 (Health Policy and Technology)
COVID-19 pandemic in Finland – Preliminary analysis on health system response and economic consequences
Hanna Tiirinki, Liina-Kaisa Tynkkynen, Markus Sovala et al.
This study aims to analyze the impact of the COVID-19 on health policy, social- and health system, and the economic and financing system in Finland. It provides early outcomes of health policy measures, social- and health system capacity as well as economic challenges in Finland as she has adopted a “hybrid strategy”, referring to a move from extensive restrictive measures to enhanced management of the epidemic.
August 27, 2020 (Health Policy and Technology)
COVID-19 pandemic in China: Context, experience and lessons
Weiwei Xu, Jing Wu, Lidan Cao
China responded to the COVID-19 epidemic in a highly centralized and efficient way. Here, the authors share the Chinese experience, discuss the use of technologies supported policy implementation and policies adapted to stimulate economic recovery.
August 17, 2020 (Environmental Law Review)
Nourishing and protecting our urban ‘green’ space in a post-pandemic world
It is undeniable that much of our ‘green’ space is under threat. ‘Green’ space is an important ecosystem that provides much needed space for open air recreation and exercise in towns and cities. The pandemic and lockdown have shown the importance for communities to have easy access to open space for recreation and exercise. The pandemic has shown that we need to reappraise planning policy for the (re-)designation and protection of new areas of green space in our urban environment; to better protect existing open space; and to seek to rebalance planning policy to ensure that adequate green space is provided for existing and future communities.
August 15, 2020 (Technological Forecasting and Social Change)
On the efficiency of foreign exchange markets in times of the COVID-19 pandemic
Faheem Aslam, Saqib Aziz, Duc Khuong Nguyen et al.
Aslam et al use multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis (MF-DFA) to provide a first look at the efficiency of forex markets during the initial period of the pandemic, They analyse six major currencies during October 1, 2019, to 31 March 31, 2020. The results confirm the presence of multifractality in forex markets, which demonstrates a decline in the efficiency of forex markets and heterogeneous effects on the strength of multifractality of exchange rate returns. Their findings may help policymakers to shape a comprehensive response to improve forex market efficiency.
August 7, 2020 (Front. Commun.)
COVID-19 Consumer Health Information Needs Improvement to Be Readable and Actionable by High-Risk Populations
Alison Caballero, Katherine Leath, Jamie Watson
The authors collected 28 consumer COVID-19 materials from the internet using popular search engines. They assessed the materials for readability, understandability, and actionability using validated tools. They found that the sample of materials was difficult to read and lacked a number of recommended features that promote a readers' ability to understand and act upon the information. The authors present these findings, their implications for health equity, and their limitations and then suggest ways to improve future health communication about time-sensitive infectious diseases.
August 5, 2020 (Nature)
Zoonotic host diversity increases in human-dominated ecosystems
Gibb, R., Redding, D.W., Chin, K.Q. et al.
The authors analyse 6,801 ecological assemblages and 376 host species worldwide, controlling for research effort, and show that land use has global and systematic effects on local zoonotic host communities.
They conclude that their results suggest that global changes in the mode and the intensity of land use are creating expanding hazardous interfaces between people, livestock and wildlife reservoirs of zoonotic disease.
August 4, 2020 (Environmental and Resource Economics)
Effects of Physical Distancing to Control COVID-19 on Public Health, the Economy, and the Environment
Stephen C. Newbold, David Finnoff, Linda Thunström et al.
Physical distancing is one of the approaches to control pandemic spreads. What is the trade-off between health benefits and economic costs? Newbold et al. develop an epidemiological-economic model to examine the optimal duration and intensity of physical distancing measures. They applied the model to the United States by considering factors such as lives saved, air pollution, economic costs and environmental impact. They conclude with the possibility of durable changes in peoples’ behaviour that could affect local markets, the global economy, and our relationship with nature.
August 4, 2020 (Environmental and Resource Economics)
Suggestions for a COVID-19 Post-Pandemic Research Agenda in Environmental Economics
Robert J. R. Elliott, Ingmar Schumacher, Cees Withagen
The authors discuss how the pandemic may relate to a future research agenda in environmental economics. They describe how the events surrounding the pandemic may inform environmental research related to globalization and cooperation, the green transition, carbon pricing, the role of uncertainty and the timing of government policy interventions.
August 4, 2020 (Environmental and Resource Economics)
Cross-Country Comparisons of COVID-19: Policy, Politics and the Price of Life
Ben Balmford, James D. Annan, Julia C. Hargreaves et al.
How can we estimate the ‘price of life’? Balmford et al. address the challenges by comparing differences in reporting and variation in underlying socioeconomic conditions between countries. They show that differences in policy interventions have out-weighed socio-economic variation in explaining the range of death rates observed in the data. Their epidemiological models show that across 8 countries, a week-long delay in imposing lockdown would likely have claimed more than half a million lives. They analyze decisions on the timing of lockdown and deaths to economic data and conclude that the costs that governments were prepared to pay to protect their citizens are reflected in the curtailment of economic activity to save lives. This so-called 'price of life’ estimates varies tremendously between countries, ranging from as low as around $100,000 (e.g. the UK, US and Italy) to over $1million (e.g. Denmark, Germany, New Zealand and Korea).
August 4, 2020 (JAMA)
The Development of COVID-19 Vaccines: Safeguards Needed
Nicole Lurie, Joshua M. Sharfstein, Jesse L. Goodman et al.
This Viewpoint lists four safeguards policy makers should consider before release of a COVID-19 vaccine, including ensuring effectiveness through clinical trials, providing evidence of safety, requiring informed consent before vaccination, and establishing comprehensive adverse effects monitoring systems.
