Case Studies on the Impact of COVID-19 on Films and Digital Media
COVID-19 has been a game-changer for many industries and businesses across the globe. In this article, the impact of COVID-19 is discussed, specifically on films, television, and digital media industry. Based on the review of the newspaper articles, three case studies are presented. One case study is on the impact of COVID-19 on Bollywood, the second case study is on the impact of COVID-19 on Hollywood, and third case study is on the impact of COVID-19 on television and digital media industry. It is argued that COVID-19 has had a negative impact on Bollywood and Hollywood, whereas it has impacted the television and digital media industry in a positive way. COVID-19 has brought about disruption in the lives and businesses of people, and the film and television industry is not an exception. Although there are negative impacts of COVID-19 on Bollywood and Hollywood, it has positive impacts on television and the digital media industry. Maybe the disruption of the traditional film industry by the digital media industry will be the normal for a long time to come. However, measures need to be thought about a revival of the Bollywood and Hollywood for the many livelihoods they cater to. Bollywood and Hollywood are not just film industries, but the core identities of India and the United States. What shape film industry will take in the future would be interesting to see. This article opens up avenues for more in-depth empirical research in this area in the future.
A Comparative Study of Deep Learning Methods for COVID-19 Detection
COVID 19 is a pandemic which has resulted in thousands of deaths around the world and a huge impact on the global economy. Testing is a huge issue as the test kits have limited availability and are expensive to manufacture. Using deep learning methods on radiology images in the detection of the coronavirus as these images contain information about the spread of the virus in the lungs is extremely economical and time-saving as it can be used in areas with a lack of testing facilities. This paper focuses on binary classification and multi-class classification of COVID 19 and other diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, etc. Different deep learning methods such as VGG-19, COVID-Net, ResNET+ SVM, Deep CNN, DarkCovidnet, etc., have been used, and their accuracy has been compared using the Chest X-Ray dataset.
Urban Resilience: Relation between COVID-19 and Urban Environment in Amman City
COVID-19 is an exam for all the city’s systems. It shows many gaps in the systems such as healthcare, economic, social, and environment. This pandemic is paving for a new era, an era of technology and it has changed people’s lives, such as physical, and emotional changes, and converting communication into digitalized. The effect of COVID-19 has covered all urban city parts. COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic our cities will face. For that, more researches focus on enhancing the quality of the urban environment. This pandemic encourages a rethinking of the environment’s role, especially in cities. Cities are trying to provide the best suitable strategies and regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and an example of that is Amman city. Amman has a high increment in the number of COVID-19 infected people, while it has controlled the situation for months. For that, this paper studies the relation between COVID-19 and urban environmental studies cases about cities around the world, and learns from their models to face COVID-19. In Amman, people’s behavior has changed towards public transportation and public green spaces. N­ew governmental regulations focus on increasing people’s mental awareness, supporting local businesses, and enhancing neighborhood planning that can help Amman to face any future pandemics.
COVID-19 Associated Coagulopathy: A Case of Bilateral Ischemic Stroke Despite Thromboprophylaxis
As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, there is still a great deal to be learned about the management of those who develop severe disease. Reports have highlighted the impacts of vascular complications on the morbidity and mortality of patients infected with COVID-19. It remains to be fully understood whether the approach to preventing these complications should differ between critically ill patients with or without COVID-19, which is further complicated by the dangers of bleeding risk with standard prophylactic agents. This report presents a 71-year-old female who had a respiratory stage COVID-19 infection, was intubated for respiratory failure, and given guideline-recommended anticoagulation, but was found with extensive bilateral cerebral infarctions upon extubation. Clinicians should be mindful of hypercoagulability in this patient population, and future research should ascertain appropriate thromboprophylactic guidelines. This case also highlights the challenge of stroke identification in critically ill patients requiring sedation and mechanical ventilation.
Modelling the Effect of Distancing and Wearing of Face Masks on Transmission of COVID-19 Infection Dynamics
The COVID-19 is an infection caused by coronavirus, which has been designated as a pandemic in the world. In this paper, we proposed a model to study the effect of distancing and wearing masks on the transmission of COVID-19 infection dynamics. The invariant region of the model is established. The COVID-19 free equilibrium and the reproduction number of the model were obtained. The local and global stability of the model is determined using the linearization technique method and Lyapunov method. It was found that COVID-19 free equilibrium state is locally asymptotically stable in feasible region Ω if R₀ < 1 and globally asymptomatically stable if R₀ < 1, otherwise unstable if R₀ > 1. More so, numerical analysis and simulations of the dynamics of the COVID-19 infection are presented.
Applications for Tracking Close Contact with COVID-19 Patients in Malaysia
This paper discusses the unending coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The activity of detecting, testing those with symptoms, and isolating their contacts is the most effective method of stopping the chain of coronavirus infection. The number of cases of coronavirus continues to increase with some reporting a cure, but not a few die. Efforts to treat and prevent continue to fight COVID-19 with flu-like symptoms. The importance of the study is to identify smartphone applications that can track the movement of individuals in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, especially in Malaysia. This research method used a literature review, which included new insights into the quality of action and scientific papers. It synthesized information gleaned from a variety of sources. The findings of the study are that the Government of Malaysia has launched three main applications to track the movement of individuals, namely Gerak Malaysia, MyTrace, MySejahtera. Similarly, every state in Malaysia has its own state government application to track individual movements. Overall, Malaysia is one of the countries in the world that has successfully curbed the spread of COVID-19; Covid-19 cases in Malaysia are under control.
Artificial Intelligence-Based Chest X-Ray Test of COVID-19 Patients
The management of COVID-19 patients based on chest imaging is emerging as an essential tool for evaluating the spread of the pandemic which has gripped the global community. It has already been used to monitor the situation of COVID-19 patients who have issues in respiratory status. There has been increase to use chest imaging for medical triage of patients who are showing moderate-severe clinical COVID-19 features, this is due to the fast dispersal of the pandemic to all continents and communities. This article demonstrates the development of machine learning techniques for the test of COVID-19 patients using Chest X-Ray (CXR) images in nearly real-time, to distinguish the COVID-19 infection with a significantly high level of accuracy. The testing performance has covered a combination of different datasets of CXR images of positive COVID-19 patients, patients with viral and bacterial infections, also, people with a clear chest. The proposed AI scheme successfully distinguishes CXR scans of COVID-19 infected patients from CXR scans of viral and bacterial based pneumonia as well as normal cases with an average accuracy of 94.43%, sensitivity 95%, and specificity 93.86%. Predicted decisions would be supported by visual evidence to help clinicians speed up the initial assessment process of new suspected cases, especially in a resource-constrained environment.
Building Capacity and Personnel Flow Modeling for Operating amid COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the United States, forcing cities to impose stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders. Building operations had to adjust as non-essential personnel worked from home. But as buildings prepare for personnel to return, they need to plan for safe operations amid new COVID-19 guidelines. In this paper we propose a methodology for capacity and flow modeling of personnel within buildings to safely operate under COVID-19 guidelines.
We model personnel flow within buildings by network flows with queuing constraints. We study maximum flow, minimum cost, and minimax objectives. We compare our network flow approach with a simulation model through a case study and present the results. Our results showcase various scenarios of how buildings could be operated under new COVID-19 guidelines and provide a framework for building operators to plan and operate buildings in this new paradigm.
COVID-19 Teaches Probability Risk Assessment
Probability Risk Assessments (PRA) can be a difficult concept for students to grasp. So in searching for different ways to describe PRA to relate it to their lives; COVID-19 came up. The parallels are amazing. Soon students began analyzing acceptable risk with the virus. This helped them to quantify just how dangerous is dangerous. The original lesson was dismissed and for the remainder of the period, the probability of risk, and the lethality of risk became the topic. Spreading events such as a COVID carrier on an airline became analogous to single fault casualties such as a Tsunami. Odds of spreading became odds of backup-diesel-generator failure – like with Fukashima Daiichi. Fatalities of the disease became expected fatalities due to radiation spread. Quantification from this discussion took it from hyperbole and emotion into one where we could rationally base guidelines. It has been one of the most effective educational devices observed.
Correlation between Early Government Interventions in the Northeastern United States and COVID-19 Outcomes
The effect of different state government interventions on COVID-19 health outcomes is currently unknown. Stay at home (SAH) orders, all non-essential business closures and school closures in the Northeastern US were examined. A linear correlation between the peak number of new daily COVID-19 positive tests, hospitalizations and deaths per capita and the elapsed time between government issued guidance and a fixed number of COVID-19 deaths in each state was performed. Earlier government interventions were correlated with lower peak healthcare burden. Statewide closures of schools and non-essential businesses showed significantly greater (p
Portfolio Management for Construction Company during Covid-19 Using AHP Technique
In general, Covid-19 created many financial and non-financial damages to the economy and community. Level and severity of covid-19 as pandemic case varies over the region and due to different types of the projects. Covid-19 virus emerged as one of the most imperative risk management factors word-wide recently. Therefore, as part of portfolio management assessment, it is essential to evaluate severity of such risk on the project and program in portfolio management level to avoid any risky portfolio. Covid-19 appeared very effectively in South America, part of Europe and Middle East. Such pandemic infection affected the whole universe, due to lock down, interruption in supply chain management, health and safety requirements, transportations and commercial impacts. Therefore, this research proposes Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to analyze and assess such pandemic case like Covid-19 and its impacts on the construction projects. The AHP technique uses four sub-criteria: Health and safety, commercial risk, completion risk and contractual risk to evaluate the project and program. The result will provide the decision makers with information which project has higher or lower risk in case of Covid-19 and pandemic scenario. Therefore, the decision makers can have most feasible solution based on effective weighted criteria for project selection within their portfolio to match with the organization’s strategies.
Predicting Shortage of Hospital Beds during COVID-19 Pandemic in United States
World-wide spread of coronavirus grows the concern about planning for the excess demand of hospital services in response to COVID-19 pandemic. The surge in the hospital services demand beyond the current capacity leads to shortage of ICU beds and ventilators in some parts of US. In this study, we forecast the required number of hospital beds and possible shortage of beds in US during COVID-19 pandemic to be used in the planning and hospitalization of new cases. In this paper, we used a data on COVID-19 deaths and patients’ hospitalization besides the data on hospital capacities and utilization in US from publicly available sources and national government websites. we used a novel ensemble modelling of deep learning networks, based on stacking different linear and non-linear layers to predict the shortage in hospital beds. The results showed that our proposed approach can predict the excess hospital beds demand very well and this can be helpful in developing strategies and plans to mitigate this gap.
Effects of COVID-19 Confinement on Physical Activity and Screen Time in Spanish Children
The COVID-19 outbreak began in December 2019 in China and was rapidly expanded globally. Emergency measures, such as social distance or home confinement, were adopted by many country governments to prevent its transmission. In Spain, one of the most affected countries, the schools were closed, and one of the most severe mandatory home confinement was established for children from 14th March to 26th April 2020. The hypothesis of this study was that the measures adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic may have negatively affected physical activity and screen time of children. However, few studies have examined the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on lifestyle behaviours. Thus, the aim of the current work was to analyse the effects of the COVID-19 confinement on physical activity and screen time in Spanish children. For the current purpose, a total of 113 children and adolescents (12.0 ± 2.6 yr., 51.3% boys, 24.0% with overweight/obesity according to the World Obesity Federation) of the MUGI project were included in the analyses. Physical activity and screen time were longitudinally assessed by 'The Youth Activity Profile' questionnaire (YAP). Differences in physical activity and screen time before and during the confinement were assessed by dependent t-test. Before the confinement, 60% did not meet physical activity recommendations ( ≥ 60/min/day of moderate to vigorous physical activity), and 61% used screens ≥ 2 h/day. During the COVID-19 confinement, children decreased their physical activity levels (-91 ± 55 min/day, p < 0.001) and increased screen time ( ± 2.6 h/day, p < 0.001). The prevalence of children that worsened physical activity and screen time during the COVID-19 confinement were 95.2% and 69.8%, respectively. The current study evidence the negative effects of the COVID-19 confinement on physical activity and screen time in Spanish children. These findings should be taken into account to develop and implement future public health strategies for preserving children's lifestyle behaviours and health during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prognosis of Patients with COVID-19 and Hematologic Malignancies
, Anne Timmermann
, Alexander Yerkan
, Joshua Thomas
, Deborah Katz
, Agne Paner
, Melissa Larson
, Shivi Jain
, Seo-Hyun Kim
, Celalettin Ustun
, Ankur Varma
, Parameswaran Venugopal
, Jamile Shammo
Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) causes persistent concern for poor outcomes in vulnerable populations. Patients with hematologic malignancies (HM) have been found to have higher COVID-19 case fatality rates compared to those without malignancy. While cytopenias are common in patients with HM, especially in those undergoing chemotherapy treatment, hemoglobin (Hgb) and platelet count have not yet been studied, to our best knowledge, as potential prognostic indicators for patients with HM and COVID-19. The goal of this study is to identify factors that may increase the risk of mortality in patients with HM and COVID-19. In this single-center, retrospective, observational study, 65 patients with HM and laboratory confirmed COVID-19 were identified between March 2020 and January 2021. Information on demographics, laboratory data the day of COVID-19 diagnosis, and prognosis was extracted from the electronic medical record (EMR), chart reviewed, and analyzed using the statistical software SAS version 9.4. Chi-square testing was used for categorical variable analyses. Risk factors associated with mortality were established by logistic regression models. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (37%), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (20%), and plasma cell dyscrasia (15%) were the most common HM. Higher Hgb level upon COVID-19 diagnosis was related to decreased mortality, odd ratio=0.704 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.511-0.969; P = .0263). Platelet count the day of COVID-19 diagnosis was lower in patients who ultimately died (mean 127 ± 72K/uL, n=10) compared to patients who survived (mean 197 ±92K/uL, n=55) (P=.0258). Female sex was related to decreased mortality, odd ratio=0.143 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.026-0.785; P = .0353). There was no mortality difference between the patients who were on treatment for HM the day of COVID-19 diagnosis compared to those who were not (P=1.000). Lower Hgb and male sex are independent risk factors associated with increased mortality of HM patients with COVID-19. Clinicians should be especially attentive to patients with HM and COVID-19 who present with cytopenias. Larger multi-center studies are urgently needed to further investigate the impact of anemia, thrombocytopenia, and demographics on outcomes of patients with hematologic malignancies diagnosed with COVID-19.
Pneumonia and COVID-19 Classification in Chest X-Rays Using Faster Region-Based Convolutional Neural Networks
Chest X-rays have been a subject of deep learning applications on medical images for the high expectations of their evidence in assessing pulmonary diseases, whereas the arising of COVID-19 or 2019 novel coronavirus in December 2019 have prioritized research on pulmonary diseases diagnosis and prognosis, especially using artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning (DL). For this sake, we extend the previous work by applying faster region-based convolutional neural networks (faster R-CNN) to the classification of pneumonia and COVID-19 in chest X-ray images using various datasets involving COVID-19 images. Different combinations of training scenarios in addition to internal and external testing at various objectiveness thresholds yielded promising results. In comparison to the real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) COVID-19 detection test, the sensitivity of faster R-CNN was 75% using a small count of COVID-19 training images, while rRT-PCR recorded 83.3% sensitivity. The results comply with the state of the art of Faster-RCNN in pulmonary diseases detection, yet, while healthcare representatives’ accuracy is better by 15% on average, the algorithm is much faster. The upcoming work may emphasize on using larger COVID-19 datasets, introduce segmentation, add a secondary classification stage, and even engage other medical image data to improve the performance and constitute a robust faster R-CNN-based prediction model.
Fear of Covid-19 a Major Contributing Factor to Insomnia in General Iranian Population
Introduction: The outbreak of coronavirus disease has considerably burdened the healthcare system in Iran. This study aimed to evaluate the characteristics of insomnia experienced by the general Iranian population during the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: A scale(FCV-19) was used for Fear of COVID-19, Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2), and Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale-2 (GAD-2) for detailed characterization of insomnia and its patterns Results: In total, 675 people with insomnia with the mean age of 40.28 years (SD=11.15) participated in this study. Prevalence of difficulty initiating sleep (DIS), difficulty maintaining sleep (DMS), and early morning awakening (EMA) were 91.4%, 86.7%, and 77%, respectively. DIS, DMS, and EMA were more common in people with depression and anxiety. FCV-19 score was higher in those with more severe types of DIS, DMS, and EMA (P< 0.001). FCV-19 was a risk factor for all patterns of insomnia (OR=1.19, 1.12, 1.02 for DIS, DMS, and EMA, respectively). Conclusion: fear of COVID-19 is a major factor to insomnia patterns. Investigation of COVID-19 fear in people with insomnia and the addition of attributed relieving or management strategies to conventional management of insomnia are reasonable approaches to improve the sleep condition of people in the pandemic.
Covid-19: Preparedness, Response, and Use of Video Technology in Managing Infection Rate at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos-Nigeria
Since coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first reported in Nigeria, the virus has spread to virtually all sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries. In Nigeria, government agencies came together to create a goal-driven taskforce in improving our response against the virus. As COVID-19 international spread has been curtailed, community spread became rampant locally, leading to many health authorities raising concerns over the scarcity of medical consumables and supplies. Here at Lagos university teaching Hospital (LUTH), we present data analysis of COVID-19 infections offered at our Hospital (LUTH) and the surrounding communities. In addition, the adopted innovative solution to control the spread of infection, methods used in filling shortages of consumables, personal protective equipment (PPE), and use of mobile video technology in patient’s consultation. The management style and strategy adopted has led to a decline in infection rates in our community and among our front line staff. The current COVID -19 crisis has created an opportunity to test and demonstrate our pandemic response and control of infectious disease along with the revealed unknown potential in our community.
COVID-19: The Cause or the Confounder
A 59-year-old male with no known co-morbidities was admitted to a private hospital for complaints of fever and cough and was diagnosed to haveCOVID-19. CT of the thorax revealed the involvement of 50% of the lungs. Screening ECG and ECHO were normal. The patient was treated with oxygen therapy and drugs and was discharged after 12 days of admission. Post-discharge, the patient remained symptom-free and continued his work. After one month, the patient developed a fever for three days, for which he took antipyretics. Subsequently, the patient developed sudden onset breathlessness, which rapidly progressed to grade 4 NYHA, and developed a cough as well. Suspecting COVID-19 reinfection, the patient visited a nearby hospital, where COVID–19 rt-PCR swabs turned out to be positive, and was referred to our hospital. On receiving, the patient had diffuse lung crepitations and a diastolic murmur in the neo-aortic area. CT thorax revealed pulmonary edema with areas of consolidation. ECHO revealed vegetation on the aortic valve with severe aortic regurgitation. Blood cultures were taken, which revealed the growth of Enterococcus faecalis. The diagnosis of infective endocarditis was made, and the patient was started on appropriate treatment. COVID–19 has effects on various systems, including the cardiovascular system. Even though infective endocarditis is common in the elderly with valvular heart disease, this patient had developed infective endocarditis in an apparently normal aortic valve. Infective endocarditis and COVID–19 can have similar presentations leading to diagnostic difficulties. COVID–19, affecting the heart valves causing valvulitis and predisposing them to the development of infective endocarditis, is also an area to be explored.
The Role of Parents on Fear Acquisition of Children in COVID-19 Pandemic
The aim of this study is to examine the role of parents' emotional and behavioral reactions on fears of children in the COVID-19 pandemic considering Rachman’s Three Pathways Theory. For this purpose, a phenomenological qualitative study was conducted. Thirteen participants living with their children were utilized through criterion and snowball sampling. In semi-structured interviews parents were asked about their own and their children’s beahavioral and emotional reactions in the COVID-19 pandemic, and they were expected to give detailed information about fears of their children before and in pandemic. Firstly, parents were asked about their behavioral and emotional reactions in the COVID-19 pandemic. As behavioral reactions, precautions taken by parents to protect the rest of the family from negative physical and emotional impact of the pandemic were mentioned, while emotional reactions were defined as acquisition of negative emotions like fear, anxiety, and worry. Secondly, parents were asked about their children’s behavioral and emotional reactions. Some of the parents talked about positive behavioral changes such as gaining self-control, while some others explained negative behavioral changes like increased time spent with technological tools. In the emotional changes section, all of the parents explained at least one negative emotion. All of the parents stated that their children had COVID-19 related fears. According to parents’ expressions, fears of children in pandemic were examined in two dimensions. Fears directly related to COVID-19 were fear of virus/microbes, illness or death of someone in family and death and fears. Fears indirectly related to COVID-19 were fear of going out, sleep alone at night, separation, touching stuff outside the home, and cold. Considering existing literature and based on the findings of this study, it can be concluded that children’s modelling experiences have impact on acquisition of negative emotions, especially fear, therefore, preventive interventions involving caregivers should be provided by mental health professionals working with children.
Effective Teaching of Thermofluid Pratical Courses during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a new normal into the world; online teaching is now the most used method of teaching over the face to face meeting. With the emergency of these teaching, online-teaching has been improved over time and with more technological advancement tools introduced. Practical courses are more demanding to teach because it requires the physical presence of the student as well as a demonstration of the equipment. In this study, a case of Lagos State University thermofluid practical was the understudy. A survey was done and give to a sample of students to fill. The result showed that the blend-approach is better for practical course teaching. Software simulation of the equipment used to conduct practical should be encouraged in the future.
COVID-19-Related Posttraumatic Distress Syndrome among Jordanian Nurses during the Pandemic
Background: The 2019 coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic and has greatly affected both patients and healthcare workers. This study was conducted to explore the extent of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experiences among nurses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Jordan. Method: This study used a cross-sectional study design with a convenience sampling approach. A sample of 259 participants completed the study questionnaires, including a sociodemographic questionnaire and the posttraumatic stress disorder checklist for DSM‐5, between May and July 2020. Result: The prevalence of PTSD among the study participants was 37.1%. The majority of study participants who exhibited PTSD symptoms presented the lowest level of PTSD (17%). The results indicated significant differences in overall COVID-19-related PTSD according to the participant’s age (F = 14.750, P = .000), gender (F = 30.340, P = .000), level of education (F = 51.983, P =.000), years of experience (F = 52.33, P = .000), place of work (F = 19.593, P = .000), and working position (F = 11.597, P = .000), as determined by one-way ANOVA. Conclusion: Nurses must be qualified and accredited to cope with reported PTSD cases and their consequences in relation to COVID-19 outbreaks. Close collaboration with a multidisciplinary team is required to recognise, manage, and encourage safety literacy among health care professionals and individuals diagnosed with or suspected of PTSD due to COVID-19 outbreaks or any other viral outbreaks.
Factors Affecting Consumers’ Online Shopping Behavior in Vietnam during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Study of Tiki
Tiki is one of the leading e-commerce companies in Viet Nam. Since the beginning of 2020, COVID-19 has been spreading around the world. Thanks to this pandemic, the Tiki platform has many strengths and has faced many threats. Customer behaviour was forecasted to change during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the investigation is (1) Identifying factors affecting online consumer behaviour of Tiki in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, (2) Measuring the level of impact of these factors, and (3) Recommendations for Tiki to improve its business strategy for the next stage. This research studies eight factors and collected 378 online surveys for analysis. Using SPSS software identified five factors (product, price, reliability, and web design) positively influencing customer behaviour. COVID-19 factor does not impact significantly Tiki’s customer behaviour. This research conducted some qualitative interviews to understand shopping experiences and customers’ expectations. One of these interviews’ main points is that Tiki’s customers have high trust in the Tiki brand and its high-quality products. Based on the results, the Tiki corporation should secure its core value. Tiki’s employees and logistics systems should be well-trained and optimized to improve customer experiences.
The Consequences of COVID-19 Crisis on Informal Workers in Brazil: An Analysis of Emergency Aid from the Government
COVID-19 has spread rapidly in Brazil since March 2020, making the country one of the most affected in the world by the pandemic. From an economic point of view, Brazil came from a pre-pandemic period characterized by low or negative growth, with a resulting increase in the number of unemployed and informal workers. This paper considers lockdown implementation in the situation of the large presence of informality in the economy. The objective of the paper is to analyze how the country has tried to help workers affected by economic crisis after the implementation of measures against COVID-19 and whether the emergency assistance from the government has been adequate to contain the increase of informal workers and unemployed. The methodology used in this paper is survival analysis. Through this methodology, the formality – informality, and informality – unemployment transitions are analyzed. This analysis draws data from the Continuous National Household Sample Survey (Continuous PNAD) and from the National Household Sample Survey COVID-19 (PNAD COVID-19) covering the period of January 2020 – July 2020. The results indicate that emergency aid has been not sufficient to reduce the transitions of workers from formal to informal jobs and from informal jobs to unemployment. Emergency aid has been not sufficient considering the previous situation of the country, with levels of poverty and inequality very high. In the next months, another fundamental determinant of the income trajectory in the context of the COVID-19 crisis will be the continuity of the emergency aid, especially considering the fiscal adjustment policy pursued by the government. Therefore, the current negative portrait may be even worse in the coming months.
RNA-Seq Analysis of Coronaviridae Family and SARS-Cov-2 Prediction Using Proposed ANN
Novel coronavirus COVID-19, which has recently influenced the world, poses a great threat to humanity. In order to overcome this challenging situation, scientists are working on developing effective vaccine against coronavirus. Many experts and researchers have also produced articles and done studies on this highly important subject. In this direction, this special topic was chosen for article to make a contribution to this area. The purpose of this article is to perform RNA sequence analysis of selected virus forms in the Coronaviridae family and predict/classify SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) from other selected complete genomes in coronaviridae family using proposed Artificial Neural Network(ANN) algorithm.
Spatial Distribution and Time Series Analysis of COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy: A Geospatial Perspective
The novel coronavirus pandemic disease (COVID-19) affected the whole globe, though there is a lack of clinical studies and its epidemiological features. But as per the observation, it has been seen that most of the COVID-19 infected patients show mild to moderate symptoms, and they get better without any medical assistance due to a better immune system to generate antibodies against the novel coronavirus. In this study, the active cases, serious cases, recovered cases, deaths and total confirmed cases had been analyzed using the geospatial inverse distance weightage technique (IDW) within the time span of 2nd March to 3rd June 2020. As of 3rd June, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Italy were 231,238, total deaths 33,310, serious cases 350, recovered cases 158,951, and active cases were 39,177, which has been reported by the Ministry of Health, Italy. March 2nd-June 3rd, 2020 a sum of 231,238 cases has been reported in Italy out of which 38.68% cases reported in the Lombardia region with a death rate of 18%, which is high from its national mortality rate followed by Emilia-Romagna (14.89% deaths), Piemonte (12.68% deaths), and Vento (10% deaths). As per the total cases in the region, the highest number of recoveries has been observed in Umbria (92.52%), followed by Basilicata (87%), Valle d'Aosta (86.85%), and Trento (84.54%). The COVID-19 evolution in Italy has been particularly found in the major urban area, i.e., Rome, Milan, Naples, Bologna, and Florence. Geospatial technology played a vital role in this pandemic by tracking infected patient, active cases, and recovered cases. Geospatial techniques are very important in terms of monitoring and planning to control the pandemic spread in the country.
Gig-Work in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic
In the spring of 2020, the country and the economy came to a halt due to an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, SARS-2, virus known as COVID-19. One of the hardest hit sectors of the economy was the gig-sector, which includes Lyft, Uber, Door-Dash, and other services. In this study, we examined the effects of the independent contractor status of laborers in this field to see how a near-complete economic shut-down affected the lives of laborers who are denied access to health-care and unemployment benefits due to their status as independent contractors. What the study found was there was no 'life-altering' change to the lives of the workers who used gig-work as supplementary income during the economic shut-down, but those who relied on Lyft and Uber, etc. as their sole source of income were more heavily impacted by the economic shut-down than part-time workers. The second significant finding of the study was that across all genders and races, the idea of having to seek unemployment or help was something that none of the workers wanted. They all felt as if unemployment and social-insurance were for those who could not work. While the findings are not generalizable due to this being a small qualitative study consisting of 27 participants, the findings suggest that the economic and social impact of COVID-19 on those that work in the gig-industry warrants further discussion and research.
Therapeutic Application of Light and Electromagnetic Fields to Reduce Hyper-Inflammation Triggered by COVID-19
COVID-19-related morbidity is associated with exaggerated inflammation and cytokine production in the lungs, leading to acute respiratory failure. The cellular mechanisms underlying these so-called ‘cytokine storms’ are regulated through the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling pathway and by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Both light (photobiomodulation) and magnetic fields (e.g., pulsed electromagnetic field) stimulation are non-invasive therapies known to confer anti-inflammatory effects and regulate ROS signaling pathways. Here we show that daily exposure to two 10-minute intervals of moderate-intensity infra-red light significantly lowered the inflammatory response induced via the TLR4 receptor signaling pathway in human cell cultures. Anti-inflammatory effects were likewise achieved by electromagnetic field exposure of cells to daily 10-minute intervals of either pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) or to low-level static magnetic fields. Because current illumination and electromagnetic field therapies have no known side effects and are already approved for some medical uses, we have here developed protocols for verification in clinical trials of COVID 19 infection. These treatments are affordable, simple to implement, and may help to resolve the acute respiratory distress of COVID 19 patients both in the home and in the hospital.
