Preprints on COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2
Reminder: Please bear in mind that these are early stage research which have not gone through a rigorous peer review process, and should not be regarded as conclusive clinical guidance or be reported in news media as established fact.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0340.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: Digital Transformation; SME; Digital Orientation; Digital Capability; Financial Performance; Mediation Analysis
Online: 24 January 2022 (10:25:48 CET)
The COVID-19 crisis has emphasized the importance of digital transformation of SMEs and has served as an accelerator. Digital transformation empowers SMEs to rethink the way they make decisions and apply technology in meaningful and sustainable ways. The purpose of this study is to explore the role of digital transformation, fostered by COVID-19, and its potential contribution to the sustainability of SMEs. This paper examines a new conceptual framework designed on resource-based theory perspectives by using a survey data of 246 SMEs in Latvia and employing mediation analysis. The main findings of the study are that digital orientation and digital capability have direct positive effects on digital transformation; higher levels of digital orientation and capability, mediated by digital transformation, lead to higher revenue; as well as a more sophisticated business model in the case of digital orientation. Even if we cannot confirm that higher digital capability, mediated by digital transformation, leads to a more sophisticated business model, we found statistically significant direct effects from digital capability to digital transformation and from digital transformation to business model. These findings can be useful for policymakers, managers and practitioners to clarify how digital orientation, digital capability intermediated through digital transformation affect sustainability of SMEs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0333.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: Covid-19; Ensemble; Genome sequencing; Machine learning; Variant
Online: 21 January 2022 (15:17:58 CET)
Covid-19 has caused infections and deaths worldwide. While research in the field of Data Science has contributed good predictions of positive Covid-19 case numbers, this study's review of literature shows there is little research in the use of variants of the virus in predictions. We set out to define and evaluate novel variant features. We find that features relating to variant trends, thresholds and amino acid substitutions are especially powerful in two tasks. In the first task, predicting Covid-19 case numbers, accuracy improved from 71.53% without variant features to 82.12% with variant features. In the second task, predicting transmission severity of variants between two classes, we created a method to build some variable ensembles through selecting appropriate models that are generated with variant features. The test results showed that our ensembles are more accurate and reliable. One particular ensemble of 14 models correctly classified 90.91% of variants, outperforming other models including the popular Random Forest ensemble. In addition, as the variant features have represented more underlying information about Covid-19 pathophysiology, our ensemble methods use only a few data samples to achieve an accurate prediction. The ensemble of 14 models uses only 50 cases of each variant, an ability that could be exploited for early detection of highly infectious variants. These research findings may benefit public health professionals, policy makers, and the research community in the collective efforts to overcome this disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0323.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, General Psychology Keywords: social media; netnography; mental health; natural language processing; visualization; data analysis; COVID-19
Online: 21 January 2022 (12:59:09 CET)
Understanding social media networks and group interactions are crucial to the advancement of linguistic and cultural behaviour. This includes the manner in which people accessed advice on health, especially during the global lockdown periods. Some people turned to social media to access information on health where most activities were curtailed with isolation rules, especially for older generations. Facebook public pages, groups and verified profiles, using "senior citizen health", "older generations", and "healthy living" keywords were analysed over a 12-month period to analyse the engagement promoting good mental health. CrowdTangle was used to source English language status updates, photo and video sharing information which resulted in an initial 116,321 posts and 6,462,065 interactions Data analysis and visualisation were used to explore large datasets, including natural language processing for “Message” content discovery, word frequency and correlational analysis and co-word clustering. Preliminary results indicate strong links to healthy aging information shared on social media which showed correlations to global daily confirmed case and daily death totals. The results can be used to identify public concerns early on and address mental health issues in the senior generation on Facebook.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0315.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: Biosafety; Dentistry; Orthodontics; SARS-CoV-2; Omicron; Sustainability; Patients; Biosafety protocol
Online: 21 January 2022 (03:01:21 CET)
Omicron variant is more invasive against immunity, but it's not more invasive in any change in degree against masks, and indoor air; than previous variants. With its arrival, dentistry is facing another challenge. With a mission to protect both patients and healthcare workers, we are adapting to the current epidemiologic situation and anticipate the incoming change. This article presents an unpublished prospective setting for dental care in the new chapter of pandemics after Omicron variant. Introduced biosafety protocol has been clinically tested for 18 months in the field. Three fundamental pillars of this sustainable biosafety protocol are: (1) UVC air disinfection; (2) air saturation with certified virucidal oils through nebulizing diffusers; (3) telehealth solutions. As a method of evaluation pseudonymous on-line smart form was used. This biosafety protocol is not relying on persons` identification as uninfected; it is designed for environments where healthcare workers or patients are hypothetical asymptomatic carriers. Results from 115 patient feedbacks suggest that with this protocol in place, there was no observed or reported translation of infection from patient to another patient or from patient to doctor or nurse and vice versa, albeit nine of the patients have retrospectively admitted being probably infectious during their dental appointment. The key of this protocol is its clinical sustainability, as full-body protective suits don’t represent sustainable dental care as well as there is no acceptable risk of patients getting infected during dental procedures.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0303.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: Inflammation; NF-κB; drug repurposing; drug development; autoimmunity; COVID-19; multiple sclerosis; rheumatoid arthritis
Online: 20 January 2022 (11:16:25 CET)
NF-κB is a central mediator of inflammation, response to DNA damage and oxidative stress. As a result of its central role in so many important cellular processes, NF-κB dysregulation has been implicated in the pathology of important human diseases. NF-κB activation causes inappropriate inflammatory responses in diseases including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and multiple sclerosis (MS). Thus, modulation of NF-κB signaling is being widely investigated as an approach to treat chronic inflammatory diseases, autoimmunity and cancer. The emergence of COVID-19 in late 2019, the subsequent pandemic and the huge clinical burden of patients with life-threatening SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia led to a massive scramble to repurpose existing medicines to treat lung inflammation in a wide range of healthcare systems. These efforts continue and these efforts continue to be con-troversial. Drug repurposing strategies are a promising alternative to de-novo drug development, as they minimize drug development timelines and reduce the risk of failure due to unexpected side effects. Different experimental approaches have been applied to identify existing medicines which inhibit NF-κB that could be repurposed as anti-inflammatory drugs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0185.v3
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19; Phases of the pandemic; Mortality rate; Case fatality ratio; Infection fatality ratio
Online: 19 January 2022 (16:01:37 CET)
- Background. Since the previous study dealing with the case fatality ratio and infection fatality ratio caused by COVID-19, the author has received many comments that prompted the question: "Why did an optimistic prognosis fail?" To answer this question, a more detailed and expanded analysis was carried out in a new study. - Objective. To evaluate the dynamics of monthly numbers of cases, deaths, tests and CFR worldwide during three phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. - Material and Methods. Twenty three sets of databases, dated the 22nd of each month from January 2020 to November 2021, for 213 countries were collected from the Worldometer website. The number of cases, deaths, tests, CFR, IFR, etc. were counted for various periods of time for each of the 213 countries, then results related to different periods of time were compared. - Results. The analysis of the main epidemiological parameters led to the division of three phases of the global pandemic evolution. The first phase (23.01.20-22.07.20), the second phase (23.07.20-22.01.21) and the third phase (23.01.21-22.07.21) were different in terms of the number of tests performed, new cases, and mortality due to COVID-19. By the end of the secondphase, the worldwide statistics indicated the imminent end of the pandemic, but the third phase was characterized by a sudden rise in the number of new cases and deaths that could not be explained rationally. The most dramatic evolution of the epidemic curve occurred in the countries where doctors had successfully battled COVID-19 during the first two phases of the pandemic. - Conclusions. Despite the decrease in overall death numbers during the latest months analyzed, additional study is necessary to identify the cause for the increase in the number of new cases and deaths during the third phase of the pandemic. Only complete information regarding the positive and negative impact of medical and non-medical methods of diagnostics and prophylaxis of COVID-19 can help to organize effective measures to end the current pandemic and prevent a similar one from occurring in the future. Presumably, there are several causes of the negative evolution of the current pandemic, including the overreliance on PCR tests, application of non-specialized premises for quarantine and treatment, decrease in herd and individual immunity, inadequate change of therapeutic protocols, and ignoring prophylactic treatment. It can be suggested that the use of immunemodulatory drugs, for example, thymus extract or thymic peptides, in groups of people with compromised immunity is necessary, and prophylactic and therapeutic protocols should be changed from the 'standard' types to 'personalized' ones.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0273.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: small-scale fishers; resilience; Adaptive Cycle Model; Sustainable Livelihood Framework; COVID-19; coping strategy; alternative livelihood; Trang Province; Thailand
Online: 19 January 2022 (14:20:19 CET)
Researchers have reported various impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on small-scale fishers, such as stagnating market demands, reduction of market price and income, etc. While literature have heeded to these impacts in a relatively short time frame, scant evidence exists on the changing impacts over time and on the detailed processes of how fishers have been coping with the challenges in a longer time period. Furthermore, few studies have comprehensively analysed the impacts and strategies from multiple perspectives. This study aims to explore the perceived impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on small-scale fishing communities and to highlight the coping strategies adopted by fishers over a year since the initial outbreak, through a case study in Trang Province, Thailand. Analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data obtained through semi-structured interviews indicated that fishers wisely utilised natural, financial and social capitals at the early stages of the outbreak, while human capitals were essential for recovering from the impacts in the later stages. Our findings suggest that the adaptive capacity to flexibly change livelihood strategies are crucial, while alternative income source may not necessarily help small-scale fishers under stagnating global economy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0152.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV2; COVID-19; homeless people; public health; vulnerable population; Seroprevalence, cohort; residential mobility
Online: 11 January 2022 (17:20:14 CET)
Most vulnerable individuals are particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This study takes place in a large city in France. The aim of this study is to describe the mobility of the homeless population at the begin-ning of the health crisis and to analyze its impact in terms of COVID-19 prevalence. From June to August 2020 and September to December 2020, 1272 homeless people were invited to be tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and virus in and completed questionnaires. Our data show that homeless populations are sociologically dif-ferent depending on where they live. We show that people living on the street were most likely to be relocated to emergency shelters than other inhabitants. Some neighborhoods are points of attraction for homeless peo-ple in the city while others emptied during the health crisis, which had consequences for virus circulation. People with a greater number of different dwellings reported became more infected. This first study of the mo-bility and epidemiology of homeless people in time of pandemic provides unique information about mobility mapping, sociological factors of this mobility, mobility at different scales and epidemiological consequences. We suggest that homeless policies need to be radically transformed since actual model exposes people to infection in emergency.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0151.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: Covid-19; SARs-CoV-2; burnout; stress; resilience; medical students
Online: 11 January 2022 (16:57:30 CET)
Following the WHO's declaration of a public health emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the subsequent quarantine and confinement measures that were adopted, including distance learning measures, were shown to have caused a significant deterioration in the mental health of medical students. The goal of this study was to explore the mediating role of resilience and life satisfac-tion in the relationship between perceived stress and burnout among medical students in the con-text of COVID-19. A transversal assessment was performed using an online questionnaire, to which 462 students responded. The instruments applied were the Perceived Stress Scale-10, the Resilience Scale-25 items, the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) and the Burnout Scale (Olden-burg Inventory). A regression model was estimated for each dimension of burnout. The results revealed that resilience and life satisfaction play a mediating role in the association between stress and the dimensions of burnout. This suggests that measures of promoting mental health based on resilience and improving perceptions of life should be implemented.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0120.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: Burnout; career satisfaction; COVID-19; faculty shortage; nursing faculty; turnover intentions; work environment; work-life interference
Online: 10 January 2022 (13:58:18 CET)
The interactions between work and personal life are important for ensuring well-being especially during COVID-19 where the lines between work and home are blurred. Work-life interference/imbalance can result in work-related burnout, which has been shown to have negative effects on faculty members’ physical and psychological health. Although our understanding of burnout has advanced considerably in recent years, little is known about the effects of burnout on nursing faculty turnover intentions and career satisfaction. Thus, this study aimed to test a hypothesized model examining the effects of work-life inference on nursing faculty burnout (emotional exhaustion and cynicism), turnover intentions and ultimately, career satisfaction. A predictive cross-sectional design was used. An online national survey of nursing faculty members was administered throughout Canada in Summer 2021. Nursing faculty who held full-time or part-time positions in Canadian academic settings were invited via email to participate in the study. Data was collected from an anonymous survey housed on Qualtrics. Descriptive statistics and reliability estimates were computed. The hypothesized model was tested using structural equation modeling. Data suggest that work-life interference significantly increase burnout which contribute to both higher turnover intentions and lower career satisfaction. Turnover intentions in turn was negatively associated with career satisfaction. The findings add to the growing body of literature linking burnout to turnover and dissatisfaction, highlighting key antecedents and/or drivers of burnout among nurse academics. These results provide suggestions for suitable areas for the development of interventions and policies within the organizational structure to reduce the risk of burnout during and post-COVID-19 and improve faculty retention.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0093.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: nanotechnology applications in road maintenance; preventative road surface maintenance; nanotechnology clear-seals; New-age (Nano) Modified Emulsions (NME); pot-hole repairs; modified binder slurry seals; hydrophobic slurries; hydrophobic road surface sealants; labour intensive maintenance; rapid employment creation through nanotechnology usage in road maintenance
Online: 6 January 2022 (17:12:15 CET)