Aug 1 2020 (Applied Energy)
Security of supply, strategic storage and Covid19: Which lessons learnt for renewable and recycled carbon fuels, and their future role in decarbonizing transport?
David Chiaramonti and Kyriakos Maniatis
Here the authors argue that the European Union should allocate adequate resources in the post-COVID-19 recovery plans to allow a transition to renewable energy sources and particularly to bio-based economy and stainable transport fuels.
Aug 1 2020 (Science of The Total Environment)
COVID-19: Disease, management, treatment, and social impact
Imran Ali, Omar M.L.Alharbi
This short article sets out to describe the SARS-CoV-2, disease, prevention and management, treatment and social impact on society. The authors optimistically suggest that their article may be useful to create awareness among the public, to prevent, manage and treat COVID-19.
They admit there is no precise treatment for coronavirus but prevention, management and supporting healthcare may provide relief in the outbreak of COVID-19. However, some approaches have been or may be used to control the disease. These approaches may be categorized in Allopathic, Unani and Homeopathic treatments. But before all this treatment, plenty of testing facilities should be available to the health care sectors.
Aug 2020 (Journal of Business Research)
The impact of Covid-19 pandemic on corporate social responsibility and marketing philosophy
Hongwei He, Lloyd Harris
This reflective articles allows the authors to offer some initial thoughts on how the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic influences Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), consumer ethics, and marketing philosophy. They believe the pandemic offers great opportunities for firms to actively engage in various CSR initiatives during the crisis, and potentially catalyse a new era of CSR development. For consumers, they argue the ethical dimension of consumer decisions has become salient during the pandemic and is likely to shift consumers towards more responsible and “prosocial” consumption. They also conclude that such changes seem likely to be mirrored by firms and organizations.
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
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
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
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
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
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 , Barua et al.  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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
June 29 2020 (Journal of Medical Internet Research)
How to Fight an Infodemic: The Four Pillars of Infodemic Management
According to the author, “infodemiology” is now acknowledged by public health organizations and the WHO as an important emerging scientific field and critical area of practice during a pandemic.
Claiming to be the first “infodemiologist” who originally coined the term almost two decades ago, Gunther Eysenbach posits four pillars of infodemic management: (1) information monitoring (infoveillance); (2) building eHealth Literacy and science literacy capacity; (3) encouraging knowledge refinement and quality improvement processes such as fact checking and peer-review; and (4) accurate and timely knowledge translation, minimizing distorting factors such as political or commercial influences (emphasis added by this reviewer).
Note: The members of the Bibliometrics team whole-heartedly support these four pillars or aspirations – and the fourth pillar would appear to be one of the greatest challenges.
June 27 2020 (Journal of Religion and Health)
Community Calls: Lessons and Insights Gained from a Medical–Religious Community Engagement During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Panagis Galiatsatos, Kimberly Monson, MopeninuJesu Oluyinka, et al
This short article describes how an established medical–religious organisation was utilised as a resource of community calls during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was found to be feasible and valuable leading to discussions on reproducing it for more communities during quarantine and government-issued lockdowns. Medical–religious partnerships are said to be effective in drawing from prior health care-related successes to respond with community calls.
June 26 2020 (Journal of Medical Internet Research)
Framework for Managing the COVID-19 Infodemic: Methods and Results of an Online, Crowdsourced WHO Technical Consultation
Viroj Tangcharoensathien,Neville Calleja, Tim Nguyen et al
A group of policy makers, public health professionals, researchers, students, and other concerned stakeholders was joined by representatives of the media, social media platforms, various private sector organizations, and civil society to suggest and discuss actions for all parts of society, and multiple related professional and scientific disciplines, methods, and technologies. A total of 594 ideas for actions were crowdsourced online during the discussions and consolidated into suggestions for an infodemic management framework.
Consolidation of these ideas into “six high level policy implications to consider” appears to have reduced the ideas to the banal. For example, the sixth policy implication is described as: “infodemic management approaches should be further developed to support preparedness and response, and to inform risk mitigation, and be enhanced through data science and sociobehavioral and other research”. Hardly orginal. It is suggested that a more detailed examination of the results will prove more beneficial than the distillation provided in this article.
June 25 2020 (Scientometrics)
Preliminary analysis of COVID-19 academic information patterns: a call for open science in the times of closed borders
J. Homolak, I. Kodvanj & D. Virag
The authors analyse how the scientific community responded to the pandemic by quantifying distribution and availability patterns of the academic information. They aim to assess the quality of the information flow and scientific collaboration. Publication rate and publication status, affiliation and author count per article, and submission-to-publication time were analysed. They report the generation of a large amount of scientific data, potential problems regarding the information overload, distribution and scientific collaboration. They advocate more efficient use of data, transparency and the adoption of the Open Science concept.
June 19, 2020 (BJRO)
Adaptability and responsiveness: keys to operational measures in a regional hospital radiology department during the current COVID-19 pandemic
Pratik Mukerjee, Tze Chwan Lim, Ashish Chawla et al.
The SARS-CoV2 outbreak resulted in an unexpected surge of infected patients. Here, the authors share the experience of the Radiology Department in handling this outbreak in two different hospitals in Singapore. They share their operational practices and the strict infection control measures implemented aimed at minimizing disease transmission and mitigating the potential impact of possible healthcare worker infection. The authors also enumerated some guidelines for planning future radiology departments.