The Reality of the Digital Inequality and Its Negative Impact on Virtual Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The South African Perspective
Life as we know it has changed since the global outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and business as usual will not continue. The human impact of the COVID-19 crisis is already immeasurable. Moreover, COVID-19 has already negatively impacted economies, livelihoods and disrupted food systems around the world. The disruptive nature of the Corona virus has affected every sphere of life including the culture and teaching and learning. Right now the majority of education research is based around classroom management techniques that are no longer necessary with digital delivery. Instead there is a great need for new data about how to make the best use of the one-on-one attention that is now becoming possible (Diamandis & Kotler, 2014). The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated an environment where the South African learners are focused to adhere to social distancing in order to minimise the wild spread of the Corona virus. This arrangement forces the student to utilise the online classroom technologies to continue with the lessons. The historical reality is that the country has not made much strides on the closing of the digital divide and this is particularly a common status quo in the deep rural areas. This will prove to be a toll order for most of the learners affected by the Corona Virus to be able to have a seamless access to the online learning facilities. The paper will seek to look deeply into this reality and how the Corona virus has brought us to the reality that South Africa remains a deeply unequal society in every sphere of life. The study will also explore the state of readiness for education system around the online classroom environment.
, virtual classroom
, Corona virus
, internet connectivity
, blended learning
, online learning
, distance education
, self-regulated Learning
, digital literacy
Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives in COVID-19: The Effect of CSR Motives Attributions on Advocacy
The Corona Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has changed the world considerably and has disrupted businesses and people’s lives globally. In response to the pandemic, businesses have seen increased demand for corporate social responsibility (CSR). Businesses can increase their investments in CSR initiatives during the pandemic through various actions. This study examines how the various motives of philanthropy CSR influence perceived quality of life, company image, and advocacy. This study employed surveys of 719 respondents from seven provinces in Indonesia that had the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country. A structural equation model was used to test the hypothesis. The results showed that value and strategic motives positively influenced the perceived quality of life and corporate image, while the egoistic motive was negatively associated with both the perceived quality of life and the image of the company. The study also suggested that advocacy was strongly related to the perceived quality of life instead of a corporate image. The results indicate that, during a pandemic, both public- (i.e. value) and firm-serving (i.e. strategic) motives can have the same impact as long as people perceive that the businesses are sincere.
The Covid-19 Pandemic: Transmission, Misinformation, and Implications on Public Health
A pandemic, such as that of COVID-19, can be a time of panic and stress; concerns about health supersede others such as work and leisure. With such concern comes the seeking of crucial information— information that, during a global health crisis, could mean the difference between life and death. Whether newspapers, cable news, or radio, media plays an important role in the transmission of medical information to the general public. Moreover, the news media in particular must uphold its obligation to the public to only disseminate factual, useful information. The circulation of misinformation, whether explicit or implicit, may profoundly impact global health. Using a discursive analytic framework founded in linguistics, the images and headlines of top coverage of COVID-19 from the most influential media outlets will be examined. Micro-analyses reveal what may be interpreted as evidence of sensationalism, which may be argued to a form of misinformation, and ultimately a departure from ethical media. Withdrawal from responsible reporting and publishing, expressly in times of epidemic, may cause further confusion and panic.
COVID-19 in Nigeria: An external Analysis from the perspective of social media
One of the prominence elements used by the destination marketing organization (DMO) as a marketing strategy is the application of Social media tools. During the current spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), travel restriction was placed in most countries of the world, leading to the closure of borders movement. It should be noted that most tourism travelers depend on social media to obtain and exchange different kinds of information about COVID-19 in an unprecedented scale. The situational information people received is valued, which calls for the response of the tourism industry on the epidemic. Therefore, it is highly important to recognize such situational information and to understand how people spread this propaganda on social media platforms so that suitable information that relates the COVID-19 epidemic is available in a manner that will not tarnish the marketing strategies, festival planners. Data for this research study was collected from the desk review, which is a secondary source data, online blogs, and interview through social media chat. The results of this research show that the widespread of COVID-19 pandemics led to rapid lockdown in states and cities all over Nigeria, causing declining demands in hotels, airlines, recreation, and tourism centers. Additionally, billions of dollars lost has been recorded in the high increase of hotels and travel bookings cancellations which caused hundreds and thousands of job loss in the country. The result of this research also revealed that COVID-19 is causing more havoc on the unemployment rate indices of the country. Similarly, the over-dependence of government on petroleum has further caused considerable revenue loss, thereby raising a high poverty rate among less privileged Nigerians. Based on this result, the study suggested that there is an urgent need for the government to diversify its economy by looking at other different sectors such as tourism and agricultural farm produce to harmonize other commercial trades sectors in the country.
Prevalence and Clinical Significance of Antiphospholipid Antibodies in COVID-19 Patients Admitted to Intensive Care Units
, Alaa Rahhal
, Fadi Khir
, Safae Abu Yousef
, Amer Aljundi
, Feryal Ibrahim
, Aliaa Amer
, Ahmed Soliman Mohamed
, Samira Saleh
, Dekra Alfaridi
, Ahmed Mahfouz
, Sumaya Al-Yafei
, Faraj Howady
, Mohamad Yahya Khatib
, Samar Alemadi
Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increases the risk of coagulopathy among critically ill patients. Although the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPLs) has been proposed as a possible mechanism of COVID-19 induced coagulopathy, their clinical significance among critically ill patients with COVID-19 remains uncertain. Methods: This prospective observational study included patients with COVID-19 admitted to intensive care units (ICU) to evaluate the prevalence and clinical significance of aPLs, including anticardiolipin IgG/IgM, anti-β2-glycoprotein IgG/IgM, and lupus anticoagulant. The study outcomes included the prevalence of aPLs, a primary composite outcome of all-cause mortality, and arterial or venous thrombosis among aPLs positive patients versus aPLs negative patients during their ICU stay. Multiple logistic regression was used to assess the influence of aPLs on the primary composite outcome of mortality and thrombosis. Results: A total of 60 critically ill patients were enrolled. Of whom, 57 (95%) were male, with a mean age of 52.8 ± 12.2 years, and the majority were from Asia (68%). Twenty-two patients (37%) were found to have positive aPLs; of whom 21 patients were positive for lupus anticoagulant, whereas one patient was positive for anti-β2-glycoprotein IgG/IgM. The composite outcome of mortality and thrombosis during ICU did not differ among patients with positive aPLs compared to those with negative aPLs (4 (18%) vs. 6 (16%), aOR= 0.98, 95% CI 0.1-6.7; p-value= 0.986). Likewise, the secondary outcomes, including all-cause mortality, venous thrombosis, arterial thrombosis, discharge from ICU, time to mortality, and time to discharge from ICU, did not differ between those with positive aPLs upon ICU admission in comparison to patients with negative aPLs. Conclusion: The presence of aPLs does not seem to affect the outcomes of critically ill patients with COVID-19 in terms of all-cause mortality and thrombosis. Therefore, clinicians may not screen critically ill patients with COVID-19 for aPLs unless deemed clinically appropriate.
Using the Delphi Method to Determine the Change in Knowledge and Skills of Professional Quantity Surveyors as a Result of COVID-19 Pandemic
The impact on the construction industry in Malaysia is unprecedented, as the government implemented a lockdown to restrict human movement in an effort to stop COVID-19 from spreading. Quantity surveyor (QS), as one of the key construction professionals, found that the working practices and environments for quantity surveyors today have changed due to the current pandemic. The QS profession must deal not only with changes in project issues but also with a different working environment in which most people are required to work from home and follow the standard operating procedures. Therefore, QS should be flexible, agile, and have the capability to adapt to the current working practices by strengthening their competencies. Adapting to the current and recovering environment of COVID-19 may result in the emergence of a new competence such as skill and knowledge for QS in order to maintain the quality of performance in the delivery of their professional services. Thus, this paper's objective is to investigate the changes in knowledge and skills in quantity surveyors. The data will be collected through interviews with registered professional QS to gain better insights that are specific in this industry, and the findings will be verified using the Delphi method. It is hoped that new knowledge and skill will be found from the study and will not only contribute to the betterment of the professional QS but also in guiding higher learning institutions to incorporate the new competencies into their curriculum.
Social Influences on Americans' Mask-Wearing Behavior during COVID-19
Based on a convenience sample of 2,092 participants from across all 50 states of the United States, a survey was conducted to explore Americans’ mask-wearing behaviors during COVID-19 according to their political convictions, religious beliefs, and ethnic cultures from late July to early September, 2020. The purpose of the study is to provide evidential support for government policymaking so as to drive up more effective public policies by taking into consideration the variance in these social factors. It was found that the respondents’ party affiliation or preference, religious belief, and ethnicity, in addition to their health condition, gender, level of concern of contracting COVID-19, all affected their mask-wearing habits both in March, the initial coronavirus outbreak stage, and in August, when mask-wearing had been made mandatory by state governments. The study concludes that pandemic awareness campaigns must be run among all citizens, especially among African Americans, Muslims, and Republicans, who have the lowest rates of wearing masks, in order to protect themselves and others. It is recommended that complementary cognitive bias awareness programs should be implemented in non-Black and non-Muslim communities to eliminate social concerns that deter them from wearing masks.
Exploring the Perspective of Service Quality in mHealth Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The impact of COVID-19 has a significant effect on all sectors of society globally. Health information technology (HIT) has become an effective health strategy in this age of distancing. In this regard, mobile health (mHealth) plays a critical role in managing patient and provider workflows during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the users' perception of service quality about mHealth services plays a significant role in shaping confidence and subsequent behaviors regarding the mHealth users' intention of use. This study's objective was to explore levels of user attributes analyzed by a qualitative method of how health practitioners and patients are satisfied or dissatisfied with using mHealth services; and analyzed the users' intention in the context of Taiwan during the Convid-19 pandemic. This research explores the experienced usability of mHealth services during the covid-19 pandemic. This study uses qualitative methods that include in-depth and semi-structured interviews that investigate participants' perceptions and experiences and the meanings they attribute to them. The five cases consisted of health practitioners, clinic staff, and patients' experiences using mHealth services. This study encourages participants to discuss issues related to the research question by asking open-ended questions, usually in one-to-one interviews. The findings show the positives and negatives attributes of mHealth service quality. Hence, the significant importance of patients' and health practitioners' issues on several dimensions of perceived service quality is system quality, information quality, and interaction quality. A concept map for perceptions regards to emergency uses' intention of mHealth services process depicted. The findings revealed that users pay more attention to ‘medical care’, ‘ease of use’ and ‘utilitarian benefits’ and have less importance for ‘admissions and convenience’ and ‘social influence’. To improve mHealth services, the mHealth providers and health practitioners should better manage users' experiences to enhance mHealth services. This research contributes to the understanding of service quality issues in mHealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Italian Tourism:
the Current Scenario, Opportunity and Future Tourism Organizational Strategies
This article examines the impact of the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19 in the tourism sector in Italy, analyzing the current scenario, the government decisions and the private company reaction for the summer season 2020. The framework of the data analyzed shows how massive it’s the impact of the pandemic outbreak in the tourism revenue, and the weaknesses of the measures proposed.
Travel &Tourism, Transportation, Sustainability, COVID-19, Businesses
The current COVID-19 scenario shows a shocking situation for the tourism and transportation sectors: it could be the most affected by the Coronavirus in Italy. According to forecasts, depending on the duration of the epidemic outbreak and the lockdown strategy applied by the Government, businesses in the supply chain could lose between 24 and 66 billion in turnover in the period of 2020-21, with huge diversified impacts at the national and regional level. Many tourist companies are on the verge of survival and if there are no massive measures by the government they risk closure.
The tourism and transport sector could be among the sectors most damaged by Covid-19 in Italy. Considering the two-year period 2020-21, companies operating in the travel & tourism sector (Tour operator, Travel Agencies, Hotel, Guides, Bus Company, etc..) could in suffer losses in revenues of 24 to 64 billion euros, especially in the sectors such as the travel agencies, hotel and rental.
According to Statista Research Department, from April 2020 estimated that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will have a significant impact on revenues of the tourism industry in Italy.
Revenues are expected to decrease by over 40 billion euros in the first semester of 2020, compared to the same period of the previous year. According to the study, hotel and non-hotel accommodations will experience the highest loss. Revenues of this sector are expected to decrease by 13 billion euros compared to the first semester of 2019 when accommodations registered revenues for about 17 billion euros.
According to Statista.com, in 2020, Italy is expected to register a decrease of roughly 28.5 million tourist arrivals due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the country's tourist sector. According to the estimate, the region of Veneto will record the highest drop with a decrease of roughly 4.61 million arrivals. Similarly, Lombardy is expected to register a decrease of about 3.87 million arrivals in 2020.
In-Silico Investigation of Phytochemicals from Ocimum Sanctum as Plausible Antiviral Agent in COVID-19
COVID-19 has ravaged the globe, and it is spreading its Spectre day by day. In the absence of established drugs, this disease has created havoc. Some of the infected persons are symptomatic or asymptomatic. The respiratory system, cardiac system, digestive system, etc. in human beings are affected by this virus. In our present investigation, we have undertaken a study of the Indian Ayurvedic herb, Ocimum sanctum against SARS-CoV-2 using molecular docking and dynamics studies. The docking analysis was performed on the Glide module of Schrödinger suite on two different proteins from SARS-CoV-2 viz. NSP15 Endoribonuclease and spike receptor-binding domain. MM-GBSA based binding free energy calculations also suggest the most favorable binding affinities of carvacrol, β elemene, and β caryophyllene with binding energies of −61.61, 58.23, and −54.19 Kcal/mol respectively with spike receptor-binding domain and NSP15 Endoribonuclease. It rekindles our hope for the design and development of new drug candidates for the treatment of COVID19.
A Comparison of Clinical and Pathological TNM Staging in a COVID-19 Era
Introduction: The TNM classification is the global standard for the staging of head and neck cancers. Accurate clinical-radiological staging of tumours (cTNM) is essential to predict prognosis, facilitate surgical planning and determine the need for other therapeutic modalities. This study aims to determine the accuracy of pre-operative cTNM staging using pathological TNM (pTNM) and consider possible causes of TNM stage migration, noting any variation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: A retrospective cohort study examined records of patients with surgical management of head and neck cancer at a tertiary head and neck centre from November 2019 to November 2020. Data was extracted from Somerset Cancer Registry and histopathology reports. cTNM and pTNM were compared before and during the first wave of COVID-19, as well as with other potential prognostic factors such as tumour site and tumour stage. Results: 119 cases were identified, of which 52.1% (n=62) were male, and 47.9% (n=57) were female with a mean age of 67 years. Clinical and pathological staging differed in 54.6% (n=65) of cases. Of the patients with stage migration, 40.4% (n=23) were up-staged and 59.6% (n=34) were down-staged compared with pTNM. There was no significant difference in the accuracy of cTNM staging compared with age, sex, or tumour site. There was a statistically highly significant (p < 0.001) correlation between cTNM accuracy and tumour stage, with the accuracy of cTNM staging decreasing with the advancement of pTNM staging. No statistically significant variation was noted between patients staged prior to and during COVID-19. Conclusions: Discrepancies in staging can impact management and outcomes for patients. This study found that the higher the pTNM, the more likely stage migration will occur. These findings are concordant with the oncology literature, which highlights the need to improve the accuracy of cTNM staging for more advanced tumours.
Immunity Boosting and Balanced Diet Prevents Viral Infections with Special Emphasis on COVID-19
Background and aims: A balanced nutritional diet is essential in maintaining immunity and for deterrence as well as desisting of viral infections. Nevertheless, currently, very less information is available online regarding nutrition consumption during the period of coronavirus infection, i.e. (COVID-19). In our systematic review article, we portrayed and aimed to evaluate evidence from various previous clinical trials, which was based on nutritional interventions for viral diseases and given a concise overview. Methods: A systematic search was carried out employing 3 key medical databases: PubMed®, Web of Science®, and SciVerse Scopus®. Studies were performed and evaluated suitable if clinical trials in humans, appropriate immunological parameters on viral and respiratory infections, need to perform. Basic Clinical trials on nutritional vitamins, minerals, nutraceuticals as well as probiotics were included. Results: We have explored 10 review articles and extracted data for our study. A total of > 2000 participants were included and excluded several other trace elements as well as various vitamins, but in inclusion criteria mainly concentrated on those who have shown propitious immune-modulatory effects against viral respiratory infections. Conclusions: We have encapsulated the potential health benefits of some minerals, vitamins, as well as certain designer foods, nutraceuticals, and probiotics in viral infections. Based on this nutritional interventional strategy available from our present data, it could be promising to abstain and reduce the COVID-19 infection replication and boost our immunity to fight against the virus.
Utilizing Topic Modelling for Assessing Mhealth App’s Risks to Users’ Health before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic
BACKGROUND: Software developers utilize automated solutions to scrape users’ reviews to extract meaningful knowledge to identify problems (e.g., bugs, compatibility issues) and possible enhancements (e.g., users’ requests) to their solutions. However, most of these solutions do not consider the health risk aspects to users. Recent works have shed light on the importance of including health risk considerations in the development cycle of mHealth apps to prevent harm to its users.
PROBLEM: The COVID-19 Pandemic in Canada (and World) is currently forcing physical distancing upon the general population. This new lifestyle made the usage of mHealth applications more essential than ever, with a projected market forecast of 332 billion dollars by 2025. However, this new insurgency in mHealth usage comes with possible risks to users’ health due to mHealth apps problems (e.g., wrong insulin dosage indication due to a UI error).
OBJECTIVE: These works aim to raise awareness amongst mHealth developers of the importance of considering risks to users’ health within their development lifecycle. Moreover, this work also aims to help mHealth developers with a Proof-of-Concept (POC) solution to understand, process, and identify possible health risks to users of mHealth apps based on users’ reviews.
METHODS: We conducted a mixed-method study design. We developed a crawler to mine the negative reviews from two samples of mHealth apps (my fitness, medisafe) from the Google Play store users. For each mHealth app, we performed the following steps:
• The reviews are divided into two groups, before starting the COVID-19 (reviews’ submission date before 15 Feb 2019) and during the COVID-19 (reviews’ submission date starts from 16 Feb 2019 till Dec 2020).
For each period, the Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) topic model was used to identify the different clusters of reviews based on similar topics of review
The topics before and during COVID-19 are compared, and the significant difference in frequency and severity of similar topics are identified.
We successfully scraped, filtered, processed, and identified health-related topics in both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The results demonstrated the similarity between topics before and during the COVID-19.
A Comparison between Virtual Case-Based Learning and Traditional Learning: The Effect on Undergraduate Nursing Students’ Performance during Covid-19: A Pilot Study
Covid-19 has changed and affected the whole world dramatically in a new way that the entire world, even scientists, have not imagined before. The educational institutions around the world have been fighting since Covid-19 hit the world last December to keep the educational process unchanged for all students. E-learning was a must for almost all US universities during the pandemic. It was specifically more challenging to use online case-based learning instead of regular classes among nursing students who take practical education. This study aims to examine the difference in performance and satisfaction between nursing students taking traditional education and those who take virtual case-based education during their practical study. This study enrolls 40 last-year nursing undergraduates from a mid-sized university in Western Pennsylvania. The study uses a convenient sample. Students will be divided into two groups; a control group that is exposed to traditional teaching strategy and a treatment group that is exposed to a case-based teaching strategy. The module designed for this study is a total parenteral nutrition (TPN) module that will be taught for one month. The treatment group (n=20) utilizes the virtual simulation of the CBL method, while the control group (n=20) uses the traditional lecture-based teaching method. Student evaluations are collected after a month by using the survey to attain the students’ learning satisfaction and self-evaluation of the course. The post-test is used to assess the end of the course performance.
Analyzing the Place of Technology in Communication: Case Study of Kenya during COVID-19
Technology has changed human life over time. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the work set-up, the school system, the shopping experience, church attendance, and even the way athletes train in Kenya. Although the use of technology to communicate and maintain interactions has been on the rise in the last 30 years, the uptake during the COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented. Traditionally, ‘paid’ work has been considered to take place outside the “home house” but COVID-19 has resulted in what is now being referred to as “the world’s largest work-from-home experiment” with up to 43 percent of employees working at least some of the time remotely. This study was conducted on 90 respondents from across remote work set-ups, school systems, merchants and customers of online shopping, church leaders and congregants and athletes, and their coaches. Data were collected by questionnaires and interviews that were conducted online. The data is based on the first three months since the first case of coronavirus was reported in Kenya. This study found that the use of technology is in the center of working remotely with work interactions being propelled on various online platforms including, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet, among others. The school system has also integrated the use of technology, including students defending their thesis/dissertations online and university graduations being conducted virtually. Kenya is known for its long-distance runners, due to the directives to reduce interactions; coaches have taken to providing their athletes with guidance on training on social media using applications such as WhatsApp. More local stores are now offering the shopping online option to their customers. Churches have also felt the brunt of the situation, especially because of the restrictions on crowds resulting in online services becoming more popular in 2020 than ever before. Artists, innovatively have started online musical concerts. The findings indicate that one of the outcomes in the Kenyan society that is evident as a result of the COVID-19 period is a population that is using technology more to communicate and get work done. Vices that have thrived in this season where the use of technology has increased, include the spreading of rumors on social media and cyberbullying. The place of technology seems to have been cemented by demand during this period.
Coronavirus Academic Paper Sorting Application
The COVID-19 Literature Summary App was created for the primary purpose of enabling academicians and clinicians to quickly sort through the vast array of recent coronavirus publications by topics of interest. Multiple methods of summarizing and sorting the manuscripts were created. A summary page introduces the application function and capabilities, while an interactive map provides daily updates on infection, death, and recovery rates. A page with a pivot table allows publication sorting by topic, with an interactive data table that allows sorting topics by columns, as wells as the capability to view abstracts. Additionally, publications may be sorted by the medical topics they cover. We used the CORD-19 database to compile lists of publications. The data table can sort binary variables, allowing the user to pick desired publication topics, such as papers that describe COVID-19 symptoms. The application is primarily designed for use by researchers but can be used by anybody who wants a faster and more efficient means of locating papers of interest.
An Examination of Crisis Communication in Sport: Lessons from Sport Organizations Responding to Coronavirus Disease Outbreak
Professional sport leagues in Europe and North America are shut down due to novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Football leagues in Europe (e.g., La Liga, English Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A, and Ligue 1) and big four professional sport leagues in North America (e.g., National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, and National Hockey League) are indefinitely suspended or delayed. COVID-19 outbreak has a growing negative impact on economics of sport leagues. For example, loss of revenue in Europe’s top five leagues due to the COVID-19 pandemic was estimated at € 4 billion and loss of revenue in the NBA was estimated at $650 million as of March 2020. In the unprecedented difficult situation, sport teams and leagues try to communicate with sport fans through diverse media platforms. In sport, however, very few studies have been done regarding how sport organizations effectively communicate with sport fans during pandemics, such as COVID-19 outbreak. Understanding sport organizations’ crisis communication is important to develop effective crisis management strategies for sport organizations. Therefore, the purpose of the study is to examine how sport organizations communicate with sport fans via online platforms in COVID-19 outbreak and how sport fans evaluate their communication strategies.
9 official sport league sites (i.e., five major football leagues in Europe and four major sport leagues in North America) and COVID-19 news articles published between January and June in 2020 will be analyzed in terms of coronavirus information, teams and players’ live update, fan interaction, fan support, and community engagement. In addition, comments posted on social media sites (i.e., Facebook and Twitter) of major sport leagues will be also analyzed to examine how sport fans perceive online messages provided by sport leagues as an effective communication strategy. To measure the effectiveness of crisis communication performance, five components (i.e., prompt, compassionate, honest, informative, and interactive) of crisis communication will be collected from leagues’ official websites information and social media posts. Upon completing data collection, content analysis method will be used to evaluate effectiveness of crisis communication among 9 professional sport leagues.
The results of the study will provide athletic directors, administrators, and public relations managers in sport organizations with practical information regarding how athlete celebrities and sport organizations should interact with their fans in pandemic situations. In particular, this study will contribute to developing specific crisis management plan for sport organizations. For instance, football teams and leagues in Europe will be able to create standard manuals to minimize damages caused by disease outbreak, such as COVID-19 outbreak.
A Feminist Approach to the COVID-19 Lockdown Process in Turkey
In feminist theory, home is usually regarded as an unsafe place for women to be in, as it continually produces inequalities between men and women, favoring the former, and maintains the patriarchal status quo. The second-wave feminists argued that women need to raise their concerns regarding domestic problems and this eventually led to the emergence of the motto 'the personal is political', pointing out to the fact that the domestic problems one woman experienced were essentially the problems of women in general as the patriarchal ideology manifested itself at home. Although this motto was from the late 1960s, it still holds significance today. In the golden era of the Internet, women could use social media to voice their concerns more easily than ever. Following this line of thought, the aim of this study is to analyze the domestic problems of the women in Turkey during the lockdown caused by COVID-19 through social media as they find themselves at home with their fathers, husbands and/or brothers for longer periods of time than ever before. For this purpose, an investigation of the posts shared under '#EvdeKal' ('StayAtHome') was carried out. The results of the study made it clear that women find the lockdown process to be problematic, that they express their domestic concerns rather freely through social media, and that the inequalities caused by the patriarchal ideology persist in the 21st century.
Making a Difference in a Crisis: How the 24-Hour Surgical Ambulatory Assessment Unit Transformed Emergency Care during COVID-19
Background: The Surgical Ambulatory Unit (SAU) also known as the Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) is an established part of many hospitals providing same day emergency care service to surgical patients who would have otherwise required admission through the A&E. Prior to Covid, the SAU was functioning as a 12-hour service, but during the Covid crisis this service was transformed to a 24 hour functioning Surgical Ambulatory Assessment unit (SAAU). We studied the effects that this change brought about in-patient care in our hospital. Objective: The objective of the study was to assess the impact of a 24-hour Surgical Ambulatory Assessment unit on patient care during the time of Covid, in particular its role in freeing A&E capacity and delivering effective patient care. Methods: We collected two sets of data retrospectively. The first set was collected over a 6-week period when the SAU was functioning at the Princess Royal University Hospital. On March 23rd, 2020, the SAU was transformed into a 24-hour SAAU. Following this transformation, a second set of patient data was collected over a period of 6 weeks. A comparison was made between data collected from when the hospital had a 12-hour Surgical Ambulatory unit and later when it was transformed into a 24-hour facility. Its effects on the change in the number of patients breaching the four hour waiting period and the number of emergency surgical admissions. Results: The 24-hour Surgical Ambulatory Assessment unit brought significant reductions in the number of patients breaching the waiting period of 4 hours in A&E from 44% during the period of the 12-hour Surgical Ambulatory care facility to 0% from when the 24-hour Surgical Ambulatory Assessment Unit was established. A 28% reduction was also seen in the number of surgical patients' admissions from A&E. Conclusions: The 24-hour SAAU was found to have a profound positive impact on emergency care of surgical patients. Especially during the Covid crisis, it played a crucial role in providing not only effective and accessible patient care but also in reducing the A&E workload and admissions. It thus proved to be a strategic tool that helped to deal with the immense workload in emergency care during the Covid crisis and helped free much needed headspace at a time of uncertainty for the A&E to better configure their services. If sustained, the 24-hour SAAU could be relied on to augment the NHS emergency services in the future, especially in the event of another crisis.
A BIM-Based Approach to Assess COVID-19 Risk Management Regarding Indoor Air Ventilation and Pedestrian Dynamics
In the context of the international spread of COVID-19, the Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (CSTB) has led a joint research with the French government authorities Hauts-de-Seine department, to analyse the risk in school spaces according to their configuration, ventilation system and spatial segmentation strategy. This paper describes the main results of this joint research. A multidisciplinary team involving experts in indoor air quality/ventilation, pedestrian movements and IT domains was established to develop a COVID risk analysis tool based on Building Information Model. The work started with specific analysis on two pilot schools in order to provide for the local administration specifications to minimize the spread of the virus. Different recommendations were published to optimize/validate the use of ventilation systems and the strategy of student occupancy and student flow segmentation within the building. This COVID expertise has been digitized in order to manage a quick risk analysis on the entire building that could be used by the public administration through an easy user interface implemented in a free BIM Management software. One of the most interesting results is to enable a dynamic comparison of different ventilation system scenarios and space occupation strategy inside the BIM model. This concurrent engineering approach provides users with the optimal solution according to both ventilation and pedestrian flow expertise.