: Nanotechnology options to road surface maintenance offers several advantages compared to traditionally used materials. The small particle sizer of hydrophobic Nano-Silane modified Nano-Polymers (NSNP) enables these nanotechnology products to deeply penetrate existing road surfaces, sealing micro-cracks and render surfacings to be water-resistant for extended periods of time. In comparison, traditionally used products contain minimum partial sizes of about 1 – 5 microns, that provide a superficial protection that wears off in a relatively short period of time. These traditional products are often associated with vehicle contamination while drying and requires the re-instatement of road markings. None of these disadvantages are associated with applicable NSNP technologies that are quick drying, with no vehicle contamination risks and is equivalent to a “clear-seal” requiring no reinstatement of road markings. In a similar vein, pot-hole repairs can be done using applicable, easy to use, pre-packed and treated pot-hole repair kits that are water-repellent and quick-drying at a fraction of the costs of conventional cold-mix products. Resurfacing using NME binder slurries can be done labour-intensively on a pre-treated NSNP surfacing, restoring cracked surfacing and providing a water-resistant long-lasting protective layer without the removal of existing cracked areas. The implementation of nanotechnology solutions for road surface maintenance operations is directly associated with ease of use, labour-intensive operations, prevention of considerable deterioration in riding quality due to removal and manual re-instatement of cracked surfaces, time and cost savings and a reduction in the risk of water damage to the sub-structure. TRANSLATE with x English ArabicHebrewPolish BulgarianHindiPortuguese CatalanHmong DawRomanian Chinese SimplifiedHungarianRussian Chinese TraditionalIndonesianSlovak CzechItalianSlovenian DanishJapaneseSpanish DutchKlingonSwedish EnglishKoreanThai EstonianLatvianTurkish FinnishLithuanianUkrainian FrenchMalayUrdu GermanMalteseVietnamese GreekNorwegianWelsh Haitian CreolePersian TRANSLATE with COPY THE URL BELOW Back EMBED THE SNIPPET BELOW IN YOUR SITE Enable collaborative features and customize widget: Bing Webmaster Portal Back
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0087.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2 RNA; mitochondria; placenta; padlock
Online: 6 January 2022 (12:35:00 CET)
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic dictated new priorities in biomedicine research. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19, is a single-stranded positive-sense RNA virus. In this pilot study, we optimized our padlock assay to visualize genomic/subgenomic regions using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded placental samples obtained from a confirmed case of COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was localized in trophoblastic cells. We also checked the presence of the virion by immunolocalization of its glycoprotein spike. In addition, we imaged mitochondria of placental villi keeping in mind that the mitochondrion has been suggested as a potential residence of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Indeed, we observed a substantial overlapping of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and mitochondria in trophoblastic cells. This intriguing linkage correlated with an aberrant mitochondrial network. Overall, to our knowledge, this is the first study that provides the evidence of a co-localization of the SARS-CoV-2 genome and mitochondria in SARS-CoV-2 infected tissue. These findings also support the notion that SARS-CoV-2 infection could reprogram mitochondrial activity in highly specialized maternal/fetal interface.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0491.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Ophthalmology Keywords: glaucoma surgery; SARS-CoV-2 pandemic; minimally invasive glaucoma surgery; glaucoma surgery patterns; COVID-19; trabeculectomy; canaloplasty; iStent
Online: 30 December 2021 (17:09:06 CET)
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness. Surgical and pharmacological treatment of glaucoma aims to lower the intraocular pressure (IOP) and preserve visual function. The severe acute res-piratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pandemic has placed a strain on the healthcare system. We aimed to compare the quantity, type of anti-glaucoma surgeries, and the disease stage before and during the coronavirus disease pandemic. We analyzed 362 eyes of 306 patients and 172 eyes of 149 patients from the pre-pandemic and pandemic groups, respectively. The number of an-ti-glaucoma surgeries was halved during the pandemic compared to a similar pre-pandemic pe-riod, with a significant difference in the procedural structures between the two groups (p<0.001). The most common procedures in the pre-pandemic group were Ex-Press implantation (33.7%) and trabeculectomy (31.5%). Within the pandemic group, half of the eyes underwent tra-beculectomy (50.0%), followed by Preserflo microshunt (11.6%). A significant difference in the average IOPs was revealed among patients who qualified for surgery 22.21 ± 7.83 mmHg in the pre-pandemic group and 25.16 ± 9.48 mmHg in the pandemic group; p<0.001). There was no significant difference in the best corrected visual acuity between the groups (p=0.263). Glaucoma treatment remained relatively accessible during the pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0455.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID- 19; Durbin-Watson statistic; Multiple Linear Regression; Multicollinearity
Online: 28 December 2021 (16:11:44 CET)
This paper will discuss the application of statistic modeling to interpret a health system crisis in Sri Lanka due to COVID- 19.A strong focus on the preventive approach and the contact tracing with the utilization of available resources in a rational manner describes Sri Lanka’s response towards COVID- 19 prevention and mitigation. The early contact tracing, preemptive quarantining, isolation, and treatment were implemented as a concerted effort. This approach, proven efficient during the early phase of the pandemic, was sustainable when there was a rapid increase in the COVID- 19 patients since July 2021, exceeding the health system capacity.The country’s COVID- 19 situation during the period from 01st of August 2021 to 31st of October 2021 was taken into consideration. Variables used for analysis were; total number of cases, recovered cases, comorbid and O2 dependent patients, ICU patients, and deaths. The regression model was applied to analyze the data by using the EViews 12 (x64) software application.The correlation coefficients of all the independent variables under consideration implies that they have a strong positive relationship with the number of deaths occurred during the said period. According to the computed multiple linear regression model, the number of positive cases and O2 dependents have a positive relationship with the dependent variable. Further, the Durbin- Watson stat value of the model and multicollinearity test reflect that it is free from serial correlation thereby the model is fit. From the perspective of epidemiological control, these findings highlight the importance of keeping the number of cases within the limits of health system capacity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0422.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: CRPNR; COVID-19 pandemic; hospital admission; GP visit; Hungary; interaction effect; Roma; specialist care
Online: 27 December 2021 (11:05:43 CET)
Background: Although, negative repercussions of inadequate health service use on the health outcomes has been presumably exacerbated by COVID-19, the impact of the pandemic measures has been not evaluated properly yet. Objective: Our study aimed to quantify the COVID-19 pandemic measures’ effect on the general practitioner (GP) visit, specialist care, hospitalization and cost-related prescription nonredemption (CRPNR) among adults in Hungary, and to identify the social strata susceptible to the pandemic effect. Methods: This community-based cross-sectional study based on nationally representative data of 6,611 (Nprepandemic=5,603 and Npandemic=1,008) subjects aged 18 years and above. Data were obtained from the European Health Interview Survey 2019 (EHIS) and International Social Survey Program 2021 (ISSP) for prepandemic and pandemic, respectively. Multivariable logistic regression models were applied to determine the sociodemographic and clinical factors influencing the health care use by odds ratios (OR) along with the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI). To identify the social strata susceptible to pandemic effect, the interaction of the time of data collection with level of education, marital status, and ethnicity, was also tested. Results: While, the CRPNR did not changed, the frequency of GP visit, specialist care and hospitalization rate were remarkably reduced by 22.2%, 26.4%, and 6.7%, respectively, during the pandemic in Hungary. Roma proved to be not specifically affected by the pandemic in any studied respect. The pandemic restructuring of health care impacted the social subgroups evenly with respect to hospital care. However, the pandemic effect was weaker among primary educated adults (ORhigh-school vs primary-education =0.434; 95% CI 0.243-0.776, ORhigh-school vs primary-education =0.598; 95% CI 0.364-0.985), and among widows (ORwidowed vs married =2.284; 95% CI 1.043-4.998, ORwidowed vs married=1.915; 95% CI 1.157-3.168) on the frequency of GP visit and specialist visit; and the prepandemic CRPNR inequality by level of education was increased (ORhigh-school vs primary-education =0.236; 95% CI 0.075-0.743). Conclusion: Primary educated and widowed did not follow the general trend, and their prepandemic limited health care use was not reduced further during pandemic, resulting in an inequality reduction. The vulnerability of primary educated to CRPNR was the only gap widened in the pandemic period. This shows that although the management of pandemic health care use restrictions was implemented by increasing the social inequality in Hungary, the prevention of inequity in drug availability for primary educated individuals could require more support.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0413.v1
Online: 24 December 2021 (23:40:18 CET)
Background Recently, a surge of COVID 19 was observed globally, regionally and nationally. With increasing numbers of cases, the frequency of long COVID is on the rise. Management and control of long COVID depend on changes in respect of human behaviors and requires an understanding of knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) regarding health threats. MethodsA descriptive cross sectional study using online survey to gather data on the socio-economic background, knowledge, attitudes and practices on long-term complications of COVID. Results: Out of 201 respondents, 89.2% participants have heard about long-term complications of COVID 19. Only 35.9% have demonstrated adequate knowledge in the questions relating to co-morbidities and risk factors of COVID-19. A total of 92.2% believe that they should adhere to preventive measures following vaccination. Less than 60 % were following the advice on avoiding unnecessary travel and crowded places. Further, less than 50% were following COVID preventive measures. ConclusionAlthough the majority of participants have heard about long-term complications and common symptoms, the knowledge regarding co-morbidities that can lead to severe disease and long COVID was not satisfactory. The attitudes of the participants indicated increasing concern about long COVID. Practices indicate lack of adherence to key measures such as avoiding crowded places. These findings highlight the need for further increasing of awareness.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0374.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; children and adolescents; machine learning; post-hoc explainability; model calibration
Online: 22 December 2021 (16:21:19 CET)
The global spread of COVID-19 led the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic on 11 March 2020. To decelerate this spread, countries have taken strict measures that affected the lifestyle and economy. Various studies have been focused on the identification of COVID-19 impact to mental health of children and adolescents via traditional statistical approaches. However, a machine learning methodology must be developed to explain the main factors that contribute to the change of mood state of children and adolescents during the first lockdown. Therefore, to this study an explainable machine learning pipeline is presented focusing on children and adolescents in Greece, where a strict lockdown was imposed. The target group consists of children and adolescents, recruited from children and adolescent mental health services, who present mental health problems diagnosed before the pandemic. The proposed methodology imposes: (i) data collection via questionnaires; (ii) a clustering process to identify the groups of subjects with amelioration, deterioration and stability to their mood state; (iii) a feature selection process to identify the most informative features that contribute to mood state prediction; (iv) a decision-making process based on an experimental evaluation among classifiers; (v) calibration of the best performing model and (v) a post-hoc interpretation of the features’ impact on the best performing model. The results showed that a blend of heterogeneous features from almost all feature categories is necessary to increase our understanding regarding the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the mood state of children and adolescents.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0364.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: Teachers; Mindfulness; Emotion regulation; COVID-19; Work engagement; Emotional distress
Online: 22 December 2021 (12:28:23 CET)
The COVID-19 has dramatically affected mental health and work environment of many labor sectors, including the educational sector. Our primary aim was to investigate preschool teachers’ psychological distress and work engagement during the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, while examining the possible protective role of participating in mindfulness-based intervention (C2C-IT) and emotion regulation. Emotional distress, work engagement and COVID-19 concerns’ prevalence were evaluated among 165 preschool teachers in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak in Israel, using self-report questionnaires. Findings show that preschool teachers have experienced increased emotional distress. Teachers who had participated in the C2C-IT intervention six month before the pandemic outbreak (N=41) reported lower emotional distress, higher use of adaptive emotion regulation strategies and higher work engagement, compared to their counterparts that had not participated in the mindfulness training (N = 124). Emotion regulation strategies mediated the link between participating in the CTC-IT intervention and emotional distress and work engagement. Teaching is a highly demanding occupation, especially during a pandemic, therefore it is important to invest resources in empowering this population. According to the findings of the current study, implementation of mindfulness-based intervention during the school year, may benefit teachers’ well-being, even during stressful events such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0336.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Environmental tax; Environmental policy; Carbon reduction; climate change; tax relief; forestation
Online: 21 December 2021 (13:38:13 CET)
Environmental tax is the climate policy that offers, in theory, the easiest way for carbon reduction. But in practice, implementation has proven complicated despite public demand for policy action on climate change. This research investigates to reframe environmental taxes in ways more personally engaging to create a moral foundation, and massive participation. As people show rising demand, we aimed to design a tool that responds to public expectations and operates directly at source on emission reducers, viz the trees. Drawing on research from environmental taxes and the evidence of measures taken, we reasoned that an environmental fiscal policy may not intend necessarily to punish the “bads”, but rather might reward the positive attitude and direct it to act. Consequently, we focused on tax reliefs and designed Green Aid, that can address people’s attitude to take active participation into account by incorporating virtuous behaviours into tax relief. Green Aid Tax relief works embedded in the Green Aid Participation Scheme that bears directly on a source of environmental recovery and organizes the global call to public action in a sustained, structured, and collective participation to forestation. Green Aid bridges the action of contributing to carbon reduction with immediate, tangible, and direct benefits. It can be an alternative environmental tax, able to address and operate directly at source on emission reducers and secure effectiveness in carbon reduction and efficiency in terms of public acceptance and viability at a global level.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0282.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: Acalabrutinib; Bruton’s tyrosine kinase; BTK; CLL; Covalent inhibitors; COVID-19; Ibrutinib; Non-covalent inhibitors; Fenebrutinib; MK1026; Pirtobrutinib; Spebrutinib; Tirabrutinib; Zanubrutinib
Online: 16 December 2021 (16:13:54 CET)
The use of the Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors has changed the management and clinical history of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). BTK is a critical molecule that interconnects B-cell antigen receptor (BCR) signaling. BTKIs are classified into two categories: irreversible (covalent) inhibitors and reversible (non-covalent) inhibitors. Ibrutinib is the ﬁrst irreversible BTK inhibitor approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2013 as a breakthrough therapy in CLL patients. Subsequently, several studies evaluated the efﬁcacy and safety of new agents with reduced toxicity when compared with ibrutinib. Two other irreversible, second-generation BTK inhibitors, acalabrutinib and zanubrutinib, were developed to reduce ibrutinib-mediated adverse effects. Additionally, new reversible BTK inhibitors are currently under development in an early phase studies to improve their activity and to diminish adverse effects. This review summarizes the pharmacology, clinical efficacy, safety, dosing, drug-drug interactions associated with the treatment of CLL with BTK inhibitors, and examines its further implications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0274.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Business And Administrative Sciences Keywords: digital methods; student-centred learning; higher education; sustainable development goals; corporate social responsibility; CSR communication.
Online: 16 December 2021 (14:52:27 CET)
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created big challenges and opportunities in Higher Education (HE). In this situation, several universities worldwide have responded with digital methods and hybrid classes in a short period of time. The aim of this paper is to show how the universities have adapted teaching methods to digital platforms in the academic year 2020–21. This case study is based on the experience of 37 postgraduate communication students in the course Business and Communication from a Communication Programme. The objective of this course was to promote the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) in business and following the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) of the United Nations. To do this, the students provided different solutions related to the SDGs and developed a communication strategy to inform and engage the stakeholders in the companies analyzed in a hybrid class. The results show that using this methodology and working in digital platforms, students have learned the importance of SDGs through implementing specific solutions linked to the corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy. Based on this analysis, they also developed a communication strategy showing how companies can improve society with specific actions through the lens of the SDG perspective.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0215.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Finance Keywords: COVID-19; green finance; green banking; green economic recovery; financial institutions; Bangladesh.