June 18 2020 (Journal of Zhejiang University-SCIENCE B)
Understanding and reducing the fear of COVID-19
Kwan Hoong Ng & Ray Kemp
The COVID-19 disease resulted in a rapidly growing body of scientific and medical literature that is being published in order to aid clinicians and scientists around the world to fight this pandemic together. Concurrently, there has also been extensive public reports and stories in both traditional and social media which generate fear, panic, stigmatization, and instances of xenophobia. In times like this, effective health risk communication is paramount to reduce fear and panic. In this correspondence, the authors discuss the natural response of fear and panic during a pandemic, the adverse effects of it, and suggest practical ways to overcome them. They highlight the power of social media in information dissemination and emphasise on the importance of trustworthy resources. The authors also describe societal-level measures that are essential to break the circle of fear and panic.
June 13 2020 (Trends in Biotechnology)
Working Hard or Hardly Working? Regulatory Bottlenecks in Developing a COVID-19 Vaccine
Lisette Pregel, Damian C.Hine, Maria G.Oyola-Lozada et al
In this thoughtful article the authors conclude, among other things that if regulatory bottlenecks prevent solutions being brought to the public in time to reduce the impact of an epidemic, then we need to consider alternatives that deliver solutions at an earlier stage of an epidemic, in the geographical jurisdictions where the outbreak is occurring.
June 12 2020 (Science)
The impact of COVID-19 and strategies for mitigation and suppression in low- and middle-income countries
Patrick G. T. Walker, Charles Whittaker,Oliver J Watson
This detailed article combines data on demographics, patterns of contact, severity of disease, and countries’ health care capacity and quality to understand the impact of COVID-19 and inform strategies for its control. It is found that younger populations in lower income countries may experience reduced overall risk but limited health system capacity coupled with closer inter-generational contact largely negates this benefit. The paper finds that mitigation strategies that slow but do not interrupt transmission of COVID-19 will still lead the epidemic rapidly overwhelming local health systems, with substantial excess deaths in lower income countries due to the poorer health care available.
June 12 2020 (Science)
Moving academic research forward during COVID-19
N. S. Wigginton, R. M. Cunningham, R. H. Katz
This thoughtful article draws attention to the broad-scale disruption of research operations that has been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. For example that it has led to an incalculable number of setbacks for researchers, many of which disproportionately affect early-career researchers and their career advancement. They note that the cancellation of long-running experiments, the loss of opportunities to collect critical data (e.g., in field and clinical studies), and lack of access to specialized major instrumentation, all have had significant detrimental effects upon research. Looking forward the authors make a plea for academic institutions, governments, and funding agencies to develop a more resilient, nimble, and equitable research system. They propose that governments should also incentivize stronger ties between public health agencies and academic research institutions to ensure that future decision-making at institutions and across communities is guided by the best available research.
June 12, 2020 (JAMA)
Health Care Policy After the COVID-19 Pandemic
Victor R. Fuchs
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.
June 12, 2020 (JAMA)
COVID-19 Pandemic, Unemployment, and Civil Unrest: Underlying Deep Racial and Socioeconomic Divides
Sandro Galea, Salma M. Abdalla
This Viewpoint discusses the inequalities underlying the preferential spread of COVID-19 and of economic hardship in lower-income communities of color in the USA. It sees the national protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement as a natural consequence of those inequities and an opportunity to change the systems that create them.
June 11 2020 (PNAS)
Identifying airborne transmission as the dominant route for the spread of COVID-19
Renyi Zhang, Yixin Li, Annie L. Zhang, et al
The authors describe the transmission pathways of COVID-19 by analyzing the trend and mitigation measures in three epicentres. They show that the airborne transmission route is highly virulent and dominant for the spread of COVID-19. Their analysis shows that the difference with and without mandated face covering represents the determinant in shaping the trends of the pandemic. This protective measure significantly reduces the number of infections. They also show that measures such as social distancing alone implemented in the United States are insufficient in protecting the public.
June 2020 (Current Research in Green and Sustainable Chemistry)
Tackling COVID-19 pandemic through nanocoatings: Confront and exactitude
Pradeep Kumar Rai, Zeba Usmani. Vijay Kumar Thakur, et al
The authors review the research and possible protection and care possibilities against COVID19. COVID19. Previous research findings suggest the usage of nanotechnology as an important avenue to develop antiviral drugs and materials to effectively minimize the acquired infection of COVID-19 in public places like hospitals, transport, schools, worship places, malls, etc. Antimicrobial nanocoatings at these places and development of targeted antiviral drugs through capped nanoparticles could likely be a major effective option to halt the spread of this disease.
June 10 2020 (Dialogues in Human Geography)
Charting COVID-19 futures: Mapping, anticipation, and navigation
This short commentary examines “the navigational affordances of two COVID-19 charts”. In other words, how such charts assist the reader in visualising COVID-19 transmission and mortality rates over time within and between different states.
However, the author states that “much remains unknown about the anticipatory and navigational practices in which COVID-19 charts are embedded, how particular charts circulate and gain traction among policymakers and publics, their role in mediating scientific and political controversy, and the geopolitical imaginaries which they articulate”.
The author optimistically concludes that “investigating such issues is a task for which human geography’s long critical engagement with cartography’s culture, politics, and practices leaves it uniquely well-equipped”.
June 10, 2020 (Dialogues in Human Geography)
Smart cities and a data-driven response to COVID-19
Philip James, Ronnie Das, Agata Jalosinska, Luke Smith
This commentary describes the rapid development of a COVID-19 data dashboard utilising existing Urban Observatory Internet of Things (IoT) data and analytics infrastructure. Existing data capture systems were rapidly repurposed to provide real-time insights into the impacts of lockdown policy on urban governance.