Perception Towards Using E-learning with Stem Students Whose Programs Require Them to Attend Practical Sections in Laboratories during Covid-19
Covid-19 has changed and affected the whole world dramatically in a new way that the entire world, even scientists, have not imagined before. The educational institutions around the world have been fighting since Covid-19 hit the world last December to keep the educational process unchanged for all students. E-learning was a must for almost all US universities during the pandemic. It was specifically more challenging to use eLearning instead of regular classes among students who take practical education. The aim of this study is to examine the perception of STEM students towards using eLearning instead of traditional methods during their practical study. Focus groups of STEM students studying at a western Pennsylavian, mid-size university were interviewed. Semi-structured interviews were designed to get an insight on students’ perception towards the alternative educational methods they used in the past seven months. Using convenient sampling, four students were chosen from different STEM fields: science of physics, technology, electrical engineering, and mathematics. The interview was primarily about the extent to which these students were satisfied, and their educational needs were met through distance education during the pandemic. The interviewed students were generally able to do a satisfactory performance during their virtual classes, but they were not satisfied enough with the learning methods. The main challenges they faced included the inability to have real practical experience, insufficient materials posted by the faculty, and some technical problems associated with their study. However, they reported they were satisfied with the simulation programs they had. They reported these simulations provided them with a good alternative to their traditional practical education. In conclusion, this study highlighted the challenges students face during the pandemic. It also highlighted the various learning tools students see as good alternatives to their traditional education.
Assessing Perinatal Mental Illness during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Review of Measurement Tools
Background and Significance: Perinatal mental illness covers a wide range of conditions and has a huge influence on maternal-child health. Issues and challenges with perinatal mental health have been associated with poor pregnancy, birth, and postpartum outcomes. It is estimated that one out of five new and expectant mothers experience some degree of perinatal mental illness, which makes this a hugely significant health outcome. Certain factors increase the maternal risk for mental illness. Challenges related to poverty, migration, extreme stress, exposure to violence, emergency and conflict situations, natural disasters, and pandemics can exacerbate mental health disorders. It is widely expected that perinatal mental health is being negatively affected during the present COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A review of studies that reported a measurement tool to assess perinatal mental health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic was conducted following PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. PubMed, CINAHL, and Google Scholar were used to search for peer-reviewed studies published after late 2019, in accordance with the emergence of the virus. The search resulted in the inclusion of ten studies. Approach to measure health outcome: The main approach to measure perinatal mental illness is the use of self-administered, validated questionnaires, usually in the clinical setting. Summary: Widespread use of these tools has afforded the clinical and research communities the ability to identify and support women who may be suffering from mental illness disorders during a pandemic. More research is needed to validate tools in other vulnerable, perinatal populations.
Manifestations of Moral Imagination during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Debates of Lithuanian Parliament
The COVID-19 pandemic brought important and pressing challenges for politicians around the world. Governments, parliaments, and political leaders had to make quick decisions about containment of the pandemic, usually without clear knowledge about the factual spread of the virus, the possible expected speed of spread, and levels of mortality. Opinions of experts were also divided, as some advocated for ‘herd immunity’ without closing down the economy and public life, and others supported the idea of strict lockdown. The debates about measures of pandemic containment were heated and involved strong moral tensions with regard to the possible outcomes. This paper proposes to study the manifestations of moral imagination in the political debates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Importantly, moral imagination is associated with twofold abilities of a decision-making actor: the ability to discern the moral aspects embedded within a situation and the ability to envision a range of possibilities alternative solutions to the situation from a moral perspective. The concept was most thoroughly investigated in business management studies. However, its relevance for the study of political decision-making is also rather clear. The results of the study show to what extent politicians are able to discern the wide range of moral issues related to a situation (in this case, consequences of COVID-19 pandemic in a country) and how broad (especially, from a moral perspective) are discussions of the possible solutions proposed for solving the problem (situation). Arguably, political discussions and considerations are broader and affected by a wider and more varied range of actors and ideas compared to decision making in the business management sector. However, the debates and ensuing solutions may also be restricted by ideological maxims and advocacy of special interests. Therefore, empirical study of policy proposals and their debates might reveal the actual breadth of moral imagination in political discussions. For this purpose, we carried out the qualitative study of the parliamentary debates related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Lithuania during the first wave (containment of which was considered very successful) and at the beginning and consequent acceleration of the second wave (when the spread of the virus became uncontrollable).
COVID-19 Case: A Definition of Infodemia through Online Italian Journalism
The spreading of new Coronavirus (COVID-19) in addition to becoming a global phenomenon, following the declaration of a pandemic state, has generated excessive access to information, sometimes not thoroughly screened, which makes it difficult to navigate a given topic because of the difficulty of finding reliable sources. As a result, there is a high level of contagion, understood as the spread of the virus, but also as the spread of information in a viral and harmful way, which prompted the World Health Organization to coin the term Infodemia to give 'a name' the phenomenon of excessive information. With neologism 'Infodemia', the World Health Organization (OMS) wanted, in these days when fear of the coronavirus is raging, point out that perhaps the greatest danger of global society in the age of social media. This phenomenon is the distortion of reality in the rumble of echoes and comments of the global community on real or often invented facts. The general purpose of the exploratory study is to investigate how the coronavirus situation is described from journalistic communication. Starting from La Repubblica online, as a reference journalistic magazine, as a specific objective, the research aims to understand the way in which journalistic communication describes the phenomenon of the COVID-19 virus spread, the spread of contagion and restrictive measures of social distancing in the Italian context. The study starts from the hypothesis that if the circulation of information helps to create a social representation of the phenomenon, the excessive accessibility to sources of information (Infodemia) can be modulated by the 'how' the phenomenon is described by the journalists. The methodology proposed, in fact, in the exploratory study is a quanti-qualitative (mixed) method. A Content Analysis with the SketchEngine software is carried out first. In support of the Content Analysis, a Diatextual Analysis was carried out. The Diatextual Analysis is a qualitative analysis useful to detect in the analyzed texts, that is the online articles of La Repubblica on the topic of coronavirus, Subjectivity, Argomentativity, and Mode. The research focuses mainly on 'Mode' or 'How' are the events related to coronavirus in the online articles of La Repubblica about COVID-19 phenomenon. The results show the presence of the contrast vision about COVID-19 situation in Italy.
Assessment of the Efficiency of Virtual Orthodontic Consultations during COVID-19
Aims: We aimed to assess the efficiency of ‘Attend Anywhere’ orthodontic clinics within a district general hospital during COVID- 19. Our secondary aim was to pilot a questionnaire to assess patient satisfaction with virtual orthodontic appointments. Design: The study design is a service evaluation including pilot questionnaire. Methods: The average number of patients seen per virtual clinic and the number of patients failing to attend was compared to face-to-face clinics. The capability of virtual appointments to be successful in preventing the need for a face-to-face appointment was assessed. Patients were invited to complete a telephone pilot questionnaire focusing on patient satisfaction and accessibility. Results: There was a small increase in the number of patients failing to attend virtual appointments, with a third of the patients who did not attend failing to receive the appointment link. 81.9% of virtual clinic appointments were successful and prevented the need for a face-to-face appointment. Overall patients were very satisfied with their virtual orthodontic appointment and the majority required no assistance to access the service. Conclusions: The use of ‘Attend Anywhere’ clinics in orthodontics offers patients and clinicians an effective and efficient alternative to face-to-face appointments that patients on average find easy to use and completely satisfactory.
Changes in the Subjective Interpretation of Poverty Due to COVID-19: The Case of a Peripheral County of Hungary
The paper describes how the subjective interpretation of poverty changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of data collection at the end of 2020 are compared to the results of a similar survey from 2019. The methods of systematic data collection are used to collect data about the beliefs of the population about poverty. The analysis is carried out in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County, one of the most backward areas in Hungary. The paper concludes that poverty is mainly linked to material values, and it did not change from 2019 to 2020. Some slight changes, however, highlight the effect of the pandemic: poverty is increasingly seen as a generational problem in 2020, and another important change is that isolation became more closely related to poverty.
Changes in When and Where People Are Spending Time in Response to COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a significant change in driving behavior as people respond to the new environment. However, existing methods for analyzing driver behavior, such as travel surveys and travel demand models, are not suited for incorporating abrupt environmental disruptions. To address this, we analyze a set of high-resolution trip data and introduce two new metrics for quantifying driving behavioral shifts as a function of time, allowing us to compare the time periods before and after the pandemic began. We apply these metrics to the Denver, Colorado metropolitan statistical area (MSA) to demonstrate the utility of the metrics. Then, we present a case study for comparing two distinct MSAs, Louisville, Kentucky, and Des Moines, Iowa, which exhibit significant differences in the makeup of their labor markets. The results indicate that although the regions of study exhibit certain unique driving behavioral shifts, emerging trends can be seen when comparing between seemingly distinct regions. For instance, drivers in all three MSAs are generally shown to have spent more time at residential locations and less time in workplaces in the time period after the pandemic started. In addition, workplaces that may be incompatible with remote working, such as hospitals and certain retail locations, generally retained much of their pre-pandemic travel activity.
Educational System in Developing Countries and E-learning Evaluation in the Face of COVID Pandemic
The adverse effect of the Covid-19 outbreak and lock-downs on the world economy has coursed a major disrupt in mostly all sectors. The educational sector is not exempted from this disruption as it is one of the most affected sectors in the world. Similarly, most developing countries are still struggling to adopt/ adapt with the 21st-century advancement of technology, which includes e-learning/ e-education. Furthermore, one is left to wonder of the possibility of these countries surviving this disruption on their various educational systems that may no longer be business as usual after the Covid Pandemic era. This study evaluates the e-learning process of educational systems, especially in developing countries. The collection of data for the study was effected through the use of questionnaires with sampling drawn by stratified random sampling. The data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings of the study show that about 30% of developing countries have fully adopted the e-learning system, about 45% of these countries are still struggling to upgrade while about 25% of these countries are yet to adopt the e-learning system of education. The study concludes that the sudden closure of educational institutions around the world during the Covid Pandemic period should facilitate a teaching pedagogy of e-learning and virtual delivery of courses and programmes in these developing countries. If this approach can be fully adopted, schools might have to grapple with the initial teething problems, given the sudden transition just in order to preserve the welfare of students. While progress should be made to transit as the case may be, lectures and seminars can be delivered through the web conferencing site-zoom. Interestingly, this can be done on a mobile phone. The demands of this approach would equally allow lecturers to make major changes to their work habits, uploading their teaching materials online, and get to grips with what online lecturing entails. Consequently, the study recommends that leaders of developing countries, regulatory authorities, and heads of educational institutions must adopt e-learning into their educational system. Also, e-learning should be adopted into the educational curriculum of students, especially from elementary school up to tertiary level. Total compliance to the e-learning system must be ensured on the part of both the institutions, stake holders, lecturers, tutors, and students. Finally, collaborations with developed countries and effective funding for e-learning integration must form the heart of their cardinal mission.
Flexible Development Study on Spatial Distribution of Hierarchical Medical Settings in Times of Epidemic of COVID-19: A Case Study of Wuhan
COVID-19 has become a major public health emergency globally. At the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19, a series of medical runs appeared in Wuhan, which exposed the problems in the implementation of hierarchical diagnosis and treatment system. Based on the planning perspective, this paper summarizes the implementation of the epidemic prevention work in various stages in Wuhan. Based on a GIS platform, the utility of hierarchical medical treatment during the epidemic period was comprehensively analyzed by integrating multiple factors such as the distribution location of each level of hospitals, the number of beds in each hospital, and the number of patients admitted. The results were compared with the utilization of hierarchical medical resources under daily conditions, and the conclusion was drawn. The characteristic of medical resources in Wuhan is centralization. In the daily period, the primary medical resources present the characteristics of high density and high degree of aggregation in the central old urban area, and the characteristics of small quantity, dispersion, and low density in the surrounding rural areas. The high-level medical resources are mainly concentrated in the central area, and the number of surrounding areas is insufficient. During the epidemic period, the emergency level of medical resources does not match the daily service level of medical resources, showing the characteristics of high emergency response capability of medical resources in new urban areas and low emergency response capability in old urban areas. In terms of spatial layout, realize the balanced layout of primary medical resources and the 'decentralization' of high-level medical resources so as to provide the development direction for the elastic response ability of medical resources.
Reduction in Hospital Acquire Infections after Intervention of Hand Hygiene and Personal Protective Equipment at COVID Unit Indus Hospital Karachi
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is spreading rapidly around the world with devastating consequences on patients, health care workers and health systems. Severe 2019 novel coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19) with pneumonia is associated with high rates of admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) and they are at high risk to obtain the hospital acquire bloodstream infection (HAIs) such as central line associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) and laboratory confirm bloodstream infection (LCBSI). The chances of infection transmission increase when healthcare worker’s (HCWs) practice is inappropriate. Risk related to hand hygiene (HH) and personal protective equipment (PPE) as regards multidrug-resistant organism transmission: use of multiple gloving instead of HH and incorrect use of PPE can lead to a significant increase of device-related infections.
As it reaches low- and middle-income countries, its effects could be even more, because it will be difficult for them to react aggressively to the pandemic. HAIs are one of the biggest medical concerns, resulting in increased mortality rates.
To assess the effect of intervention on compliance of hand hygiene and PPE among HCWs reduce the rate of HAI in COVID-19 patients.
An interventional study was done between July to December, 2020. CLABSI, CAUTI and LCBSI data were collected from the medical record and direct observation. There were total of 50 Nurses, 18 doctors and all patients with laboratory-confirmed severe COVID-19 admitted to the hospital were included in this research study. Respiratory tract specimens were obtained after the first 48 h of ICU admission. Practices were observed after and before intervention. Education was provided based on WHO guidelines.
During the six months of study July to December, the rate of CLABSI, CAUTI and LCBSI pre and post intervention was reported. CLABSI rate decreasedd from 22.7 to 0, CAUTI rate was decreased from 1.6 to 0, LCBSI declined from 3.3 to 0 after implementation of intervention.
HAIs are an important cause of morbidity and mortality. Most of the device related infections occurs due to lack of correct use of PPE and hand hygiene compliance. Hand hygiene and PPE is the most important measure to protect patients, through education it can be improved the correct use of PPE and hand hygiene compliance and can reduce the bacterial infection in COVID-19 patients.
Physics Recitations for College Physics Courses Using Breakout Rooms during COVID Pandemic
This paper addresses the use of breakout sessions to conduct successful weekly physics recitations for College Physics I and II at a large University in remote teaching method during COVID-19 pandemic. All breakout sessions are synchronous, conducted live, and handled by teaching assistants. A two-prong approach is used to maintain the integrity of recitations. Three different conference platforms WebEx, Zoom, and Canvas conferences, were tested, and BigBlue button using Canvas was adopted. The results and experiences of all three learning platforms are presented in this paper. Recitation questions were assigned on WebAssign learning platform and a standard five-question template developed by the instructor was used for group discussions and active peer-peer engagement. Breakout sessions feature of BigBlueButton in Canvas conferences was successfully implemented. Each breakout session consists of a team of 4 students. An online whiteboard, chat window options were used for live teamwork. Student peer-peer interactions, Teaching Assistants’ interaction with students were video and audio recorded. A total of 72 students in College Physics II and 55 students in College Physics I was enrolled. 82% of students agreed that method under study is better than previous methods. The study addressed the quality of student teamwork, student attitude towards problem-solving, and student performance in the exams.
Report of a Realistic Simulation Training in Using Bougie Guide for Endotracheal Intubation
Some patients with COVID-19 disease and difficult airway characteristics undergo to endotracheal intubation (ETI) procedure. The tracheal introducer, known as the bougie guide, can aid ETI in patients with difficult airway pattern. Realistic simulation (RS) is a methodology utilized for healthcare professionals training. To improve skills in using the bougie guide of physicians from Recôncavo da Bahia region in Brazil, during COVID-19 outbreak, RS training was carried out. Simulated scenario included the Nasco Lifeform realistic simulator for ETI and a bougie guide introducer. Training was a capacitation program organized by the Health Department of Bahia State. Objective: To report effects in participants´ self-confidence perception for using bougie guide after a RS based training. Methods: Descriptive study, secondary data extracted from questionnaires. Priority workplace and previous knowledge about bougie were reported on a preparticipation formulary. Participants also completed pre- and post-training qualitative self-assessment (10-point Likert scale) regarding to self-confidence in using bougie guide. Distribution analysis for qualitative data was performed with Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test, and self-confidence increase analysis in frequency contingency tables with Fisher's exact test. Results: From May to June 2020 a total of 36 physicians participated of training, 25 (69%) from primary care setting, 32 (89%) with no previous knowledge about the bougie guide utilization. For those who had previous knowledge about bougie pre-training self-confidence median was 6,5, and 2 for participants who had not. In overall there was an increase in self-confidence median for bougie utilization. Median (variation) before and after training was 2.5 (1-7) vs. 8 (4-10) (p < 0.0001). Among those who had no previous knowledge about bougie (n = 32) an increase in self-confidence greater than 3 points for bougie utilization was reported by 31 vs. 1 participants (p = 0.71). Conclusions: Most of participants had no previous knowledge about using the bougie guide. RS training contributed to self-confidence increase for using bougie for ETI procedure. RS methodology can contribute for training in using the bougie guide for ETI procedure during COVID-19 outbreak.
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Social Isolation on the Clients’ Experiences in Counselling and their Access to Services: Perspectives of Violence Against Women Program Staff - A Qualitative Study
Background and Rationale: The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Shortly after, the Ontario provincial and Toronto municipal governments also released multiple directives that led to the mass closure of businesses both in the public and private sectors. Recent research has identified connections between Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and COVID-19 related stressors - especially because of lockdown and social isolation measures. Psychological impacts of lengthy seclusion coupled with disconnection from extended family and diminished support services can take a toll on families at risk and may increase mental health issues and the prevalence of IPV. Research Question: Thus, the purpose of the study was to understand the perspective of the Violence Against Women (VAW) program staff on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; we especially wanted to understand staff views of restrictions on clients’ counseling experiences and the ability to access services in general. The study also aimed to examine VAW program staff experiences regarding remote work and explore how the pandemic restriction measures affected the ability of their program operations to support their clients and each other.
Method: A cross-sectional, descriptive qualitative study was conducted with a purposive sample of 9 VAW program staff – eight VAW counselors and one VAW manager. Prior to data collection, program staff collaborated in the development of the study purpose, interview questions and methodology. Ethics approval was obtained from the sponsoring organization’s Research Ethics Board. In-depth individual interviews were conducted with study participants using a semi-structured interview questionnaire. Brief demographic information was also collected prior to the interview. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze quantitative data and qualitative data was analyzed by thematic content analysis.
Results: Findings from this study indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions had an adverse impact on clients seeking VAW services based on VAW staff perspectives. Program staff reported a perceived increase in abuse among women, especially in emotional and financial abuse and experiences of isolation and trauma. Findings further highlight the challenges women experienced when trying to access services in general as well as counseling and legal services. This was perceived to be more prominent among newcomers and marginalized women. The study also revealed client and staff challenges when participating in virtual counseling, their innovations and clients’ creativity in accessing needed counseling and how staff over time adapted to providing virtual support during the pandemic. Conclusion and Next Steps: This study builds upon existing evidence on the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on VAW and may inform future research to better understand the association between the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and VAW on a broader scale and to inform and support possible short-term and long-term changes in the client experience and counselling practice.
Global Experiences in Dealing with Biological Epidemics with an Emphasis on COVID-19 Disease: Approaches and Strategies
Background: The World Health Organization has identified COVID-19 as a public health emergency and is urging governments to stop the virus transmission by adopting appropriate policies. In this regard, authorities have taken different approaches to cut the chain or controlling the spread of the disease. Now, the questions we are facing include what these approaches are? What tools should be used to implement each preventive protocol? In addition, what is the impact of each approach? Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the approaches to biological epidemics and related prevention tools with an emphasis on COVID-19 disease. Data sources: Databases including ISI web of science, PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, Ovid, and ProQuest were employed for data extraction. Furthermore, authentic sources such as the WHO website, the published reports of relevant countries, as well as the Worldometer website were evaluated for gray studies. The time-frame of the study was from 1 December 2019 to 30 May 2020. Methods: The present study was a systematic study of publications related to the prevention strategies for the COVID-19 disease. The study was carried out based on the PRISMA guidelines and CASP for articles and AACODS for grey literature. Results: The study findings showed that in order to confront the COVID-19 epidemic, in general, there are three approaches of "mitigation", "active control" and "suppression" and four strategies of "quarantine", "isolation", "social distance" and "lockdown" in both individual and social dimensions to deal with epidemics. Selection and implementation of each approach requires specific strategies and has different effects when it comes to controlling and inhibiting the disease. Key finding: One possible approach to control the disease is to change individual behavior and lifestyle. In addition to prevention strategies, use of masks, observance of personal hygiene principles such as regular hand washing and non-contact of contaminated hands with the face, as well as an observance of public health principles such as sneezing and coughing etiquettes, safe extermination of personal protective equipment, must be strictly observed. Have not been included in the category of prevention tools. However, it has a great impact on controlling the epidemic, especially the new coronavirus epidemic. Conclusion: Although the use of different approaches to control and inhibit biological epidemics depends on numerous variables, however, despite these requirements, global experience suggests that some of these approaches are ineffective. The use of previous experiences in the world, along with the current experiences of countries, can be very helpful in choosing the accurate approach for each country in accordance with the characteristics of that country and lead to the reduction of possible costs at the national and international levels.
Impact of COVID-19 on Hospital Waste
Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented changes to how hospitals function on a daily basis. Increased personal protective equipment (PPE) usage and measures to pre-package, separate, and decontaminate have the potential to increase the waste load. However, limiting non-essential surgeries drastically reduces operating room (OR) waste, and restricting visitation policies to contain outbreaks may help conserve resources. The impact of these policy changes with increased disposable PPE usage on hospital production of waste is unknown. Methods: Waste produced in pounds (lbs) was measured for January through June during both 2019 and 2020 through Stericycle in Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ. This timeframe was selected since the pandemic began in January 2020 in the US. The total waste produced during this time was 328,623 lbs in 2019 and 306,454 lbs in 2020. Using Poisson counts (α=.05), less waste was produced in 2020 (p < 0.001). The amount of sharps and regulated medical waste (grossly bloody items) were both significantly decreased as well (p < 0.0001, p=0.0002), and these account for 10-15% of the total waste produced. Discussion: Despite the increased usage of disposable PPE, overall hospital waste was decreased during the pandemic as compared to prior. As surgeries are estimated to be responsible for up to one-half of waste produced by hospitals, it is possible that constraint on elective procedures contributed to the decreased waste in all three categories; estimates of a 35% decrease in surgical volume would be expected to impact waste production. The effects of the pandemic on waste production should continue to be monitored to understand the environmental impact as health systems resume backlogged surgeries at a higher volume.
Emotional Impact and Moral Panic in Swedish Social Media during the COVID-19 Crisis
In spring 2020, the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) reached the epidemiological criteria to be declared a global pandemic. Global action was taken in order to stop the spread of the virus, such as, for example, restrictions regarding spending time outside of your home and, in several countries, periods of mandatory quarantine. Sweden's method of handling the pandemic has stood out among other European nations, and the tactic of relying on citizens' sense of civic solidarity, rather than enforcing legal restrictions preventing people from spending time outside, has been highly criticised in international news media. This situation has entailed a moral dilemma concerning the proper conduct of behaviour in everyday situations in Sweden, which is also reflected in public news media and social media. This media study focuses on Swedish social media debates and attitudes concerning moral dilemmas of handling this sense of civic solidarity. Comments on social media forums expressing outrage and anger regarding, amongst others, the actions of public media figures (such as celebrities, journalists, and bloggers) are analyzed. Drawing on a social psychological perspective on emotions, the study identifies ambiguities of moral disagreements and moral panics as ways of expressing that a moral norm has been violated. The findings suggest that social media is used in order to handle such ambiguities and make sense of the loosely defined norms of civic solidarity.
Faculty Work-Life Engagement: A Survey about Teaching during and after Covid-19
The role of faculty has changed from the impact of Covid-19. Universities are changing faculty expectations. There is a changes in faculty workloads, and shift in how faculty work within a university. The research will identify areas where faculty are satisfied with their work, areas they would like their organizations to change, and how the faculty life is impacted by outside university obligations. A survey to obtain work-life balance, teaching responsibilities, and how a faculty’s personal life impacts their ability to work at their organization was conducted. The results of this research will identify areas where faculty have opportunities to engage in teaching, to balance their work life, and where organizations can change to support their faculty. Different ways of teaching including hyflex and other multimodal models will allow for faculty to engage in their teaching practice, professional development, and begin to establish work-life balance activities.
Deep Learning in Chest Computed Tomography to Differentiate COVID-19 from Influenza
Intro: The COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019) has greatly changed the global economic, political and financial ecology. The mutation of the coronavirus in the UK in December 2020 has brought new panic to the world. Deep learning was performed on Chest Computed tomography (CT) of COVID-19 and Influenza and describes their characteristics. The predominant features of COVID-19 pneumonia was ground-glass opacification, followed by consolidation. Lesion density: most lesions appear as ground-glass shadows, and some lesions coexist with solid lesions. Lesion distribution: the focus is mainly on the dorsal side of the periphery of the lung, with the lower lobe of the lungs as the focus, and it is often close to the pleura. Other features it has are grid-like shadows in ground glass lesions, thickening signs of diseased vessels, air bronchi signs and halo signs. The severe disease involves whole bilateral lungs, showing white lung signs, air bronchograms can be seen, and there can be a small amount of pleural effusion in the bilateral chest cavity. At the same time, this year's flu season could be near its peak after surging throughout the United States for months. Chest CT for Influenza infection is characterized by focal ground glass shadows in the lungs, with or without patchy consolidation, and bronchiole air bronchograms are visible in the concentration. There are patchy ground-glass shadows, consolidation, air bronchus signs, mosaic lung perfusion, etc. The lesions are mostly fused, which is prominent near the hilar and two lungs. Grid-like shadows and small patchy ground-glass shadows are visible. Deep neural networks have great potential in image analysis and diagnosis that traditional machine learning algorithms do not. Method: Aiming at the two major infectious diseases COVID-19 and influenza, which are currently circulating in the world, the chest CT of patients with two infectious diseases is classified and diagnosed using deep learning algorithms. The residual network is proposed to solve the problem of network degradation when there are too many hidden layers in a deep neural network (DNN). The proposed deep residual system (ResNet) is a milestone in the history of the Convolutional neural network (CNN) images, which solves the problem of difficult training of deep CNN models. Many visual tasks can get excellent results through fine-tuning ResNet. The pre-trained convolutional neural network ResNet is introduced as a feature extractor, eliminating the need to design complex models and time-consuming training. Fastai is based on Pytorch, packaging best practices for in-depth learning strategies, and finding the best way to handle diagnoses issues. Based on the one-cycle approach of the Fastai algorithm, the classification diagnosis of lung CT for two infectious diseases is realized, and a higher recognition rate is obtained. Results: A deep learning model was developed to efficiently identify the differences between COVID-19 and influenza using chest CT.
The Language of COVID-19: Psychological Effects of the Label 'Essential Worker' on Spanish-Speaking Adults
Objectives: Focusing on the reported levels of depressive symptoms from Hispanic individuals in the U.S. during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we analyze the psychological effects of being labeled an ‘essential worker/trabajador(a) esencial.’ We situate this attribute within the complex context of how an individual’s mental health is linked to work status and his/her community’s attitude toward such a status. Method: 336 Spanish-speaking adults (Mage = 34.90; SD = 11.00; 46% female) living in the U.S. participated in a mixed-method study. Participants completed a self-report Spanish-language survey consisting of COVID-19 prompts (e.g., Soy un trabajador esencial durante la pandemia. I am an ‘essential worker’ during the pandemic), civic engagement scale (CES) attitudes (e.g., Me siento responsable de mi comunidad. I feel responsible for my community) and behaviors (e.g., Ayudo a los miembros de mi comunidad. I help members of my community), and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (e.g., Me sentía deprimido/a. I felt depressed). The survey was conducted several months into the pandemic and before the vaccine distribution. Results: Regression analyses show that being labeled an essential worker was correlated to CES attitudes (b= .28, p < .001) and higher CES behaviors (b= .32, p < .001). Essential worker status also reported higher levels of depressive symptoms (b= .17, p < .05). In addition, we found that CES attitudes and CES behaviors were related to higher levels of depressive symptoms (b= .11, p
Layout Optimization of a Start-up COVID-19 Testing Kit Manufacturing Facility
The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected the industry drastically in many ways. Even though the vaccine is being distributed quickly and despite the decreasing number of positive cases, testing is projected to remain a key aspect of the ‘new normal’. Improving existing plant layout and improving safety within the facility are of great importance in today’s industries because of the need to ensure productivity optimization and reduce safety risks. In practice, it is essential for any manufacturing plant to reduce nonvalue adding steps such as the movement of materials and rearrange similar processes. In the current pandemic situation, optimized layouts will not only increase safety measures but also decrease the fixed cost per unit manufactured. In our case study, we carefully studied the existing layout and the manufacturing steps of a new Texas start-up company that manufactures COVID testing kits. The effects of production rate are incorporated with the computerized relative allocation of facilities technique (CRAFT) algorithm to improve the plant layout and estimate the optimization parameters. Our work reduces the company’s material handling time and increases their daily production. Real data from the company are used in the case study to highlight the importance of colleges in fostering small business needs and improving the collaboration between college researchers and industries by using existing models to advance best practices.