Online: 16 December 2021 (12:36:55 CET)
The main purpose of study is to identify the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the green financing of banks and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) in an emerging economy such as Bangladesh. Also, this study shows the green banking activities of the banks and NBFIs during the pandemic. To analyze the impact of the pandemic on green financing, secondary data were obtained from the quarterly and annual reports of Bangladesh Bank (BB) on green financing as well as the annual reports and websites of 61 banks and 34 NBFIs in Bangladesh for the period 2021–2019. Subsequently, the study deployed dependent t-test statistics, growth rate (year-on-year), descriptive statistics, relative percentage changes, and varying tables and graphs to analyze the obtained secondary data. The empirical findings revealed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an increase in green finance for all banks and NBFIs compared to before the epidemic, indicating that the pandemic had no negative impact on the total green finance growth of all banks and NBFIs. On the other hand, compared to the pre-pandemic period, bank-wise growth in green financing was higher for state-owned commercial banks (SOCBs), specialized banks (SDBs), and private commercial banks (PCBs) but lower for foreign-owned commercial banks (FCBs) during the COVID-19 epidemic. This suggests that the pandemic does not affect the expansion of green finance by SOCBs, SDBs and PCBs but significantly impacted the growth of green financing by FCBs. Furthermore, the research findings showed that the total outstanding and classified loans within the green finance investment decrease for both banks and NBFIs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results indicated that the Bangladeshi banks’ level of automation towards green banking were satisfactory during the pandemic. Therefore, major policy implications for the green economic recovery by the government, BB, and managers of the banks and financial institutions in emerging economies like Bangladesh were discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0256.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: COVID-19; lockdown; primary care; lifestyle; health resources.; alcohol abuse desorder
Online: 15 December 2021 (14:47:13 CET)
The disruption in healthcare attention to people with alcohol dependence, along with psychological decompensation consequence of lockdown derived from COVID-19 pandemic, could have a negative impact on people who suffers from alcohol abuse disorder. Retrospective observational study of 9,966 men aged ˃16 years registered as having diagnosis of alcohol abuse disorder in the electronic medical records (EMR) of the Aragon Regional Health Service (Spain). Of those who were not infected during the study period (9,576), clinical (Glutamate-oxaloacetate -GOT-, Glutamate pyruvate -GPT-, creatinine, glomerular filtration, systolic blood pressure -SBP-, diastolic blood pressure -DBP-, total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, and body mass index -BMI-), pharmacological (dose per inhabitant per day -DHD- of drugs used in addictive disorders, benzodiazepines and antidepressants) and health resource use variables (primary and specialized care) were considered. Student´s T-test for matched samples was performed. After carrying out the Levene´s test, the Student´s T-test was used to analyze the changes in clinical variables between alcohol abuse disorder patients with and without COVID-19. Only creatinine and LDL show a significant but clinically irrelevant changes just after and 6 months after the end of strict lockdown. The total number of DHDs for all drugs included in the study (except for Benzodiazepines), decreased. In the same way, the use of health services by these patients also decreased. The impact of COVID-19 among this group of patients has been moderate. The reorganization of health and social services after the declaration of the state of alarm in our country, made possible the maintenance of care for this vulnerable patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0230.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Marketing Keywords: e-commerce; m-commerce; innovation; business management; COVID-19; Czech Republic; Facebook
Online: 14 December 2021 (11:51:29 CET)
The global pandemic caused by the new coronavirus has largely changed established business practices. The aim of the study is to present the results of eighteen-month intensive research into the effects of the pandemic on e-consumer behavior. In one of the most active e-commerce markets in Europe, the Czech Republic, we analyzed a sample of more than one and a half million Facebook users in terms of their C2B interactions on the B2C activities of the five major e-commerce market players. The measurements were carried out in three periods, which corresponded to the onset of the first wave, peak, and fading of the second wave of the pandemic. This enabled us to monitor the effect of seasonality and the stabilization of patterns of consumer behavior during the coronavirus crisis. The results suggest that a specific panic pattern of e-consumer behavior was developed at the time of the onset of the pandemic. However, as the pandemic progressed, the market has adapted to a new normal, which, as evidenced by the change in trends, appears to be a combination of the pre-pandemic and pandemic behavioral patterns. Using a statistical analysis, it was possible to identify delta of changes within the patterns of consumer behavior, thus fulfilling the final condition for creating an empirical model of the COVID-19 pandemic impacts on e-consumer behavior presented in this study.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0194.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-19; medical residency; virtual interviews; satisfaction; survey; faculty member
Online: 10 December 2021 (20:17:44 CET)
During the COVID-19 pandemic, conducting face-to-face medical residency interviews was challenging due to infection prevention precautions, social distancing and travel restrictions. Virtual interviews were implemented by the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS) as an alternative process for residency matching while striving to maintain the same quality standards. This national survey was conducted to assess the satisfaction and perceptions of faculty members’ virtual interviews performance in the assessment for the medical training residency programs. Among the participating 173 faculty members (34.1%) did not have previous experience with video-conferencing. Zoom application was the most commonly used platform (65.9%). Most (89.6%) of the faculty perceived virtual interviews as “adequate” for the candidates to express themselves, while almost half of the faculty (53.8%) agreed that virtual interviews allowed them to accurately reach an impression about the candidates. Overall, 73.4% of faculty felt comfortable ranking the virtually interviewed candidates. We conclude that the acceptance of participating faculty members in the first Saudi medical residency training matching cycle virtual interviewing event was well perceived. This study provides evidence for future application and research of virtual interviews in residency candidates' assessment, especially after the pandemic crisis resolves.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0083.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: Psychological distress; Fear; Coping; COVID-19; Bangladesh; Dental; Mental health
Online: 6 December 2021 (15:22:59 CET)
Background: Psychological sufferings are observed among dental students during their academic years, which had been intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Objectives: This study assessed the levels and identified factors associated with psychological distress, fear and coping experienced by dental undergraduate students in Bangladesh. Methods: A cross sectional online survey was conducted during October-November, 2021. The Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K-10), Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) and Brief Resilient Coping Scale (BRCS) were used in order to assess psychological distress, fear and coping strategies respectively. Results: A total of 327 students participated; the majority (72%) were 19-23 years old and females (75%). One in five participants were infected with COVID-19 and 15% reported contact with COVID-19 cases. Negative financial impact (AOR 3.72, 95%CIs 1.28-10.8), recent or past COVID-19 infection, contact with COVID-19 cases were associated with higher levels of psychological distress; but being a 3rd year student (0.14, 0.04-0.55) and being satisfied about current social life (0.11, 0.03-0.33) were associated with lower levels of psychological distress. Being a 3rd year (0.17, 0.08-0.39) and a 4th year student (0.29, 0.12-0.71) were associated with lower levels of fear. Health care service use and feeling positive about life were associated with medium to high resilience coping. Conclusions: This study iden-tified dental students in Bangladesh who were at higher risk of psychological distress, fear and coping during the ongoing pandemic. Development of mental health support system within dental institution should be considered in addition to the academic and clinical teaching.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0129.v3
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: HOCl; hypochlorous; antimicrobial; antiinflammatory; SARS-CoV-2; infections; sanitisation
Online: 3 December 2021 (10:13:20 CET)
Sanitisation has become a major component of everyday life, with emphasis on the hands and surfaces. The face remains unsanitised due to the lack of an acceptable sanitiser. The use of masks has been mandated to reduce the spread of the pathogens by covering the face, however, there remain issues with the use of personal protective equipment. The face remains a harbour for upper respiratory tract infections, with constant deposition of microbes. By reducing microbial load, the risk of both infection and severity are reduced. HOCl has proven antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity, including efficacy against SARS-CoV-2. A facial sanitiser, alongside hand sanitisers and masks, improves protection against SARS-CoV-2. The advantages of regular sanitising of the face and mask include reduced level of microbial contamination, risk of biofilm formation, and respiratory tract and skin infections. HOCl was reviewed as a face and mask sanitiser, concluding that it was an ideal product.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0038.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: COVID-19; eating habits; physical activity; MEDAS-14; Emotional eating questionnaire (EEQ) and university population.
Online: 2 December 2021 (12:52:17 CET)
(1) Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of the lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, eating and physical activity behaviours, in a University population. A healthy diet such as the Mediterranean Diet (MD) pattern, rich in fruit and vegetables can prevent degenerative diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, etc. (2) Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study, data were collected by an anonymous online questionnaire. Participants completed a survey consisting of 3 sections: sociodemographic data; dietary and physical activity behaviour; questionnaire of the Mediterranean Diet (MEDAS-14) and the emotional eater questionnaire Garaulet (EEQ). (3) Results: A total of 168 participants completed the questionnaire 66.7% women, from Spain 79.2%, 76.8% students, living in family home 76.2% and in normal weight 66.1% . Our population did the grocery 1 or less per week (76.8%); decreased or stay the same the consumption of fruits (57.1%), vegetables (58.9%), dairy products (74.4%), pulses (73.2%), fish/seafood (76.8%), white meat (83.3%), red and processed meat (91.1%), snacks (78.6%), rice/pasta/potatoes (78.6%), nuts (83.9%), low alcohol drinks (89.3%), spirits (98.8%) and sugary drinks (91.7%) . Increased cooking time (73.2%) and decreased or stay the same their physical activity (63.7%). University Employees increased more weight (1.01±0.02) than students (0.99±0.03) (p<0.05). 79.8% of the participant obtained a Medium/High Adherence to the MD. Emotional and very emotional eaters were higher in women group (p<0.01). (4) Conclusions: In the event of further confinement, strategies should be implemented to promote a balanced and healthy diet together with the practice of physical activity, taking special care of the group of women and University Employees.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0567.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: Nurses; Leadership; COVID-19; Management; Communication
Online: 30 November 2021 (12:14:55 CET)
Purpose: To evaluate nursing leaders' perception towards communication and relationship management competencies while using digital platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Background: Communication and relationship management competencies among nursing leaders will ensure healthcare models are successfully implemented. Nursing leaders can achieve effective leadership by mastering these competencies leading to an overall improvement in the quality of nursing care. However, digital platforms have been rapidly evolving in the healthcare ecosystem and have been significant during the battle with COVID-19. It is crucial to ensure that nursing leaders can use digital platforms to communicate and practice efficient management in their op-erations, especially during a crisis when their services are vital. Design: Descriptive, comparative study. Methods: The study was conducted between February to March 2021. A 5-item Linkert-type questionnaire was adopted from the American Organization for Nursing Executives (2005) and was sent to identified nursing leaders in Hamad Medical Corporation through the official email. Results: Two hundred fifty nurse leaders were invited to participate, but only 116 responded positively, translating to a response rate of 46.4%. The male participants represented a larger proportion of 64.10%, while the female was 35.90%. Regarding the questionnaire, the Cronbach alpha was α ˃ 0.987, indicating that all items revealed a sufficient level of internal consistency. The respondents had a minimum of 0 and a maximum of 52.6n in the communication and relationship management items. Influencing behavior, relationship management, and effective communica-tion had the lowest scores, which indicate low competency. The F value in ANOVA analysis was close to 1.0, implying that the null hypothesis is true. The significance value is <0.5 implying that there is a difference in response on effective communication proficiency of nurse leaders. Conclusions: Digital platforms are communication tools that are widely adopted to engage and reach nurses on numerous topics. Nurse leaders should capitalize on their benefits and generate critical discussions. The continued need to research nursing leadership competencies is critical as healthcare continues to change and evolve. Educational institutions and healthcare organizations must understand that nursing leaders should strive for professional development and knowledge acquisition to improve their communication and management.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0556.v1
Online: 30 November 2021 (10:47:20 CET)
Museums increasingly recognize the need to address advances in digital culture which impact the expectations and needs of their audiences. Museum collections of real objects need to be presented both on their own premises and digitally online, especially as social media becomes more and more influential in people’s everyday lives. We investigate these challenges magnified by advances in digital and computational media and culture looking particularly at recent and relevant reports on changes in the ways museums interact with the public. We find that the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated many of the changes driving museum transformation. We believe that museums must be more prepared than ever to adapt to unabated technological advances set in the midst of cultural and social revolution, now intrinsic to the digital landscape in which museums are inevitably connected and participating across the global digital ecosystem where they inevitably find themselves entrenched.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0555.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Computational Mathematics Keywords: Physics Informed Neural Networks; Mathematical modeling; COVID-19
Online: 30 November 2021 (10:41:39 CET)
The Physics Informed Neural Networks framework is applied to the understanding of the dynamics of Coronavirus of 2019. To provide the governing system of equations used by the framework, the Susceptible-Infected-Recovered-Death mathematical model is used. The study focused on finding the patterns of the dynamics of the disease which involves predicting the infection rate, recovery rate and death rate; thus predicting the active infections, total recovered, susceptible and deceased at any required time. The study used data that was collected on the dynamics of COVID-19 from the Kingdom of Eswatini between March 2020 and September 2021. The obtained results showed less errors thus making highly accurate predictions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0553.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: physical activity; Body Mass Index; COVID-19; pupils; health; lifestyle; sport; obesity
Online: 30 November 2021 (08:46:52 CET)
Regular physical activity is a very important factor in the healthy development of an individual and an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. However, today's population still suffers from insufficient amount of exercise caused mainly by technical progress and often inappropriate conditions for practicing sports. In relation to this, we are grappling with a steady increase in obesity. During the COVID-19 pandemic, conditions for regular physical activity became even more unfavourable, with the declaration of a state of emergency and anti-pandemic measures leading to the closure of sports grounds and sporting competitions. In our research survey, we attempted to determine whether there would be changes in physical activity and BMI before and after the situation caused by the COVID-19 disease in upper primary school pupils in the Czech Republic. Using a questionnaire survey of a sample of children (n =1456), we found that already before the pandemic, 69% of the observed sample had not met the recommended amount of physical activity and only 67% of the sample was of normal weight. After the end of the anti-pandemic measures, the observed values deteriorated even more. There was a significant decrease in children with normal weight (by 7.5%) and an increase in children with Class 1 obesity. At the same time, we saw a significant decrease in children doing sports.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0435.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: cost benefit analysis; vaccination; COVID-19; health economics; economic appraisal; pharmacoeconomics
Online: 25 November 2021 (15:21:36 CET)
(1) Background: in epidemiological terms, it has been possible to calculate the savings in health resources and the reduction in health effects of COVID vaccines. From the point of view of economic evaluation, some studies have estimated its cost-effectiveness with the vaccination showing highly favorable results, which in some cases is cost-saving; (2) Methods: a cost-benefit analysis of the vaccination campaign in the North Metropolitan Health Region (Catalonia). An epidemiological model based on observational data and before and after comparison is used. The information on the doses used and the resources assigned (conventional hospital beds, ICU, number of tests) has been extracted from administrative data from the largest Primary Care provider in the region (Catalan Institute of Health). A distinction is made between the social perspective and the health system; (3) Results: the costs of vaccination are estimated at 137 million euros (€48.05/dose administered). This figure is significantly lower than the positive impacts of the vaccination campaign, which are estimated at 470 million euros (€164/dose administered). Of these, 18% corresponds to the reduction of ICU discharges, 16% to the reduction in conventional hospital discharges, 5% to the reduction in PCR tests and 1% to the reduction of RAT tests. Monetization of deaths and cases with sequelae avoided account for 53% and 5% of total savings, respectively. The benefit/cost ratio is estimated at 3.4 from a social perspective and 1.41 from a health system perspective. The social benefits of vaccination are estimated at €116.67 per dose of vaccine given (€19.93 from the point of view of the health system); (4) Conclusions: the mass vaccination campaign against COVID is cost-saving. From a social perspective, most of these savings come from the monetization of the reduction in mortality and cases with sequelae, although the intervention is equally widely cost-effective from the point of view of the health system thanks to the reduction in the use of resources. It is concluded that, from an economic perspective, the vaccination campaign has high social returns.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0478.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Long COVID; data acquisition source; post-infectious; longitudinal cohort study; patient-powered
Online: 25 November 2021 (13:51:54 CET)
ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is a chronic, complex, heterogeneous disease that affects millions and lacks both diagnostics and treatments. Big data, or the collection of vast quantities of data that can be mined for information, has transformed the understanding of many complex illnesses like cancer (1,2) and multiple sclerosis (3,4), by dissecting heterogeneity, identifying subtypes, and enabling the development of personalized treatments. It is possible that big data can reveal the same for ME/CFS. Solve M.E. developed and launched the You + ME Registry to collect longitudinal health data from people with ME/CFS, people with Long COVID (LC) and control volunteers using rigorous protocols designed to harmonize with other groups collecting data from similar groups of people. The Registry is an invaluable resource because it integrates with a symptom tracking app, as well as a biorepository, to provide a robust and rich dataset that is available to qualified researchers. Accordingly, it facilitates collaboration that may ultimately uncover causes and help accelerate the development of therapies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0464.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Business And Administrative Sciences Keywords: e-commerce adoption; UTAUT2; fashion industry; digital marketing; covid pandemic.
