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1.
Cell Rep Med ; 3(3): 100556, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852235

ABSTRACT

Keeping schools open without permitting COVID-19 spread has been complicated by conflicting messages around the role of children and schools in fueling the pandemic. Here, we describe methodological limitations of research minimizing SARS-CoV-2 transmission in schools, and we review evidence for safely operating schools while reducing overall SARS-CoV-2 transmission.


Subject(s)
Automobile Driving , COVID-19 , Child , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools
2.
Am J Epidemiol ; 191(4): 552-556, 2022 Mar 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774332

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic thrust the field of public health into the spotlight. For many epidemiologists, biostatisticians, and other public health professionals, this caused the professional aspects of our lives to collide with the personal, as friends and family reached out with concerns and questions. Learning how to navigate this space was new for many of us and required refining our communication style depending on context, setting, and audience. Some of us took to social media, utilizing our existing personal accounts to share information after sorting through and summarizing the rapidly emerging literature to keep loved ones safe. However, those in our lives sometimes asked unanswerable questions, or began distancing themselves when we suggested more stringent guidance than they had hoped for, causing additional stress during an already traumatic time. We often had to remind ourselves that we were also individuals experiencing this pandemic and that our time-intensive efforts were meaningful, relevant, and impactful. As this pandemic and other public health crises continue, we encourage members of our discipline to consider how we can best use shared lessons from this period and to recognize that our professional knowledge, when used in our personal lives, can promote, protect, and bolster confidence in public health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , Friends , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Am J Epidemiol ; 191(7): 1174-1179, 2022 Jun 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758623

ABSTRACT

Nearly every introductory epidemiology course begins with a focus on person, place, and time, the key components of descriptive epidemiology. And yet in our experience, introductory epidemiology courses were the last time we spent any significant amount of training time focused on descriptive epidemiology. This gave us the impression that descriptive epidemiology does not suffer from bias and is less impactful than causal epidemiology. Descriptive epidemiology may also suffer from a lack of prestige in academia and may be more difficult to fund. We believe this does a disservice to the field and slows progress towards goals of improving population health and ensuring equity in health. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak and subsequent coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic have highlighted the importance of descriptive epidemiology in responding to serious public health crises. In this commentary, we make the case for renewed focus on the importance of descriptive epidemiology in the epidemiology curriculum using SARS-CoV-2 as a motivating example. The framework for error we use in etiological research can be applied in descriptive research to focus on both systematic and random error. We use the current pandemic to illustrate differences between causal and descriptive epidemiology and areas where descriptive epidemiology can have an important impact.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemiology , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Epidemiology/standards , Humans , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Am J Epidemiol ; 191(4): 552-556, 2022 Mar 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455237

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic thrust the field of public health into the spotlight. For many epidemiologists, biostatisticians, and other public health professionals, this caused the professional aspects of our lives to collide with the personal, as friends and family reached out with concerns and questions. Learning how to navigate this space was new for many of us and required refining our communication style depending on context, setting, and audience. Some of us took to social media, utilizing our existing personal accounts to share information after sorting through and summarizing the rapidly emerging literature to keep loved ones safe. However, those in our lives sometimes asked unanswerable questions, or began distancing themselves when we suggested more stringent guidance than they had hoped for, causing additional stress during an already traumatic time. We often had to remind ourselves that we were also individuals experiencing this pandemic and that our time-intensive efforts were meaningful, relevant, and impactful. As this pandemic and other public health crises continue, we encourage members of our discipline to consider how we can best use shared lessons from this period and to recognize that our professional knowledge, when used in our personal lives, can promote, protect, and bolster confidence in public health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , Friends , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Am J Epidemiol ; 191(2): 282-286, 2022 01 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455236

ABSTRACT

In this brief communication, we discuss the confusion of mortality with fatality in the interpretation of evidence in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and how this confusion affects the translation of science into policy and practice. We discuss how this confusion has influenced COVID-19 policy in France, Sweden, and the United Kingdom and discuss the implications for decision-making about COVID-19 vaccine distribution. We also discuss how this confusion is an example of a more general statistical fallacy we term the "Missing Link Fallacy."