The Bespoke ‘Hybrid Virtual Fracture Clinic’ during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Paradigm Shift?
Introduction: The Covid-19 pandemic necessitated a change in the manner outpatient fracture clinics are conducted due to the need to reduce footfall in hospital. While studies regarding virtual fracture clinics have shown these to be useful and effective, they focus exclusively on remote consultations. However, our service was bespoke to the patient – either a face-to-face or telephone consultation depending on patient need – a ‘hybrid virtual clinic (HVC).’ We report patient satisfaction and outcomes with this novel service. Methods: Patients booked onto our fracture clinics during the first 2 weeks of national lockdown were retrospectively contacted to assess the mode of consultations (virtual, face-to-face, or hybrid), patient experience, and outcome. Patient experience was assessed using the net promoter (NPS), customer effort (CES) and customer satisfaction scores (CSS), and their likelihood of using the HVC in the absence of a pandemic. Patient outcomes were assessed using the components of the EQ5D score. Results: Of 269 possible patients, 140 patients responded to the questionnaire. Of these, 66.4% had ‘hybrid’ consultations, 27.1% had only virtual consultations, and 6.4% had only face-to-face consultations. The mean overall NPS, CES, and CSS (on a scale of 1-10) were 7.27, 7.25, and 7.37, respectively. The mean likelihood of patients using the HVC in the absence of a pandemic was 6.5/10. Patients who had ‘hybrid’ consultations showed better effort scores and greater overall satisfaction than those with virtual consultations only and also reported superior EQ5D outcomes (mean 79.27 vs. 72.7). Patients who did not require surgery reported increased satisfaction (mean 7.51 vs. 7.08) and were more likely to use the HVC in the absence of a pandemic. Conclusion: Our study indicates that a bespoke HVC has good overall patient satisfaction and outcomes and is a better format of fracture clinic service than virtual consultations alone. It may be the preferred mode for fracture clinics in similar situations in the future. Further analysis needs to be conducted in order to explore the impact on resources and clinician experience of HVC in order to appreciate this new paradigm shift.
Usability Evaluation of a Self-Report Mobile App for COVID-19 Symptoms: Supporting Health Monitoring in the Work Context
The confinement and restrictions adopted to avoid an exponential spread of the COVID-19 have negatively impacted the Peruvian economy. In this context, Industries offering essential products could continue operating, but they have to follow safety protocols and implement strategies to ensure employee health. In view of the increasing internet access and mobile phone ownership, “Alerta Temprana”, a mobile app, was developed to self-report COVID-19 symptoms in the work context. In this study, the usability of the mobile app “Alerta Temprana” was evaluated from the perspective of health monitors and workers. In addition to reporting the metrics related to the usability of the application, the utility of the system is also evaluated from the monitors' perspective. In this descriptive study, the participants used the mobile app for two months. Afterwards, System Usability Scale (SUS) questionnaire was answered by the workers and monitors. A Usefulness questionnaire with open questions was also used for the monitors. The data related to the use of the application was collected during one month. Furthermore, descriptive statistics and bivariate analysis were used. The workers rated the application as good (70.39). In the case of the monitors, usability was excellent (83.0). The most important feature for the monitors were the emails generated by the application. The average interaction per user was 30 seconds and a total of 6172 self-reports were sent. Finally, a statistically significant association was found between the acceptability scale and the work area. The results of this study suggest that Alerta Temprana has the potential to be used for surveillance and health monitoring in any context of face-to-face modality. Participants reported a high degree of ease of use. However, from the perspective of workers, SUS cannot diagnose usability issues and we suggest we use another standard usability questionnaire to improve "Alerta Temprana" for future use.
Trump’s COVID-19 Discourse: Downgrading the Fundamentals of the Political Fair Play
Context has always been essential to understand any reaction from every human being, and words, whether written or spoken, are definitely a powerful representative sample of human reaction. This study starts with an accurate breakdown of the context in which the current president of the US, Mr. Donald J. Trump is conveying his discourses in order to be able to judge them from a critical discourse analysis point of view. The present world’s scenario with a pandemic disease in form of Covid-19 that is threatening the world and certainly putting at risk the so called 'Welfare State', the role of the United States as the first superpower on earth nowadays, the very peculiar profile of President Trump not only as a politician but as a persona, and the fact of being on the verge of a very controversial presidential elections are without doubt a great and undeniable opportunity for the implementation of the critical discourse analysis methodology. Hence, this research will primarily analyze in detail some of the most interesting discourses delivered by Trump in different media since the very beginning of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States of America (February, 2020), sadly very often downplayed by President Trump, until the final result of the upcoming presidential election scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2020, where the political discourse has been dramatically downgraded to a very dangerous state, putting in jeopardy the fundamentals of the political fair play in terms of speech. Finally, the study will hopefully conclude with the final outcome of the data analyzed, allowing to picture how significant the context can be concerning linguistics on the one hand, in terms of shaping or altering the message that the issuer thought to convey in the first place, and on the other hand, generously assessing to what extend the recipients of the message are influenced by the message in terms of receptiveness.
Endotracheal Intubation Self-Confidence: Report of a Realistic Simulation Training
Introduction: Endotracheal Intubation (ETI) is a procedure for clinical management of patients with severe clinical presentation of COVID-19 disease. Realistic simulation (RS) is an active learning methodology utilized for clinical skill's improvement. To improve ETI skills of public health network's physicians from Recôncavo da Bahia region in Brazil, during COVID-19 outbreak, RS training was planned and carried out. Training scenario included the Nasco Lifeform realistic simulator, and three actions were simulated: ETI procedure, sedative drugs management, and bougie guide utilization. Training intervention occurred between May and June 2020, as an interinstitutional cooperation between the Health's Department of Bahia State and the Federal University from Recôncavo da Bahia. Objective: The main objective is to report the effects on participants' self-confidence perception for ETI procedure after RS based training. Methods: This is a descriptive study, with secondary data extracted from questionnaires applied throughout RS training. Priority workplace, time from last intubation, and knowledge about bougie were reported on a preparticipation questionnaire. Additionally, participants completed pre- and post-training qualitative self-assessment (10-point Likert scale) regarding self-confidence perception in performing each of simulated actions. Distribution analysis for qualitative data was performed with Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test, and self-confidence increase analysis in frequency contingency tables with Fisher's Exact Test. Results: 36 physicians participated of training, 25 (69%) from primary care setting, 25 (69%) performed ETI over a year ago, and only 4 (11%) had previous knowledge about the bougie guide utilization. There was an increase in self-confidence medians for all three simulated actions. Medians (variation) for self-confidence before and after training, for each simulated action were as follows: ETI [5 (1-9) vs. 8 (6-10) (p < 0.0001)]; Sedative drug management [5 (1-9) vs. 8 (4-10) (p < 0.0001)]; Bougie guide utilization [2.5 (1-7) vs. 8 (4-10) (p < 0.0001)]. Among those who performed ETI over a year ago (n = 25), an increase in self-confidence greater than 3 points for ETI was reported by 23 vs. 2 physicians (p = 0.0002), and by 21 vs. 4 (p = 0.03) for sedative drugs management. Conclusions: RS training contributed to self-confidence increase in performing ETI. Among participants who performed ETI over a year, there was a significant association between RS training and increase of more than 3 points in self-confidence, both for ETI and sedative drug management. Training with RS methodology is suitable for ETI confidence enhancement during COVID-19 outbreak.
Impact of the Pandemic on China's Digital Creative Industries: Mechanisms and Manifestations
The outbreak of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in early 2020 brought new opportunities to the development of the digital creative industry in China. Based on the realistic foundation of the development of the digital creative industry in China, an analysis was conducted on the mechanism of action of the pandemic on this industry from both sides of supply and demand by sorting out its concept, connotation, and related theories. To be specific, the demand side experienced changes due to the changes in the consumption habits of residents, the sharp increase in gross domestic time (GDT), the satisfaction of the psychological needs of users, search for substitutes for offline consumption, and other factors. An analysis was carried out on the mechanism of action of the pandemic on the digital creative industry from the production link, supply subjects, product characteristics, and transmission link of the supply side. Then, a detailed discussion was held on the manifestation forms of the impact of the pandemic from the dimensions of time and space. Finally, this paper discussed the main development focuses of the digital creative industry in the post-pandemic era from the aspects of the government, industries, and enterprises.
A Qualitative Look at Mental Health Stressors in Response to COVID-19
The emergent pandemic from COVID-19 virus has forced people to adjust to major changes. These changes include all elements of family and work life and required people to engage in novel behaviors. For many people, the social norms to which they have been accustomed no longer prevail. Not surprisingly, such enormous changes in daily life have been associated with greater problems in mental health; and research regarding ways in which mental health professionals can support people is more necessary than ever before. It is often useful to assess people’s reactions through surveys and utilize quantitative data to answer questions about coping strategies etc. It is also likely, however, that a host of individual factors are going to contribute to what might be considered 'good' or 'bad' coping mechanisms to a worldwide pandemic. To this end, qualitative studies—where the individual’s subjective experience is highlighted—are likely to provide more vital information for mental health professionals interested in supporting the particular person in front of them. This study reports on qualitative data, where X participants were asked questions about social distancing, coping strategies, and general attitudes towards social changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Informal interviews were conducted during the months of June-July 2020. Data were analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analyses. Themes were identified first for each participant and then compared across different individual participants. Several findings emerged. First, all participants understood major health messages being imparted by governing bodies such as the CDC and WHO. The researchers feel this finding is important as it suggests health messages are at least being effectively communicated. Second, there was a clear trend for themes which highlighted the conflicting emotions participants felt about the changes they were expected to endure: positive and negative elements were identified, although a participant who had pre-existing conditions placed greater emphasis on the negative elements. One participant who was particularly interested in impression management also exclusively emphasized negative emotions. Third, participants who were able to reevaluate priorities—what Lazarus might call secondary appraisals—experienced social distancing as a positive rather than negative phenomenon. Finally, participants who were able to develop specific strategies—such as boundaries for work and self-care—reported themes of adjustment and contentment. Taken together, these findings suggest mental health practitioners can assist people to adjust more positively through specific techniques focusing on re-evaluation of life priorities and strategic coping skills.
A Pragmatic Approach of Memes Created in Relation to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Internet memes are an element of computer mediated communication and an important part of online culture that combines text and image in order to generate meaning. This term coined by Richard Dawkings refers to more than a mere way to briefly communicate ideas or emotions, thus naming a complex and an intensely perpetuated phenomenon in the virtual environment.
This paper approaches memes as a cultural artefact and a virtual trope that mirrors societal concerns and issues, and analyses the pragmatics of their use. Memes have to be analysed in series, usually relating to some image macros, which is proof of the interplay between imitation and creativity in the memes’ writing process. We believe that their potential to become viral relates to three key elements: adaptation to context, reference to a successful meme series, and humour (jokes, irony, sarcasm), with various pragmatic functions.
The study also uses the concept of multimodality and stresses how the memes’ text interacts with the image, discussing three types of relations: symmetry, amplification, and contradiction. Moreover, the paper proves that memes could be employed as speech acts with illocutionary force, when the interaction between text and image is enriched through the connection to a specific situation.
The features mentioned above are analysed in a corpus that consists of memes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This corpus shows them to be highly adaptable to context, which helps build the feeling of connection and belonging in an otherwise tremendously fragmented world. Some of them are created based on well-known image macros, and their humour results from an intricate dialogue between texts and contexts. Memes created in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic can be considered speech acts and are often used as such, as proven in the paper.
Consequently, this paper tackles the key features of memes, makes a thorough analysis of the memes sociocultural, linguistic, and situational context, and emphasizes their intertextuality, with special accent on their illocutionary potential.
An Exploratory Study of the Student’s Learning Experience by Applying Different Tools for e-Learning and e-Teaching
E-learning is becoming more and more common every day. For online, hybrid or traditional face-to-face programs, there are some e-teaching platforms like Google classroom, Blackboard, Moodle and Canvas, and there are platforms for full e-learning like Coursera, edX or Udemy. These tools are changing the way students acquire knowledge at schools; however, in today’s changing world that is not enough. As students’ needs and skills change and become more complex, new tools will need to be added to keep them engaged and potentialize their learning. This is especially important in the current global situation that is changing everything: the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to Covid-19, education had to make an unexpected switch from face-to-face courses to digital courses. In this study, the students’ learning experience is analyzed by applying different e-tools and following the Tec21 Model and a flexible and digital model, both developed by the Tecnologico de Monterrey University. The evaluation of the students’ learning experience has been made by the quantitative PrEmo method of emotions. Findings suggest that the quantity of e-tools used during a course does not affect the students’ learning experience as much as how a teacher links every available tool and makes them work as one in order to keep the student engaged and motivated.
Reimagining the Learning Management System as a “Third” Space
This paper focuses on a sense of belonging, isolation, and the use of a learning management system as a "third space" for connection and community. Given student use of learning management systems (LMS) for courses on campuses, moderate to high use of social media and hand-held devices, the author explores the possibilities of LMS as a third space. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated student experiences of isolation, and research indicates that students who experience a sense of belonging have a greater likelihood for academic retention and success. The impacts on students of an LMS designed for student employee orientation and training were examined through a mixed methods approach, including a survey, individual interviews, and focus groups. The sample involved 250-450 undergraduate student employees at a US northwestern university. The goal of the study was to find out the efficiency and effectiveness of the orientation information for a wide range of student employees from multiple student affairs departments. And unexpected finding emerged within the study in 2015 and was noted again as a finding in the 2017 study. Students reported feeling like they individually connected to the department, and further to the university because of the LMS orientation. They stated they could see themselves as part of the university community and like they belonged. The orientation, through the LMS, was designed for and occurred online (asynchronous), prior to students traveling and beginning university life for the academic year. The students indicated connection and belonging resulting from some of the design features. With the onset of COVID-19 and prolonged sheltering in place in North America, as well as other parts of the world, students have been precluded from physically gathering to educate and learn. COVID-19 essentially paused face-to-face education in 2020. Media, governments, and higher education outlets have been reporting on widespread college student stress, isolation, loneliness, and sadness. In this context, the author conducted a current mixed methods study (online survey, online interviews) of students in advanced degree programs, like Ph.D. and Ed.D. specifically investigating isolation and sense of belonging. As a part of the study a prototype of a Canvas site was experienced by student interviewees for their reaction of this Canvas site prototype as a "third" space. Some preliminary findings of this study are presented. Doctoral students in the study affirmed the potential of LMS as a third space for community and social academic connection.
Penetration of Social Media in Primary Education to Nurture Learning Habits in Toddlers during Covid-19
: Social media are becoming the most important tools for interaction among learners, pedagogues and parents where everybody can share, exchange, comment, discuss and create information and knowledge in a collaborative way. The present case study attempts to highlight the role of social media (WhatsApp) in nurturing learning habits in toddlers with the help of parents in primary education. The Case study is based on primary data collected from a primary school situated in a small town in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India. In research methodology, survey and structured interviews have been used as a tool collected from parents and pedagogues. The findings Suggest:
- To nurture learning habits in toddlers, parents and pedagogues use social media site (WhatsApp) in real-time and that too is convenient and handy;
- Skill enhancement on the part of Pedagogues as a result of employing innovative teaching-learning techniques;
- Social media sites serve as a social connectivity tool to ward off negativity and monotony on the part of parents and pedagogues in the wake of COVID- 19
Using Structural Equation Modeling to Measure the Impact of Young Adult-Dog Personality Characteristics on Dog Walking Behaviours during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Engaging in daily walks with a dog (f.e. Canis lupus familiaris) during the COVID-19 pandemic may be linked to feelings of greater social-connectedness and global self-worth, and lower stress after controlling for mental health issues, lack of physical contact with others, and other stressors associated with the current pandemic. Therefore, maintaining a routine of dog walking might mitigate the effects of stressors experienced during the pandemic and promote well-being. However, many dog owners do not walk their dogs for many reasons, which are related to the owner’s and the dog’s personalities. Note that the consistency of certain personality characteristics among dogs demonstrates that it is possible to accurately measure different dimensions of personality in both dogs and their human counterparts. In addition, behavioural ratings (e.g., the dog personality questionnaire - DPQ) are reliable tools to assess the dog’s personality. Clarifying the relevance of personality factors in the context of young adult-dog relationships can shed light on interactional aspects that can potentially foster protective behaviours and promote well-being among young adults during the pandemic. This study examines if and how nine combinations of dog- and young adult-related personality characteristics (e.g., neuroticism-fearfulness) can amplify the influence of personality factors in the context of dog walking during the COVID-19 pandemic. Responses to an online large-scale survey among 440 (389 females; 47 males; 4 nonbinaries, Mage=20.7, SD= 2.13 range=17-25) young adults living with a dog in Canada were analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM). As extraversion, conscientiousness, and neuroticism, measured through the five-factor model (FFM) inventory, are related to maintaining a routine of physical activities, these dimensions were selected for this analysis. Following an approach successfully adopted in the field of dog-human interactions, the FFM was used as the organizing framework to measure and compare the human’s and the dog’s personality in the context of dog walking. The dog-related personality dimensions activity/excitability, responsiveness to training, and fearful were correlated dimensions captured through DPQ and were added to the analysis. Two questions were used to assess dog walking. The actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) was used to check if the young adult’s responses about the dog were biased; no significant bias was observed. Activity/excitability and responsiveness to training in dogs were greatly associated with dog walking. For young adults, high scores in conscientiousness and extraversion predicted more walks with the dog. Conversely, higher scores in neuroticism predicted less engagement in dog walking. For participants high in conscientiousness, the dog’s responsiveness to training (standardized=0.14, p=0.02) and the dog’s activity/excitability (standardized=0.15, p=0.00) levels moderated dog walking behaviours by promoting more daily walks. These results suggest that some combinations in young adult and dog personality characteristics are associated with greater synergy in the young adult-dog dyad that might amplify the impact of personality factors on young adults’ dog-walking routines. These results can inform programs designed to promote the mental and physical health of young adults during the Covid-19 pandemic by highlighting the impact of synergy and reciprocity in personality characteristics between young adults and dogs.
Closing the Assessment Loop: Case Study in Improving Outcomes for Online College Students during Pandemic
To counter the adverse effect of Covid-19 on college student success, two faculty members at a US community college have used web-based assessment data to improve curricula and, thus, student outcomes. This case study exemplifies how “closing the loop” by analyzing outcome assessments in real time can improve student learning for academically underprepared students struggling during the pandemic. The purpose of the study was to develop ways to mitigate the negative impact of Covid-19 on student success of underprepared college students. Using the Assessment, Evaluation, Feedback and Intervention System (AEFIS) and other assessment tools provided by the college’s Office of Institutional Research, an English professor and a Music professor collected data in skill areas related to their curricula over four semesters, gaining insight into specific course sections and learners’ performance across different Covid-driven course formats—face-to-face, hybrid, synchronous, and asynchronous. Real-time data collection allowed faculty to shorten and close the assessment loop, and prompted faculty to enhance their curricula with engaging material, student-centered activities, and a variety of tech tools. Frequent communication, individualized study, constructive criticism, and encouragement were among other measures taken to enhance teaching and learning. As a result, even while student success rates were declining college-wide, student outcomes in these faculty members’ asynchronous and synchronous online classes improved or remained comparable to student outcomes in hybrid and face-to-face sections. These practices have demonstrated that even high-risk students who enter college with remedial level language and mathematics skills, interrupted education, work and family responsibilities, and language and cultural diversity can maintain positive outcomes in college across semesters, even during the pandemic.
Relevance for Traditional Medicine in South Africa: Experiences of Urban Traditional Healers, Izinyanga
Access to relevant health indicates people’s likelihood of survival, including craft of indigenous healing and its related practitioners- izinyanga. However, the emergence of a dreaded novel corona virus - COVID-19 that has engulfed almost the whole world has necessitated the need to revisit the state of traditional healers in South Africa. This circumstance tended to expose the reality of social settings in various social structures and related policies including the manner coloniality reveal its ugly head when it comes treatment between western and African based therapeutic practices in this country. In attempting to gain a better understanding of such experiences, primary and secondary sources were consulted when collecting data that perusal of various literature in this instance including face-to-face interviews with traditional healers working on the street of Tshwane Municipality in South Africa. Preliminary findings revealed that the emergence of this deadly virus coincided with the moment when the government agenda was focussed on fulfilment of its promise of addressing the past inequity practices, including the transformation of medical sector. This scenario can be witnessed by the manner in which government and related agencies such as health department keeps on undermining indigenous healing practice irrespective of its historical record in terms of healing profession and fighting various diseases before times of father of medicine, Imhotep. Based on these preliminary findings, it is recommended that the government should hasten the incorporation of African knowledge systems especially medicine to offer alternatives and diverse to assess the underutilised indigenous African therapeutic approach and relevant skills that could be useful in combating ailments such as COVID 19. Perhaps, the plural medical systems should be recognized and related policies are formulated to guarantee mutual respect among citizens and the incorporation of healing practices in South African health sector, Africa and in the broader global community.
Urban Planning Patterns after (COVID-19): An Assessment toward Resiliency
The Pandemic COVID-19 altered the daily habits and affected the functional performance of the cities after this crisis leaving remarkable impacts on many metropolises worldwide. It is so obvious that having more densification in the city leads to more threats altering this main approach that was called for achieving sustainable development. The main goal to achieve resiliency in the cities, especially in forcing risks, is to deal with a planning system that is able to resist, absorb, accommodate and recover from the impacts that had been affected. Many Cities in London, Wuhan, New York, and others worldwide carried different planning approaches and varied in reaction to safeguard the impacts of the pandemic. The cities globally varied from the radiant pattern predicted by Le Corbusier, or having multi urban centers more like the approach of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City, or having linear growth or gridiron expansion that was common by Doxiadis, compact pattern, and many other hygiene patterns. These urban patterns shape the spatial distribution and Identify both open and natural spaces with gentrified and gentrifying areas. This crisis paid attention to reassess many planning approaches and examine the existing urban patterns focusing more on the aim of continuity and resiliency in managing the crises within the rapid transformation and the power of market forces. According to that, this paper hypothesized that those urban planning patterns determine the method of reaction in assuring quarantine for the inhabitance and the performance of public services and need to be updated through carrying out an innovative urban management system and adopt further resilience patterns in prospective urban planning approaches. This paper investigates the adaptivity and resiliency of variant urban planning patterns regarding selected cities worldwide that affected by COVID-19 and their role in applying certain management strategies in controlling the pandemic spread, finding out the main potentials that should be included in prospective planning approaches. The examination encompasses the spatial arrangement, blocks definition, plots arrangement, and urban space typologies. This paper aims to investigate the urban patterns to deliberate also the debate between densification as one of the more sustainable planning approaches and disaggregation tendency that was followed after the pandemic by restructuring and managing its application according to the assessment of the spatial distribution and urban patterns. The biggest long-term threat to dense cities proves the need to shift to online working and telecommuting, creating a mixture between using cyber and urban spaces to remobilize the city. Reassessing spatial design and growth, open spaces, urban population density, and public awareness are the main solutions that should be carried out to face the outbreak in our current cities that should be managed from global to tertiary levels and could develop criteria for designing the prospective cities
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Digital Exclusion: Reconsidering Sustainable Development and Digital Poverty in the Post-Pandemic World
This paper explores the United Nation's sustainable development goals (SDGs) alongside digital poverty and proposes that digital poverty should be a new SDG. The SDGs concentrate on 17 key areas, including economic growth, reducing inequalities, climate action, ending poverty, gender equality, and quality education. Many of the plans to fulfill these goals involve the creation and adaptation of new technologies. As we have seen with COVID-19, access to these technologies has determined communities and societies' ability to respond to these challenges in both developed and developing nations. For example, the transition to online education due to the lockdowns had a detrimental effect on children who did not have access to technology to provide continuity in their educational development. Digitalization and emerging technologies, especially information and communication technologies (ICTs), can help address each goal. Digital poverty and exclusion exacerbate the gap between rich and poor within our societies and internationally, and COVID-19 has further highlighted these issues. Closing this gap can support achieving the SDGs. If access to digital technologies measure society's response and resilience in addressing the challenges the SDGs seek to resolve, should reducing digital poverty be an SDG of its own? This paper will explore this question, arguing that digital poverty should be an independent SDG working alongside and supporting the achievement of the other 17 SDGs.
Financial Technology: The Key to Achieving Financial Inclusion in Developing Countries Post COVID-19 from an East African Perspective
Financial Inclusion is considered a key pillar for development in most countries around the world. Access to affordable financial services in a country’s economy can be a driver to overcome poverty and reduce income inequalities, and thus increase economic growth. Nevertheless, the number of financially excluded populations in developing countries continues to be very high. This paper explores the role of Financial Technology (Fintech) as a key driver for achieving financial inclusion in developing countries post the COVID-19 pandemic with an emphasis on four East African countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda. The research paper is inspired by the positive disruption caused by the pandemic, which has compelled societies in East Africa to adapt and embrace the use of financial technology innovations, specifically Mobile Money Services (MMS), to access financial services. MMS has been further migrated and integrated with other financial technology innovations such as Mobile Banking, Micro Savings, and Loans, and Insurance, to mention but a few. These innovations have been adopted across key sectors such as commerce, health care, or agriculture. The research paper will highlight the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) that are behind MMS, along with numerous innovative products and services being offered to the customers. It will also highlight the regulatory framework under which these innovations are being governed to ensure the safety of the customers' funds.
Surveillance Capitalism in Coronavirus Pandemic: Bluetooth Technology Tracking Apps
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Coronavirus tracking apps have been promoted to control and track infected people. While the developer of these apps guarantees the security of the application, there are huge concerns regarding the autonomy of the person using these Bluetooth-based apps as they can work in buildings, underground car parks, or in the metro. Given that the Bluetooth devices are traceable is using this technology in health applications relevant to the fact that Naomi Klein and Shoshanna Zuboff have recently warned about disaster and surveillance capitalism. This research focuses on the Bluetooth-based technology structure and the mechanism of how, by establishing a central server in stable locations as in shopping malls, the developer can track the positions of any discoverable device, recording and sending any data back to a single address. In some countries, using these apps specifically for those who tested positive have become mandatory, more people are using health and similar apps every day, which could help surveillance capitalists to enrich their behavioral data supply chains. The combination of tracing apps prediction products with other digital data, including biometrics, will lead to knowledge and power asymmetries. Knowing when and where different people come into contact with specific kinds of people could be interested not only for commercial purposes but also political, social, and economic objectives. These asymmetries will lead to the erosion of democracy, social inequality, and injustice that can threaten human rights in the post-COVID era.
Two-Phase Flow Study of Airborne Transmission Control in Dental Practices
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identified dental workers at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19. This is because aerosol-generating procedures (AGP) during dental practices generate aerosols ( < 5µm) and droplets. These particles travel at varying speeds, in varying directions, and for varying durations. If these particles bear infectious viruses, their spreading causes airborne transmission of the virus in the dental room, exposing dentists, hygienists, dental assistants, and even other dental clinic clients to the infection risk. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of two-phase flows based on a discrete phase model (DPM) is carried out to study the spreading of aerosol and droplets in a dental room. The simulation includes momentum, heat, and mass transfers between the particles and the airflow. Two simulations are conducted and compared. One simulation focuses on the effects of room ventilation in winter and summer on the particles' travel. The other simulation focuses on the control of aerosol and droplets' spreading. A suction collector is added near the source of aerosol and droplets, creating a flow sink in order to remove the particles. The effects of the suction flow on the aerosol and droplet travel are studied. The suction flow can remove aerosols and also reduce the spreading of droplets.