Online: 25 November 2021 (09:07:03 CET)
The growth of the fаshion industry in Bаndung, which is increаsing every yeаr, if it is not bаlаnced with the аpplicаtion of digitаlizаtion аnd the use of the lаtest technology, it would be very unfortunаte. Аpаrt from the increаse in the number of internet users, the online shopping style by the community is аlso one of the driving forces for the growth of e-commerce, especiаlly in the midst of the current Covid pаndemic situаtion. This study will exаmine the аdoption of e-commerce technology to sell online in the midst of the Covid pаndemic to fаshion industry plаyers in Bаndung using these vаriаbles: effort expectаncy, performаnce expectаncy, fаcilitаting conditions, sociаl influence, existing hаbits, hedonic motivаtion, and also the price vаlue in the UTАUT2 model. So thаt it cаn show how the contribution of the аdoption of e-commerce technology to the behаviourаl intention аnd use behaviour of the fаshion industry consumers in Bаndung. Our research use quаntitаtive approach, cаusаl research/study with Structurаl Equаtion Modeling (SEM) аnаlysis technique using the SMАRTPLS 3.2.9 softwаre. Reseаrchers chose the аccidentаl sаmpling with а totаl of 400 respondents. Аll exogenous vаriаbles аffect behаviourаl intention by 80.9% аnd 54.9% on use behаviour.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0442.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: Men's Health; COVID-19; Mental Disorders; Stress, Psychological; Social Support
Online: 24 November 2021 (08:13:48 CET)
Objective: to analyze the relationships between sociodemographic variables, intolerance to uncertainty (INT), social support and psychological distress (i.e., indicators of Common Mental Disorders [CMDs] and perceived stress [PS]) in Brazilian men during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: a cross-sectional study with national coverage, of the web survey type, and conducted with 1,006 Brazilian men during the period of social circulation restriction imposed by the health authorities in Brazil, for suppression of the coronavirus and control of the pandemic. Structural equation modeling analysis was performed. Results: Statistically significant direct effects of race/skin color (λ=0.268; p-value<0.001), socioeconomic status (SES) (λ=0.306; p-value<0.001), household composition (λ=0.281; p-value<0.001), PS (λ=0.513; p-value<0.001) and INT (λ=0.421; p-value<0.001) were evidenced in the occurrence of CMDs. Black-skinned men, with higher SES, living alone and with higher PS and INT levels presented higher prevalence values of CMDs. Conclusions: high levels of PS and INT were the factors that presented the strongest associations with the occurrence of CMDs among the men. It is necessary to implement actions to reduce the stress-generating sources, as well as to promote an increase in resilience and the development of intrinsic reinforcements to deal with uncertain threats.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0429.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Neuroscience Keywords: Agri-Food; Food Supply Chain; Blockchain; IoT; Big Data; Sustainability; Food Security; COVID-19; Food Safety; Digitalization
Online: 23 November 2021 (14:52:59 CET)
Technological advances such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, big data, social media, geographic information systems represent a building block of the digital transformation that supports the resilience of the food supply chain (FSC) and increases its efficiency. This paper reviews the literature surrounding digitalization in FSCs. A bibliometric and key-route main path analysis was carried out to objectively and analytically uncover the knowledge development in digitalization within the context of sustainable FSCs. The research began with the selection of 2140 articles published nearly over five decades. Then, the articles were examined according to several bibliometric metrics such as year of publication, countries, institutions, sources, authors, and keywords frequency. A keyword co-occurrence network was generated to cluster the relevant literature. Findings of the review and bibliometric analysis indicate that research at the intersection of technology and the FSC has gained substantial interest from scholars. On the basis of keyword co-occurrence network, the literature is focused on the role of information communication technology for agriculture and food security, food waste and circular economy, and the merge of the Internet of Things and blockchain in the FSC. The analysis of the key-route main path uncovers three critical periods marking the development of technology-enabled FSCs. The study offers scholars a better understanding of digitalization within the agri-food industry and the current knowledge gaps for future research. Practitioners may find the review useful to remain ahead of the latest discussions of technology-enabled FSCs. To the authors’ best knowledge, the current study is one of the few endeavors to explore technology-enabled FSCs using a comprehensive sample of journals articles published during the past five decades.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0382.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Econometrics & Statistics Keywords: elasticity; Engel curve; food-away-from-home expenditure, COVID, Mexico
Online: 22 November 2021 (11:11:14 CET)
The propagation of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) reshaped the relationship between income and food-away-from-home (FAFH) expenditure in Mexico during 2020. Although the number of households participating in this market fell across income deciles and regions due to the pandemic, the impact on their budget shares is not uniform. Using data from the Encuesta Nacional de Ingresos y Gastos de los Hogares (ENIGH) 2020, we estimated an Engel curve of the Working-Lesser functional form for FAFH. Among the independent variables are the number of family members 65 years of age and older, and dummies to indicate whether the household experienced food insecurity or received remittances. The estimation was carried out following the Heckman two-step method, suitable for censored-response data. The results suggest that the budget share for FAFH drops as income increases. The number of older adults and food insecurity discourage the decision to participate in FAFH expenditure and increase its budget share, whereas remittances encourage participation and reduce its budget share. The corrected conditional elasticity is 0.4609; the sign and the magnitude indicate that FAFH is a necessity good.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0373.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geology Keywords: geological fieldwork; virtual field trips; geoscience education
Online: 20 November 2021 (20:19:12 CET)
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and resultant cancellation of geoscience fieldwork, as well as outstanding accessibility issues inherent in conducting fieldwork, we developed a virtual geological fieldtrip (VFT) to the Huronian age deposits in the Whitefish Falls area, Ontario, Canada. This region is a geologically significant site in which many Ontario universities conduct undergraduate teaching due to the high-quality exposures. In this contribution we describe and comment on the development of this openly available resource, the motivations in doing so, the challenges faced, its pedagogical impact and relevance, as well as provide suggestions to others in the development of such resources. Our multimedia VFT combines 360° imagery, georeferenced data on integrated maps, and multi-scale imagery (aerial/drone, outcrop, and thin section images). The VFT was built using the Esri Storymaps platform, and thus offers us the opportunity to review the effectiveness of building such resources using this medium, as well as our approach to doing so. We conclude that the Esri Storymaps platform provides a sound medium for the dissemination of multimedia VFTs, but that some aspects of in-person fieldwork remain hard to replicate. Most notably, ‘hands on experience’ and specific activities such as geological mapping. In addition, while VFTs alleviate some accessibility barriers to geoscience fieldwork, substantial barriers remain that should remain the focus of both pedagogical and geoscience work.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0368.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Sport Sciences & Therapy Keywords: Long Covid; rehabilitation; virtual methods; multi-disciplinary team
Online: 19 November 2021 (15:00:47 CET)
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected people from more deprived communities. The experience of Long Covid is similarly distributed but very few investigations have concentrated on the needs of this population. The aim of this project was to co-produce an acceptable intervention for people with Long Covid, living in communities recognised as more deprived. Methods: The intervention was based on a multi-disciplinary team using approaches from sport and exercise medicine and functional rehabilitation. The co-production process was undertaken with a stakeholder advisory group and patient public involvement representation. This study identified participants by postcode and the indices of multiple deprivation (IMD); recruitment and engagement were supported by an existing health and wellbeing service. A virtual ‘clinic’ was offered with a team of professional practitioners who met participants three times each; to directly consider their needs and offer structured advice. The acceptability of the intervention was based on the individual’s participation and their completion of the intervention. Results: Ten participants were recruited with eight completing the intervention. The partnership with an existing community health and wellbeing service was deemed to be an important way of reaching participants. Two men and six women ages ranging from 38 to 73 were involved and their needs were commonly associated with fatigue, anxiety and depression with overall de-conditioning. None reported serious hardship associated with the pandemic although most were in self-employment/part-time employment or were not working due to retirement or ill-health. Two older participants lived alone, and others were single parents and had considerable challenges associated with managing a household alongside their Long Covid difficulties. Conclusions: This paper presents the needs and perspectives of eight individuals involved in the process and discusses the needs and preferences of the group in relation to their support for self- managed recovery from Long Covid.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0216.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Rural Health; Twitter Messaging; Social Media; Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; social network analysis
Online: 19 November 2021 (14:41:47 CET)
Individuals from rural areas are increasingly using social media as a means of communication, receiving information, or actively complaining of inequalities and injustices. This study captured 57 days’ worth of Twitter data from June to August 2021 related to rural health using English language keywords. The study utilised social network analysis and natural language processing to analyse the data. It was found that Twitter served as a fruitful platform to raise awareness of problems faced by those living in rural areas. Overall, Twitter was utilised in rural areas to express complaints, to debate, and share information. Twitter could be leveraged as a powerful social listening tool for individuals and organisations who want to gain insight into popular narratives around rural health.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0361.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Sport Sciences & Therapy Keywords: swimming; COVID-19; swim performance
Online: 19 November 2021 (14:34:46 CET)
The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant training disruptions during the 2020-21 season due to lockdowns, quarantines, and strict adherence to pandemic protocols. The main purpose of this study was to determine how pandemic training restrictions affected training volume and performance in one collegiate swim team. Cumulative training volume data, across a 28-week season, were compared between a pandemic (2020-2021) versus non-pandemic (2019-2020) season. Swimmers were categorized into three groups (Sprinters, Mid-Distance, and Long-Distance) based on training group. Performance times in 25 swimmers who competed in Regional Championships, during both the non-pandemic and pandemic year, were compared via 1-way ANOVA. 26 male and 22 female swimmers commenced the 2020-21 (pandemic) season, with 23% of swimmers voluntarily opting out. Three COVID-19 cases were confirmed (2%) by the medical staff with no long-term effects. Significant reductions in average swim volume were verified in Sprinters (32,867±10,135 vs.14,800±7,995yards;p<0.001), Mid-Distance (26,457±10,692 vs.17,054±9.923yards;p<0.001), and Long-Distance (37,600±14,430 vs.22,254±14,418yards;p<0.001) swimmers (non-pandemic vs. pandemic season, respectively). In the Regional performance analyses, the Sprinters swam faster (n=8;-0.5±0.6secs), while Mid-Distance (n=10;0.17±2.1secs) and Long-Distance (n=7;6.0±4.9secs) swimmers swam slower (F=11.76;p=0.0003;r2=0.52). Thus, the pandemic caused significant reductions in swim training volume, with Sprinters performing better and Long-Distance swimmers performing worse at Regional Championships.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0306.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: COVID-19 Pandemic; Dietary patterns; BMI; Nutrition; Vitamins; Healthy Food; Dietary Supplements; Factor analyses; Internal Consistency; weight gain
Online: 17 November 2021 (12:09:58 CET)
Since its inception in 2019, COVID-19 has been associated with significant changes in lifestyle-related behavior, including physical activity, diet, and sleep, which are vital to maintaining our well-being. This study measures lifestyle-related behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown using a 21-item questionnaire. The responses were collected from March 2021 to September 2021. Four hundred sixty-seven participants were engaged in assessing the changes caused by the pandemic and their effect on BMI. The validity and reliability of the questionnaire were tested for 71 participants. Cronbach's alpha values for the questionnaire all exceeded 0.7, demonstrating good validity and internal consistency for it. The effect of each question regarding physical activity and dietary habits over the BMI difference was studied using ANOVA. The study shows that more than half of the participants reported snacking more between meals and increased their sitting and screen time, while 74% felt more stressed and anxious. These indications were the cause of the increase in the BMI rate for individuals in the lockdown. In contrast, 62% of the participants showed more awareness about their health by increasing the intake of immunity-boosting foods, and 56% of the participants showed an increase in the consumption of nutrition supplements. Females and married individuals tended to be healthier, so their BMI showed stability compared to others based on their gender and marital status.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0292.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: value; value perception; assessment; learning organization; online learning; Covid-19; innovation education
Online: 16 November 2021 (14:30:23 CET)
In 2020, the early Covid-19 lockdown and social distancing induced the abrupt migration of traditionally presential learning activities to online domains. This “new normal” environment affected management not only of training courses, but also educational events whose main added value consisted in providing students with an interactive experience onsite, as it is the case of inter-institutional summer schools. The following research corresponds to a case study in which our organization, a French university, had to reformulate, in less than three months, one of its traditional summer schools while trying to keep the original goals. We aimed at identifying the impact of four managerial decisions by analyzing, through qualitative and quantitative surveys, students’ perception of gained or lost value regarding four topics: a) online teaching, b) pre-recorded busines cases providers, c) online social events, and d) technical solutions. With an emphasis in both didactics (i.e., knowledge) and pedagogics (i.e., learning experience), the analysis of perceived value allowed as to learn about students’ assessment position, which revealed two main issues at stake: belonging, in relation to students’ identity and academic background, and performing, related to students’ expectations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0199.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, General Psychology Keywords: COVID-19; pandemic; stress; coping; older adults; resilience
