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1.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-308401

ABSTRACT

Background: Facing the COVID-19 epidemic, Taiwan has demonstrated resilience at the initial stage of epidemic prevention and effectively slowed down its spread. This study aims to capture public epidemic awareness toward the COVID-19 through collecting social media- and Internet-based data and elaborate on how the public epidemic awareness rose and played a role in the epidemic prevention in Taiwan during the initial course of COVID-19 spread. Methods: Using the Google search query volume of COVID-19 and face mask as indicators of public epidemic awareness, we collected the volume of news reports and the mentions on social media about COVID-19 and face masks between December 31, 2019, and February 29, 2020, through big data analysis and sorted the daily total confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide and in Taiwan as well as critical mask-related measures implemented by the Taiwanese government to plot the trends in this information and conduct correlation analysis. Additionally, the content analysis was adopted to analyze the transmission of different types of fear information of COVID-19 between December 31, 2019, and March 29, 2020, and their effects on the public. Results: The Google search query volume of COVID-19 and face mask was significantly correlated with the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan, the number of news reports on COVID-19 (correlation coefficient: .74–.90). Since the first confirmed cases of COVID-19, public epidemic awareness has increased rapidly, prompting the government to formulate relevant emergency measures. Additionally, the findings from content analysis suggested that the fear of the loss of control best explains why panic behavior occurs in public. Conclusions: Confronting the highly infectious COVID-19, public epidemic awareness is vital. While fear is an inevitable product when an emerging infectious disease occurs, the government can convert resistance into assistance by understanding why fear arises and which fear factors cause excessive panic in public. Moreover, online social media promptly reflect public epidemic awareness, which can be used as a reference for epidemic prevention;this urges the government to deal with the crisis in the form of public opinion.

2.
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0251845, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1236589

ABSTRACT

Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan demonstrated resilience at the initial stage of epidemic prevention, and effectively slowed down its spread. This study aims to document public epidemic awareness of COVID-19 in Taiwan through collecting social media- and Internet-based data, and provide valuable experience of Taiwan's response to COVID-19, involving citizens, news media, and the government, to aid the public in overcoming COVID-19, or infectious diseases that may emerge in the future. The volume of Google searches related to COVID-19 and face masks was regarded as an indicator of public epidemic awareness in the study. A time-series analysis was used to explore the relationships among public epidemic awareness and other COVID-19 relevant variables, which were collected based on big data analysis. Additionally, the content analysis was adopted to analyze the transmission of different types of fear information related to COVID-19 and their effects on the public. Our results indicate that public epidemic awareness was significantly correlated with the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan and the number of news reports on COVID-19 (correlation coefficient: .33-.56). Additionally, the findings from the content analysis suggested that the fear of the loss of control best explains why panic behavior occurs among the public. When confronting the highly infectious COVID-19, public epidemic awareness is vital. While fear is an inevitable result when an emerging infectious disease occurs, the government can convert resistance into assistance by understanding why fear arises and which fear factors cause excessive public panic. Moreover, in the digitalization era, online and social media activities could reflect public epidemic awareness that can e harnessed for epidemic control.


Subject(s)
Attitude , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Masks , Pandemics/prevention & control , Social Media , COVID-19/psychology , Humans , Taiwan
3.
Advances in Management and Applied Economics ; 10(4):23-34, 2020.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-823684

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 has been categorized as a pandemic on March 11, 2020, and caused tremendous damage to global health and economics. However, the situation of COVID-19 spread varied by country. With the features of high infectivity and uncertainty, earlier public perceptions of epidemic prevention play a vital role in combating the COVID-19. Thus, the study aims to capture the public epidemic awareness by using the digital footprint of public's searches for "face mask" on Google search engine as a real-time measurement and examine its effectiveness of epidemic prevention by comparing Taiwan, Singapore, Philippine, Italy, Spain, and South Korea. The data of Google search volume of face masks from Google Trend and confirmed cases of COVID-19 between December 31, 2019, and March 17, 2020, were collected. By tracing the digital footprints across countries, our findings indicated that public epidemic awareness varies by country. The early increasing and maintaining public epidemic awareness are crucial for epidemic prevention. Moreover, the study elaborated on how public epidemic awareness raises and keeps in Taiwan. The study highlighted the importance of using digital footprints for establishing an early warning system for the government by trancing the public's attitudes and response to emerging infectious diseases. The implication of the Google search volume index could be used for the government to implement health service management based on timely information. In the era of big data, countless online digital footprints are waiting to be gathered and analyzed to enhance an existing or create a new service.

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