Early Depression Detection for Young Adults with a Psychiatric and AI Inter-Disciplinary Deep Learning Framework
During COVID-19, the depression rate is increased dramatically. Young adults are most vulnerable to the mental health effects of the pandemic. Lower-income families have a higher ratio to be diagnosed with depression than the general population, but less access to clinics. This research aims to achieve early depression detection at a low cost, large scale, and high accuracy with an interdisciplinary approach by incorporating clinical practices defined by American Psychiatric Association (APA) as well as multimodal AI framework. The proposed approach detected the nine depression symptoms with NLP sentiment analysis technologies and a symptom-based Lexicon uniquely designed for young adults. The experiments were conducted on the multimedia survey results from adolescents and young adults and unbiased Twitter communications. The result was further aggregated with the facial emotional cues analyzed by the Convolutional Neural Network on the multimedia survey videos. Five experiments each conducted on 10k data entries reached consistent results with an average accuracy of 88.31%, higher than the existing natural language analysis models. This approach can reach 300+ million daily active Twitter users and is highly accessible by low-income populations to promote early depression detection to raise awareness in adolescents and young adults and reveal complementary cues to assist clinical depression diagnosis.
Covid-19 Lockdown Experience of Elderly Female as Reflected in Their Artwork
Today the world as a whole is attempting to cope with the COVID-19, which has affected all facets of personal and social life from country-wide confinement to maintaining social distance and taking protective measures to maintain hygiene. One of the populations faced with the most severe restrictions is seniors.
Various studies have shown that creativity plays a crucial role in dealing with crisis events. Painting - regardless of media - allows for emotional and cognitive processing of these situations, and enables the expression of experiences in a tangible creative way that conveys and endows meaning to the artwork.
The current study was conducted in Israel immediately after a 6-week lockdown. It was designed to specifically examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the quality of life of elderly women as reflected in their artworks. The sample was composed of 21 Israeli women aged 60-90, in good mental health (without diagnosed dementia or Alzheimer's), all of whom were Hebrew-speaking, and retired with an extended family, who indicated that they painted and had engaged in artwork on an ongoing basis throughout the lockdown (from March 12 to May 30, 2020).
The participants' artworks were collected, and a semi-structured in-depth interview was conducted that lasted one to two hours. The participants were asked about their feelings during the pandemic and the artworks they produced during this time, and completed a questionnaire on well-being and mental health.
The initial analysis of the interviews and artworks revealed themes related to the specific role of each piece of artwork. The first theme included notions that the artwork was an activity and a framework for doing, which supported positive emotions, and provided a sense of vitality during the closure. Most of the participants painted images of nature and growth which were ascribed concrete and symbolic meaning. The second theme was that the artwork enabled the processing of difficult and /or conflicting emotions related to the situation, including anxiety about death and loneliness that were symbolically expressed in the artworks, such as images of the Corona virus and the respiratory machines.
The third theme suggested that the time and space prompted by the lockdown gave the participants time for a gathering together of the self, and freed up time for creative activities. Many participants stated that they painted more and more frequently during the Corona lockdown.
At the conference, additional themes and findings will be presented.
Design of UV Based Unicycle Robot to Disinfect Germs and Communicate With Multi-Robot System
In this paper, the communication between a team of robots is used to sanitize an environment with germs is proposed. We introduce capabilities from a team of robots (most likely heterogeneous), a wheeled robot named ROSbot 2.0 that consists of a mounted LiDAR and Kinect sensor, and a modified prototype design of a unicycle-drive Roomba robot called the UV robot. The UV robot consists of ultrasonic sensors to avoid obstacles and is equipped with an ultraviolet light system to disinfect and kill germs, such as bacteria and viruses. In addition, the UV robot is equipped with disinfectant spray to target hidden objects that ultraviolet light is unable to reach. Using the sensors from the ROSbot 2.0, the robot will create a 3-D model of the environment which will be used to factor how the ultraviolet robot will disinfect the environment. Together this proposed system is known as the RME assistive robot device or RME system, which communicates between a navigation robot and a germ disinfecting robot operated by a user. The RME system includes a human-machine interface that allows the user to control certain features of each robot in the RME assistive robot device. This method allows the cleaning process to be done at a more rapid and efficient pace as the UV robot disinfects areas just by moving around in the environment while using the ultraviolet light system to kills germs. The RME system can be used in many applications including, public offices, stores, airports, hospitals, and schools. The RME system will be beneficial even after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Kennesaw State University will continue the research in the field of robotics, engineering, and technology and play its role to serve humanity.
Overcoming the Impacts of Covid-19 Outbreak Using Value Integrated Project Delivery Model
Value engineering is a systematic approach, widely used to optimize the design or process or product in the designing stage. It used to achieve the client's obligation by increasing the functionality and attain the targeted cost in the cost planning. Value engineering effectiveness and benefits decrease along with the progress of the project since the change in the scope of the work and design will account for more cost all along the lifecycle of the project. Integrating the value engineering with other project management activities will promote cost minimization, client satisfaction, and ensure early completion of the project in time. Previous research studies suggested that value engineering can integrate with other project delivery activities, but research studies unable to frame a model that collaborates the project management activities with the job plan of value engineering approach. I analyzed various project management activities and their synergy between each other. The project management activities and processes like a)risk analysis b)lifecycle cost analysis c)lean construction d)facility management e)Building information modelling f)Contract administration, collaborated, and project delivery model planned along with the RIBA plan of work. The key outcome of the research is a value-driven project delivery model, which will succeed in dealing with the economic impact, constraints and conflicts arise due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the Indian construction sector. Benefits associated with the structured framework is construction project delivery that ensures early contractor involvement, mutual risk sharing, and reviving the project with a cost overrun and delay back on track ,are discussed.
Keywords: Value-driven project delivery model, Integration, RIBA plan of work
Themes: Design Economics
Healthcare Professional’s Well-Being: Case Study of Two Care Units in a Big Hospital in Canada
Healthcare professionals’ well-being is becoming a priority during this Covid-19 pandemic due to stress, fatigue, and workload. Well before this pandemic, contemporary hospitals are endowed with environmental attributes that contribute to achieving well-being within their environment with the emphasis on the patient. The patient-centered care approach has been followed by the patient-centered design approach. Studies that have focused on the physical environment in hospitals have dealt with the patient's recovery process and his well-being. Prior scientific literature has placed less emphasis on the healthcare professionals’ interactions within the physical environment and to guide hospital designers to make evidence-based design choices to meet the needs and expectations of hospital users by considering, in addition to patients, healthcare professionals. This paper examines these issues related to the daily stress of professionals who provide care in a hospital environment. In this exploratory study, the interest was to grasp the issues related to this environment and explores the current realities of newly built hospitals based on design approaches and what attributes of the physical setting support healthcare professional’s well-being. Within a constructivist approach, this study was conducted in two care units in a new hospital in a big city in Canada before the Covid-19 pandemic (august 2nd to November 2nd 2018). A spatial evaluation of these care units allowed us to understand the interaction of health professionals in their work environment, to understand the spatial behavior of these professionals, and the narratives from 44 interviews of various healthcare professionals. The mental images validated the salient components of the hospital environment as perceived by these healthcare professionals. Thematic analysis and triangulation of the data set were conducted. Among the key attributes promoting the healthcare professionals’ well-being as revealed by the healthcare professionals are the overall light-color atmosphere in the hospital and care unit, particularly in the corridors and public areas of the hospital, the maintenance and cleanliness. The presence of the art elements also brings well-being to the health professionals as well as panoramic views from the staff lounge and corridors of the care units or elevator lobbies. Despite the overall positive assessment of this environment, some attributes need to be improved to ensure the well-being of healthcare professionals and to provide them with a restructuring environment. These are the supply of natural light, softer colors, sufficient furniture, comfortable seating in the restroom, and views, which are important in allowing these healthcare professionals to recover from their work stress. Noise is another attribute that needs to be further improved in the hospital work environment, especially in the nursing workstations and consultant's room. In conclusion, this study highlights the importance of providing healthcare professionals with work and rest areas that allow them to resist the stress they face, particularly during periods of extreme stress and fatigue such as a Covid-19 pandemic.
The Impact of Online Visit Practice by Midwifery Students on Child-Rearing Midwives during The COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Descriptive Study
Background: In Japan, one of the goals of midwifery education is the development of one’s ability to comprehensively support the child-rearing generation in collaboration with professionals from other disciplines. However, in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19, it has become extremely difficult to provide face-to-face support for mothers and children. Early on in the pandemic, we sought help from three parenting midwives as an alternative and attempted an online visit. Since midwives who are raising children respond to the training as both mothers who are care recipients and midwives as care providers. Therefore, we attempted to verify the usefulness of midwives experiencing training as mothers by clarifying the effects on those midwives who are raising children and who have experienced online visit training by students. Methods: The online visitations were conducted in June 2020. The collaborators were three midwives who were devoted to childcare. During the online visit training, we used the feedback records of their questions given by the collaborators (with their permission) to the students. The verbatim record was created from the records. Qualitative descriptive analysis was used, and subcategories and categories were extracted. This study was approved by the Ethical Committee for Epidemiology of Hiroshima University. Results: The average age of the three midwives was 36.3 years, with an average of 12.3 years of experience after graduation. They were each raising multiple children (ranging between a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 children). Their youngest infants were 6.7 months old on average for all. Five categories that emerged were: contributing to the development of midwifery students as a senior; the joy of accepting the efforts of a mother while raising children; recalling the humility of beginners through the integrity of midwifery students; learning opportunities about the benefits of online visits; and suggesting further challenges for online visits. Conclusion: The online visit training was an opportunity for midwives who are raising their own children to reinforce an honest and humble approach based on the attitude of the students, for self-improvement, and to reflect on the practice of midwifery from another person’s viewpoint. It was also noted that the midwives contributed to the education of midwifery students. Furthermore, they also agreed with the use of online visitations and considered the advantages and disadvantages of its use from the perspective of mothers and midwives. Online visits were seen to empower midwives on childcare leave, as their child-rearing was accepted and admired. Online visits by students were considered to be an opportunity to not only provide a sense of fulfillment as a recipient of care but also to think concretely about career advancement, during childcare leave, regarding the ideal way for midwifery training and teaching.
Green Design Study of Prefabricated Community Control Measures in Response to Public Health Emergencies
During the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic, all communities in China were gated and under strict management, which was highly effective in preventing the spread of the epidemic from spreading. Based on the TRIZ theory, this paper intends to propose green design strategies of community control in response to public health emergencies and to optimize community control facilities according to the principle of minimum transformation. Through the questionnaire method, this paper investigates and summarizes the situation and problems of community control during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on these problems, the TRIZ theory is introduced to figure out the problems and associates them with prefabricated facilities. Afterward, the innovation points and solutions of prefabricated community control measures are proposed by using the contradiction matrix. This paper summarizes the current situation of community control under public health emergencies and concludes the problems such as simple forms of temporary roadblocks, sudden increase of community traffic pressure, and difficulties to access public spaces. The importance of entrance and exit control in community control is emphasized. Therefore, the community control measures are supposed to focus on traffic control, and the external access control measures, including motor vehicles, non-motor vehicles, residents and non-residents access control, and internal public space access control measures, including public space control shared with the society or adjacent communities, are proposed in order to make the community keep the open characteristics and have the flexibility to deal with sudden public health emergencies in the future.
Managing Student Internationalization during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Three Approaches That Should Endure beyond the Present
In higher education, a great degree of importance is placed on the internationalization of the student experience. This is seen as a valuable contributor to elements such as building confidence, broadening knowledge, creating networks and connections, and enhancing employability for current students who will become the next generation of managers in technology and business. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all areas of people’s lives. The limitations of travel coupled with the fears and concerns generated by the health risks have dramatically reduced the opportunity for students to engage with this agenda. Institutions of higher education have been required to rethink fundamental aspects of their business model from recruitment and enrolment through learning approaches, assessment methods, and the pathway to employment. This paper presents a case study which focuses on student mobility and how the physical experience of being in another country, either to study, to work, to volunteer or to gain cultural and social enhancement, has of necessity been replaced by alternative approaches. It considers trans-national education as an alternative to physical study overseas, virtual mobility and internships as an alternative to international work experience, and adopting collaborative online projects as an alternative to in-person encounters. The paper concludes that although these elements have been adopted to address the current situation, the lessons learned and the feedback gained suggests that they have contributed successfully in new and sometimes unexpected ways and that they will persist beyond the present to become part of the 'new normal' for the future. That being the case, senior leaders of institutions of higher education will be required to revisit their international plans and to rewrite their international strategies to take account of and build upon these changes.
Legal Allocation of Risks: A Computational Analysis of Force Majeure Clauses
This article analyzes the effect of supervening events in contracts. Contracts serve an important function: allocation of risks. In spite of its importance, the case law and the doctrine are messy and inconsistent. This article provides a fresh look at excuse doctrines (i.e., force majeure, impracticability, impossibility, and frustration) with a focus on force majeure clauses. The article makes the following contributions: First, it furnishes a new conceptual and theoretical framework of excuse doctrines. By distilling the decisions, it shows that excuse doctrines rests on the triangle of control, foreseeability, and contract language. Second, it analyzes force majeure clauses used by S&P 500 companies to understand the stickiness and similarity of such clauses and the events they cover. Third, using computational and statistical tools, it analyzes US cases since 1810 in order to assess the weight given to the triangle of control, foreseeability, and contract language. It shows that the control factor plays an important role in force majeure analysis, while the contractual interpretation is the least important factor. The Article concludes that it is the standard for control -whether the supervening event is beyond the control of the party- that determines the outcome of cases in the force majeure context and not necessarily the contractual language. This article has important implications on COVID-19-related contractual cases. Unlike the prevailing narrative that it is the language of the force majeure clause that’s determinative, this article shows that the primarily focus of the inquiry will be on whether the effects of COVID-19 have been beyond the control of the promisee. Normatively, the Article suggests that the trifactor of control, foreseeability, and contractual language are not effective for allocation of legal risks in times of crises. It puts forward a novel approach to force majeure clauses whereby that the courts should instead focus on the degree to which parties have relied on (expected) performance, in particular during the time of crisis.
Understanding Online Group Cohesion as a Clinical Function of Effective Trauma Specific Services During a Global Pandemic
Group therapy for trauma survivors is argued to be the strongest protector against the affliction and isolation that accompanies a traumatic experience. In 2020, these types of services became difficult to provide as in-person mental health services were suspended due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. Consequently, many clinicians quickly transitioned to providing these services remotely. Though the success of group therapy is attributed in part to group cohesion and connectedness, there is little research investigating whether online trauma group therapy can achieve adequate levels of such cohesion. To address this question, this study investigated the level of group cohesion experienced by group members via online trauma group therapy. Five manualized in-person phase-I trauma group programs were adapted for a PHIPA compliant online platform. Each group was a total of 8-weeks, with weekly meetings for 1.5 hours in length. All groups were closed and required a minimum of four participants to run, with a maximum capacity of 12 clients. All data was collected via REDCap, a secure web-based data managing tool. Participants were asked to fill out self-report questionnaires on trauma experiences, trauma symptoms, symptom severity, and emotional regulation before and immediately following the group. Group cohesion and satisfaction surveys were collected post-group. Preliminary statistical analyses demonstrate high overall satisfaction with the groups and trends towards adequate group engagement. Additionally, pilot clients appeared to demonstrate therapeutic benefits. Data collection and analyses for this study are ongoing. Results from this study may subsequently serve to expand accessibility through economically viable form of therapy, particularly during a global pandemic.
Using E-learning in a Tertiary Institution during Community Outbreak of COVID-19 in Hong Kong
The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) reached Hong Kong in 2019 resulting in epidemic in late January 2020. Considering the epidemic development, tertiary institutions made announcements that all on-campus classes were suspended since 01/29/2020. In Tung Wah College, e-learning was adopted in all courses for all programmes. For the undergraduate nursing students, the contact hours and curriculum are bounded by the Nursing Council of Hong Kong to ensure core competence after graduation. Unlike the usual e-learning where students are allowed having flexibility of time and place in their learning, real time learning mode using Blackboard was used to mimic the actual classroom learning environment. Students were required to attend classes according to the timetable using online platform. For lectures, voice over PowerPoint file was the initial step for mass lecturing. Real time lecture was then adopted to improve interactions between teacher and students. Post-lecture quizzes were developed to monitor the effectiveness of lecture delivery. The seminars and tutorials were conducted using real time mode where students were separated into small groups with interactive discussions with teacher within the group. Live time demonstrations were conducted during laboratory sessions. All teaching sessions were audio/video recorded for students’ referral. The assessments including seminar presentation and debate were retained. The learning mode creates an atmosphere for students to display the visual, audio and written works in a non-threatening atmosphere. Other students could comment using text or direct voice as they desired. Real time online learning is the pedagogy to replace classroom contacts in the emergent and unforeseeable circumstances. The learning pace and interaction between students and students with teacher are maintained. The learning mode has the advantage of creating an effective and beneficial learning experience.
The Effect of Environmental Assessment Learning in Evacuation Centers on the COVID-19 Situation
In basic nursing, the conditions necessary for maintaining human health -temperature, humidity, illumination, distance from others, noise, moisture, meals, and excretion- were explained. Nursing students often think of these conditions in the context of a hospital room. In order to make students think of these conditions in terms of an environment necessary for maintaining health and preventing illness for residents, in the third year of community health nursing, students learned how to assess and improve the environment -particularly via the case of shelters in the event of a disaster. The importance of environmental management has increased in 2020 as a preventive measure against COVID-19 infection. We verified the effect of the lessons, which was decided to be conducted through distance learning. Sixty third-year nursing college students consented to participate in this study. Environmental standard knowledge for conducting environmental assessment was examined before and after class, and the percentage of correct answers was compared. The χ² test was used for the test, with a 5% significance level employed. Measures were evaluated via a report submitted by the students after class. Student descriptions were analyzed both qualitatively and descriptively with respect to expected health problems and suggestions for improvement. Students have already learned about the environment in terms of basic nursing in their second year. The correct answers for external environmental values concerning interpersonal distance, illumination, noise, and room temperature (p < 0.001) increased significantly after taking the class. Humidity was registered 83.3% before class and 93.3% after class (p = 0.077). Regarding the body, the percentage of students who answered correctly was 70% or more, both before and after the class. The students’ reports included overcrowding, high humidity/high temperature, and the number of toilets as health hazards. Health disorders to be prevented were heat stroke, infectious diseases, and economy class syndrome; improvement methods were recommended for hyperventilation, stretching, hydration, and waiting at home. After the public health nursing class, the students were able to not only propose environmental management of a hospital room but also had an understanding of the environment in terms of the lives of individuals, environmental assessment, and solutions to health problems. The response rate for basic items learned in the second year was already high before and after class, and interpersonal distance and ventilation were described by students. Students were able to use what they learned in basic nursing about the standards of the human mind and body. In the external environment, the memory of specific numerical values was ambiguous. The environment of the hospital room is controlled, and interest in numerical values may decrease. Nursing staff needs to maintain and improve human health as well as hospital rooms. With COVID-19, it was thought that students would continue to not only consider this point in reference to hospital rooms but also in regard to places where people gather. Even in distance learning, students were able to learn the important issues and lessons.
Implementation of A Treatment Escalation Plan During The Covid 19 Outbreak in Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
For the last few years across the UK there has been a push towards implementing treatment escalation plans (TEP) for every patient admitted to hospital. This is a paper form which is completed by a junior doctor then countersigned by the consultant responsible for the patient's care. It is designed to address what level of care is appropriate for the patient in question at point of entry to hospital. It helps decide whether the patient would benefit for ward based, high dependency or intensive care. They are completed to ensure the patient's best interests are maintained and aim to facilitate difficult decisions which may be required at a later date. For example, a frail patient with significant co-morbidities, unlikely to survive a pathology requiring an intensive care admission is admitted to hospital the decision can be made early to state the patient would not benefit from an ICU admission. This decision can be reversed depending on the clinical course of the patient's admission. It promotes discussions with the patient regarding their wishes to receive certain levels of healthcare.
This poster describes the steps taken in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) when implementing the TEP form. The team implementing the TEP form campaigned for it's use to the board of directors. The directors were eager to hear of experiences of other health boards who had implemented the TEP form. The team presented the data produced in a number of health boards and demonstrated the proposed form. Concern was raised regarding the legalities of the form and that it could upset patients and relatives if the form was not explained properly. This delayed the effectuation of the TEP form and further research and discussion would be required.
When COVID 19 reached the UK the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence issued guidance stating every patient admitted to hospital should be issued a TEP form. The TEP form was accelerated through the vetting process and was approved with immediate effect. The TEP form in ABUHB has now been in circulation for a month. An audit investigating it's uptake and a survey gathering opinions have been conducted.
Life-Saving Design Strategies for Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care Facilities
In the late 1990s, a major deinstitutionalization movement of elderly patients took place, since which, the design of long-term care facilities has not been adequately analyzed in the United States. Over the course of the last 25 years, major innovations in construction methods, technology, and medicine have been developed, drastically changing the landscape of healthcare architecture. In light of recent events, and the expected increase in elderly populations with the aging of the baby-boomer generation, it is evident that reconsideration of these facilities is essential for the proper care of aging populations. The global response has been effective in stifling this pandemic; however, widespread disease still poses an imminent threat to the human race. Having witnessed the devastation Covid-19 has reaped throughout nursing homes and long-term care facilities, it is evident that the current strategies for protecting our most vulnerable populations are not enough. Light renovation of existing facilities and previously overlooked considerations for new construction projects can drastically lower the risk at nursing homes and long-term care facilities. A reconfigured entry sequence supplements several of the features which have been long-standing essentials of the design of these facilities. This research focuses on several aspects identified as needing improvement, including indoor environment quality, security measures incorporated into healthcare architecture and design, and architectural mitigation strategies for sick building syndrome. The results of this study have been compiled as 'best practices' for the design of future healthcare construction projects focused on the health, safety, and quality of life of the residents of these facilities. These design strategies, which can easily be implemented through renovation of existing facilities and new construction projects, minimize risk of infection and spread of disease while allowing routine functions to continue with minimal impact, should the need for future lockdowns arise. Through the current lockdown procedures, which were implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic, isolation of residents has caused great unrest and worry for family members and friends as they are cut off from their loved ones. At this time, data is still being reported, leaving infection and death rates inconclusive; however, recent projections in some states list long-term care facility deaths as high as 60% of all deaths in the state. The population of these facilities consists of residents who are elderly, immunocompromised, and have underlying chronic medical conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control, these populations are particularly susceptible to infection and serious illness. The obligation to protect our most vulnerable population cannot be overlooked, and the harsh measures recently taken as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic prove that the design strategies currently utilized for doing so are inadequate.
The Use of Online Multimedia Platforms to Deliver a Regional Medical Schools Finals Revision Course During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Background: Revision courses for medical students undertaking their final examinations are commonplace throughout the UK. Traditionally these take the form of a series of lectures over multiple weeks or a single day of intensive lectures. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has required medical educators to create new teaching formats to ensure they adhere to social distancing requirements. It has provided an unexpected opportunity to accelerate the development of students proficiency in the use of ‘technology-enabled communication platforms’, as mandated in the 2018 GMC Outcomes of Graduates. Recent advances in technology have made distance learning possible, whilst also providing novel and more engaging learning opportunities for students. Foundation Year 2 doctors at Aintree University Hospital developed an online series of videos to help prepare medical students in the North West and byond for their final medical school examinations.
Method: Eight hour-long videos covering the key topics in medicine and surgery were posted on the Peer Learning Liverpool Youtube channel. These videos were created using new technology such as the screen and audio recording platform, Loom. Each video compromised at least 20 single best answer (SBA) questions, in keeping with the format in most medical school finals. Explanations of the answers were provided, and additional important material was covered. Students were able to ask questions by commenting on the videos, with the authors replying as soon as possible. Feedback was collated using an online Google form.
Results: An average of 327 people viewed each video, with 113 students filling in the feedback form. 65.5% of respondents were within one month of their final medical school examinations. The average rating for how well prepared the students felt for their finals was 6.21/10 prior to the course and 8.01/10 after the course. A paired t-test demonstrated a mean increase of 1.80 (95% CI 1.66-1.93). Overall, 98.2% said the online format worked well or very well, and 99.1% would recommend the course to a peer.
Conclusions: Based on the feedback received, the online revision course was successful both in terms of preparing students for their final examinations, and with regards to how well the online format worked.
Free-text qualitative feedback highlighted advantages such as; students could learn at their own pace, revisit key concepts important to them, and practice exam style questions via the case-based format. Limitations identified included inconsistent audiovisual quality, and requests for a live online Q&A session following the conclusion of the course. This course will be relaunched later in the year with increased opportunities for students to access live feedback.
The success of this online course has shown the roll that technology can play in medical education. As well as providing novel teaching modes, online learning allows students to access resources that otherwise would not be available locally, and ensure that they do not miss out on teaching that was previously provided face to face, in the current climate of social distancing.
Digital Health During a Pandemic: Critical Analysis of the COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps
Virologists and public health experts have been predicting potential pandemics from coronaviruses for decades. The viruses which caused the SARS and MERS pandemics and the Nipah virus led to many lost lives, but still, the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus surprised many scientific communities, experts, and governments with its ease of transmission and its pathogenicity. Governments of various countries reacted by locking down entire populations to their homes to combat the devastation caused by the virus, which led to a loss of livelihood and economic hardship to many individuals and organizations. To revive national economies and support their citizens in resuming their lives, governments focused on the development and use of contact tracing apps as a digital way to track and trace exposure. Google and Apple introduced the Exposure Notification Systems (ENS) framework. Independent organizations and countries also developed different frameworks for contact tracing apps. The efficiency, popularity, and adoption rate of these various apps have been different across countries. In this paper, we present a critical analysis of the different contact tracing apps with respect to their efficiency, adoption rate and general perception, and the governmental strategies and policies, which led to the development of the applications. When it comes to the European countries, each of them followed an individualistic approach to the same problem resulting in different realizations of a similarly functioning application with differing results of use and acceptance. The study conducted an extensive review of existing literature, policies, and reports across multiple disciplines, from which a framework was developed and then validated through interviews with six key stakeholders in the field, including founders and executives in digital health startups and corporates as well as experts from international organizations like The World Health Organization. A framework of best practices and tactics is the result of this research. The framework looks at three main questions regarding the contact tracing apps; how to develop them, how to deploy them, and how to regulate them. The findings are based on the best practices applied by governments across multiple countries, the mistakes they made, and the best practices applied in similar situations in the business world. The findings include multiple strategies when it comes to the development milestone regarding establishing frameworks for cooperation with the private sector and how to design the features and user experience of the app for a transparent, effective, and rapidly adaptable app. For the deployment section, several tactics were discussed regarding communication messages, marketing campaigns, persuasive psychology, and the initial deployment scale strategies. The paper also discusses the data privacy dilemma and how to build for a more sustainable system of health-related data processing and utilization. This is done through principles-based regulations specific for health data to allow for its avail for the public good. This framework offers insights into strategies and tactics that could be implemented as protocols for future public health crises and emergencies whether global or regional.
An Unexpected Helping Hand: Consequences of Redistribution on Personal Ideology
Literature on redistributive preferences has proliferated in past decades. A core assumption behind it is that variation in redistributive preferences can explain different levels of redistribution. In contrast, this paper considers the reverse. What if it is redistribution that changes redistributive preferences? The core assumption behind the argument is that if self-interest - which we label concrete preferences - and ideology - which we label abstract preferences - come into conflict, the former will prevail and lead to an adjustment of the latter. To test the hypothesis, data from a survey conducted in Switzerland during the first wave of the COVID-19 crisis is used. A significant portion of the workforce at the time unexpectedly received state money through the short-time working program. Short-time work was used as a proxy for self-interest and was tested (1) on the support given to hypothetical, ailing firms during the crisis and (2) on the prioritization of justice principles guiding state action. In a first step, several models using OLS-regressions on political orientation were estimated to test our hypothesis as well as to check for non-linear effects. We expected support for ailing firms to be the same regardless of ideology but only for people on short-time work. The results both confirm our hypothesis and suggest a non-linear effect. Far-right individuals on short-time work were disproportionally supportive compared to moderate ones. In a second step, ordered logit models were estimated to test the impact of short-time work and political orientation on the rankings of the distributive justice principles need, performance, entitlement, and equality. The results show that being on short-time work significantly alters the prioritization of justice principles. Right-wing individuals are much more likely to prioritize need and equality over performance and entitlement when they receive government assistance. No such effect is found among left-wing individuals. In conclusion, we provide moderate to strong evidence that unexpectedly finding oneself at the receiving end changes redistributive preferences if personal ideology is antithetical to redistribution. The implications of our findings on the study of populism, personal ideologies, and political change are discussed.