Online: 10 November 2021 (09:00:20 CET)
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing measures were put into place to flatten the pandemic curve. It was projected older adults were at increased risk for poor psychological and health outcomes resulting from increased social isolation and loneliness. However, little re-search has supported this projection among community-dwelling older adults. While growing body of research has examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older adults, there is a paucity of qualitative research that captures the lived experience of community-dwelling older adults. The current study aimed to better understand the lived experience of community-dwelling older adults during the first six months of the pandemic. Semi-structured one on one interviews were conducting with independent living older adults aged 65 years and older. After achieving saturation, 22 interview were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Following a recursive process, two overarching themes emerged from the data: perceived threat and challenges of the pandemic and coping with the pandemic. Specifically, participants reflected on the threat of contracting the virus and challenges associated with living arrangement, social isolation, and financial insecurity. Participants shared their coping strategies to maintain health and wellbeing, including behavioral strategies, emotion-focused strategies, and social support. Overall, this re-search highlights resilience among older adults during the first six months of the pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0191.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, General Psychology Keywords: COVID-19; coping; mental health; doctors; frontline
Online: 10 November 2021 (08:18:35 CET)
Background: Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital medical staff (HMS) have faced significant personal, workplace, and financial disruption. Many have experienced psychosocial burden, exceeding already concerning baseline levels. This study examines the types and predictors of coping strategies and help-seeking behaviours utilised by Australian junior and senior HMS during the first year of the pandemic. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey of Australian frontline healthcare workers was conducted between 27th August and 23rd October 2020. Data collected included demographics, personal and workplace disruptions, self-reported and validated mental health symptoms, coping strategies, and help-seeking. Results: The 9518 participants included 1966 hospital medical staff (62.1% senior, 37.9% junior). Both groups experienced a high burden of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and burnout. Coping strategies varied by seniority, with maintaining exercise the most common strategy for both groups. Adverse mental health was associated with increased alcohol consumption. Engagement with professional support, although more frequent among junior staff, was uncommon in both groups. Conclusions: Junior and senior staff utilised different coping and help-seeking behaviours. Despite recognition of symptoms, very few HMS engaged formal support. The varied predictors of coping and help-seeking identified may inform targeted interventions to support these cohorts in current and future crises.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0156.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Theory Of Art Keywords: COVID-19; Art & Design; hybrid education; online education; technology-enhanced learning
Online: 8 November 2021 (15:12:22 CET)
Digital skills are essential in today’s digital age, which means that students must gain technology-enhanced skills from higher education for their future careers. Studies in Art & Design (A&D) programs in this university surveyed three faculties’ perspectives and nineteen students’ experiences. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this university changed its teaching and learning strategies by offering courses online during autumn 2020 and spring 2021 during mandatory quarantine. However, the A&D program was not entirely based online. As a result, it is important to take a closer look at the A&D programs offered in order to assess the faculties’ perspectives and students’ experiences during the two online semesters. The study included online surveys from instructors’ perspectives and with regard to students’ experiences about the quality of studio learning, traditional studio learning opportunities, and online studio learning opportunities via either live (on-campus) or online studios. Using relationship-based research design, posttest data surveys were collected to ascertain the differences in the mean scores, standard deviations, and percentages of some forms of agreement between the faculties’ perspectives and students’ experiences of the quality of studio learning, traditional studio learning opportunities, and online studio learning opportunities in these Art & Design (A&D) programs. This quantitative research aimed to develop formative assessments and suggestions while establishing whether it would be possible to hold all A&D courses online in a higher education setting.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0123.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: COVID-19; nurses; self-concept; self-confidence; professional practice
Online: 5 November 2021 (14:12:02 CET)
Purpose: To identify the impact of dealing with COVID-19 patients in clinical areas on nurses' professional self-concept and self-confidence. Background: Professional self-concept is considered a critical factor in the recruitment/retention process in nursing, nursing shortage, career satisfaction, and academic achievements. Professional self-confidence is also a crucial determinant in staff satisfaction, reducing turnover, and increasing work engagement. Design: Descriptive, comparative study. Methods: The study was conducted between February to May 2021 by utilizing a convenience sampling technique. A total of 170 nurses from two facilities were recruited from two COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 designated facilities. The level of professional self-concept and self-confidence was assessed by utilizing the Nurses' Self-Concept Instrument and Self-Confidence Scale. Results: The professional self-concept level among the exposed group to COVID-19 patients was lower than the comparison group, while the professional self-confidence level among the exposed group to COVID-19 patients was similar to the comparison group. On the other hand, the satisfied staff and those who received professional training in dealing with COVID-19 patients reported a higher level of professional self-concept. Conclusions: Dealing with COVID-19 patients has an impact on professional self-concept; the exposure group was lower than those who did not deal with COVID-19 patients, while the professional self-confidence level among the exposed group was similar to the comparison group. Getting professional training in dealing with COVID-19 patients and being satisfied at work were significant factors in improving the professional self-concept. Policymakers should create strategies that target the improvement of professional training in dealing with COVID-19 patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0070.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: COVID-19; university student; socio-demographic factors; satisfaction; perception; online learning; mental health; habits; institutions; continents; Natural Language processing; Swivel embedding; Words Cloud.
Online: 3 November 2021 (09:06:22 CET)
The review of previous works shows this study is the first attempt to analyse the lockdown effect using Natural Language Processing Techniques, particularly sentiment analysis methods applied at large scale. On the other hand, it is also the first of its kind to analyse the impact of COVID 19 on the university community jointly on staff and students and with a multi-country perspective. The main overall findings of this work show that the most often related words were family, anxiety, house and life. On another front, it has also been shown that staff have a slightly less negative perception of the consequences of COVID in their daily life. We have used artificial intelligence models like swivel embedding and the Multilayer Perceptron, as classification algorithms. The performance reached in terms of accuracy metric are 88.8% and 88.5%, for student and staff respectively. The main conclusion of our study is that higher education institutions and policymakers around the world may benefit from these findings while formulating policy recommendations and strategies to support students during this and any future pandemics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0069.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Marketing Keywords: Covid-19 pandemic; Smallholder rural farmers’ vulnerability; Humane buying; Nigeria; sustainable development goals
Online: 3 November 2021 (09:04:31 CET)
While several studies have examined the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on smallholder rural farmers and possible efforts to scale up their livelihood and food security, the role of consumers’ buying orientation in addressing farmers’ vulnerability in the post-pandemic era has not been explored. The paper, therefore, aims to propose and conceptualize humane buying orientation, and further explore its role in attenuating smallholder rural farmers’ vulnerability in the new normal. The qualitative design approach has been employed in two different studies. Collected data were analyzed using the SPSS 23.0 and following the interpretative phenomenological analysis. Findings validate humane buying as an altruistic orientation that will contribute to lessening the vulnerability of smallholder rural farmers in the post-pandemic era. It also shows that an enlarged-stakeholders’ (government, international agencies, corporate bodies, institutions, privileged individuals/consumers, religious organizations, etc.) effort that is rooted in morality and empathy, is required to successfully tackle the vulnerability of smallholder rural farmers, especially in developing countries such as Nigeria. The study is the first to propose, conceptualize and validate humane buying as a post-Covid-19 orientation that is capable of attenuating the vulnerability of smallholder rural farmers which has been worsened by the pandemic. The paper contributes to the understanding of emerging strategic actions required for the attainment of the United Nation’s sustainable development goals - ending poverty and hunger by 2030, and how consumers can play a key role.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0059.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: COVID-19; Burnout; Doodling; Team Mindfulness; Anxiety; Depression
Online: 3 November 2021 (08:03:22 CET)
Pre-COVID-19, doodling was identified as a measure of burnout in researchers attending a weekly, in-person health narratives research group manifesting team mindfulness. Under the group’s supportive conditions, variations in doodling served to measure change in participants’ reported depression and anxiety—internal states directly associated with burnout, adversely affecting healthcare researchers, their employment, and their research. COVID-19 demanded social distancing during the group’s 2020/21 academic meetings. Conducted online, the group’s participants who chose to doodle did so alone during the pandemic. Whether the sequestering of group participants during COVID-19 altered the ability of doodling to act as a measure of depression and anxiety was investigated. Participants considered doodling during the group’s online meetings increased their enjoyment and attention level—some expressed it helped them to relax. However, unlike face-to-face meetings during previous non-COVID-19 years, solitary doodling during online meetings was unable to reflect researchers’ depression or anxiety. COVID-19 limitations necessitating doodling alone maintained the benefits group members saw in doodling but hampered the ability of doodling to act as a measure of burnout in contrast to previous in-person doodling. This result is seen to correspond to one aspect of the group’s change in team mindfulness resulting from COVID-19 constraints.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0415.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Delta variant; Variants of concern; Variants of interest; SARS-CoV-2; Spike protein; Nested RT-PCR; Sanger sequencing; Amino acid mutations; ACE2 RBD; N-terminal domain (NTD)
Online: 2 November 2021 (10:40:46 CET)
As SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread among human populations, genetic changes occur and accumulate in the circulating virus. Some of these genetic changes have caused amino acid mutations, including deletions, which may have potential impact on critical SARS-CoV-2 countermeasures, including vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. Considerable efforts have been made to categorize the amino acid mutations of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike (S) protein along with certain mutations in other regions within the S protein as specific variants in an attempt to study the relationship between these mutations and the biological behavior of the virus. However, the currently used whole genome sequencing surveillance technologies can test only a small fraction of the positive specimens with high viral loads and often generate uncertainties in nucleic acid sequencing that needs additional verification for precision determination of mutations. This article introduces a generic protocol to routinely sequence a 437-bp nested RT-PCR cDNA amplicon of the ACE2 RBD and a 490-bp nested RT-PCR cDNA amplicon of the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the S gene for detection of the amino acid mutations needed for accurate determination of all variants of concern and variants of interest according to the definitions published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This protocol was able to amplify both nucleic acid targets into cDNA amplicons to be used as templates for Sanger sequencing on all 16 clinical specimens that were positive for SARS-CoV-2.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0435.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: healthcare workers; Hand hygiene; Saudi Arabia
Online: 28 October 2021 (11:44:46 CEST)
Hand hygiene is among the most important factors of infection control in healthcare settings. Healthcare workers are considered the primary source of hospital acquired infection. We assessed the current state of hand hygiene knowledge, perception and practice among the healthcare workers in Qassim, Saudi Arabia. In this cross-sectional study we used the hand hygiene knowledge and perception questionnaire developed by the World Health Organization. Knowledge and perceptions were classified into good (80 – 100%), moderate (60 – 79%) and poor (<60% score). Majority of the healthcare workers had moderate knowledge (57.8%) and perception (73.4%) of hand hygiene. Males were less likely to have moderate/good knowledge compared to females (OR: 0.52, p<.05). Private healthcare workers were less likely (OR: 0.33, p<0.01) to have moderate/good perception compared to the government healthcare workers. Healthcare workers who received training on hand hygiene were 3.2 times likely (p<.05) to have good/moderate perception and 3.8 times likely (p<0.05) to routinely use alcohol-based hand-rub than the ones without such training. Physicians were 4.9 times likely (p<0.05) to routinely use alcohol-based hand-rub than the technicians. Our research highlighted gaps on hand hygiene knowledge and perception and practice among healthcare workers in Qassim and importance of training in this regard.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0429.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: COVID-19; perceived risk; communication; psychophysical strain; longitudinal study.