June 10, 2020 (JAMA)
Sustaining Rural Hospitals After COVID-19: The Case for Global Budgets
Jonathan E. Fried, David T. Liebers, Eric T. Roberts
This Viewpoint proposes that global budgets, or fixed payments for care of a population over a specific time, are well suited to address the financial instability wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic on rural hospitals. It proposes removing the link between volume and revenue to allow them to adapt to community needs.
June 2020 (International Journal of Surgery)
The socio-economic implications of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19): A review
MariaNicola, Zaid Alsafi, Catrin Sohrabi
In this review, the authors summarise the socio-economic effects of COVID-19 on individual aspects of the world economy. Central banks globally commit to a ‘Whatever it takes’ approach in an attempt to save the global economy. As an example, Europe pledges a €1.7tn rescue package.
The road to economic recovery is predicted to be a long one, with a period of economic inactivity for many years to come.
June 9 2020 (Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology)
Management of the dead during COVID-19 outbreak in Malaysia
Lay See Khoo, Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi, Mohamad Azaini Ibrahim et al
This excellent paper thoughtfully shares Malaysia’s strategies for management of the deceased in different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. The approach of the National Institute of Forensic Medicine (IPFN) Malaysia is described. It stresses that every opportunity and assistance must be given to suffering families and communities to mourn their loved ones. These steps include allowing next-of-kin the chance for a modified but safe religious or ritual last rites and a dignified temporary controlled burial for unidentified victims. In times of crisis and emergency, the dead can still be managed with the appropriate level of dignity and respect. As part of the core of the humanitarian forensic approach, everyone in the society must be treated without discrimination in relation to the measures put in place to address this COVID-19 pandemic, including the proper management of the dead, particularly the unidentified deceased, who should also be treated with dignity and respect.
June 5 2020 (European Heart Journal)
COVID-19 and the healthcare workers
Ankur Kalra, Erin D Michos, Kavitha M Chinnaiyan
“It was a war unlike any other. Family members picked sides; treasured cousins, childhood playmates, beloved uncles and grandfathers, and revered teachers faced off on the battlefield, preparing to slaughter each other. It was, after all, a war that would decide ‘dharma’—the inherent order of reality that is nurtured by right thought and action.” Read on to find out how our health systems and workers can learn some lessons from this war.
June 4 2020 (Journal of the American Medical Directors Association)
A Structured Tool for Communication and Care Planning in the Era of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Swati Gaur, Naushira Pandya, Ghinwa Dumyati et al
The high rates of COVID-19 necessitates a simple albeit comprehensive tool that can be administered by wide range of Health Care Workers including physicians, Advanced Practice Professionals, nurses and social services where available. Between April 2 and April 17 , 2020, 18 residents at 2 community nursing homes in the United States had positive tests for COVID-19; of those 9 were symptomatic. Staff members (3 physicians, 2 Advanced Practice Professionals and 7 nurses) used the COVID-19 Communication and Care Planning Tool as part of the process of notifying residents and family members of test results and accompanying conversations about advance care planning. All conversations took place by telephone or videoconference. The communication tool was well-received by the team members who used it, particularly for remote advance care planning discussion. In the Appendix to this article the authors provide a more detailed check-list type questionnaire tool to help guide the discussion between a clinician and a resident and/or their family members about COVID-19 infections, including responding to symptoms and to end-of-life considerations. It is written for a conversation between a clinician and a family member(s) but may be readily adjusted for a conversation with the resident.
June 2020 (International Journal of Surgery)
The socio-economic implications of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19): A review
Maria Nicola, Zaid Alsafi, Catrin Sohrabi et al
The authors research and sunmarise the social-economic impact on the individual aspects of the world economy.They focus on three sectors: Primary (agriculture, petrolrum and oil); secondary (manufacturing industry); tertiary (education, finance, healthcare, pharmaceutical, travel, tourism, aviation, sports, food, IT). They then highlight the social impacts. The authors conclude with some recommendations. Overall a very good review that provides insights into the social-economic impacts of Covid-19.
June 2020 (Asian Journal of Psychiatry)
Cognitive biases operating behind the rejection of government safety advisories during COVID19 Pandemic
Deblina Roy and Krittika Sinha
This short article aims to identify the psychological issues faced by the people in responding to official advice about COVID-19 and conceptualizes the reasons behind such issues.
June 2020 (Patient Education and Counseling)
Implications of the current COVID-19 pandemic for communication in healthcare
Sara Rubinelli, Kara Myers, Marcy Rosenbaum et al
The authors are senior representatives of EACH: the International Association for Communication in Healthcare, and ACH: the Academy of Communication in Healthcare. They briefly identify many, though not all, of the areas of communication in healthcare that are important and emphasize the need to address the changing interactions with patients and families; between teachers and learners; between the media and the public and within healthcare teams.
They state that much work is needed specifically to address Covid19 related health disparities worldwide and that one major aspect to consider is the negative impact of misinformation. They make a plea for a comprehensive understanding of what is happening currently as well as its future implications, with the expectation that new findings may equip healthcare practice and education with strategies and tools to best respond.
May 29, 2020 (Science)
Ethics and governance for digital disease surveillance
Michelle M. Mello, C. Jason Wang
In this article, the authors explore ethical concerns raised by digital technologies and new data sources in public health surveillance during epidemics, focusing on core public health functions of case detection, contact tracing, and isolation and quarantine.