Global News Coverage of the Pandemic: Towards an Ethical Framework for Media Professionalism
This paper analyzes the current media practices dominant in global journalistic practices within the framework of world press theories of Libertarian, Authoritarian, Communist, and Social Responsibility to evaluate their efficacy in addressing their role in the coverage of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. The global media flows, determinants of news coverage, and international awareness and the Western view of the world will be critically analyzed within the context of the prevalent news values that underpin free press and media coverage of the world. While evaluating the global discourse paramount to a sustained and dispassionate understanding of world events, this paper proposes an ethical framework that brings clarity devoid of sensationalism, partisanship, right-wing and left-wing interpretations to a breaking and dangerous development of a pandemic. As the world struggles to contain the coronavirus pandemic with death climbing close to 6,000 from late January to mid-March, 2020, the populations of the developed as well as the developing nations are beset with news media renditions of the crisis that are contradictory, confusing and evoking anxiety, fear and hysteria. How are we to understand differing news standards and news values? What lessons do we as journalism and mass media educators, researchers, and academics learn in order to construct a better news model and structure of media practice that addresses science, health, and media literacy among media practitioners, journalists, and news consumers? As traditional media struggles to cover the pandemic to its audience and consumers, social media from which an increasing number of consumers get their news have exerted their influence both in a positive way and in a negative manner. Even as the world struggles to grasp the full significance of the pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been feverishly battling an additional challenge related to the pandemic in what it termed an 'infodemic'—'an overabundance of information, some accurate and some not, that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.' There is, indeed, a need for journalism and news coverage in times of pandemics that reflect social responsibility and ethos of public service journalism. Social media and high-tech information corporations, collectively termed GAMAF—Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook – can team up with reliable traditional media—newspapers, magazines, book publishers, radio and television corporates—to ease public emotions and be helpful in times of a pandemic outbreak. GAMAF can, conceivably, weed out sensational and non-credible sources of coronavirus information, exotic cures offered for sale on a quick fix, and demonetize videos that exploit peoples’ vulnerabilities at the lowest ebb. Credible news of utility delivered in a sustained, calm, and reliable manner serves people in a meaningful and helpful way. The world’s consumers of news and information, indeed, deserve a healthy and trustworthy news media – at least in the time of pandemic COVID-19. Towards this end, the paper will propose a practical model for news media and journalistic coverage during times of a pandemic.
Sweden’s SARS-CoV-2 Mitigation Failure as a Science and Solutions Principle Case Study
Different governments in today’s global pandemic are approaching the challenging and complex issue of mitigating the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus differently while simultaneously considering their national economic and operational bottom lines. One of the most notable successes has been Taiwan's multifaceted virus containment approach, which resulted in a substantially lower incidence rate compared to Sweden’s chief mitigation tactic of herd immunity. From a classic Swiss Cheese Model perspective, integrating more fail-safe layers of defense against the virus in Taiwan’s approach compared to Sweden’s meant that in Taiwan, the government did not have to resort to extreme measures like the national lockdown Sweden is currently contemplating. From an optimized virus spread mitigation solution development standpoint using the Solutions Principle, the Taiwanese and Swedish solutions were desirable economically by businesses that remained open and non-economically or socially by individuals who enjoyed fewer disruptions from what they considered normal before the pandemic. Out of the two, the Taiwanese approach was more feasible long-term from a workforce management and quality control perspective for healthcare facilities and their professionals who were able to provide better, longer, more attentive care to the fewer new positive COVID-19 cases. Furthermore, the Taiwanese approach was more applicable as an overall model to emulate thanks in part to its short-term and long-term multilayered approach, which allows for the kind of flexibility needed by other governments to fully or partially adapt or adopt said, model. The Swedish approach, on the other hand, ignored the biochemical nature of the virus and relied heavily on short-term personal behavioral adjustments and conduct modifications, which are not as reliable as establishing required societal norms and awareness programs. The available international data on COVID-19 cases and the published governmental approaches to control the spread of the coronavirus support a better fit into the Solutions Principle of Taiwan’s Swiss Cheese Model success story compared to Sweden’s.
Nurse-Led Codes: Practical Application in the Emergency Department during a Global Pandemic
Resuscitation during cardiopulmonary (CPA) arrest is dynamic, high stress, high acuity situation, which can easily lead to communication breakdown, and errors. The care of these high acuity patients has also been shown to increase physiologic stress and task saturation of providers, which can negatively impact the care being provided. These difficulties are further complicated during a global pandemic and pose a significant safety risk to bedside providers. Nurse-led codes are a relatively new concept that may be a potential solution for alleviating some of these difficulties. An experienced nurse who has completed advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), and additional training, assumed the responsibility of directing the mechanics of the appropriate ACLS algorithm. This was done in conjunction with a physician who also acted as a physician leader. The additional nurse-led code training included a multi-disciplinary in situ simulation of a CPA on a suspected COVID-19 patient. During the CPA, the nurse leader’s responsibilities include: ensuring adequate compression depth and rate, minimizing interruptions in chest compressions, the timing of rhythm/pulse checks, and appropriate medication administration. In addition, the nurse leader also functions as a last line safety check for appropriate personal protective equipment and limiting exposure of staff. The use of nurse-led codes for CPA has shown to decrease the cognitive overload and task saturation for the physician, as well as limiting the number of staff being exposed to a potentially infectious patient. The real-world application has allowed physicians to perform and oversee high-risk procedures such as intubation, line placement, and point of care ultrasound, without sacrificing the integrity of the resuscitation. Nurse-led codes have also given the physician the bandwidth to review pertinent medical history, advanced directives, determine reversible causes, and have the end of life conversations with family. While there is a paucity of research on the effectiveness of nurse-led codes, there are many potentially significant benefits. In addition to its value during a pandemic, it may also be beneficial during complex circumstances such as extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Covid -19 Pandemic and Impact on Public Spaces of Tourism and Hospitality in Dubai- an Exploratory Study from a Design Perspective
The Covid 19 pandemic has badly mauled Dubai’s GDP heavily dependent on hospitality, tourism, entertainment, logistics, property and the retail sectors. In the context of the World Health protocols on social distancing for better maintenance of health and hygiene, the revival of the battered tourism and hospitality sectors has serious lessons for designers- interiors and public places. The tangible and intangible aesthetic elements and design –ambiance, materials, furnishings, colors, lighting and interior with architectural design issues of tourism and hospitality need a rethink to ensure a memorable tourist experience. Designers ought to experiment with sustainable places of tourism and design, develop, build and projects are aesthetic and leave as little negative impacts on the environment and public as possible. In short, they ought to conceive public spaces that makes use of little untouched materials and energy, and creates pollution and waste that are minimal. The spaces can employ healthier and more resource-efficient prototypes of construction, renovation, operation, maintenance, and demolition and thereby mitigate the environment impacts of the construction activities and it is sustainable These measures encompass the hospitality sector that includes hotels and restaurants which has taken the hardest fall from the pandemic. The paper sought to examine building energy efficiency and materials and design employed in public places, green buildings to achieve constructive sustainability and to establish the benefits of utilizing energy efficiency, green materials and sustainable design; to document diverse policy interventions, design and Spatial dimensions of tourism and hospitality sectors; to examine changes in the hospitality, aviation sector especially from a design perspective regarding infrastructure or operational constraints and additional risk-mitigation measures; to dilate on the nature of implications for interior designers and architects to design public places to facilitate sustainable tourism and hospitality while balancing convenient space and their operations' natural surroundings.
The qualitative research approach was adopted for the study. The researcher collected and analyzed data in continuous iteration. Secondary data was collected from articles in journals, trade publications, government reports, newspaper/ magazine articles, policy documents etc. In depth interviews were conducted with diverse stakeholders. Preliminary data indicates that designers have started imagining public places of tourism and hospitality against the backdrop of the government push and WHO guidelines. For instance, with regard to health, safety, hygiene and sanitation,
Emirates, the Dubai-based airline has augmented health measures at the Dubai International Airport and on board its aircraft. It has leveraged high tech/ Nano-tech, social distancing to encourage least human contact, flexible design layouts to limit the occupancy. The researcher organized the data into thematic categories and found that the Government of Dubai has initiated comprehensive measures in the hospitality, tourism and aviation sectors in compliance with the WHO guidelines.
A Bibliometric Analysis of Ukrainian Research Articles on SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) in Compliance with the Standards of Current Research Information Systems
These days in Ukraine, Open Science dramatically develops for the sake of scientists of all branches, providing an opportunity to take a more close look on the studies by foreign scientists, as well as to deliver their own scientific data to national and international journals. However, when it comes to the generalization of data on science activities by Ukrainian scientists, these data are often integrated into E-systems that operate inconsistent and barely related information sources. In order to resolve these issues, developed countries productively use E-systems, designed to store and manage research data, such as Current Research Information Systems that enable combining uncompiled data obtained from different sources. An algorithm for selecting SARS-CoV-2 research articles was designed, by means of which we collected the set of papers published by Ukrainian scientists and uploaded by August 1, 2020. Resulting metadata (document type, open access status, citation count, h-index, most cited documents, international research funding, author counts, the bibliographic relationship of journals) were taken from Scopus and Web of Science databases. The study also considered the info from COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2-related documents published from December 2019 to September 2020, directly from documents published by authors depending on territorial affiliation to Ukraine. These databases are enabled to get the necessary information for bibliometric analysis and necessary details: copyright, which may not be available in other databases (e.g., Science Direct). Search criteria and results for each online database were considered according to the WHO classification of the virus and the disease caused by this virus and represented (Table 1). First, we identified 89 research papers that provided us with the final data set after consolidation and removing duplication; however, only 56 papers were used for the analysis. The total number of documents by results from the WoS database came out at 21641 documents (48 affiliated to Ukraine among them) in the Scopus database came out at 32478 documents (41 affiliated to Ukraine among them). According to the publication activity of Ukrainian scientists, the following areas prevailed: Education, educational research (9 documents, 20.58%); Social Sciences, interdisciplinary (6 documents, 11.76%) and Economics (4 documents, 8.82%). The highest publication activity by institution types was reported in the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (its percent of published scientific papers equals 36% or 7 documents), Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University goes next (5 documents, 15%) and P. L. Shupyk National Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education (4 documents, 12%). Basically, research activities by Ukrainian scientists were funded by 5 entities: Belgian Development Cooperation, the National Institutes of Health (NIH, U.S.), The United States Department of Health & Human Services, grant from the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale, a grant from the Yale Women Faculty Forum. Based on the results of the analysis, we obtained a set of published articles and preprints to be assessed on the variety of features in upcoming studies, including citation count, most cited documents, a bibliographic relationship of journals, reference linking. Further research on the development of the national scientific E-database continues using brand new analytical methods.
Virtual Engineers on Wheels: Transitioning from Mobile to Online Outreach
The Virtual Engineers on Wheels (ViEW) is a revised version of our established mobile K-12 outreach program Engineers on Wheels in order to address the pandemic. The Virtual Engineers on Wheels' (VIEW) goal has stayed the same as in prior years: to provide K-12 students and educators with the necessary resources to peak interest in the expanding fields of engineering. With these trying times, the Virtual Engineers on Wheels outreach has adapted its medium of instruction to be more seamless with the online approach to teaching and outreach. In the midst of COVID-19, providing a safe transfer of information has become a constraint for research. The focus has become how to uphold a level of quality instruction without diminishing the safety of those involved by promoting proper health practices and giving hope to students as well as their families. Furthermore, ViEW has created resources on effective strategies that minimize risk factors of COVID-19 and inform families that there is still a promising future ahead. To obtain these goals while still maintaining true to the hands-on learning that is so crucial to young minds, the approach is online video lectures followed by experiments within different engineering disciplines. ViEW has created a comprehensive website that students can leverage to explore the different fields of study. One of the experiments entails teaching about drone usage and how it might play a factor in the future of unmanned deliveries. Some of the other experiments focus on the differences in mask materials and their effectiveness, as well as their environmental outlook. Having students perform from home enables them a safe environment to learn at their own pace while still providing quality instruction that would normally be achieved in the classroom. Contact information is readily available on the website to provide interested parties with a means to ask their inquiries. As it currently stands, the interest in engineering/STEM-related fields is underrepresented from women and certain minority groups. So alongside the desire to grow interest, helping balance the scales is one of the main priorities of VIEW. In previous years, VIEW surveyed students before and after instruction to see if their perception of engineering has changed. In general, it is the understanding that being exposed to engineering/STEM at a young age increases the chances that it will be pursued later in life.
Metadiscourse in EFL, ESP and Subject-Teaching Online Courses in Higher Education
Propositional information in discourse is made coherent, intelligible, and persuasive through metadiscourse. The linguistic and rhetorical choices that writers/speakers make to organize and negotiate content matter are intended to help relate a text to its context. Besides, they help the audience to connect to and interpret a text according to the values of a specific discourse community. Based on these assumptions, this work aims to analyse the use of metadiscourse in the spoken performance of teachers in online EFL, ESP, and subject-teacher courses taught in English to non-native learners in higher education. In point of fact, the global spread of Covid 19 has forced universities to transition their in-class courses to online delivery. This has inevitably placed on the instructor a heavier interactional responsibility compared to in-class courses. Accordingly, online delivery needs greater structuring as regards establishing the reader/listener’s resources for text understanding and negotiating. Indeed, in online as well as in in-class courses, lessons are social acts which take place in contexts where interlocutors, as members of a community, affect the ways ideas are presented and understood. Following Hyland’s Interactional Model of Metadiscourse (2005), this study intends to investigate Teacher Talk in online academic courses during the Covid 19 lock-down in Italy. The selected corpus includes the transcripts of online EFL and ESP courses and subject-teachers online courses taught in English. The objective of the investigation is, firstly, to ascertain the presence of metadiscourse in the form of interactive devices (to guide the listener through the text) and interactional features (to involve the listener in the subject). Previous research on metadiscourse in academic discourse, in college students' presentations in EAP (English for Academic Purposes) lessons, as well as in online teaching methodology courses and MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) has shown that instructors use a vast array of metadiscoursal features intended to express the speakers’ intentions and standing with respect to discourse. Besides, they tend to use directions to orient their listeners and logical connectors referring to the structure of the text. Accordingly, the purpose of the investigation is also to find out whether metadiscourse is used as a rhetorical strategy by instructors to control, evaluate and negotiate the impact of the ongoing talk, and eventually to signal their attitudes towards the content and the audience. Thus, the use of metadiscourse can contribute to the informative and persuasive impact of discourse, and to the effectiveness of online communication, especially in learning contexts.
Building a Framework for Digital Emergency Response System for Aged, Long Term Care and Chronic Disease Patients in Asia Pacific Region
This paper proposes the formation of a digital emergency response system (dERS) in the aged, long-term care, and chronic disease setups in the post-COVID healthcare ecosystem, focusing on the Asia Pacific market where the aging population is increasing significantly. It focuses on the use of digital technologies such as wearables, a global positioning system (GPS), and mobile applications to build an integrated care system for old folks with co-morbidities and other chronic diseases. The paper presents a conceptual framework of a connected digital health ecosystem that not only provides proactive care to registered patients but also prevents the damages due to sudden conditions such as strokes by alerting and treating the patients in a digitally connected and coordinated manner. A detailed review of existing digital health technologies such as wearables, GPS, and mobile apps was conducted in context with the new post-COVID healthcare paradigm, along with a detailed literature review on the digital health policies and usability. A good amount of research papers is available in the application of digital health, but very few of them discuss the formation of a new framework for a connected digital ecosystem for the aged care population, which is increasing around the globe. A connected digital emergency response system has been proposed by the author whereby all registered patients (chronic disease and aged/long term care) will be connected to the proposed digital emergency response system (dERS). In the proposed ecosystem, patients will be provided with a tracking wrist band and a mobile app through which the control room will be monitoring the mobility and vitals such as atrial fibrillation (AF), blood sugar, blood pressure, and other vital signs. In addition to that, an alert in case if the patient falls down will add value to this system. In case of any variation in the vitals, an alert is sent to the dERS 24/7, and dERS clinical staff immediately trigger that alert which goes to the connected hospital and the adulatory service providers, and the patient is escorted to the nearest connected tertiary care hospital. By the time, the patient reaches the hospital, dERS team is ready to take appropriate clinical action to save the life of the patient. Strokes or myocardial infarction patients can be prevented from disaster if they are accessible to engagement healthcare. This dERS will play an effective role in saving the lives of aged patients or patients with chronic co-morbidities.
Online Teaching Methods and Student Satisfaction during a Pandemic
With the outbreak of the global pandemic of COVID-19, online education characterizes today’s higher education. For some higher education institutions (HEIs), the shift from classroom education to online solutions was swift and smooth, and students are continuously asked about their experience regarding online education. Therefore, there is a growing emphasis on student satisfaction with online education, a field that had emerged previously, but has become the center of higher education and research interest today. The aim of the current paper is to give a brief overview of the tools used in the online education of marketing-related classes at the examined university and to investigate student satisfaction with the applied teaching methodologies with the tool of a questionnaire. Results show that students are most satisfied with their teachers’ competences and preparedness, while they are least satisfied with online class quality, where it seems that further steps are needed to be taken.
The Effect of Disseminating Basic Knowledge on Radiation in Emergency Distance Learning of COVID-19
People are susceptible to rumors when the cause of their health problems is unknown or invisible. In order for individuals to be unaffected by rumors, they need basic knowledge and correct information. Community health nursing classes use cases where basic knowledge of radiation can be utilized on a regular basis, thereby teaching that basic knowledge is important in preventing anxiety caused by rumors. Nursing students need to learn that preventive activities are essential for public health nursing care. This is the same methodology used to reduce COVID-19 anxiety among individuals. This study verifies the learning effect concerning the basic knowledge of radiation necessary for case consultation by emergency distance learning. Sixty third-year nursing college students agreed to participate in this research. The knowledge tests conducted before and after classes were compared, with the chi-square test used for testing. There were five knowledge questions regarding distance lessons. This was considered to be 5% significant. The students’ reports which describe the results of responding to health consultations, were analyzed qualitatively and descriptively. In this case study, a person living in an area not affected by radiation was anxious about drinking water and, thus, consulted with a student. The contents of the lecture were selected the minimum amount of knowledge used for the answers of the consultant; specifically hot spots, internal exposure risk, food safety, characteristics of cesium-137, and precautions for counselors. Before taking the class, the most correctly answered question by students concerned daily behavior at risk of internal exposure (52.2%). The question with the fewest correct answers was the selection of places that are likely to be hot spots (3.4%). All responses increased significantly after taking the class (p < 0.001). The answers to the counselors, as written by the students, were 'Cesium is strongly bound to the soil, so it is difficult to transfer to water' and 'Water quality test results of tap water are posted on the city's website.' These were concrete answers obtained by using specialized knowledge. Even in emergency distance learning, the students gained basic knowledge regarding radiation and created a document to utilize said knowledge while assuming the situation concretely. It was thought that the flipped classroom method, even if conducted remotely, could maintain students' learning. It was thought that setting specific knowledge and scenes to be used would enhance the learning effect. By changing the case to concern that of the anxiety caused by infectious diseases, students may be able to effectively gain the basic knowledge to decrease the anxiety of residents due to infectious diseases.
Development of a One Health and Comparative Medicine Curriculum for Medical Students
Introduction: The One Health initiative promotes recognition of the interrelatedness between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment. The field of comparative medicine studies the similarities and differences between humans and animals for the purpose of advancing medical sciences. Currently, medical school education is narrowly focused on human anatomy and physiology, but as the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, a holistic understanding of health requires comprehension of the interconnection between health and the lived environment. To prepare future physicians for unique challenges from emerging zoonoses to climate change, medical students can benefit from exposure to and experience with One Health and Comparative Medicine content. Methods: In January 2020, an elective course for medical students on One Health and Comparative Medicine was created to provide medical students with the background knowledge necessary to understand the applicability of animal and environmental health in medical research and practice. The 2-week course was continued in January 2021, with didactic and experiential activities taking place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to student feedback, lectures were added to expand instructional content on zoonotic and wildlife diseases for the second iteration of the course. Other didactic sessions included interprofessional lectures from 20 physicians, veterinarians, public health professionals, and basic science researchers. The first two cohorts of students were surveyed regarding One Health and Comparative Medicine concepts at the beginning and conclusion of the course. Results: 16 medical students have completed the comparative medicine course thus far, with 87.5% (n=14) completing pre-and post-course evaluations. 100% of student respondents indicated little to no exposure to comparative medicine or One Health concepts during medical school. Following the course, 100% of students felt familiar or very familiar with comparative medicine and One Health concepts. To assess course efficacy, questions were evaluated on a five-point Likert scale. 100% agreed or strongly agreed that learning Comparative Medicine and One Health topics augmented their medical education. 100% agreed or strongly agreed that a course covering this content should be regularly offered to medical students. Conclusions: Data from the student evaluation surveys demonstrate that the Comparative Medicine course was successful in increasing medical student knowledge of Comparative Medicine and One Health. Results also suggest that interprofessional training in One Health and Comparative Medicine is applicable and useful for medical trainees. Future iterations of this course could capitalize on the inherently interdisciplinary nature of these topics by enrolling students from veterinary and public health schools into a longitudinal course. Such recruitment may increase the course’s value by offering multidisciplinary student teams the opportunity to conduct research projects, thereby strengthening both the individual learning experience as well as sparking future interprofessional research ventures. Overall, these efforts to educate medical students in One Health topics should be reproducible at other institutions, preparing more future physicians for the diverse challenges they will encounter in practice.
Investigating Real Ship Accidents with Descriptive Analysis in Turkey
The use of advanced methods has been increasing day by day in the maritime sector, which is one of the sectors least affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is aimed to minimize accidents, especially by using advanced methods in the investigation of marine accidents. This research aimed to conduct an exploratory statistical analysis of particular ship accidents in the Transport Safety Investigation Center of Turkey database. 46 ship accidents, which occurred between 2010-2018, have been selected from the database. In addition to the availability of a reliable and comprehensive database, taking advantage of the robust statistical models for investigation is critical to improving the safety of ships. Thus, descriptive analysis has been used in the research to identify causes and conditional factors related to different types of ship accidents. The research outcomes underline the fact that environmental factors and day and night ratio have great influence on ship safety.
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Armenian Higher Education System: Challenges аnd Perspectives
Humanity has been still coping with the new COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare providers, economists, psychologists, and other specialists speak about the impact of the virus on different spheres of our life. In the list of similar discussions, the impact of pandemics on global education is of utmost importance. Ideally, providing quality education services should be crucial, and the ways education programs are being adapted will determine the success or failure of the service providers. The paper aims to summarize the research touching upon the current situation of higher education in Armenia. The research includes data from official reports, surveys among education leads, faculty, and students, as well as personal observations and consideration. Through descriptive analysis, the findings of the research are being presented from various aspects. Interim results of the research unveiled two major issues in the sector of higher education in Armenia. On the one hand, the entire compulsory digitization of instruction, assessment, and grading has evoked serious gaps related to the lack of technical competencies. There is an urgent need for professional development programs that will address most of the concerns due to the shift to the online instruction mode. On the other hand, online teaching and learning require revision and adaptation of the existing curricula. Given that the content of certain programs may not be compromised, the teaching methods, the assignments, and evaluation require profound transformation, which will still be in line with course learning outcomes and student learning outcomes. The given paper focuses on the ways the mentioned issues are being addressed in Armenia. The extent of commitment for changes and adaptability to the new situation varies from the government-funded and private universities. In particular, the paper compares and contrasts activities and measures taken at the Armenian State Pedagogical University and the American University of Armenia. Thus, the Pedagogical University focused on the use of Google Classroom as the only means for teaching and learning as well as adopted the compulsory synchronous instruction mode. The American University, on the contrary, kept practicing the academic freedom, enabling both synchronous and asynchronous instruction modes, ensuring alignment of the course learning outcomes and student learning outcomes. The State University utilized the assignments and assessment, which would work for the on-campus instruction mode, while the American university employed a variety of assignments applicable for online teaching mode. The latter has suggested the utilization of multiple apps, internet sources, and online library access for a better online instant. Discussions with faculty through online forums and/or professional development workshops also facilitate restructuring and adaptation of the courses. Finally, the paper will synthesize the results of the undertaken research and will outline the e-learning perspectives and opportunities boosted by the known devastating healthcare issue.
Sentiment Analysis in Social Networks Sites Based on a Bibliometrics Analysis: A Comprehensive Analysis and Trends for Future Research Planning
Academic research about sentiment analysis in sentiment analysis has obtained significant advancement over recent years and is flourishing from the collection of knowledge provided by various academic disciplines. In the current study, the status and development trend of the field of sentiment analysis in social networks is evaluated through a bibliometric analysis of academic publications. In particular, the distributions of publications and citations, the distribution of subject, predominant journals, authors, countries are analyzed. The collaboration degree is applied to measure scientific connections from different aspects. Moreover, the keyword co-occurrence analysis is used to find out the major research topics and their evolutions throughout the time span. The area of sentiment analysis in social networks has gained growing attention in academia, with computer science and engineering as the top main research subjects. China and the USA provide the most to the area development. Authors prefer to collaborate more with those within the same nation. Among the research topics, newly risen topics such as COVID-19, customer satisfaction are discovered.
Problem-Based Learning for Hospitality Students. The Case of Madrid Luxury Hotels and the Recovery after the Covid Pandemic
Problem-based learning (PBL) is a useful tool for adult and practice oriented audiences, as University students. As a consequence of the huge disruption caused by the COVID pandemic in the hospitality industry, hotels of all categories closed down in Spain from March 2020. Since that moment, the luxury segment was blooming with optimistic prospects for new openings. Hence, Hospitality students were expecting a positive situation in terms of employment and career development.
By the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year, these expectations were seriously harmed. By October 2020, only 9 of the 32 hotels in the luxury segment were opened with an occupation rate of 9%. Shortly after, the evidence of a second wave affecting especially Spain and the homelands of incoming visitors bitterly smashed all forecasts.
In accordance with the situation, a team of four professors and practitioners, from four different subject areas, developed a real case, inspired in one of these hotels, the 5-stars Emperatriz by Barceló. Students in their 2nd course were provided with real information as marketing plans, profit and losses and operational accounts, employees profiles and employment costs. The challenge for them was to act as consultants, identifying potential courses of action, related to best, base and worst case. In order to do that, they were organized in teams and supported by 4th course students.
Each professor deployed the problem in their subject; thus, research on the customers behavior and feelings were necessary to review, as part of the marketing plan, if the current offering of the hotel was clear enough to guarantee and to communicate a safe environment, as well as the ranking of other basic, supporting and facilitating services. Also, continuous monitoring of competitors’ activity was necessary to understand what was the behavior of the open outlets.
The actions designed after the diagnose were ranked in accordance with their impact and feasibility in terms of time and resources. Also they must be actionable by the current staff of the hotel and their managers and a vision of internal marketing was appreciated. After a process of refinement, seven teams presented their conclusions to Emperatriz general manager and the rest of professors. Four main ideas were chosen, and all the teams, irrespectively of authorship, were asked to develop them to the state of a minimum viable product, with estimations of impacts and costs. As the process continues, students are nowadays accompanying the hotel and their staff in the prudent reopening of facilities, almost one year after the closure.
From a professor’s point of view, key learnings were 1.- When facing a real problem, a holistic view is needed. Therefore, the vision of subjects as silos collapses, 2- When educating new professionals, providing them with the resilience and resistance necessaries to deal with a problem is always mandatory, but now seems more relevant and 3.- collaborative work and contact with real practitioners in such an uncertain and changing environment is a challenge, but it is worth when considering the learning result and its potential.
The Fall of Cultural Consumption in Spain during the Economic Crisis of 2008: Lessons for the Upcoming Crisis
The economic crisis of 2008 had a special impact on cultural consumption in Spain. It fell by almost 30% in a few years, and its share of total family spending decreased from 3.19% in 2007 to 2.38% in 2015. In 2017, unlike other indicators, cultural consumption levels were still far from recovering their pre-crisis values. In times of economic difficulties, the satisfaction of primary subsistence needs takes priority over that of social, cultural and experiential needs, among which cultural consumption would mostly be framed. However, its evolution cannot be attributed exclusively to macroeconomic trends. In parallel to these, technological advances mainly related to the Internet have been disseminated in recent years, which have a very marked impact on the consumption patterns of some cultural sectors. Thus, the aim of this study is to define the causes of the decline in cultural consumption in Spain in recent years, and analyse what type of products, territories and population profiles suffered it especially. From the data analysis of the Family Budget Survey, the study seeks to improve the understanding of the determinants of cultural consumption and their behaviour in the face of macroeconomic trends, as well as identify and extract some policy implications regarding to the upcoming crisis caused by COVID-19.