Online: 28 October 2021 (09:58:00 CEST)
The perceived risk of being infected at work (PRIW) with COVID-19 represents a potential risk factor for workers during the current COVID-19 pandemic. In line with the job demands-resources (JD-R) model applied to safety at work, in this longitudinal study we propose that PRIW can be conceptualized as a job demand, whereas communication (i.e., the exchange of good-quality information across team members) can be conceived as a job resource. Accordingly, we hypothesized that PRIW at Time 1 (T1) would positively predict psychophysical strain at Time 2 (i.e., four months later). Furthermore, we hypothesized that communication at T1 would negatively predict psychophysical strain at T2. Overall, 297 workers took part in the study. The hypothesized relationships were tested using multiple regression analysis. Results supported our predictions: PRIW positively predicted psychophysical strain over time, whereas communication negatively predicted psychophysical strain over time. Also, results did not change after controlling for age, gender, and type of contract. Overall, this study suggests that PRIW and communication can be considered as a risk and a protective factor for work-related stress, respectively. Hence, to promote more sustainable working conditions, interventions should encourage organizations to optimize the balance between job demands and job resources related to COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0352.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19; Diagnostic imaging; Chest; CT-scan; Radiation Dose
Online: 25 October 2021 (12:56:57 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented effect on national radiological investigations. Since the World Health Organization officially declared the COVID-19 as a global pandemic, health policies have been rapidly organized to limit the spread of the virus and decrease the risk of exposure. These restrictions, in combination with home-stay arrangements and the onset of economic recession. As a result of public policies, financial difficulties and patient fear, many radiology departments have suffered a significant reduction in diagnostic examinations with important implications for their economic stability. The aim of this work is to evaluate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Radiology Department of an infectious disease hospital.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0327.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: COVID-19; pandemic; social challenge; GBV; healthcare management; health policy
Online: 22 October 2021 (11:25:45 CEST)
COVID-19 has become a part of everyone's day-to-day life, since the outbreak in 2019 the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has caused more than 4.5 million deaths with over 200 million cases reported globally. Currently, the number of infections and deaths are gradually lowering in different countries however the underlying challenges still exist. COVID-19 threatens human life, social functioning and development. Although numerous studies have been carried out in the past to highlight the key challenges very limited studies have been conducted from an ordinary person's viewpoint. In the fight against COVID-19, humanity has been pushed to a level which cannot be accepted where establishing that balance is a priority. This study focuses on highlighting the common issues faced by the ordinary public in the current era. Five key areas were identified to be the most essential; education, technological adaptation, transportation, mental health and gender-based violence (GBV).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0311.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: perceived stress; life satisfaction; academic performance; university students; stress management; COVID-19
Online: 21 October 2021 (13:59:07 CEST)
The circumstances arising from the exceptional situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have affected all socioeconomic areas in the last two years. The field of Education has not been an exception and the management of the situation seems to have caused an increase in the level of perceived stress of university students. On this basis, this research that aims, first, to analyze the student’s level of perceived stress during the de-escalation and return to normality period, secondly, to evaluate its relationship with life satisfaction and, finally, to detect the students' needs in stress management, has been developed. An exploratory-descriptive study of quantitative and cross-sectional nature has been carried out. 222 university students of the Childhood and Primary Education Degrees of the University of Jaén (Spain) have participated. The instruments, Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) have been used. The results show a moderate and partial relationship among the dimensions of the used instruments. The obtained coefficients of determination are, Academic Performance (r² = .019) and Life Satisfaction (r² = .402), with a mean square error (SRMR) of .079. These findings show the need to develop actions within the university training program in effective stress management strategies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0307.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: SARS-Cov-2; COVID-19; oncology; cancer screening; clinical trials
Online: 21 October 2021 (12:45:12 CEST)
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused considerable global disruption to clinical practice. This article will review the impact that the pandemic has had on oncology clinical trials. It will assess the effect of the COVID-19 situation on the initial presentation and investigation of patients with suspected cancer. It will also discuss the impact of the pandemic on the subsequent management of cancer patients and how clinical trial approval, recruitment and conduct were affected during the pandemic. An intriguing aspect of the pandemic is that clinical trials investigating treatments for COVID-19 and vaccinations against the causative virus, SARS-CoV-2, have been approved and conducted at unprecedented speed. In light of this, this re-view will also discuss the potential that this enhanced regulatory environment could have on the running of oncology clinical trials in the future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0108.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: academic meetings; video conferencing; Zoom; private Facebook group; narrative research; COVID-19; self-directed learning; team mindfulness; democratic meetings
Online: 21 October 2021 (12:10:57 CEST)
The online learning necessitated by COVID-19 social distancing limitations has resulted in the utilization of hybrid online formats focused on maintaining visual contact among learners and teachers. The preferred option of video conferencing for academic meetings has become that of Zoom. The needs of one voluntary, democratic, self-reflective university research group—grounded in responses to writing prompts—differed in learning focus. Demanding a safe space to encourage and record both self-reflection and creative questioning of other participants, the private Facebook group was chosen over video conferencing to maintain the concentration on group members’ written responses rather than how they saw themselves (and thought others saw them) on screen. A narrative research model initiated in 2015, the 2020/21 interaction of the group in the year’s worth of Facebook entries, and the yearend feedback received from group participants, will be compared with previous years when the weekly group met in-person. The results in relation to COVID-19 limitations indicate that an important aspect of self-directed learning related to trust that comes from team mindfulness is lost when face-to-face interaction is eliminated regarding the democratic nature of these meetings. With online meetings the new standard, maintaining trust requires improvements to online virtual meeting spaces.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0286.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: Urban resilience; Physical elements of a city; Indicator groups; Linear programming; Maximum resilience profit; Optimal investment; Opportunity costs
Online: 20 October 2021 (10:03:39 CEST)
This paper reviews the low-resilience problem in many cities, poor designs of cities to cope with disasters, and the need for tolerance of urban constructions. It explores answers concerning the question of how shall we build cities resiliently? The method of this applied research is a multiphase process that considers all physical and socioeconomic elements of a city. It introduces six indicator groups of urban management (M), economy (E), built environments (U), Infrastructures (I), natural environments (N), and health protection (H). The groups include 55 indicators as variables in the mathematical calculations in this paper. This paper builds a mathematical model to maximize the profitability of resilient buildings by optimizing investments in the required projects. The projects will upgrade the firmness and tolerance of cities against nature-based and human-made dangers and risks. There is a linear programming in 55 variables to select optimal solutions from fifty-five factorial alternatives. Then, the programming will develop into non-linear programming. The unique innovation of this paper is its linear programming interpretation by non-linear to give optimal solutions for the problem. Applying the Lagrange function in the Kuhn-Tucker conditions proves the accuracy of the hypothesis that post-COVID urbanization requires maximum resilience. Only in this way, the urban economies will be free of risks. Outcomes in this paper will assist in the pre-planning, design, and building of built environments everywhere resilient and sustainable.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0230.v1
Subject: Keywords: COVID-19; Patient isolation; Self-quarantine; Reliability and validity; Psychosocial assessment
Online: 15 October 2021 (14:46:23 CEST)
Background: The cumulative number of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant shortage of hospital beds. Many patients may not require hospitalization and can be clinically observed in home settings. However, some psychosocial factors are correlated with unsuccessful home isolation (HI), which might negatively affect the transmission control in the community. Therefore, we developed a new psychosocial screening tool (CCPHIET) for assessing HI suitability and examined its validity and reliability.Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive study included COVID-19 patients who were deemed to be medically safe for 14 days of HI. The CCPHIET is comprised of 8 clinical domains pertinent to HI behavioral compliance and risk. We explored its statistical validity and reliability and discussed the potential utility of this tool. Results: A total of 65 COVID-19 patients participated in this study. Most patients (58.5%) were evaluated as good candidates for HI. The CCPHIET has an acceptable content validity (IOC index > 0.5), moderate internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.611) and substantial to excellent inter-rater reliability (Intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.944, Cohen’s kappa= 0.627).Conclusions: To compromise between strict and costly absolute institutional quarantine and the potentially unsuccessful absolute HI, the CCPHIET may help to identify good candidates for HI in mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients. This psychosocial information would support the physicians in matching each patient to the most suitable setting. Therefore, safe medical care is provided, unnecessary use of medical resources is spared, and local transmission is contained.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0080.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; MERS-CoV; arginine dimer; polybasic furin cleavage site; aginine codon; Markov model; bioinformatics
Online: 14 October 2021 (13:08:25 CEST)
The SARS-CoV-2 polybasic furin cleavage site is still a missing link. Remarkably, the two arginine residues of this protease recognition site are encoded by the CGG codon, which is rare in Betacoronavirus. However, the arginine pair is common at viral furin cleavage sites, but are not CGG-CGG encoded. The question is: Is this genetic footprint unique to the SARS-CoV-2? To address the issue, using Perl scripts, here I dissect in detail the NCBI Virus database in order to report the arginine dimers of the Betacoronavirus proteins. The main result reveals that a group of Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV) (isolates: camel/Nigeria/NVx/2016, host: Camelus dromedarius) also have the CGG-CGG arginine pair in the spike protein polybasic furin cleavage region. In addition, CGG-CGG encoded arginine pairs were found in the orf1ab polyprotein from HKU9 and HKU14 Betacoronavirus, as well as, in the nucleocapsid phosphoprotein from few SARS-CoV-2 isolates. To quantify the probability of finding the arginine CGG-CGG codon pair in Betacoronavirus, the likelihood ratio (LR) and a Markov model were defined. In conclusion, it is highly unlikely to find this genetic marker in betacoronaviruses wildlife, but they are there. Collectively, results shed light on recombination as origin of the virus CGG-CGG arginine pair in the S1/S2 cleavage site.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0215.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Business And Administrative Sciences Keywords: Corona; Covid-19; Pandemic; Business; Affected business; Social; Operations; Funding
Online: 14 October 2021 (10:57:43 CEST)
Social enterprises are very common in Birmingham having the largest concentrations of social enterprises in the United Kingdom. With the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the operations and management of social enterprises in Birmingham has been greatly affected. This study seeks to analyse the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the operations and funding of social enterprises in Birmingham UK. In order to achieve this, the study is going to carry out a qualitative methodology in order to analyse the impact Covid-19 has had on social enterprises. The research is going to select relevant stakeholders through a non-purposive sampling criteria identifying individuals who have direct interest in the functioning of social enterprises. The relevant stakeholders will be expected to respond to semi structured interviews that are structured to evoke responses relevant to this area of research. The research realized that Social enterprises in Birmingham are a critical player in the economy of UK with many individuals depending on the social enterprise industry. In addition to that, the study realised that the Covid-19 pandemic exposed social enterprises to various financial and market risks. Moreover, social enterprises were forced to make a change in their organizational structure through cost management changes and offering alternative services. However, the government came in support through provision of grants and funding to boost the social enterprise economy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0165.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: Dark Net; Dark Web; COVID-19; data collection
Online: 11 October 2021 (14:19:46 CEST)
The Dark Web is known as a place triggering a variety of criminal activities. Anonymization techniques enable illegal operations, leading to the loss of confidential information and its further use as bait, a trade product or even a crime tool. Despite technical progress, there is still not enough awareness of the Dark Web and its secret activity. In this study, we introduced the Dark Web Enhanced Analysis (DWEA), in order to analyze and gather information about the content accessed on the Dark Net based on data characteristics. The research was performed to identify how the Dark Web has been influenced by recent global events, such as the COVID-19 epidemic. The research included the usage of a crawler, which scans the network and collects data for further analysis with machine learning. The result of this work determines the influence of the COVID-19 epidemic on the Dark Net.
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: coronavirus; cross-national study; pandemic; public authorities; social media; trust
Online: 11 October 2021 (11:04:14 CEST)
This study aimed to examine trust in information provided by public authorities and financial measures put in place to address the impact of COVID-19. Using a cross-national approach among four Western countries; the United States of America, Norway, Australia, and the United Kingdom provides an analysis of responses related to trust and how they were associated with age group, gender, education level, employment status, size of place of residence, infection sta-tus, and social media use. When controlling for all included variables in logistic regression analyses, the likelihood of having trust in the public authorities’ information was higher for women, those with higher levels of education, and those living in urban areas. Being infected with the coronavirus, and spending more time daily on social media was associated with lower likelihood reporting trust in information. Although policies implemented to respond to eco-nomic concerns varied cross-nationally, higher age, identifying as female, being employed, liv-ing in a city, and lower levels of social media usage were associated with higher likelihood of trusting in the financial measures put in place to counteract the economic effects of COVID-19.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0162.v2
Online: 6 October 2021 (11:50:28 CEST)
Compartmental models like the SIR model that dynamically divide the host population in categories such as susceptible, infected and immune form the mainstream of epidemiological modelling. Effectively such models treat infection and immunity as binary variables. We show here that considering immunity as a continuous variable instead of binary and incorporating factors that bring about small changes in immunity lead to qualitatively different epidemiological predictions. The small immunity effects (SIE) constitute cross immunity by other infections, small increments in immunity by sub clinical exposures and slow decay in the absence of repeated exposure. The SIE model explains many epidemiological patterns observed during the Covid-19 pandemic that are not adequately explained by conventional models. In the SIE model repeated waves are possible without the need for new variants. Peak and decline of a wave much before reaching herd immunity threshold, low level apparently stable existence of the pathogen, new surges after variable and unpredictable gaps, new surge after vaccinating majority of population are the common features of the pandemic mimicked by simulations using the SIE model. The model further shows complex interactions of different interventions that can be contextually synergistic as well as antagonistic. As a result, interventions intended to arrest the transmission are not always effective and can turn counterproductive under some conditions. Interventions that are beneficial in the short run can be potentially hazardous in the long run. In the absence of empirical estimates of many parameters, the model may not be useful to make quantitative predictions at this stage but it certainly challenges traditional wisdom and currently held beliefs behind non-pharmaceutical interventions recommended to control the epidemic. We also suggest testable predictions to differentiate between the causal logic of the SIE model against the prevalent explanations for the same observed phenomena.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0061.v1
Online: 4 October 2021 (14:37:30 CEST)
COVID-19 has been extremely difficult to control. The lack of understanding of key aspects of pandemics has affected virus transmission. On the other hand, there is a demand to incorporate Computational Thinking (CT) in the curricula with applications in STEM. However, there are still no exemplars in the curriculum that apply CT to real-world problems such as controlling a pandemic or other similar global crises. In this paper, we fill this gap by proposing exemplars of CT for modeling the pandemic. We designed exemplars following the three pillars of the APEC InMside framework for CT: algorithmic thinking, computational modeling, and machine learning. For each pillar, we designed a progressive sequence of activities that covers from elementary to high school. In an experimental study with elementary and middle school students from 2 schools of high vulnerability, we found that the computational modeling exemplar can be implemented by teachers and correctly understood by students. We conclude that it is feasible to introduce the exemplars at all grade levels, and that this is a powerful example of STEM integration that helps reflect and tackle real-world and challenging public health problems of great impact for students and their families.
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: Area Estimation, Crowd Management, COVID-19, Edge Camera, Interpersonal Distance, Social Distancing.