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Health Policy , Policy Making , Vulnerable Populations , Epidemiologic Studies , Humans , Risk , SARS-CoV-2
6.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 710, 2021 Jul 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1329108

ABSTRACT

Scientists across disciplines, policymakers, and journalists have voiced frustration at the unprecedented polarization and misinformation around coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Several false dichotomies have been used to polarize debates while oversimplifying complex issues. In this comprehensive narrative review, we deconstruct six common COVID-19 false dichotomies, address the evidence on these topics, identify insights relevant to effective pandemic responses, and highlight knowledge gaps and uncertainties. The topics of this review are: 1) Health and lives vs. economy and livelihoods, 2) Indefinite lockdown vs. unlimited reopening, 3) Symptomatic vs. asymptomatic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, 4) Droplet vs. aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2, 5) Masks for all vs. no masking, and 6) SARS-CoV-2 reinfection vs. no reinfection. We discuss the importance of multidisciplinary integration (health, social, and physical sciences), multilayered approaches to reducing risk ("Emmentaler cheese model"), harm reduction, smart masking, relaxation of interventions, and context-sensitive policymaking for COVID-19 response plans. We also address the challenges in understanding the broad clinical presentation of COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 transmission, and SARS-CoV-2 reinfection. These key issues of science and public health policy have been presented as false dichotomies during the pandemic. However, they are hardly binary, simple, or uniform, and therefore should not be framed as polar extremes. We urge a nuanced understanding of the science and caution against black-or-white messaging, all-or-nothing guidance, and one-size-fits-all approaches. There is a need for meaningful public health communication and science-informed policies that recognize shades of gray, uncertainties, local context, and social determinants of health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Public Health , Reinfection
7.
Prehosp Disaster Med ; 36(3): 321-337, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201557

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Infectious disease emergencies are increasingly becoming part of the health care delivery landscape, having implications to not only individuals and the public, but also on those expected to respond to these emergencies. Health care workers (HCWs) are perhaps the most important asset in an infectious disease emergency, yet these individuals have their own barriers and facilitators to them being willing or able to respond. AIM: The purpose of this review was to identify factors affecting HCW willingness to respond (WTR) to duty during infectious disease outbreaks and/or bioterrorist events. METHODS: An integrative literature review methodology was utilized to conduct a structured search of the literature including CINAHL, Medline, Embase, and PubMed databases using key terms and phrases. PRISMA guidelines were used to report the search outcomes and all eligible literature was screened with those included in the final review collated and appraised using a quality assessment tool. RESULTS: A total of 149 papers were identified from the database search. Forty papers were relevant following screening, which highlighted facilitators of WTR to include: availability of personal protective equipment (PPE)/vaccine, level of training, professional ethics, family and personal safety, and worker support systems. A number of barriers were reported to prevent WTR for HCWs, such as: concern and perceived risk, interpersonal factors, job-level factors, and outbreak characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: By comprehensively identifying the facilitators and barriers to HCWs' WTR during infectious disease outbreaks and/or bioterrorist events, strategies can be identified and implemented to improve WTR and thus improve HCW and public safety.


Subject(s)
Health Personnel , Personal Protective Equipment , Attitude of Health Personnel , Bioterrorism , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Humans
8.
Am J Epidemiol ; 190(4): 491-495, 2021 04 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171525

ABSTRACT

In May 2020, the Journal published an opinion piece by a member of the Editorial Board, in which the author reviewed several papers and argued that using hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) + azithromycin (AZ) early to treat symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in high-risk patients should be broadly applied. As members of the Journal's Editorial Board, we are strongly supportive of open debate in science, which is essential even on highly contentious issues. However, we must also be thorough in our examination of the facts and open to changing our minds when new information arises. In this commentary, we document several important errors in the manuscript, review the literature presented, and demonstrate why it is not of sufficient quality to support scale up of HCQ + AZ, and then discuss the literature that has been generated since the publication, which also does not support use of this therapy. Unfortunately, the current scientific evidence does not support HCQ + AZ as an effective treatment for COVID-19, if it ever did, and even suggests many risks. Continuing to push the view that it is an essential treatment in the face of this evidence is irresponsible and harmful to the many people already suffering from infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hydroxychloroquine , Azithromycin , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Outpatients , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
9.
Med (N Y) ; 2(4): 384-394, 2021 04 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1104159

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in a concomitant deluge of medical, biological, and epidemiologic research. Clinicians are interested in incorporating the best new evidence-based practices when treating individuals with COVID-19 and instituting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission prevention protocols. However, without sufficient background knowledge, evaluating epidemiologic studies can be challenging, and failure to identify sources of bias could lead to poor treatment decisions. Here we provide a brief primer on key concepts and terms related to COVID-19 epidemiology to provide clinicians with a starting point for evaluating the emerging COVID-19 literature.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Am J Epidemiol ; 190(1): 2-9, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1057818
12.
Epidemiology ; 32(1): e2, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-873104

Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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