Barriers and Drivers Towards Vaccinating the Undocumented Migrant Children in Sabah, Malaysia: A Qualitative Analysis
After 27 years, Malaysia reported polio cases in 2019 involving the children of the undocumented migrants living in Sabah. Undocumented migrant children face many barriers to access health care services in Malaysia, including vaccination services due to national policies and structural barriers, leading to pockets of vaccine-preventable disease (VPD) occurrence. An in-depth interview was conducted among the caregivers of undocumented migrant children to identify the barriers and drivers towards vaccinating their children. Financial barriers, legal citizenship status, language barrier, COVID 19 pandemic, and physical barriers have been the barriers to access vaccination services by undocumented migrants. Five significant drivers for undocumented migrants to vaccinate their children are social influence, fear of disease, parental trust in healthcare providers, good support, and vaccine availability. Necessary action should be taken immediately to address the problems of vaccinating the children of undocumented migrants to prevent the re-emergence of VPD.
The Safe Introduction of Tocilizumab for the Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 Pneumonia at an East London District General Hospital
Since the advent of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the search for medications that can reduce mortality and morbidity has been a global research priority. Several multi-center trials have recently demonstrated improved mortality associated with the use of Tocilizumab, an interleukin-6 receptor antagonist, in patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. Initial data supported the administration in patients requiring respiratory support (non-invasive or invasive ventilation), but more recent data has shown benefit in all hypoxic patients. At the height of the second wave of COVID-19 infections in London, our hospital introduced the use of Tocilizumab for patients with severe COVID-19.
Tocilizumab is licensed for use in chronic inflammatory conditions and has been associated with an increased risk of severe bacterial and fungal infections, as well as reactivation of chronic viral infections (e.g., hepatitis B). It is a specialist drug that suppresses the formation of C-reactive protein (CRP) for 6 – 12 weeks. It is not widely used by the general medical community. We aimed to assess Tocilizumab use in our hospital and to implement changes to the protocol as required to ensure administration was safe and appropriate.
A retrospective study design was used to assess prescriptions over an initial 3-week period in both intensive care and on the medical wards. This amounted to a total of 13 patients. The initial data collection identified four key areas of concern: adherence to national and local inclusion & exclusion criteria; a collection of appropriate screening blood prior to administration; documentation of informed consent or best interest decision and documentation of Tocilizumab administration on patient discharge information, to alert future healthcare providers that typical measures of inflammation and infection, such as CRP, are unreliable for up to 3-months. Data were collected from electronic notes, blood results and observation charts, and cross referenced with pharmacy data.
Initial results showed that all four key areas were completed in approximately 50% of cases. Of particular concern was adherence to exclusion criteria, such as current evidence of bacterial infection, and ensuring the correct screening blood was sent to exclude infections such as hepatitis.
To remedy this and improve patient safety, the initial data was presented to relevant healthcare professionals. Subsequently, three interventions were introduced and education on each provided to hospital staff. An electronic ‘order set’ collating the appropriate screening blood was created simplifying the screening process. Pre-formed electronic documentation which can be inserted into the notes was created to provide a framework for consent discussions and reduce the time needed for junior doctors to complete this task. Additionally, a ‘Tocilizumab’ administration card was created and administered via pharmacy. This was distributed to each patient on discharge to ensure future healthcare professionals were aware of the potential effects of Tocilizumab administration, including suppression of CRP.
Following these changes, repeat data collection over two months illustrated that each of the 4 safety aspects was met with a 100% success rate in every patient. Although this demonstrates good progress and effective interventions the challenge will be to maintain this progress. The audit data collection is ongoing
The Tariffs of Water Service for Productive Users: A Model for Defining Fare Classes
The water supply for production users (craft, commercial, industrial), understood as the set of water supply and wastewater collection services becomes an increasingly felt problem in a water scarcity regime. In fact, disputes are triggered between the different social parties for the fair and efficient use of water resources. Within this aspect, the problem arises of the different pricing of services between civil users and production users. Of particular interest is the question of defining the tariff classes depending on consumption levels. If for civil users, this theme is strongly permeated by social profiles (a topic dealt with by the author in a forthcoming research contribution) connected with the inalienability of the right to have water and with the reconciliation of the needs of the weakest groups of the population, for consumers in the production sector the logic adopted by the manager may be inspired by criteria of greater corporate rationality. This work illustrates the Italian regulatory framework and shows an optimization model of tariff classes in the production sector that reconciles the public objective of sustainable use of the resource and the needs of a production system in search of recovery after the depressing effects caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
Strategic Investment in Infrastructure Development to Facilitate Economic Growth in the United States
The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in terms of its global reach and economic impacts. Historically, investment in infrastructure development projects has been touted to boost the economic growth of a nation. The State and Local governments responsible for delivering infrastructure assets work under tight budgets. Therefore, it is important to understand which infrastructure projects have the highest potential of boosting economic growth in the post-pandemic era. This paper presents relationships between infrastructure projects and economic growth. Statistical relationships between investment in different types of infrastructure projects (transit, water, and wastewater, highways, power, manufacturing, etc.) and indicators of economic growth are presented using historic data between 2002 and 2020 from the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The outcome of the paper is the comparison of statistical correlations between investment in different types of infrastructure projects and indicators of economic growth. The comparison of the statistical correlations is useful in ranking the types of infrastructure projects based on their ability to influence economic prosperity. Therefore, investment in the infrastructures with a higher rank will have a better chance of boosting economic growth. Once the ranks are derived, they can be used by the decision-makers in infrastructure investment related decision-making process.
Agile Manifesto Construct for the Film Industry
In the course of continuous volatility like production stops due to the COVID-19 pandemic, video-on-demand player monopolizing the film industry, filmmakers are stuck in traditional, linear content development processes. The industry has to become more agile in order to react quickly and easily to changes. Since content development in agile project management is scientifically–empirically not at all recorded, and a lack beyond the software development in terms of agile methods consists, we examined if the agile manifesto values and principles from the software development can be adapted to the film industry to enable agility and digitalization of content development in the industry. We conducted an online questionnaire with 184 German filmmakers (producers, authors, directors, actors, film financiers) for a first cross-sectional assessment for adaptability of the agile manifesto from the software development to the film industry, factor analysis was used to validate the construct. Our results show that it is crucial to digitalize traditional content development to agile content development end-to-end, with tools, lean processes, new collaboration structures, and holacracy to prepare for any volatility. Overall, we examined the first construct for an agile manifesto for the film industry with four values related to nine own principles. Our findings help to get a better understanding of the agile manifesto beyond the software development as a guideline for implementing agility in the film industry.
Research on the Online Learning Activities Design and Students’ Experience Based on APT Model
Due to the separation of teachers and students, online teaching during the COVID-19 epidemic was faced with many problems, such as low enthusiasm of students, distraction, low learning atmosphere, and insufficient interaction between teachers and students. The essay designed the elaborate online learning activities of the course 'Research Methods of Educational Science' based on the APT model from three aspects of multiple assessment methods, a variety of teaching methods, and online learning environment and technology. Student's online learning experience was examined from the perception of online course, the perception of the online learning environment, and satisfaction after the course’s implementation. The research results showed that students have a positive overall evaluation of online courses, a high degree of engagement in learning, positive acceptance of online learning, and high satisfaction with it, but students hold a relatively neutral attitude toward online learning. And some dimensions in online learning experience were found to have positive inﬂuence on students' satisfaction with online learning. We suggest making the good design of online courses, selecting proper learning platforms, and conducting blended learning to improve students’ learning experience. This study has both theoretical and practical significance for the design, implementation, effect feedback, and sustainable development of online teaching in the post-epidemic era.
Centering Critical Sociology for Social Justice and Inclusive Education
Abstract— The presentation argues for an urgent case to center and
integrate critical sociology in enriching potency of educational thought and practice to counteract inequalities and social injustices. COVID phenomenon has starkly exposed burgeoning of social-economic inequalities and widening marginalities which have been historically and politically constructed through deep-seated social and power imbalances and injustices in the world. What potent role could education possibly play to combat these issues? A point of departure for this paper highlights increasing reductionist and exclusionary ‘mind-set’ of education that has been developed through trends in education such as: the commodification of knowledge, standardisation, homogenization, and reification which are products of the positivist ideology of knowledge coopted to serve capitalist interests. To redress these issues of de-contextualization and de-humanization of education, it is emphasized that there is an urgent need to center the role of interpretive and critical epistemologies and pedagogies of social sciences. In this regard, notions of problem-posing versus problem-solving, generative themes, instrumental versus emancipatory reasoning will be discussed. The presentation will conclude by illustrating the pedagogic utility of these critically oriented notions to counteract the social reproduction of exclusionary and inequality in and through education.
Identification and Analysis of Supports Required for Teachers Moving to Remote Teaching and Learning during Disasters and Pandemics
Analysis of one state’s collaborative effort to support teachers, in both public and private schools, as they moved from face-to-face teaching to remote teaching during the Covid pandemic to identify lessons learned and materials put into place to support teachers and families. Surveys were created, distributed, and analyzed throughout the three months of remote teaching, documents and lesson plans were developed, and training materials were created. All data collected and materials developed were analyzed to identify supports teachers used and needed for successful remote teaching. Researchers found most teachers easily moved to online teaching; however, many families did not have access to technology, so teachers needed to develop non-technology-based access and support for remote teaching. Teachers also reported the need to prepare to teach remotely as part of their teaching training, so they were prepared in the future. Finally, data indicated teachers were able to establish stronger relationships with families than usual as a result of remote teaching. The lessons learned and support developed are part of the state’s ongoing policy for online teaching in the event of disasters and pandemics in the future.
Surveying the Effects of Online Learning On High School Student’s Motivation: A Case Study of Pinewood School
COVID-19 has drastically changed the way students interact and engage with their environments. Students, in particular, have been forced to change from in-person to online learning. How can we ensure that students continue to remain motivated even as their mode of education transitions to online learning? In this study conducted on high school students from a small private school (n = 50), we investigate the factors that predict student motivation during online learning. Using the framework of self-determination theory, we examine the three facets of student motivation during online learning: engagement, autonomy, and competence. We find that students' perception of their peers' engagement with the curriculum, feelings of parental academic expectations, perceptions of favoritism by the teacher, and perceived clarity of instruction given by the teacher all predict student engagement in online learning. Student autonomy is predicted by the amount of parental control a student feels, the clarity of instruction given by the teacher, and also the amount to which a student is perceiving their peers to be paying attention. Finally, competence is predicted by favoritism a student perceives from a teacher and also the amount of which a student is perceiving their peers to be paying attention. Based on these findings, we provide insights on how three important stakeholders –parents, teachers, and peers can enhance students' motivation during online learning.
The Role of Psychological Resilience in Predicting Psychological Distress in Kuwaiti Adults during Corona Varies Pandemic
Background and Objective: A novel pneumonia caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is spreading domestically and internationally, has been identified by the Chinese city of Wuhan since the end of December 2019. Limited studies examined the psychological experience such as anxiety, depression, and stress during Corona pandemic. Moreover, to the best of author's knowledge, there is no study to date has examined the psychological resilience and mental health during Corona pandemic in Kuwait. Therefore, the present research investigates the role of psychological resilience in predicting psychological distress among Kuwaiti adults during Corona pandemic. Method: Kuwaiti citizens (N = 735) completed an online survey, which includes four scales the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale HADS (anxiety and depression), the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC-25), and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). A cross-sectional correlational design was used. Results: A high level of stress was observed, with 59% reported moderate to severe stress. In contrast, low levels of anxiety and depression were observed; with 70% reporting no anxiety symptoms and 74% report no depression symptoms. Psychological resilience was negatively correlated with anxiety, depression, and stress, consistent with previous studies. As expected, resilience was found to account for significant variance in anxiety and stress after controlling for quarantine variables and demographic variables. Conclusion: The findings suggest that increasing psychological resilience might help reduce psychological distress after confronting with stressful live events in Kuwaiti citizen.
Using Machine Learning to Build a Real-Time COVID-19 Mask Safety Monitor
The US Center for Disease Control has recommended wearing masks to slow the spread of the virus. The research uses a video feed from a camera to conduct real-time classifications of whether or not a human is correctly wearing a mask, incorrectly wearing a mask, or not wearing a mask at all. Utilizing two distinct datasets from the open-source website Kaggle, a mask detection network had been trained. The first dataset that was used to train the model was titled 'Face Mask Detection' on Kaggle, where the dataset was retrieved from and the second dataset was titled 'Face Mask Dataset, which provided the data in a (YOLO Format)' so that the TinyYoloV3 model could be trained. Based on the data from Kaggle, two machine learning models were implemented and trained: a Tiny YoloV3 Real-time model and a two-stage neural network classifier. The two-stage neural network classifier had a first step of identifying distinct faces within the image, and the second step was a classifier to detect the state of the mask on the face and whether it was worn correctly, incorrectly, or no mask at all. The TinyYoloV3 was used for the live feed as well as for a comparison standpoint against the previous two-stage classifier and was trained using the darknet neural network framework. The two-stage classifier attained a mean average precision (MAP) of 80%, while the model trained using TinyYoloV3 real-time detection had a mean average precision (MAP) of 59%. Overall, both models were able to correctly classify stages/scenarios of no mask, mask, and incorrectly worn masks.
Prediction of Covid-19 Cases and Current Situation of Italy and Its Different Regions Using Machine Learning Algorithm
Since its outbreak in China, the Covid_19 19 disease has been caused by the corona virus SARS N coyote 2. Italy was the first Western country to be severely affected, and the first country to take drastic measures to control the disease. In start of December 2019, the sudden outbreaks of the Coronary Virus Disease was caused by a new Corona 2 virus (SARS-CO2) of acute respiratory syndrome in china city Wuhan. The World Health Organization declared the epidemic a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020,. On February 14, 2020, 49,053 laboratory-confirmed deaths and 1481 deaths have been reported worldwide. The threat of the disease has forced most of the governments to implement various control measures.
Therefore it becomes necessary to analyze the Italian data very carefully, in particular to investigates and to find out the present condition and the number of infected persons in the form of positive cases, death, hospitalized or some other features of infected persons will clear in simple form. So used such a model that will clearly shows the real facts and figures and also understandable to every readable person which can get some real benefit after reading it. The model used must includes(total positive cases, current positive cases, hospitalized patients, death, recovered peoples frequency rates ) all features that
explains and clear the wide range facts in very simple form and helpful to administration of that country.
Time Driven Activity Based Costing Capability to Improve Logistics Performance: Application in Manufacturing Context
In a highly competitive environment characterised by uncertainty and disruptions, such as the recent COVID-19 outbreak, supply chains (SC) face the challenge of maintaining their cost at minimum levels while continuing to provide customers with high-quality products and services. More importantly, businesses in such an economic context strive to maintain survival by keeping the cost of undertaken activities (such as logistics) low and in-house. To do so, managers need to understand the costs associated with different products and services in order to have a clear vision of the SC performance, maintain profitability levels, and make strategic decisions. In this context, SC literature explored different costing models that sought to determine the costs of undertaking supply chain-related activities. While some cost accounting techniques have been extensively explored in the SC context, more contributions are needed to explore the potential of time driven activity-based costing (TDABC). More specifically, more applications are needed in the manufacturing context of the SC, where the debate is ongoing. The aim of the study is to assess the capability of the technique to assess the operational performance of the logistics function. Through a case study methodology applied to a manufacturing company operating in the automotive industry, TDABC evaluates the efficiency of the current configuration and its logistics processes. The study shows that monitoring the process efficiency and cost efficiency leads to strategic decisions that contributed to improve the overall efficiency of the logistics processes.
The Effects of Peer Education on Condom Use Intentions: A Comprehensive Sex Education Quality Improvement Project
A pilot project based on the Theory of Planned Behavior was completed at a single sex female international high school in order to improve the quality of comprehensive sex education in a 12th grade classroom. The student sample is representative of a growing phenomenon of “Third Culture Kids” or global nomads; often in today’s world, culture transcends any one dominant influence and blends values from multiple sources. The Objective was to improve intentions of condom use during the students’ first or next intercourse. A peer-education session which focused on condom attitudes, social norms, and self-efficacy - central tenets of the Theory of Planned Behavior - was added to an existing curriculum in order to achieve this objective. Peer educators were given liberty of creating and executing the lesson to their homeroom, a sample of 23 senior students, with minimal intervention from faculty, the desired outcome being that the students themselves would be the best judge of what is culturally relevant and important to their peers. The school nurse and school counselor acted as faculty facilitators but did not assist in the creation or delivery of the lesson, only checked for medical accuracy. The participating sample of students completed a pre and post-test with validated questions assessing changes in attitudes and overall satisfaction with the peer education lesson. As this intervention was completed during the Covid-19 pandemic, the peer education session was completed in a virtual classroom environment, limiting the modes of information delivery available to the peer educators, but is planned to be replicated in an in-person environment in subsequent cycles.
Implementing the Quality of Care Partnership to Reduce the Cost of Screenings for Sexually Transmitted Infections on a Southeastern College Campus
College students are a priority preventative healthcare population that can engage in high-risk behaviors which may concurrently increase the potential for unsafe sexual practices, including contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Early education, screening, treatment, and partner notification are important interventions for breaking the chain of transmission and recurrence in relation to preventing poor health outcomes and mitigating college dropout rates. The aim of this quality improvement project was to determine if the reduction in STI screening costs for college students (aged 18-30 years old) would increase the amount of STI screenings conducted at a university health center over the course of an academic semester while evaluating our ability to achieve an improved quality of care at a reduced cost, along with improved STI reporting and documentation. This study was conducted through retrospective chart reviews of STI-related visits and utilized the RADAR matrix to provide a guiding, iterative mechanism to continuously reassess goals and outcomes defined in a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between a university health center and the state department of health (DOH) laboratory. The project failed to increase the amount of STI screenings, most likely due to the emergence of COVID-19, but resulted in improved quality of care for students, improved STI-related visit documentation and reporting, and significantly reduced costs for STI screening for collegiate students at a southeastern private university campus.
(Un)Met Psychosocial Needs of Learners Affected by HIV and AIDS in Rural Schools: Implications for Ethnopsychology
This paper explores the psychosocial needs of learners affected by HIV and AIDS in rural schools in South Africa that seem essential for their active participation, in anticipation of, and in the context of global education. These psychosocial needs are considered necessary in that they are inclusive and valorize other forms of conditions beyond conventional and Western forms in orientation. Furthermore, they bring about the local experiences and particularly of the learners and schools in rural areas –all of which constitute ethnopsychology. COVID-19 pandemic has enthused the demands for sustainable support for learners within rural and many deprived contexts in South Africa. However, there are those learners in the education sector who are still affected by HIV and AIDS and who live in the context of multiple deprivations, such as rural areas, and at the risk of failure and dropping out if their psychosocial needs are not met. In order to address these challenges, there is a need to understand what learners who are heavily affected by HIV and AIDS consider as the psychosocial needs in the rural schools, in which all can succeed, regardless of their HIV status, thereby promoting the participation of young people from the rural areas towards the desired global goal of building health-promoting schools. The paper draws on qualitative participatory arts-based study data generated by 20 learners in doctoral research in two rural secondary schools in South Africa. Thematic analysis was employed to provide an in-depth understanding of learners' psychosocial needs affected by HIV and AIDS from the selected rural secondary schools in South Africa. A blended theory consisting of a strengths-based approach and an African adage, particularly Sesotho idioms, ngoan’a sa lleng o shoela tharing (simply translated a child who doesn’t cry dies in silence), will be used to frame the paper. The paper concludes that ngoan’a sa lleng o shoela tharing is a pedagogy embedded both in ethnopsychology and can be used to encourage the active participation of learners in matters that affect them, thereby improve alignment between the needs and psychosocial interventions aimed at these learners.
Buy-and-Hold versus Alternative Strategies: A Comparison of Market-Timing Techniques
With the rise of virtually costless, mobile-based trading platforms, stock market trading activity has increased significantly over the past decade, particularly for the millennial generation. This increased stock market attention, combined with the recent market turmoil due to the economic upset caused by COVID-19, make the topics of market-timing and forecasting particularly relevant. While the overall stock market saw an unprecedented, historically-long bull market from March 2009 to February 2020, the end of that bull market reignited a search by investors for a way to reduce risk and increase return. Similar searches for outperformance occurred in the early, and late 2000’s as the Dotcom bubble burst and the Great Recession led to years of negative returns for mean-variance, index investors. Extensive research has been conducted on fundamental analysis, technical analysis, macroeconomic indicators, microeconomic indicators, and other techniques—all using different methodologies and investment periods—in pursuit of higher returns with lower risk. The enormous variety of timeframes, data, and methodologies used by the diverse forecasting methods makes it difficult to compare the outcome of each method directly to other methods. This paper establishes a process to evaluate the market-timing methods in an apples-to-apples manner based on simplicity, performance, and feasibility. Preliminary findings show that certain technical analysis models provide a higher return with lower risk when compared to the buy-and-hold method and to other market-timing strategies. Furthermore, technical analysis models tend to be easier for individual investors both in terms of acquiring the data and in analyzing it, making technical analysis-based market-timing methods the preferred choice for retail investors.
Zinc Nanoparticles Modified Electrode as an Insulin Sensor
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a serious metabolic disease characterized by chronic hyperglycemia. Often, the symptoms are not sufficiently observable at early stages, and so hyperglycemia causes pathological and functional changes before the diagnosis of the DM. Therefore, the development of an electrochemical sensor that will be fast, accurate, and instrumentally undemanding is currently needful. Screen-printed carbon electrodes (SPCEs) can be considered as the most suitable matrix material for insulin sensors because of the small size of the working electrode. It leads to the analyst's volume reduction to only 50 µl for each measurement. The surface of bare SPCE was modified by a combination of chitosan, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), and zinc nanoparticles (ZnNPs) to obtain better electrocatalytic activity towards insulin oxidation. ZnNPs were electrochemically deposited on the chitosan-MWCNTs/SPCE surface using the pulse deposition method. Thereafter, insulin was determined on the prepared electrode using chronoamperometry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The chronoamperometric measurement was performed by adding a constant amount of insulin in 0.1 M NaOH and PBS (2 μl) with the concentration of 2 μM, and the current response of the system was monitored after a gradual increase in concentration. Subsequently, the limit of detection (LOD) of the prepared electrode was determined via the Randles-Ševčík equation. The LOD was 0.47 µM. Prepared electrodes were studied also as the impedimetric sensors for insulin determination. Therefore, various insulin concentrations were determined via EIS. Based on the performed measurements, the ZnNPs/chitosan-MWCNTs/SPCE can be considered as a potential candidate for novel electrochemical sensor for insulin determination.
Acknowledgments: This work has been supported by the projects Visegradfund project number 22020140, VEGA 1/0095/21 of the Slovak Scientific Grant Agency, and APVV-PP-COVID-20-0036 of the Slovak Research and Development Agency.
In Search of Good Fortune: Individualization, Youth and the Spanish Labour Market within a Context of Crisis
In 2007 Spain began to experience the effects of a deep economic crisis, which would generate a situation characterised by instability and uncertainty. This has been an obstacle, especially acute for the youth of this country seeking to enter the workforce. As a result of the impact of COVID-19, the youth in Spain are now suffering the effects of a new crisis that has deepened an already fragile labour environment. In this paper, we analyse the discourses that have emerged from a precarious labour market, specifically from two companies dedicated to operating job portals and job listings in Spain, Job Today, and CornerJob. These two start-up businesses have developed mobile applications geared towards young adults in search of employment in the service sector, two of the companies with the highest user rates in Spain. Utilizing a discourse analysis approach, we explore the impact of individualization and how the process of psychologization may contribute to an increasing reliance on individual solutions to social problems. As such, we seek to highlight the expectations and demands that are placed upon young workers and the type of subjectivity that this dynamic could foster, all this within an unstable framework seemingly marked by chance, a context which is key for the emergence of individualization. Furthermore, we consider the extent to which young adults incorporate these discourses and the strategies they employ basing our analysis on the VULSOCU (New Forms of Socio-Existential Vulnerability, Supports, and Care in Spain) research project, specifically the results of nineteen in-depth interviews and three discussion groups with young adults in this country. Consequently, we seek to elucidate the argumentative threads rooted in the process of individualization and underline the implications of this dynamic for the young worker and his/her labour insertion while also identifying manifestations of the goddess of fortune as a representation of chance in this context. Finally, we approach this panorama of social change in Spain from the perspective of the individuals or young adults who find themselves immersed in this transition from one crisis to another.
Legal Issues of Collecting and Processing Big Health Data in the Light of European Regulation 679/2016
This paper aims to explore major legal issues arising from the collection and processing of Health Big Data in the light of the new European secondary legislation for the protection of personal data of natural persons, placing emphasis on the General Data Protection Regulation 679/2016. Whether Big Health Data can be characterised as ‘personal data’ or not is really the crux of the matter. The legal ambiguity is compounded by the fact that, even though the processing of Big Health Data is premised on the de-identification of the data subject, the possibility of a combination of Big Health Data with other data circulating freely on the web or from other data files cannot be excluded. Another key point is that the application of some provisions of GPDR to Big Health Data may both absolve the data controller of his legal obligations and deprive the data subject of his rights (e.g., the right to be informed), ultimately undermining the fundamental right to the protection of personal data of natural persons. Moreover, data subject’s rights (e.g., the right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing) are heavily impacted by the use of AI, algorithms, and technologies that reclaim health data for further use, resulting in sometimes ambiguous results that have a substantial impact on individuals. On the other hand, as the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed, Big Data analytics can offer crucial sources of information. In this respect, this paper identifies and systematises the legal provisions concerned, offering interpretative solutions that tackle dangers concerning data subject’s rights while embracing the opportunities that Big Health Data has to offer. In addition, particular attention is attached to the scope of ‘consent’ as a legal basis in the collection and processing of Big Health Data, as the application of data analytics in Big Health Data signals the construction of new data and subject’s profiles. Finally, the paper addresses the knotty problem of role assignment (i.e., distinguishing between controller and processor/joint controllers and joint processors) in an era of extensive Big Health data sharing. The findings are the fruit of a current research project conducted by a three-member research team at the Faculty of Law of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and funded by the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs.
The Influence of Ecologically -Valid High- and Low-Volume Resistance Training on Muscle Strength and Size in Trained Men
Much of the current literature pertaining to resistance training (RT) volume prescription lacks ecological validity, and very few studies investigate true high-volume ranges. Purpose: The present study sought to investigate the effects of ecologically-valid high- vs low-volume RT on muscular size and strength in trained men. Methods: This study systematically randomized trained, college-aged men into two groups: low-volume (LV; n = 4) and high-volume (HV; n = 5). The sample size was affected by COVID-19 limitations. Subjects followed an ecologically-valid 6-week RT program targeting both muscle size and strength. RT occurred 3x/week on non-consecutive days. Over the course of six weeks, LVR and HVR gradually progressed from 15 to 23 sets/week and 30 to 46 sets/week of lower-body RT, respectively. Muscle strength was assessed via 3RM tests in the squat, stiff-leg deadlift (SL DL), and leg press. Muscle hypertrophy was evaluated through a combination of DXA, BodPod, and ultrasound (US) measurements. Results: Two-way repeated-measures ANOVAs indicated that strength in all 3 compound lifts increased significantly among both groups (p < 0.01); between-group differences only occurred in the squat (p = 0.02) and SL DL (p = 0.03), both of which favored HVR. Significant pre-to-post-study increases in indicators of hypertrophy were discovered for lean body mass in the legs via DXA, overall fat-free mass via BodPod, and US measures of muscle thickness (MT) for the rectus femoris, vastus intermedius, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, long-head of the biceps femoris, and total MT. Between-group differences were only found for MT of the vastus medialis – favoring HVR. Moreover, each additional weekly set of lower-body RT was associated with an average increase in MT of 0.39% in the thigh muscles. Conclusion: We conclude that ecologically-valid RT regimens significantly improve muscular strength and indicators of hypertrophy. When HVR is compared to LVR, HVR provides significantly greater gains in muscular strength but has no greater effect on hypertrophy over the course of 6 weeks in trained, college-aged men.
Promoting Health and Academic Achievement: Mental Health Promoting Online Education
Pursuing post-secondary education is a milestone for many Canadian youths. This transition involves many changes and opportunities for growth. However, this may also be a period where challenges arise. Perhaps not surprisingly, mental health challenges for post-secondary students are common. This poses difficulties for students and instructors. Common mental-health-related symptoms (e.g., low motivation, fatigue, inability to concentrate) can affect academic performance, and instructors may need to provide accommodations for these students without the necessary expertise. ‘Distance education’ has been growing and gaining momentum in Canada for three decades. As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, post-secondary institutions have been required to deliver courses using ‘remote’ methods (i.e., various online delivery modalities). The learning challenges and subsequent academic performance issues experienced by students with mental-health-related disabilities studying online are not well understood. However, we can postulate potential factors drawing from learning theories, the relationship between mental-health-related symptoms and academic performance, and learning design. Identifying barriers and opportunities to academic performance is an essential step in ensuring that students with mental-health-related disabilities are able to achieve their academic goals. Completing post-secondary education provides graduates with more employment opportunities. It is imperative that our post-secondary institutions take a holistic view of learning by providing learning and mental health support while reducing structural barriers. Health-promoting universities and colleges infuse health into their daily operations and academic mandates. Acknowledged in this Charter is the notion that all sectors must take an active role in favour of health, social justice, and equity for all. Drawing from mental health promotion and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) frameworks, relevant adult learning concepts, and critical digital pedagogy, considerations for mental-health-promoting, online learning community development will be summarized. The education sector has the opportunity to create and foster equitable and mental health-promoting learning environments. This is of particular importance during a global pandemic when the mental health of students is being disproportionately impacted.