May 28 2020 (Journal of Public Policy and Marketing)
The Pandemic Ripple Effect: Understanding Marketing and Public Policy Opportunities in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Matthew E. Sarkees, M. Paula Fitzgerald, Cait Lamberton
The COVID-19 pandemic placed a heavy price on the trillion-dollar global pharmaceutical industry. The urgency of COVID-19 forced government regulators to speed up the race for effective treatments and care.
The authors highlight three of the knowledge gaps: (1) confusion arising from off-label prescribing and emergency use authorization, (2) consumer access to testing, and (3) pharmaceutical supply chain issues.
May 25 2020 (Journal of Public Health)
COVID-19 and social distancing
Meirui Qian & Jianli Jiang
This brief piece notes that the way COVID-19 is transmitted means that taking certain social distance measures is the most effective practice to prevent and control the disease. It reports the unsurprising information that the WHO’s South East Asia Region director Poonam Khetrapal Singh found that it is possible to reduce the virus transmission by following social distancing measures.
May 22, 2020 (Science)
Ethics of controlled human infection to address COVID-19
Seema K. Shah, Franklin G. Miller, Thomas C. Darton et al
This article addresses some of the ethical considerations associated with controlled human infection studies (CHIs) for vaccine development for severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The authors refer to “a comprehensive, state-of-the-art ethical framework for CHIs “ they have been developing that emphasizes their social value as fundamental to justifying these studies. They argue ethics of CHIs in general are underexplored and ethical examinations of SARS-CoV-2 CHIs have largely focused on whether the risks are acceptable and participants could give valid informed consent. The authors agree on the ethical conditions for conducting SARS-CoV-2 CHIs but differ on whether the social value of such CHIs is sufficient to justify the risks at present. The articles provides ethical guidance for research sponsors, communities, participants, and the essential independent reviewers considering SARS-CoV-2 CHIs. The approach doeas not appear to address the unique time pressures presented by the COVID-19 pandemic but rather argue their framework and analysis support “laying the groundwork for CHIs”. This would involve several steps including “a challenge strain, drafting consensus protocols that address ethical concerns, and engaging stakeholders to enhance their social value, minimize risks, and build public trust”.
May 15, 2020 Science Vol. 368, Issue 6492, pp. 716-718
Policy opportunities to enhance sharing for pandemic research
Michelle Rourke, Mark Eccleston-Turner, Alexandra Phelan4 e al
The authors point out that despite the scale of the pandemic threat, the lack of a clear legal obligation to share pathogens or associated data on genetic sequencing during a health emergency represents a blind spot in international law and governance, impeding pandemic response and scientific progress. Th paper examines the sharing of public health information, biological samples, and genetic sequencing data (GSD ) in the still early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors identify barriers to sharing under the current international legal system, and propose legal and policy reforms needed to enhance international scientific cooperation.
May 12, 2020 American Journal of Health Promotion
Social Capital in the Response to COVID-19
Nicholas Pitas , Colin Ehmer
Drawing on evidence from past crises, the authors recommend individuals, communities, and government institutions work to strengthen and expand social networks in order to overcome deficiencies or disruptions in social capital brought about by physical distancing under Covid-19.
May 12 2020 Business Horizons
The COVID-19 Virtual Idea Blitz: Marshaling social entrepreneurship to rapidly respond to urgent grand challenges
Sophie Bacq, Will Geoghegan, Matthew Josefy et al
The authors describe a virtual on line event that was organized and executed in less than a week and ultimately involved 200 entrepreneurs, coders, medical doctors, venture capitalists, industry professionals, students, and professors from around the world. 21 ideas were developed in five thematic areas: health needs, education, small businesses, community, and purchasing. The paper describes the organisational approach and the key learning of “this spontaneous entrepreneurial endeavour”.
May 12 2020 Psychiatry Research
Psychological Outcomes Associated with Stay-at-Home Orders and the Perceived Impact of COVID-19 on Daily Life
Matthew T.Tull, Keith Edmonds, Kayla Scamaldo et al
This study examined relations of both stay-at-home orders and the perceived impact of COVID-19 on daily life to psychological outcomes (depression, health anxiety, financial worry, social support, and loneliness) in a nationwide U.S. community adult sample questionnaire survey. Being under a stay-at-home order was associated with greater health anxiety, financial worry, and loneliness. The perceived impact of COVID-19 on daily life was positively associated with health anxiety, financial worry, and social support, but negatively associated with loneliness. The authors highlight the importance of social connection to mitigate the negative psychological consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 11, 2020 Personality and Individual Differences
The development and initial tests for the psychometric properties of the COVID-19 Phobia Scale (C19P-S)
Ibrahim Arpaci, Kasım Karataş, Mustafa Baloğlu
The authors agrue that negative effects of Covid-19 are not limited to psycho-pathological problems with serious physiological, social, and economical difficulties observed in various counties. They suggest a new type of specific phobia associated with Covid-19 is identifiable and is worthy of further research.
May 10, 2020 (Journal of Management)
Corona Crisis and Inequality: Why Management Research Needs a Societal Turn
Bapuji H, Patel C, Ertug G
This wide ranging essay employs the COVID1-19 pandemic as a context and opportuity examine how it affects issues of social inequality. The authors emphasize the need to take a societal turn and research the effect of organizational practices on societal economic inequality. They argue that this societal turn is equally applicable to management research in general, because the pandemic has exposed the neglected and sometimes hidden interdependence between business and society.
May 10, 2020 (ECNU Review of Education)
Higher Education Development and Student Mobility During Crises: From a Comparative and Historical Perspective
In this short essay the author cautions against drawing upon past historical crises to predict outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic in the field of Higher Education. Long-term factors that have driven the rapid increase in the number of Chinese students studying abroad are thought to be unlikely to change in a short period of time due to the sudden crisis. Middle-class families will still be willing to invest in their children’s education abroad. China’s status as a receiving country will not be fundamentally changed by either unexpected crises or short-term incentive policies for similar reasons.