Online: 1 October 2021 (15:37:26 CEST)
For public safety and physical security, currently more than a billion closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras are deployed around the world. Proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies has gained significant applications including crowd surveillance. The state-of-the-art distance and area estimation algorithms either need multiple cameras or a reference scale as a ground truth. It is an open question to obtain an estimation using a single camera without a scale reference. In this paper, we propose a novel solution called E-SEC, which estimates interpersonal distance between a pair of dynamic human objects, area occupied by a dynamic crowd, and density using a single edge camera. The E-SEC framework comprises edge CCTV cameras responsible for capture a crowd on video frames leveraging a customized YOLOv3 model for human detection. E-SEC contributes an interpersonal distance estimation algorithm vital for monitoring the social distancing of a crowd, and an area estimation algorithm for dynamically determining an area occupied by a crowd with changing size and position. A unified output module generates the crowd size, interpersonal distances, social distancing violations, area, and density per every frame. Experimental results validate the accuracy and efficiency of E-SEC with a range of different video datasets.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0500.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: burnout; healthcare workers; mediation analysis; covid-19 pandemic; mental health
Online: 1 October 2021 (14:50:44 CEST)
The COVID19 pandemic tested the performance of hospitals and intensive care units around the world. Health care workers (HCWs) have been used to develop mental symptoms, but this was especially true during the COVID19 pandemic when HCWs must deal with many other sources of stress and anxiety that can usually be avoided, and long-term shifts and unprecedented population restrictions have weakened people's ability to cope with stress. The research aims to observe the dynamic interplay between burnout, depression, distress, and anxiety in HCWs working in various settings, with specific a focus on Emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a diminished sense of personal achievement in mediating a worst mental health status during the first wave of the COVID19 pandemic in Italy. To analyze that we performed a mediation analysis, from which resulted a strong correlation among depression, psychological distress, health perception and anxiety, and the impact of job burnout on anxiety, depression, and distress. Gender seemed to have a strong correlation with burnout, anxiety, and distress; the impact of COVID19 pandemic on Quality of Life seemed to affect anxiety and depression; the changing of mansion influenced depression and job burnout. Encouraging supportive and educational strategies would certainly be recommended to policy makers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0517.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Other Keywords: Psychosocial factors; Professional-private interplay; COVID-19 pandemic; well-being; Teachers, education; technostress; perceived organizational support
Online: 30 September 2021 (14:05:09 CEST)
The confinement experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a rethink of the teaching-learning process to which teachers have responded without planning and instead using their resources. This study aims to analyze the relationships between work-family interactions, technostress, and perceived organizational support in teachers during the confinement period in Spain that began in March 2020. An online survey was administered to 640 pre-school, primary, and secondary school teachers. Positive reciprocal work-family interactions and their relationship with organizational support were found, with differences according to gender, with women showing a more negative perception of the impact on the family. There were no marked levels of technostress in the overall sample, although higher levels of perceived ineffectiveness and skepticism were found in teachers aged 46 years or older. Teachers in private and subsidized schools showed a higher level of perceived support than those in public schools. There is a need to continue this work to verify the values of these dimensions in other contexts and to apply institutional measures and public policies to improve these indicators in this group.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0515.v1
Online: 30 September 2021 (13:57:47 CEST)
This study aims to identify benefits and barriers to distance education, particularly from the perspective of teachers in Saudi Arabia. As the applied data collection tool, a questionnaire was distributed to the general education teachers in three districts. The sample size of the study was 1076 teachers. The results revealed that despite several benefits gained from distance learning, there are also some barriers. Teachers found that the most important advantage in distance learning is the acquisition of technical skills during the online teaching processes, they learn more and use digital education platforms, they have sufficient time to prepare the scientific content, they were able to provide adequate technical solutions for their courses, and they have the opportunity to use multiple media to deliver their courses. With the introduction of distance learning, teachers have explored new ways to deliver course contents to students. It has fostered better ways to provide more interactive real-time and on-demand teaching and learning using modern technology, thus, helping teachers become familiar with the use of electronic resources. It seems that teachers invest in technical methods to enhance students’ performance. Also, teachers reported some obstacles that they face during remote teaching. Most of these problems are connection problems applied with devices and the internet, lack of students’ motivation to learn in distance, problems associated with urban learners.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0510.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: coronavirus pandemic; Online Final Examination; mathematics course
Online: 30 September 2021 (11:21:08 CEST)
The National Examination in Indonesia has been abolished since 2020. Hence, the Indonesian junior high schools makes its final examination items for the 9th-grade, and from the results, the school determines students' graduation. The final examination has an important role and significant value in making decisions about students' graduation. Therefore, this study is aimed to analyze the Online Final Examination items in one of the public junior high schools in Bandung. The sample was 234 students in grade 9 using their mathematics examination tests, comprising 20 multiple-choice items with 4 options, while the data processing used Winsteps software with the Rasch modeling technique. Subsequently, the Rasch model results showed an acceptable person separation statistic of 1.54 and sufficient person reliability at 0.74. The item separation statistics was in a good category at 4.59, while the item reliability at 0.95 was excellent. Although four online final examination items were in the fit category, 16 were good and capable of dividing students according to their abilities. The result also provided very detailed data about the quality of the items and the ability of each grade 9 student. Since each test item is included in the fit category, this study contributes information on preparing and analyzing the Online Final Examination to teachers..
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0440.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; coronavirus; subjective sleep quality; risk perception; fear of infection; rumination; perception of collective coordinated defense; collective efficacy beliefs
Online: 24 September 2021 (14:34:47 CEST)
Background: Only few studies have studied the link between risk perception and sleep in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study investigates the effect of two distinct risk appraisals—risk perception and perception of collective coordinated defense (PCCD) on Chinese adults’ sleep quality during the COVID-19 pandemic, and tested COVID-19-related fear and rumination as potential mediators of the relationships. Methods: Data were collected using a self-report online questionnaire from a sample of 224 Chinese adults during the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong. Results: COVID-19 risk perception and PCCD were related to poor sleep quality. Mediation analysis showed that both fear and rumination mediated the relationship between risk perception and sleep quality, whereas only fear mediated the relationship between PCCD and sleep quality. The model showed an excellent fit to the data and accounted for 44% of the variance in sleep quality in Chinese adults. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the distinct perceptual processes—risk appraisals in particular—contributed to poor sleep quality in Chinese adults during the COVID-19 public emergencies. These findings would be helpful for policy makers to address the sleep problems induced by psychological consequences of the pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0427.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: Hand sanitizer; COVID-19; alcohol; methanol substitution; gas chromatography; substandard products; falsified products; post-market surveillance
Online: 24 September 2021 (12:25:25 CEST)
The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has propelled the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers to the fore as a SARS-CoV-2 control measure. To be effective these products must comply with relevant quality parameters such as alcohol concentration, methanol limits and purity. The current study was designed to determine the quality of alcohol-based hand sanitizer products in the Nairobi metropolitan area. For this purpose, 74 commercially marketed samples were collected and subjected to analysis by gas chromatography. Only three samples (4.1%) complied with the regulatory specifications for alcohol content, methanol limits and pH. Five samples (6.8%) complied with the specification for alcohol content but did not meet methanol or pH limits. A total of 44 (59.5%) samples had methanol levels that exceeded threshold limits. Eleven samples (14.9%) were found with methanol substitution (i.e., methanol, instead of ethanol or isopropanol, was the main alcohol component). The results show that users of alcohol-based hand sanitizers are being exposed to substandard and falsified products which in addition to being non-efficacious pose harm due to unacceptable levels of toxic impurities. Regular, routine post-market surveillance is needed to prevent such products from reaching the market.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0426.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 detection; Saliva; MALDI-TOF MS; Machine learning
Online: 24 September 2021 (12:14:26 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 caused a large outbreak since its emergence in December 2019. The COVID-19 diagnosis became a priority to isolate and treat infected individuals in order to break the contamination chain. Currently, the reference test for COVID-19 diagnosis is the molecular detection (RT-qPCR) of the virus from nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) samples. Although this sensitive and specific test remains the gold standard, it has several limitations, such as the invasive collection method, the relative high cost and the duration of the test. Moreover, the material shortage to perform tests due to the discrepancy between the high demand for tests and the production capacities puts additional constraints on RT-qPCR. Here, we propose a PCR-free method for diagnosing SARS-CoV-2 based on Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) profiling and machine learning (ML) models from salivary samples. Kinetic saliva samples were collected at enrollment and ten and thirty days later (D0, D10 and D30), to assess the classification performance of the ML models compared to the molecular tests performed on NPS specimens. Spectra were generated using an optimized protocol of saliva collection and successive quality control steps were developed to ensure the reliability of spectra. A total of 360 averaged spectra were included in the study. At D0, the comparison of MS spectra from SARS-CoV-2 positive patients (n=105) with healthy healthcare controls (n=51) revealed nine peaks that significantly distinguished the two groups. Among the five ML models tested, Support Vector Machine with Linear Kernel (SVM-LK) provided the best performance on the training dataset (accuracy = 85.2 %, sensitivity = 85.1 %, specificity = 85.3 %, F1-Score = 85.1 %). The application of the SVM-LK model on independent datasets confirmed it performances with 88.9% and 80.8% of correct classification for samples collected at D0 and D30, respectively. Conversely, at D10, the proportion of correct classification fallen to 64.3%. The analysis of saliva samples by MALDI-TOF MS and ML appears as an interesting supplementary tool for COVID-19 diagnosis, despite the mitigated results obtained for convalescent patients (D10).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0425.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: Covid-19; fractal analysis; epidemic curves; box-counting dimension; reproduction rate; global radiation; daily mean temperature
Online: 24 September 2021 (11:19:52 CEST)
The present paper proposes a fractal analysis of the Covid-19 dynamics in 45 European countries. We introduce a new idea of using the box-counting dimension of the epidemiologic curves as a means of classifying the Covid-19 pandemic in the countries taken into consideration. The classification can be a useful tool in deciding upon the quality and accuracy of the data available. We also investigated the reproduction rate, which proves to have significant fractal features, thus enabling another perspective on this epidemic characteristic. Moreover, we studied the correlation between two meteorological parameters: global radiation and daily mean temperature and two Covid-19 indicators: daily new cases and reproduction rate. The fractal dimension differences between the analysed time series graphs could represent a preliminary analysis criterion, increasing research efficiency. Daily global radiation was found to be stronger linked with Covid-19 new cases than air temperature (with a greater correlation coefficient -0.386, as compared with -0.318), and consequently it is recommended as the first-choice meteorological variable for prediction models.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0530.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; antibodies; cohort; population-based; body mass index; ECLIA
Online: 23 September 2021 (11:10:54 CEST)
In March 2020, several mass gathering events were related to the Falles festival in Borriana (Spain), resulting in a 536 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases outbreak among participants. Our objective was to estimate anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies persistence six months after and factors associated with antibody response. A prospective population-based cohort study was carried out by the Public Health Center of Castellon and the Emergency and Clinical Analysis and Microbiology Services of Hospital de la Plana in Vila-real. In October 2020, sero-epidemiologic study to estimate the persistence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies by a electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA) was implemented. We enrolled 484 (90.2%) of the 536 members of the initial outbreak cohort and detected persistent antibodies in 479 (99%) without re-infection episodes. Five participants had a negative antibody test. Factors associated with a negative result were a lower body mass index (BMI), and less contact with other COVID-19 cases. Among the 469 participants with two ECLIA tests, 96 (20.5%) had an increase of antibodies and 373 (79.5%) a decline. Increased antibodies were associated with older age, higher BMI, more severe illness, and low current smokers. After a COVID-19 infection, a high proportion of cases maintained detectable anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0393.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Digital health; Telehealth; Saudi Arabia; Artificial Intelligence; Digital Technology
Online: 22 September 2021 (22:36:43 CEST)
COVID-19 poses a significant burden to healthcare systems. Healthcare organisations with a better health innovation infrastructure have faced a reduced burden and achieved success in curbing COVID-19. In Saudi Arabia, digital technologies have played a vital role in fighting SARS-CoV-2 transmission. In this paper, we aimed to summarise the experience of optimising digital health technologies in Saudi Arabia as well as discuss capabilities and opportunities during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. A literature review was conducted up to September 2021 to retrieve peer-reviewed articles that critique the use of digital health technology platforms (DHTPs) in Saudi Arabia during the COVID-19 outbreak. A small but significant body of literature examined the digital response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia. Health officials succeeded in optimising and maintaining a strategy to mitigate the spread of the virus via different digital technologies, such as mobile health applications, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. The quick digital response in Saudi Arabia was facilitated by governmental support and considering users and technology determinants. Future research must concentrate on establishing and updating the guidelines for using DHTPs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0390.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: COVID-19; vibraimage; behavioral parameters; diagnosis accuracy; ANN; AI
Online: 22 September 2021 (16:28:12 CEST)
The Covid-19 pandemic spreads in waves for a year and a half, despite significant worldwide efforts, the development of biochemical diagnostic methods and population vaccination. One of the reasons for the infection spread is the impossibility of early disease detection through biochemical diagnostics, since biochemical processes slowly develop in a body. At the same time, well known that behavioral characteristics of a person, measured based on reflex movements, are capable for inertialess assessment of psychophysiological parameters. Vibraimage technology is the method of head micromovements video processing by inter-frame difference accumulation and converting spatial and temporal characteristics of the inter-frame difference into behavioral and psychophysiological parameters. Here we shown that behavioral parameters measured by vibraimage changed during COVID-19 infection. The identification of changes signs in behavioral parameters detected by AI trained on patients and controls. The best diagnostic accuracy (higher 94%) obtained using instantaneous values of behavioral parameters measured with the following vibraimage settings: 10Hz frequency of basic measurements; 25 inter-frame difference accumulations and averaging the diagnostic results over period of at least 5 seconds. COVID-19 diagnoses by behavioral parameters showed earlier (5-7 days) detection of the disease compared to symptoms and positive results of biochemical RT-PCR testing. Proposed method for COVID-19 diagnosis indicates infected persons within 5 seconds video processing using standard television cameras (web, IP) and computers, allows mass testing/selftesting and will stop the pandemic spread. We assume that head micromovements analysis for diagnosis of various diseases is possible not only with the help of vibraimage technology. Further research of human head micromovement analysis will help stop the COVID-19 pandemic and will contribute to the development of new contactless and environmentally friendly methods for early diagnosis of diseases.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0383.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: COVID-19; Indian Economy; First wave; Second Wave; Economic Revive
Online: 22 September 2021 (12:31:55 CEST)
Background-The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has affected the global economy from its starting. Indian economy is also affected by the pandemic and experienced a lot of economic damages. India has become the global hotspot of COVID-19 during the second wave of the pandemic and recorded the second-highest position in terms of positivity rate after China. The present study attempts to analyze the economic issues that emerged in the first and second waves of the pandemic in India. Method/Approach-There is no econometric tools or analytical models used in the present study. This study attempts to evaluate the two research questions which are formed on the basis of some previous studies by various organizations and researchers. The research questions are as follow, First, what are the sectors those are primarily affected at the time of the first COVID-19 outbreak? Second, which economic issues and impacts emerged in the second wave of the pandemic? Results/ Findings-From the study, it is found that the second wave of COVID-19 is not much affected by the Indian economy. At this time, no nationwide lockdown was announced by the Government. But so, it was much severe in the time of the first wave of COVID-19. Many sectors were affected by the pandemic like agriculture, MSMEs, Tourism, etc., and these resulted in substantial unemployment problems in the economy. The study is trying to analyze these problems and concluding it with a few policy recommendations for the economy of India.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0371.v1
Online: 22 September 2021 (10:20:11 CEST)