Creative Mathematically Modelling Videos Developed by Engineering Students
Ordinary differential equations (ODE) are a fundamental part of the curriculum for most engineering degrees, and students typically have difficulties in the subsequent abstract mathematical calculations. To enhance their motivation and profit that they are digital natives, we propose a teamwork project that includes the creation of a video. It should explain how to model mathematically a real-world problem transforming it into an ODE, which should then be solved using the tools learned in the lectures. This idea was indeed implemented with first-year students of a BSc in Engineering and Management during the period of online learning caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 in Spain. Each group of 4 students was assigned a different topic: model a hot water heater, search for the shortest path, design the quickest route for delivery, cooling a computer chip, the shape of the hanging cables of the Golden Gate, detecting land mines, rocket trajectories, etc. These topics should be worked out through two complementary channels: a written report describing the problem and a 10-15 min video on the subject. The report includes the following items: description of the problem to be modeled, detailed obtention of the ODE that models the problem, its complete solution, and interpretation in the context of the original problem. We report the outcomes of this teaching in context and active learning experience, including the feedback received by the students. They highlighted the encouragement of creativity and originality, which are skills that they do not typically relate to mathematics. Additionally, the video format (unlike a common presentation) has the advantage of allowing them to critically review and self-assess the recording, repeating some parts until the result is satisfactory. As a side effect, they felt more confident about their oral abilities. In short, students agreed that they had fun preparing the video. They recognized that it was tricky to combine deep mathematical contents with entertainment since, without the latter, it is impossible to engage people to view the video till the end. Despite this difficulty, after the activity, they claimed to understand better the material, and they enjoyed showing the videos to family and friends during and after the project.
The Feminism of Data Privacy and Protection in Africa
The field of data privacy and data protection in Africa is still an evolving area, with many African countries yet to enact legislation on the subject. While African Governments are bringing their legislation to speed in this field, how patriarchy pervades every sector of African thought and manifests in society needs to be considered. Moreover, the laws enacted ought to be inclusive, especially towards women. This, in a nutshell, is the essence of data feminism. Data feminism is a new way of thinking about data science and data ethics that is informed by the ideas of intersectional feminism. Feminising data privacy and protection will involve thinking women, considering women in the issues of data privacy and protection, particularly in legislation, as is the case in this paper. The line of thought of women inclusion is not uncommon when even international and regional human rights specific for women only came long after the general human rights. The consideration is that these should have been inserted or rather included in the original general instruments in the first instance. Since legislation on data privacy is coming in this century, having seen the rights and shortcomings of earlier instruments, then the cue should be taken to ensure inclusive wholistic legislation for data privacy and protection in the first instance. Data feminism is arguably an area that has been scantily researched, albeit a needful one. With the spate of increase in the violence against women spiraling in the cyber world, compounding the issue of COVID-19 and the needful response of governments, and the effect of these on women and their rights, fast forward, the research on the feminism of data privacy and protection in Africa becomes inevitable. This paper seeks to answer the questions, what is data feminism in the African context, why is it important in the issue of data privacy and protection legislation; what are the laws, if any, existing on data privacy and protection in Africa, are they women inclusive, if not, why; what are the measures put in place for the privacy and protection of women in Africa, and how can this be made possible. The paper aims to investigate the issue of data privacy and protection in Africa, the legal framework, and the protection or provision that it has for women if any. It further aims to research the importance and necessity of feminizing data privacy and protection, the effect of lack of it, the challenges or bottlenecks in attaining this feat and the possibilities of accessing data privacy and protection for African women. The paper also researches the emerging practices of data privacy and protection of women in other jurisprudences. It approaches the research through the methodology of review of papers, analysis of laws, and reports. It seeks to contribute to the existing literature in the field and is explorative in its suggestion. It suggests a draft of some clauses to make any data privacy and protection legislation women inclusive. It would be useful for policymaking, academic, and public enlightenment.
Co-Creational Model for Blended Learning in a Flipped Classroom Environment Focusing on the Combination of Coding and Drone-Building
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has shown
us that online education is so much more than just a cool feature for
teachers – it is an essential part of modern teaching. In online math
teaching, it is common to use tools to share screens, compute and
calculate mathematical examples, while the students can watch the
process. On the other hand, flipped classroom models are on the rise,
with their focus on how students can gather knowledge by watching
videos and on the teacher’s use of technological tools for information
transfer. This paper proposes a co-educational teaching approach for
coding and engineering subjects with the help of drone-building to
spark interest in technology and create a platform for knowledge
transfer. The project combines aspects from mathematics (matrices,
vectors, shaders, trigonometry), physics (force, pressure and rotation)
and coding (computational thinking, block-based programming,
Modeling with clara.io, where students create mathematics knowhow.
The instructor follows a problem-based learning approach and
encourages their students to find solutions in their own time and in
their own way, which will help them develop new skills intuitively
and boost logically structured thinking. The collaborative aspect of
working in groups will help the students develop communication
skills as well as structural and computational thinking. Students are
not just listeners as in traditional classroom settings, but play an
active part in creating content together by compiling a Handbook of
Knowledge (called "open book") with examples and solutions.
Before students start calculating, they have to write down all their
ideas and working steps in full sentences so other students can easily
follow their train of thought. Therefore, students will learn to
formulate goals, solve problems, and create a ready-to use product
with the help of "reverse engineering", cross-referencing and creative
thinking. The work on drones gives the students the opportunity to
create a real-life application with a practical purpose, while going
through all stages of product development.
Simulation and Characterization of Stretching and Folding in Microchannel Electrokinetic Flows
The detection, treatment, and control of rapidly propagating, deadly viruses such as COVID-19, require the development of inexpensive, fast, and accurate devices to address the urgent needs of the population. Microfluidics-based sensors are amongst the different methods and techniques for detection that are easy to use. A micro analyzer is defined as a microfluidics-based sensor, composed of a network of microchannels with varying functions. Given their size, portability, and accuracy, they are proving to be more effective and convenient than other solutions. A micro analyzer based on the concept of “Lab on a Chip” presents advantages concerning other non-micro devices due to its smaller size, and it is having a better ratio between useful area and volume. The integration of multiple processes in a single microdevice reduces both the number of necessary samples and the analysis time, leading the next generation of analyzers for the health-sciences. In some applications, the flow of solution within the microchannels is originated by a pressure gradient, which can produce adverse effects on biological samples. A more eﬃcient and less dangerous way of controlling the flow in a microchannel-based analyzer is applying an electric field to induce the fluid motion and either enhance or suppress the mixing process. Electrokinetic flows are characterized by no less than two non-dimensional parameters: the electric Rayleigh number and its geometrical aspect ratio. In this research, stable and unstable flows have been studied numerically (and when possible, will be experimental) in a T-shaped microchannel. Additionally, unstable electrokinetic flows for Rayleigh numbers higher than critical have been characterized. The flow mixing enhancement was quantified in relation to the stretching and folding that fluid particles undergo when they are subjected to supercritical electrokinetic flows. Computational simulations were carried out using a finite element-based program while working with the flow mixing concepts developed by Gollub and collaborators. Hundreds of seeded massless particles were tracked along the microchannel from the entrance to exit for both stable and unstable flows. After post-processing, their trajectories, the folding and stretching values for the different flows were found. Numerical results show that for supercritical electrokinetic flows, the enhancement effects of the folding and stretching processes become more apparent. Consequently, there is an improvement in the mixing process, ultimately leading to a more homogenous mixture.
Integration of Technology into Nursing Education: A Collaboration between College of Nursing and University Research Center
This paper presents the integration of technologies into nursing education. The collaborative effort includes the College of Nursing (CoN) at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and the UAH Systems Management and Production Center (SMAP). The faculty at the CoN conducts needs assessments to identify education and training requirements. A team of CoN faculty and SMAP engineers then prioritize these requirements and establish improvement/development teams. The development teams consist of nurses to evaluate the models and to provide feedback and of undergraduate engineering students and their senior staff mentors from SMAP. The SMAP engineering staff develops and creates the physical models using 3D printing, silicone molds and specialized molding mixtures and techniques. The collaboration has focused on developing teaching and training, or clinical, simulators. In addition, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has intensified this relationship, as 3D modeling shifted to supplied personal protection equipment (PPE) to local health care providers. A secondary collaboration has been introducing students to clinical benchmarking through the UAH Center for Management and Economic Research.
As a result of these successful collaborations the Model Exchange & Development of Nursing & Engineering Technology (MEDNET) has been established. MEDNET seeks to extend and expand the linkage between engineering and nursing to K-12 schools, technical schools and medical facilities in the region to the resources available from the CoN and SMAP. As an example, stereolithography (STL) files of the 3D printed models, along with the specifications to fabricate models, are available on the MEDNET website. Ten 3D printed models have been developed and are currently in use by the CoN. The following additional training simulators are currently under development:1) suture pads, 2) gelatin wound models and 3) printed wound tattoos. Specification sheets have been written for these simulations that describe the use, fabrication procedures and parts list. These specifications are available for viewing and download on MEDNET. Included in this paper are 1) descriptions of CoN, SMAP and MEDNET, 2) collaborative process used in product improvement/development, 3) 3D printed models of training and teaching simulators, 4) training simulators under development with specification sheets, 5) family care practice benchmarking, 6) integrating the simulators into the nursing curriculum, 7) utilizing MEDNET as a pandemic response, and 8) conclusions and lessons learned.
Cultural Innovation in Uruena: A Path Against Depopulation
The pandemic that the world is going through is causing important changes in the daily life of all cities, which can translate into opportunities to rearrange pending situations. Among others: the town-city relationship and sustainability. On the one hand, the city continues to be the center of attention, and the countryside is assumed as the supplier of food. However, the temporary closure of cities highlighted the importance of the rural environment, and many people are reassessing this context as an alternative for life. Furthermore, the countryside is not simply the home and the center of activity of the people who inhabit it, but rather constitutes the active group of all citizens, both rural and urban. On the other hand, the pandemic is the opportunity to meet sustainable development goals. Sustainable development is understood as the capital to be transferred to future generations made up of three types of wealth: natural capital (environment), human capital (people, relationships, culture), and artificial or built capital, made up of buildings and infrastructure, or by cities and towns. The 'new normal' can mean going back to the countryside, but not to a merely agricultural place but to a sustainable, affordable, and healthy place, which, with the appropriate infrastructures, allows work from a distance, a new post-COVID-19 modality. The contribution of the research is towards the recovery of traditional villages from the perspective of populations that have managed to maintain their vitality with innovative solutions. It is assumed that innovation is a path for the recovery of traditional villages, so we ask: what conditions are necessary for innovation to be successful and sustainable? In the research, several variables were found, among which culture is named, so the objective of this article is to understand Uruena, a town in the province of Valladolid, which with only 182 inhabitants houses five museums and twelve bookstores that make up the first Villa del Libro in Spain. The methodology used is mixed: inductive and deductive and the results were specified in determining the formula of innovative peoples in culture: PIc = Pt + C [E (Aec) + S (pp) + A (T + s + t + enc)]. Where the innovative villages in culture PIc are the result of traditional villages Pt that from a cultural innovation C, integrates into the economic, economic and cultural activities E (Aec); in the social sphere, the public and private actors S (pp); and in the environmental (A), Territory (T), services (s), technology (t) and natural and built spaces (enc). The results of this analysis will focus on determining what makes the structure of innovative peoples sustainable and understanding what variables make up that structure to verify if they can be applied in other contexts and repower abandoned places to provide a solution for people who migrate to this context. That is, learn from what has been done to replicate it in similar cases.
A Qualitative Exploration of the Beliefs and Experiences of HIV-Related Self-Stigma Amongst Young Adults Living with HIV in Zimbabwe
Background and Aim: Zimbabwe has one of the highest HIV rates in the world, with a 12.7% adult prevalence rate. Young adults are a key group affected by HIV, and one-third of all new infections in Zimbabwe are amongst people ages 18-24 years. Stigma remains one of the main barriers to managing and reducing the HIV crisis, especially for young adults. There are several types of stigma, including enacted stigma, the outward discrimination towards someone and self-stigma, the negative self-judgments one has towards themselves. Self-stigma can have severe consequences, including feelings of worthlessness, shame, suicidal thoughts, and avoidance of medical help. This can have detrimental effects on those living with HIV. However, the unique beliefs and impacts of self-stigma amongst key groups living with HIV have not yet been explored. Therefore, the focus of this study is on the beliefs and experiences of HIV-related self-stigma, as experienced by young adults living in Harare, Zimbabwe. Research Methods: A qualitative approach was taken for this study, using sixteen semi-structured interviews with young adults (18-24 years) who are living with HIV in Harare. Participants were conveniently and purposefully sampled as members of Africa, an organization dedicated to young people living with HIV. Interviews were conducted over Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic, recorded and then coded using the software NVivo. The data was analyzed using both inductive and deductive Thematic Analysis to find common themes. Results: All of the participants experienced HIV-related self-stigma, and both beliefs and experiences were explored. These negative self-perceptions included beliefs of worthlessness, hopelessness, and negative body image. The young adults described believing they were not good enough to be around HIV negative people or that they could never be loved due to their HIV status. Developing self-stigmatizing thoughts came from internalizing negative cultural values, stereotypes about people living with HIV, and adverse experiences. Three main themes of self-stigmatizing experiences emerged: disclosure difficulties, relationship complications, and being isolated. Fear of telling someone their status, rejection in a relationship, and being excluded by others due to their HIV status contributed to their self-stigma. These experiences caused feelings of loneliness, sadness, shame, fear, and low self-worth. Conclusions: This study explored the beliefs and experiences of HIV-related self-stigma of these young adults. The emergence of negative self-perceptions demonstrated deep-rooted beliefs of HIV-related self-stigma that adversely impact the participants. The negative self-perceptions and self-stigmatizing experiences caused the participants to feel worthless, hopeless, shameful, and alone-negatively impacting their physical and mental health, personal relationships, and sense of self-identity. These results can now be used to pursue interventions to target the specific beliefs and experiences of young adults living with HIV and reduce the adverse consequences of self-stigma.
Privacy Paradox and the Internet of Medical Things
In recent years, the health-care context has not been left unaffected by technological developments. In recent years, the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)has not only led to a collaboration between disease management and advanced care coordination but also to more personalized health care and patient empowerment. With more than 40 % of all health technology being IoMT-related by 2020, questions regarding privacy become more prevalent, even more so during COVID-19when apps allowing for an intensive tracking of people’s whereabouts and their personal contacts cause privacy advocates to protest and revolt. There is a widespread tendency that even though users may express concerns and fears about their privacy, they behave in a manner that appears to contradict their statements by disclosing personal data. In literature, this phenomenon is discussed as a privacy paradox. While there are some studies investigating the privacy paradox in general, there is only scarce research related to the privacy paradox in the health sector and, to the authors’ knowledge, no empirical study investigating young people’s attitudes toward data security when using wearables and health apps. The empirical study presented in this paper tries to reduce this research gap by focusing on the area of digital and mobile health. It sets out to investigate the degree of importance individuals attribute to protecting their privacy and individual privacy protection strategies. Moreover, the question to which degree individuals between the ages of 20 and 30 years are willing to grant commercial parties access to their private data to use digital health services and apps are put to the test. To answer this research question, results from 6 focus groups with 40 participants will be presented. The focus was put on this age segment that has grown up in a digitally immersed environment. Moreover, it is particularly the young generation who is not only interested in health and fitness but also already uses health-supporting apps or gadgets. Approximately one-third of the study participants were students. Subjects were recruited in August and September 2019 by two trained researchers via email and were offered an incentive for their participation. Overall, results indicate that the young generation is well informed about the growing data collection and is quite critical of it; moreover, they possess knowledge of the potential side effects associated with this data collection. Most respondents indicated to cautiously handle their data and consider privacy as highly relevant, utilizing a number of protective strategies to ensure the confidentiality of their information. Their willingness to share information in exchange for services was only moderately pronounced, particularly in the health context, since health data was seen as valuable and sensitive. The majority of respondents indicated to rather miss out on using digital and mobile health offerings in order to maintain their privacy. While this behavior might be an unintended consequence, it is an important piece of information for app developers and medical providers, who have to find a way to find a user base for their products against the background of rising user privacy concerns.
Inquiry-Based Learning and Communities of Practice in an Irish Primary School: Possibilities for Teacher Agency
Inquiry-based learning (IBL) is a well-established child-centered approach to teaching and learning designed to promote children’s curiosity, creativity and skills for learning. However, it has occupied a more tentative position in Ireland with little evidence of its use or impact in Irish schools and classrooms. IBL has come to the fore in educational research in recent years, with advocates claiming it as a means of provoking deeper engagement and learning. IBL foregrounds the social context of learning: the building of a community of learners is central to inquiry. Teacher agency has also become prominent in recent years. It has become a principle of curriculum reform in several countries, such as Scotland, New Zealand and Finland. Ireland appears to be following this trend with teachers positioned as agentic professionals in the new draft Primary Curriculum Framework (2020), but empirical research is urgently needed to build an evidence base in this area. The achievement of agency may be complicated for teachers in Ireland and other countries by such factors as an extensive, prescribed curriculum; accountability measures; large class sizes, and limited resources. The recent changes in schools necessitated by Covid-19 may also have implications for teacher agency, as they work to follow mandated hygiene protocols and class arrangement systems. Communities of practice (CoP) can support teachers in developing and transforming their teaching. Such a community can resonate with IBL’s emphasis on social learning. This paper will offer an in-depth critical examination of the literature reviewed as part of a doctoral thesis into IBL and teacher agency with specific reference to the Irish context. It will present initial findings from a qualitative research study which aims to employ a community of practice as a collegial space within which teachers can explore their agency as curriculum-makers, using inquiry as a stance on teaching and learning. CoP served as a philosophical and organizational framework for this practitioner research, which was conducted within the first author’s school—a large primary school in Dublin, Ireland. A CoP was developed among the first author and a small group of teaching colleagues. This community engaged in inquiry workshops and discussions to build a shared understanding of inquiry-based learning, in advance of regular meetings to plan collaboratively for units of inquiry-based learning with their respective class groups. These meetings involved discussion of the development and enactment of curriculum, inquiry as stance, and teachers’ sense of their own agency. The possibilities for agency, as well as the challenges of curriculum-making, were explored through planning discussions, reflection journals and visual methods (PhotoVoice). This research will report on the initial findings from this reflective practitioner study, framing the results against how teachers perceive their agency and decision-making in the context of the new draft Primary Curriculum Framework (2020) in Ireland, and how inquiry-based learning has impacted on their sense of agency, voice and choice.
Managing the Blue Economy and Responding to the Environmental Dimensions of a Transnational Governance Challenge
This research places a much-needed focus on the conservation of the Blue Economy (BE) by focusing on the design and development of monitoring systems to track critical indicators on the status of the BE. In this process, local experiences provide an insight into important community issues, as well as the necessity to cooperate and collaborate in order to achieve sustainable options.
Researchers worldwide and industry initiatives over the last decade show that the exploitation of marine resources has resulted in a significant decrease in the share of total allowable catch (TAC). The result has been strengthening law enforcement, yet the results have shown that problems were related to poor policies, a lack of understanding of over-exploitation, biological uncertainty and political pressures. This reality and other statistics that show a significant negative impact on the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), warrant an emphasis on the development of national M&E systems, in order to provide evidence-based information, on the nature and scale of especially transnational fisheries crime and under-sea marine resources in the BE. In particular, a need exists to establish a compendium of relevant BE indicators to assess such impact against the SDGs by using selected SDG indicators for this purpose. The research methodology consists of ATLAS.ti qualitative approach and a case study will be developed of Illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) poaching and Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) as component of the BE as it relates to the case of abalone in southern Africa and Far East. This research project will make an original contribution through the analysis and comparative assessment of available indicators, in the design process of M&E systems and developing indicators and monitoring frameworks in order to track critical trends and tendencies on the status of the BE, to ensure specific objectives to be aligned with the indicators of the SDGs framework. The research will provide a set of recommendations to governments and stakeholders involved in such projects on lessons learned, as well as priorities for future research. The research findings will enable scholars, civil society institutions, donors and public servants, to understand the capability of the M&E systems, the importance of showing multi-level governance, in the coordination of information management, together with knowledge management (KM) and M&E at the international, regional, national and local levels. This coordination should focus on a sustainable development management approach, based on addressing socio-economic challenges to the potential and sustainability of BE, with an emphasis on ecosystem resilience, social equity and resource efficiency. This research and study focus are timely as the opportunities of the post-Covid-19 crisis recovery package will be grasped to set the economy on a path to sustainable development in line with the UN 2030 Agenda. The pandemic raises more awareness for the world to eliminate IUU poaching and illegal wildlife trade (IWT).
Ultrafiltration Process Intensification for Municipal Wastewater Reuse: Water Quality, Optimization of Operating Conditions and Fouling Management
The application of membrane technology to wastewater treatment has expanded rapidly under increasing stringent legislation and environmental protection requirements. At the same time, the water resource is becoming precious, and water reuse has gained popularity. Particularly, ultrafiltration (UF) is a very promising technology for water reuse as it can retain organic matters, suspended solids, colloids, and microorganisms. Nevertheless, few studies dealing with operating optimization of UF as a tertiary treatment for water reuse on a semi-industrial scale appear in the literature. Therefore, this study aims to explore the permeate water quality and to optimize operating parameters (maximizing productivity and minimizing irreversible fouling) through the operation of a UF pilot plant under real conditions. The fully automatic semi-industrial UF pilot plant with periodic classic backwashes (CB) and air backwashes (AB) was set up to filtrate the secondary effluent of an urban wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in France. In this plant, the secondary treatment consists of a conventional activated sludge process followed by a sedimentation tank. The UF process was thus defined as a tertiary treatment and was operated under constant flux. It is important to note that a combination of CB and chlorinated AB was used for better fouling management. The 200 kDa hollow fiber membrane was used in the UF module, with an initial permeability (for WWTP outlet water) of 600 L·m-2·h⁻¹·bar⁻¹ and a total filtration surface of 9 m². Fifteen filtration conditions with different fluxes, filtration times, and air backwash frequencies were operated for more than 40 hours of each to observe their hydraulic filtration performances. Through comparison, the best sustainable condition was flux at 60 L·h⁻¹·m⁻², filtration time at 60 min, and backwash frequency of 1 AB every 3 CBs. The optimized condition stands out from the others with > 92% water recovery rates, better irreversible fouling control, stable permeability variation, efficient backwash reversibility (80% for CB and 150% for AB), and no chemical washing occurrence in 40h’s filtration. For all tested conditions, the permeate water quality met the water reuse guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO), French standards, and the regulation of the European Parliament adopted in May 2020, setting minimum requirements for water reuse in agriculture. In permeate: the total suspended solids, biochemical oxygen demand, and turbidity were decreased to < 2 mg·L-1, ≤ 10 mg·L⁻¹, < 0.5 NTU respectively; the Escherichia coli and Enterococci were > 5 log removal reduction, the other required microorganisms’ analysis were below the detection limits. Additionally, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 was measured in raw wastewater of WWTP, UF feed, and UF permeate in November 2020. As a result, the raw wastewater was tested positive above the detection limit but below the quantification limit. Interestingly, the UF feed and UF permeate were tested negative to SARS-CoV-2 by these PCR assays. In summary, this work confirms the great interest in UF as intensified tertiary treatment for water reuse and gives operational indications for future industrial-scale production of reclaimed water.
Melaka Green Transport Masterplan, Green Bus Network and Heritage Area Integrated Mobility Plan
Many cities in South East Asia are experiencing rapid urbanization and an increase in population. This poses many mobility challenges such as high levels of traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and air pollution, as well as deteriorating levels of public transport services due to high private transport usage. In light of this, a long-term solution for optimising the transportation network is imperative. The Global Future Cities Programme (GFCP) is a specific component of the Prosperity Fund, which aims to carry out targeted interventions to encourage sustainable urban development in 19 cities across 10 countries. In Malaysia, the GFCP will be focused on two cities, one of which is Melaka, with the aim of the project being mobility and green transportation. The Prosperity Fund Global Future Cities Programme (GFCP) will deliver two interventions at Melaka. The first intervention is aimed at developing a Green Transport Masterplan and Bus Network Implementation Plan, which will facilitate the implementation of infrastructure and mobility along key access routes in Melaka. This intervention aims to transform the bus service to be a sustainable and efficient network which will consequently encourage the use of non-motorized modes of transportation. The second intervention focuses on the Heritage Area Integrated Mobility Plan, which will link to the proposed Green Bus Network to ensure sustainable travel in the city's central area. This plan will also assist the COVID-19 recovery with technology to aid visitors by proposing alternative modes of transport with a focus on intelligent transport systems (ITS), public, water, and non-motorised transport. The methodology includes a baseline assessment and analysis of population, employment, road use, and public transport data, existing mobility networks, institutional and policy frameworks, and intelligent transport system (ITS) infrastructure in Melaka. Previous donor study reports will be reviewed and evaluated, and the green transport implementation masterplan will be developed. The project will then proceed with a pilot project that will serve as a catalyst and create momentum for the successful implementation of the interventions. A capacity-building plan will also be developed as a strategic approach to strengthening institutions of relevance for both interventions. The project will also deliver a social, environmental, and economic impact assessment and monitoring framework. Gender, equality, and social inclusion (GESI) is built into the development of both interventions aiming to provide inclusive, safe, and accessible public transport for all, with a particular focus on vulnerable groups such as mobility-impaired users, women, children, and the elderly. The project also promises capacity-building initiatives for the empowerment of these marginalised groups, which could lead to additional employment opportunities. The expected benefits include improvements to the environmental and socio-economic health of the city in the form of reduced GHG emissions, reduced air and noise pollution, a safer and calmer urban environment, heritage protection, and a more sustainable local economy. The GFCP is also expected to generate new economic opportunities for international business and mutually beneficial economic relationships through secondary benefits.
Young People and Their Parents Accessing Their Digital Health Data via a Patient Portal: The Ethical and Legal Implications
Background: With rapidly evolving digital health innovation, there is a need for digital health transformation that is accessible and sustainable, that demonstrates utility for all stakeholders while maintaining data safety. Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children aimed to future-proof the hospital by transitioning to an electronic patient record (EPR) system with a tethered patient portal (MyGOSH) in April 2019. MyGOSH patient portal enables patients 12 years or older (with their parent's consent) to access their digital health data. This includes access to results, documentation, and appointments that facilitate communication with their care team. As part of the Going Digital Study conducted between 2018-2021, data were collected from a sample of all relevant stakeholders before and after EPR and MyGOSH implementation. Data collection reach was wide and included the hospital legal and ethics teams. Aims: This study aims to understand the ethical and legal implications of young people and their parents accessing their digital health data. Methods: A focus group was conducted. Recruited participants were members of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Paediatric Bioethics Centre. Participants included expert and lay members from the Committee from a variety of professional or academic disciplines. Written informed consent was provided by all participants (n=7). The focus group was recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: Six themes were identified: access, competence and capacity - granting access to the system; inequalities in access resulting in inequities; burden, uncertainty and responding to change - managing expectations; documenting, risks and data safety; engagement, empowerment and understanding – how to use and manage personal information; legal considerations and obligations. Discussion: If healthcare professionals are to empower young people to be more engaged in their care, the importance of including them in decisions about their health is paramount, especially when they are approaching the age of becoming the consenter for treatment. Complexities exist in assessing competence or capacity when granting system access, when disclosing sensitive information, and maintaining confidentiality. Difficulties are also present in managing clinician burden, managing user expectations whilst providing an equitable service, and data management that meets professional and legal requirements. Conclusion: EPR and tethered-portal implementation at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children was not only timely, due to the need for a rapid transition to remote consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic, which would not have been possible had EPR/MyGOSH not been implemented, but also integral to the digital health revolution required in healthcare today. This study is highly relevant in understanding the complexities around young people and their parents accessing their digital health data and, although the focus of this research related to portal use and access, the findings translate to young people in the wider digital health context. Ongoing support is required for all relevant stakeholders following MyGOSH patient portal implementation to navigate the ethical and legal complexities. Continued commitment is needed to balance the benefits and burdens, promote inclusion and equity, and ensure portal utility for patient benefit, whilst maintaining an individualized approach to care.