May 10, 2020 (Health Education & Behavior)
Social Distancing and Incarceration: Policy and Management Strategies to Reduce COVID-19 Transmission and Promote Health Equity Through Decarceration
The author argues that prisons are epicenters for COVID-19 transmission, including to the community. Given the high rates of preexisting health conditions, limited access to quality health care, and inability to social distance, it is impossible to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in prisons. It is argued that rapid decarceration (release of prisoners from prison) is needed to control the impact of COVID-19 and to promote health equity (between those incarcerated and those who are not).
May 7, 2020 (Industrial Marketing Management)
The Coronavirus crisis in B2B settings: Crisis uniqueness and managerial implications based on social exchange theory
Roberto Mora, Corteza Wesley, J.Johnstonb
The authors examine differences in response of business-to-business (B2B) organisations to the Covid-19 crisis. A study of 11 businesses in USA, Latin America and Europe identifies four key areas of recovery where 22 practices in the form of recommendations for B2B businesses managers. These include actions such as: implementing digital showrooms for customers; training customers on e-commerce; using social media to disseminate general information or events; using webinars; decentralizing decision-making power (temporariliy); driving morale enhancement; revisiting the marketing budget; regulating tiredness and lack of choice; and reducing distractions and family tension.
May 6, 2020 (J of Health Psychology)
Human needs in COVID-19 isolation
Thiago Matias, Fabio H Dominski, David F Marks
As social distancing and stay-at-home advice is constantly advocated during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to remember that a significant proportion of the population who live alone are vulnerable to mental health problems. Here, the authors discuss one of the most fundamental tools of self-care for health enhancement: increased physical activity.
May 3, 2020 (Annals of Tourism Research)
Towards a post-conflict tourism recovery framework
Maharaj Vijay Reddy, Stephen, W.Boyd, Mirela Nica
Although not specifically considering the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and its effect upon the tourist industry, this extensive review nevertheless offers some valuable insights into routes to recovery for the tourist industry following major crises. In particular, the authors argue that policy makers need to explore different strategies of response that may involve crisis communication to facilitate repositioning, as well as evaluating tourist reactions on how successful they see those recovery strategies to be. Importantly they conclude that local communities and their voices need better understanding. Funded in part by British Council and the University Grants Commission of India for their financial support under the umbrella of the UK-India Education and Research Initiative(UKIERI).
May 1, 2020 Journal of Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety Regarding Contracting COVID-19 Related to Interoceptive Anxiety Sensations: The Moderating Role of Disgust Propensity and Sensitivity
Dean McKay, Haibo Yang, Jon Elhai. Gordon Asmundson
A total of 908 Chinese adults (mean age = 40.37 years, SD = 9.27; n = 752 female) participated in a survey distributed between February 24 and March 15, 2020. Results support a moderating relationship between both disgust propensity and sensitivity in the relationship between physical concerns associated with anxiety sensitivity and fear of contracting COVID-19. The authors argue the results lend support for individual variation in the activation of the Behavioral Immune System (BIS) which contributes to pandemics anxiety. Recommendations for public education to target individuals who may experience mental health consequences from pandemics are provided.
May 1, 2020 (Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives)
COVID-19 and airline employment: Insights from historical uncertainty shocks to the industry
The authors argue that the global nature and severity of the shock of COVID-19 upon the airline industry may be near the upper bound of estimates with a reduction of over 13% of the airline workforce. The analysis uses the vector autoregression (VAR) model to examine the uncertainty shocks and their relation to economic variables.
Their analysis purports to show that the low-cost and regional airlines' business models afford these airlines the ability to weather uncertain times without the large employment reductions seen by the major carriers. Howvever “regional” is not defined nor is the potential for major differemces in “regions” around the globe examined.
Another important finding of this study is that certain categories of employees will face deeper workforce cuts than others. The occupations related to passenger handling at major airlines are hardest hit. The lower skilled employees at airlines appear to receive the majority of the impact from workforce reductions. Some policy implications are examined.
April 25, 2020 (Journal of Accounting and Public Policy)
Estimating the COVID-19 cash crunch: Global evidence and policy
AntonioDe Vito, Juan-PedroGómez
The authors from Spain investigate how the COVID-19 health crisis could affect the liquidity of listed firms across 26 countries. They stress-test three liquidity ratios for each firm with full and partial operating flexibility in two scenarios corresponding to drops in sales of 50% and 75%, respectively. In the most adverse scenario, the average firm with partial operating flexibility would exhaust its cash holdings in two years when its current liabilities would increase, on average, by eight times. The authors suggest that the average firm would have to resort to the debt market to prevent a liquidity crunch. Approximately 1/10th of all sample firms would become illiquid within six months.
Regarding two different fiscal policies, tax deferrals and bridge loans, that governments could implement to mitigate the liquidity risk, the analysis suggests bridge loans are more cost-effective “to prevent a massive cash crunch”.
April 22, 2020 (Science of The Total Environment)
COVID-19 outbreak: Migration, effects on society, global environment and prevention
Indranil Chakraborty, Prasenjit Maity
The authors provide a general summary of the global human health and economic impact of Covid-19 to 18 April 2020 largely drawing upon WHO and OECD data. They argue that one of the consequences of the pandemic has been the successful recovery of the environment “that should definitely set [a] positive impact on global climate change”. They conclude that “Whatever be [sic] the cause or origin, the occurrence of COVID-19 has emphasized [the need] to improve the mutually-affective connection between humans and nature”.