The newly discovered coronavirus (COVID-19) has disrupted traditional methods of conducting research, particularly qualitative research. However, there remains a number of methods by which qualitative data can still be collected. These include the use of digital voice, video, and text-based tools, online surveys, and content analysis. Text-based sources can help to overcome the limitations of time and space, and also can be cost-effective. This chapter draws from data collected from 12 participants across Zimbabwe and demonstrates how these tools can be used to generate data or to sample data that is already available to satisfy research questions and meet research objectives. It recommends researchers to experiment with new ways of collecting qualitative data while also observing safety protocols and ethical considerations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0472.v3
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: Online misinformation; COVID-19 vaccination; fully vaccinated; Intelligence Quotient; per capita income
Online: 20 September 2021 (12:12:19 CEST)
The objective of the study was to evaluate the risk factors associated with lower COVID-19 vaccination rates in the United States. The study evaluated the effect of red-blue political affiliation and the effect of the US state's average educational aptitude score and per capita income on states' vaccination rates. The study found that states with concomitantly lower income along with lower educational aptitude scores are less vaccinated while the states with higher income have higher vaccination rates even among those with lower educational aptitude scores. These findings stayed significant after adjusting for red-blue political affiliation where states with red political affiliation have lower vaccination rates. Further study is needed to evaluate how to stop online misinformation among states with low income and low educational aptitude scores; and whether such an effort will increase overall vaccination rates in the United States.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0307.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Public health; Population groups; Informal sector; asymptomatic diseases; Seroepidemiologic studies
Online: 17 September 2021 (11:43:46 CEST)
Introduction. COVID-19 is a pathology caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus. The World Health Organization has reported more than 94 million cases and two million deaths worldwide. Objective: To describe the seroprevalence, spatial distribution, and clinical and sociodemographic variables of SARS-CoV2 in a community of the Colombian Amazon region. Methods. In December 2020, a cross-sectional observational study was carried out in a population located in the Colombian Amazon in the municipality of Mitú. Sociodemographic and clinical data were taken. Besides, 590 blood samples were taken, and an antibody detection was carried out with an ELISA and a recombinant protein N antigen of SARS-CoV2. Results. A seroprevalence of 57.6% was observed. The highest proportion of the infection is located in inter-municipal transport zones. The bivariate analysis did not show differences in the SARS-CoV2 infection rate concerning the variables sex, age-range, and the presence of comorbidities (P> 0.05). The bivariate and multivariate analysis showed that being symptomatic and presenting neurological manifestations of the upper respiratory tract are clinical variables associated with SARS-CoV2 infection (P <0.05). One of the causes of this virus's high spread in this community could be that 53.3% of the people were asymptomatic. Conclusions. Our data showed a high burden and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in this indigenous community. This could be linked to cultural behaviors and the high infection rate in asymptomatic patients.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-19; with- COVID-19 age; infectious disease; local healthcare projects; healthcare systems
Online: 16 September 2021 (14:59:34 CEST)
Objectives: This study aimed to analyze the awareness of local residents regarding healthcare projects and to suggest some ideas for the revision of local ones. Methods: To delve into the opinions of local residents, the author of this study created a questionnaire composed of eight questions on the general characteristics of the respondents, eight questions on satisfaction with health centers, 16 questions on the awareness of healthcare projects, and 22 questions on local healthcare. The survey was conducted for 409 residents who visited public centers in Gimcheon from 15 March to 14 April 2021. Results: Data analysis revealed the following: The proportion of local residents who use health centers was 39.1%, and those users visit health centers, on average, 3.92 times a year. Among healthcare projects, the project known by the highest proportion of people was vaccinations (84.5%), which was also the project that was most used (38.1%). Among healthcare projects needed in the with-COVID-19 age, respondents awarded the highest score to vaccinations (4.15 points on a five-point Likert scale) and the second highest score to infectious disease management (4.12). Conclusions: For healthcare projects, central and local governments should focus on activating vaccinations, solving the problem of medical accessibility through untact remote treatment and establishing national infectious disease-specializing hospitals and local infectious disease management based on such national hospitals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0290.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Other Keywords: adolescents; alienation in PE class; school happiness; future healthy life expectancy; COVID-19 pandemic
Online: 16 September 2021 (13:55:44 CEST)
This study aims to investigate the changes in the structural relationship between alienation in physical education (PE) class, school happiness, and future healthy life expectancy in Korean adolescents after the COVID-19 pandemic. The data were collected from adolescents in the Republic of Korea using scales for these factors. The collected data were analyzed with frequency analysis, reliability analysis, validity analysis, independent t-test, and path analysis. The key results were as follows. First, there were partial changes in each of the parameters since the outbreak of COVID-19. Second, before the pandemic, alienation in PE class negatively affected school happiness, and school happiness positively affected future healthy life expectancy; however, alienation in PE class did not affect future healthy life expectancy showing a complete mediating effect. Third, during the pandemic, alienation in PE class negatively affected school happiness, and school happiness positively affected future healthy life expectancy; alienation in PE class negatively affected future healthy life expectancy, showing a partial mediating effect. These findings emphasize the importance and potential of school education, especially PE, in promoting happiness and healthy life in adolescents. We expect these findings to have practical implications for future research by presenting theoretical and empirical data.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0259.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Financial constraints; corporate social responsibility; financial performance
Online: 15 September 2021 (12:43:05 CEST)
This study focuses on a sample of Chinese listed companies from 2019 to 2020 to explore the relationships among corporate social responsibility, financial constraints, and financial performance. In addition, we discuss five factors affecting financial constraints. We also analyze the types of enterprises that can improve their financial performance by implementing corporate social responsibility keeping in mind the factors that lead to a high degree of financial constraint. The results indicate that: 1. The degree of financial constraints has a negative and significant impact on financial performance; 2. There is a reverse relationship between the degree of financial constraints and the effectiveness of corporate social responsibility measures; 3. Enterprises with high financial constraints (due to lower financial slack and revenue growth rates) can significantly improve their financial performance through the implementation of effective corporate social responsibility programs. 4. Enterprises with high financial constraints, caused by financial slack and revenue growth rate, can significantly improve their financial performance by implementing corporate social responsibility programs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0255.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: COVID-19; effects; educational systems; change in higher education; international students; push–pull theory
Online: 15 September 2021 (11:45:11 CEST)
In this study, we designed a structural model to determine the relationships among push–pull factors, institutional situations, and satisfaction during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 17 selected indicators fell under five domains, namely push factors, pull factors, institutional leadership, international strategies, and satisfaction. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to verify the assumptions of the model. Based on 1005 degree-seeking international students' views, this study found that push and pull factors may coincidentally exist, and their functions can be modified by institutional situations. The findings suggest pull factors will, through institutional leadership, impact students' satisfaction, while push factors will not. Moreover, the detection of institutional mediation can provide useful information for specific institutes to develop their future recruiting or retaining strategies. These findings enriched our knowledge of the field during the pandemic. For future studies, this design may be useful to interpret the phenomena of global student mobility in higher education settings.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0194.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: civic engagement; COVID 19; change in higher education; educational systems; effects; SEM; transferable capabilities
Online: 13 September 2021 (08:31:05 CEST)
Civic engagement refers to the ways in which citizens participate in the life of a community to help shape its future or improve conditions for others. While it might have been shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic recovery, this study explored how college students perceive civic engagement on selected campuses that were partially locked down. We sampled 1036 student volunteers from six universities in Taiwan by using a self-designed module of civic engagement and transferable capabilities. The Student’s t-test, ANOVA, regression, factor analysis, and structural equation modeling (SEM) were used to interpret the differences and relationships among these variables. This study provides a more detailed example of the current status of civic engagement and its relative to transferable capabilities in a higher education setting. The related programs and institutes should take responsibility for enhancing students’ civic engagement and transferable capabilities during the pandemic. How to ameliorate the situation? The findings suggest that it should consider a student’s academic major, learning experiences in the department, and time spent on related activities during the pandemic recovery. The findings might prove useful to various campuses for enhancing ongoing practices.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0125.v2
Subject: Keywords: cell fusion; syncytia; cell hybrids; viruses; coronaviruses; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; fusogens; blood coagulation cascade; thrombosis, cancer; vaccines; neurological complications
Online: 9 September 2021 (10:54:14 CEST)
A distinctive feature of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is its ability to efficiently fuse cells, thus producing syncytia found in COVID-19 patients. This commentary proposes how this ability enables spike to cause COVID-19 complications as well as side effects of COVID-19 vaccines, and suggests how these effects can be prevented..
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0167.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: extracellular vesicles; exosomes; microvesicles; apoptotic bodies; apoptotic extracellular vesicles; cell death; inflammation; sepsis; lung inflammatory disorders; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 9 September 2021 (10:31:49 CEST)
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been identified as novel mediators of intercellular communication. They work via delivering the sequestered cargo to cells in close vicinity as well as distant sites in the body, regulating pathophysiological processes. Cell death and inflammation are biologically crucial processes in both normal physiology and pathology. These processes are indistinguishably linked with their effectors modulating the other process. For instance, during an unresolvable infection, the upregulation of specific immune mediators leads to inflammation causing cell death and tissue damage. EVs have gained considerable interest as mediators of both cell death and inflammation during conditions such as sepsis. This review summarizes the types of extracellular vesicles known to date and their roles in mediating immune responses leading to cell death and inflammation with specific focus on sepsis and lung inflammation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0111.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: telehealth; teleoncology; telerehabilitation; telemedicine; coronavirus disease; management; video conferencing; web-based platforms; breast cancer patients
Online: 6 September 2021 (17:34:49 CEST)
Telehealth is the delivery of many health care services and technologies to individuals at different geographical areas and is categorized as asynchronously or synchronously. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused major disruptions in health care delivery to breast cancer (BCa) patients and there is increasing demand for telehealth services. Globally, telehealth has become an essential means of communication between patient and health care provider. The application of telehealth to the treatment of BCa patients is evolving and increasingly research has demonstrated its feasibility and effectiveness in improving clinical, psychological and social outcomes. Two areas of telehealth that have significantly grown in the past decade and particularly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic are telerehabilitation and teleoncology. There two technological systems provides opportunities at every stage of the cancer care continuum for BCa patients. We conducted a systematic literature review that examined the use of telehealth services via its various modes of delivery among BCa patients particularly in areas of screening, diagnosis, treatment modalities, as well as satisfaction among patients and health care professionals. The advantages of telehealth models of service and delivery challenges in delivery to patients in remote arears are discussed.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0070.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Covid; covid-19; sars-cov-2; temperature; heat; body temperature; air temperature; viral decay; viral stability; transmission; severity; virology; thermodynamics
Online: 6 September 2021 (13:23:23 CEST)
Currently available data are consistent with increased severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) replication at temperatures encountered in the upper airways (25–33°C when breathing room temperature air, 25°C) compared to those in the lower airways (37°C). One factor that may contribute to more rapid viral growth in the upper airways is the exponential increase in SARS-CoV-2 stability that occurs with reductions in temperature, as measured in vitro. Because SARS-CoV-2 frequently initiates infection in the upper airways before spreading through the body, increased upper airway viral growth early in the disease course may result in more rapid progression of disease and potentially contribute to more severe outcomes. Similarly, higher SARS-CoV-2 viral titer in the upper airways likely supports more efficient transmission. Conversely, the possible significance of air temperature to upper airway viral growth suggests that prolonged delivery of heated air might represent a preventative measure and prophylactic treatment for coronavirus disease 2019.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0075.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, General Humanities Keywords: pandemic; social worker; Kerala; policies; education
Online: 3 September 2021 (20:50:56 CEST)
Abstract It is impossible to overstate the importance of social workers as frontline responders to this pandemic. However, it appears that social workers in Kerala are unaware of the many roles they may perform. The study suggests that social work instructors should be more proactive in their course interpretation. The article discusses about the current situation of Novel Corona Virus also called as the COVID-19 that hinder for all human’s life including the education. Rapidly escalating COVID-19, has caused havoc in quality education and every educational institution are closed. As the UNESCO report it showed that 1.6 billion children being affected due to the close of institution across 191 countries. With the alternative method every education institution started blended learning virtual classes in order to continue learning environment in students. The articles investigate COVID-19 impact on student’s quality education in Kerala and social work implication. The findings of the study shows that the COVID-19 has seriously effects on the students learning environment. It showed the huge gap between getting the good education in Kerala. However, Kerala has also made some policies to provide equal quality education to all the children through the ICT and also encourage social work to actively participate on providing education to all the majority of group children in Kerala. Whereas social work applied the micro, messo, and macro level of implication in practice to provide the education for children in remote area of Kerala.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0793.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: Food insecurity, Food insufficiency, Household Hunger, Coping Strategy, COVID-19, Pandemic
Online: 2 September 2021 (15:13:20 CEST)
The present study measured household hunger in South-East Nigeria amidst COVID-19 lockdown. A total of 1209 households (urban and rural locations) were sampled. Household hunger was determined using Radimer/Cornel hunger scale, while Chi-square test was done with significance of P<0.05. Results of this study revealed 82.7% prevalence of hunger among households before Covid-19 pandemic, while during Covid-19 lockdown, hunger prevalence rose to 98.6%. It was also observed that covid-19 lockdown significantly affected food prices.The major coping strategy employed by households was relying on less expensive foods (81.14%). High household hunger was identified as a short term cost of Covid-19 lockdown in Southeast Nigeria. Only few households benefited from the food aid programs and other forms of palliatives by Government. It is recommended that the Government should setup a formidable unit which will develop physical and digital plans for effective implemention during Covid-19 lockdown situation or other emergencies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0037.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: COVID-19; disability; risk factors; communication; medical rehabilitation; psychosomatic patients; general public; infection; physical health; psychological health
Online: 2 September 2021 (12:08:42 CEST)
Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, hygiene behaviors such as keeping distance, avoid-ing masses, wearing face masks and adhering to hand hygiene recommendations became impera-tive. The current study aims to determine factors interrelating with hygiene behaviors. Methods: 4,049 individuals (1,305 male, 2,709 female, aged 18-80 years) were recruited from rehabilitation clinics or freely on the internet and surveyed via online questionnaire between May 2020 and August 2021. Socio-demographics, hygiene behaviors, emotions (fear), life-satisfaction, risk factors and disability as well as communication were assessed. Results: Prevalence for hygiene behaviors was: keeping the distance 84.9%, avoiding mass gatherings 84.6%, wearing face masks 96.5% and hand hygiene 80.7%. Hygiene behaviors were significantly related to fear with linear and quad-ratic associations. Conclusion: Individuals with disabilities, risk factors and psychological symp-toms are more compliant. Especially hand hygiene should be targeted to achieve higher compli-ance rates. A medium level of fear is more functional than too elevated fear. Behavioral interven-tions and targeted communication aiming at improving different behaviors in orchestration can help individuals to remain healthy and maintain a high life-satisfaction. Thereby, communication in the healthcare setting is imperative and all involved individuals should become more aware of this to ensure high hygiene standards and patient safety.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0014.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Clinical Psychology Keywords: Coronavirus disease 2019/COVID-19; Depression Anxiety Stress Scales-21/DASS-21; DASS-8; shortened version*; shorter version* of the DASS-21; psychiatric disorders; factorial structure/psychometric properties/structural validity/validation; measurement invariance/multigroup analysis; psychological distress; discriminant validity; item coverage; good predictive validity
Online: 1 September 2021 (12:15:27 CEST)