April 21, 2020 (The Lancet Psychiatry)
Suicide risk and prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic
David Gunnell, LouisAppleby, Ella Arensman, et al
This is an important Comment in the Lancet by members of the International COVID-19 Suicide Prevention Research Collaboration.
They state that the Covid-19 pandemic will cause distress and leave many people vulnerable to mental health problems and suicidal behaviour. Mental health consequences are likely to be present for longer and peak later than the actual pandemic itslef. However, the authors comment that research evidence and the experience of national strategies provide a strong basis for suicide prevention. A series of actions are highlighted that the authors state need to be backed by vigilance and international collaboration. The views and recommendations are endorsed by the International Association of Suicide Prevention, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the International Academy of Suicide Research
April 21, 2020 Royal Society of Medicine
Preparing for COVID-19’s aftermath: simple steps to address social determinants of health
A very short essay suggesting to take simple steps in areas we can control to optimise spend of limited resources for efficient recovery from COVID-19.
April 16, 2020 (PLOS ONE)
Mental health problems and social media exposure during COVID-19 outbreak
Junling Gao, Pinpin Zheng, Yingnan Jia, et al
This large cross-sectional on-line survey of Chinese citizens during the COVID-19 outbreak found a high prevalence of mental health problems positively associated with frequent Social Media Exposure (SME). The authors suggest that disinformation and false reports about the virus bombarded social media and stoked unfounded fears among many “netizens” (citizens using the internet). They argue that this exposure may confuse people and harm their mental health with many also expressing negative feelings, such as fear, worry, nervous, anxiety on social media…”which are contagious social network” (sic).
April 16, 2020 (Death Studies)
Coronavirus anxiety scale: A brief mental health screener for COVID-19 related anxiety
The author posits a Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS), which is a brief mental health screener to identify probable cases of dysfunctional anxiety associated with the COVID-19 crisis. This 5-item scale, which was based on an online survey of 775 adults with anxiety over the coronavirus, demonstrated solid reliability and validity. Elevated CAS scores were found to be associated with coronavirus diagnosis, impairment, alcohol/drug coping, negative religious coping, extreme hopelessness, suicidal ideation, as well as attitudes toward President Trump and towards Chinese products.
April 15, 2020 (International Sociology)
COVID-19 infodemic: More retweets for science-based information on coronavirus than for false information
Cristina M Pulido, Beatriz Villarejo-Carballido, Gisela Redondo-Sama, et al
This study aims at shedding new light on social media during an “infodemic” by analysing the type of tweets that circulated on Twitter around the COVID-19 outbreak for two days. In order to understand how false and true information was shared, 1000 tweets are analyzed. Results show that false information is tweeted more, but retweeted less, than science-based evidence or fact-checking tweets. Science-based evidence and fact-checking tweets capture more engagement than mere facts themselves.
April 10, 2020 JAMA. 2020;323(18):1758-1759
King Lear Under COVID-19 Lockdown
Shakespeare inspired reflections of a pediatrics intern training in New York City on the Covid-19 pandemic. Reflecting on the tragdy of King Lear (rather than other works such as the Comedy of Errors).
April 10, 2020 (Journal of Air Transport Management)
Identification of critical airports for controlling global infectious disease outbreaks: Stress-tests focusing in Europe
Paraskevas Nikolaou, Loukas Dimitriou
The objective of this extensive and detailed paper was to highlight possible disease spreading in the European region and to advocate the enhancement of Europe's control measures in order to prevent a disease spreading inside the region. A detailed epidemiological model is integrated with airlines’ and land transport network, to simulate the epidemic spread of infectious diseases originated from distant locations.
The results provide convincing evidence on the effectiveness that the European airports' system offer in controlling the emergence of epidemics, but also on the time and extent that controlling measures should be taken in order to break the chain of infections in realistic cases.
In a scenario examining a disease outbreak starting from Asia, the study highlights the importance of the time in closure/control measures applied in large regions, since few days of delay may result in wide spread of viruses in the general population of a region.
April 10, 2020
Is the spread of COVID-19 across countries influenced by environmental, economic and social factors?
Hossain, M. A.
Why some countries and regions are more affected than some other countries and regions? The author employs simple statistical methods to investigate any relationship between the severity of the disease and the environmental, economic and social parameters. The preliminary results indicate that the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection is higher in countries with lower yearly average temperatures, higher economic openness, and stronger political democracy.
April 9, 2020 (N Engl J Med)
Covid-19 — The Law and Limits of Quarantine
Wendy E. Parmet and Michael S. Sinha
This short “Perspective” article addresses some of the legislative challenges presented by the need for public health intervention to restrict the outbreak of COVID-19 in the USA.
April 6, 2020 (Lancet Child Adolesc Health)
School Closure and Management Practices During Coronavirus Outbreaks Including COVID-19: A Rapid Systematic Review
Russell M Viner, Simon J Russell, Helen Croker, et al
The authors searched three electronic databases to identify what is known about the effectiveness of school closures and other school social distancing practices during coronavirus outbreaks. They included 16 of 616 identified articles. School closures were deployed rapidly across mainland China and Hong Kong for COVID-19. However, the search identified no data on the relative contribution of school closures to transmission control. The authors conclude that “when considering school closures for COVID-19… combinations of social distancing measures should be considered. Other less disruptive social distancing interventions in schools require further consideration if restrictive social distancing policies are implemented for long periods”.
April 2020 (Progress in Disaster Science)
Governance, technology and citizen behavior in pandemic: Lessons from COVID-19 in East Asia
Rajib Shaw, Yong-kyunKim, Jinling Hua
This paper analyses responses in China, Japan and South Korea to the Covid-19 pandemic form the perspective of governance, and provides some commonalities and lessons. While the countries follow different mechanisms of governance, it was found that certain decisions in respective countries made a difference, along with strong community solidarity and community behavior. The authors highlight extensive use of emerging technologies along with medical/health care treatment to make the responses more effective and reduce the risk of the spread of the disease.
March 31, 2020
The propagation of the economic impact through supply chains: The case of a mega-city lockdown against the spread of COVID-19
This study quantifies the economic effect of a possible lockdown of Tokyo to prevent spread of COVID-19
March 30, 2020 (Anaesthesia)
A. K. M. Chan, C. P. Nickson, J. W. Rudolph, A. Lee G. M. Joynt
Social media for rapid knowledge dissemination: early experience from the COVID‐19 pandemic. Anaesthesia
In this Editorial the authors argue that well‐designed free open access educational material should distil key information in a clear, actionable format, while paired with social media–powered dissemination using social networks, in addition to traditional communication methods. Utilising social media in this way has shown promise as a speedier alternative. The use of the principles of the Free Open Access Medical education (FOAM) networks further provide good examples of the effectiveness of making information freely available. Acknowledging the limitations of social media, the authors propose criteria to be implemented by users of professional social medial platforms to promote the responsible use of social media–disseminated information.
March 25, 2020 (Lancet)
Parenting in a time of COVID-19
Lucie Cluver, Jamie M Lachman, Lorraine Sherr, Inge Wessels, Etienne Krug, Sabine Rakotomalala, Stephen Blight, Susan Hillis, Gretchen Bachman, Ohad Green, Alex Butchart, Mark Tomlinson, Catherine L Ward, Jennifer Doubt, and Kerida McDonald
The authors describe how several national and international organsisations are collaborating to provide open access online parenting resources during COVID-19. These resources focus on concrete tips to build positive relationships, divert and manage bad behaviour, and manage parenting stress. They are shared through social media.
Mar 25, 2020 (CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14511)
Stefano Ramelli and Alexander F. Wagner.nFeverish Stock Price Reactions to COVID-19
This paper studies how markets adjust to the sudden emergence of previously neglected risks. It analyzed the stock price effects of the 2019 novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The authors also discusses a possible economic crisi scenario. If you want to find out which sectors are most adversely affected, read on.
March 24, 2020 (Nature Human Behavior)
Using social and behavioural science to support COVID-19 pandemic response
Van Bavel, J. J., et al.
The Authors argue that because the COVID-19 pandemic crisis requires large-scale behaviour change and places significant psychological burdens on individuals, insights from the social and behavioural sciences can be used to help align human behavior with the recommendations of epidemiologists and public health experts. The authors discuss evidence from a selection of research topics relevant to pandemics, including work on navigating threats, social and cultural influences on behaviour, science communication, moral decision-making, leadership, and stress and coping. They note the nature and quality of prior research, including uncertainty and issues not settled. They identify several insights for effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and also highlight important gaps researchers should move quickly to fill in the coming weeks and months.
March 23, 2020 (Lancet Infect Dis)
Scientific and ethical basis for social-distancing interventions against COVID-19
Joseph A Lewnarda and Nathan C Lob
The authors argue that the effectiveness and societal impact of quarantine and social distancing will depend on the credibility of public health authorities, political leaders, and institutions. It is important that policy makers maintain the public's trust through use of evidence-based interventions and fully transparent, fact-based communication.
March 22, 2020 (SSRN)
Economic Effects of Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19) on the World Economy
This report discusses the economic impact of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis across industries, and countries. It also provides estimates of the potential global economic costs of COVID-19, and the GDP growth of different countries. The current draft includes estimates for 30 countries, under different scenarios. The report also shows the economic effects of outbreak are currently being underestimated, due to over-reliance on historical comparisons with SARS, or the 2008/2009 financial crisis.
March 13, 2020 (J. Risk Financial Manag)
Suspending Classes Without Stopping Learning: China’s Education Emergency Management Policy in the COVID-19 Outbreak
Wunong Zhang, Yuxin Wang, Lili Yang, and Chuanyi Wang
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19’s Risk Management and Its Impact on the Economy)
The authors discuss an emergency policy initiative called “Suspending Classes Without Stopping Learning” that was launched by the Chinese government to continue teaching activities as schools across the country were closed to contain the Covid-19 virus. The authors report ambiguity and disagreement about what to teach, how to teach, the workload of teachers and students, the teaching environment, and the implications for education equity. The authors describe some of the difficulties and outline some possible solutions.
March 12, 2020 (Social Health and Behavior)
Social reaction toward the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
In this editorial the author advocates there is a need to design an effective antistigma program that breaks the misperception in COVID-19, increases public's knowledge in COVID-19, and spreads encouraging positive and supportive messages. Such a program can be designed with the use of social media, given the high access rate in social media to combat misinformation, stigma and fear.
March 10, 2020
The COVID-19 Social Media Infodemic
The authors present the diffusion of information about the COVID-19 with a massive data analysis on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit and Gab
March, 2020 (The Medical Journal of Australia)
Pre-emptive low cost social distancing and enhanced hygiene implemented before local COVID-19 transmission could decrease the number and severity of cases
A pre-emptive phase would assist government, workplaces, schools and businesses to prepare for a more stringent phase. Low cost enhanced hygiene and social distancing measures should be considered.