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1.
Appl Netw Sci ; 7(1): 43, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1906620

ABSTRACT

An issue often confronting economic development agencies is how to minimize unemployment due to disruptions like technological change, trade wars, recessions, or other economic shocks. Decision makers are left to craft policies that can absorb surplus labor with as little pain to workers as possible. The questions they face include how to re-employ displaced workers and how to fill labor shortages. To address such questions, we quantify the proximity of any two occupations based on the skills inherent in each. Taking labor skills as nodes, we model US labor as a weighted network of interdependent skills, deriving link values from geographical patterns of skill co-occurrence. We use this network to locate occupations, measure their proximity to each other, and identify which missing skills may inhibit workers from easily transitioning from one occupation to another. Thus, given that an occupation is a bundle of skills, we use our skills network to help policy makers identify which other occupations are most proximate a worker's current occupation. Finally, we apply our method to assess various worker retraining pathways for metropolitan Washington, DC, USA, whose economy was simultaneously disrupted by both the COVID-19 pandemic and the arrival of a second headquarters for Amazon. Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s41109-022-00487-7.

2.
Urban Science ; 6(1):1, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1765931

ABSTRACT

Urban systems, and regions more generally, are the epicenters of many of today’s social issues. Yet they are also the global drivers of technological innovation, and thus it is critical that we understand their vulnerabilities and what makes them resilient to different types of shocks. We take regions to be systems composed of internal networks of interdependent components. As the connectedness of those networks increases, it allows information and resources to move more rapidly within a region. Yet, it also increases the speed and efficiency at which the effects of shocks cascade through the system. Here we analyzed regional networks of interdependent industries and how their structures relate to a region’s vulnerability to shocks. Methodologically, we utilized a metric of economic connectedness called tightness which quantifies a region’s internal connectedness relative to other regions. We calculated tightness for German regions during the Great Recession, comparing it to each region’s economic performance during the shock (2007–2009) and during recovery (2009–2011). We find that tightness is negatively correlated with changes in economic performance during the shock but positively during recovery. This suggests that regional economic planners face a tradeoff between being more productive or being more vulnerable to the next economic shock.

3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-323843

ABSTRACT

An issue often confronting economic development agencies is how to minimize unemployment due to disruptions like technological change, trade wars, recessions, or other economic shocks. Decision makers are left to craft policies that can absorb surplus labor with as little pain to workers as possible. The key question, in terms of skills and occupations, is: how can we fill labor gaps with labor surplus efficiently? To address this question, we develop a policy-oriented method to measure the skills proximity of occupations. Using network analysis, we identify key missing skills and determine what occupations are “skills proximate” to one another. Inspired by techniques from ecology, our skills proximities are derived from occupational patterns of geographical co-occurrence. To demonstrate the potential of this method as a policy tool, we provide a case study of a possible worker retraining pathway for Northern Virginia, which was simultaneously impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the arrival of a second headquarters for Amazon.

4.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(12): 442-448, 2021 03 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1151034

ABSTRACT

School closures affected more than 55 million students across the United States when implemented as a strategy to prevent the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (1). Reopening schools requires balancing the risks for SARS-CoV-2 infection to students and staff members against the benefits of in-person learning (2). During December 3, 2020-January 31, 2021, CDC investigated SARS-CoV-2 transmission in 20 elementary schools (kindergarten through grade 6) that had reopened in Salt Lake County, Utah. The 7-day cumulative number of new COVID-19 cases in Salt Lake County during this time ranged from 290 to 670 cases per 100,000 persons.† Susceptible§ school contacts¶ (students and staff members exposed to SARS-CoV-2 in school) of 51 index patients** (40 students and 11 staff members) were offered SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing. Among 1,041 susceptible school contacts, 735 (70.6%) were tested, and five of 12 cases identified were classified as school-associated; the secondary attack rate among tested susceptible school contacts was 0.7%. Mask use among students was high (86%), and the median distance between students' seats in classrooms was 3 ft. Despite high community incidence and an inability to maintain ≥6 ft of distance between students at all times, SARS-CoV-2 transmission was low in these elementary schools. The results from this investigation add to the increasing evidence that in-person learning can be achieved with minimal SARS-CoV-2 transmission risk when multiple measures to prevent transmission are implemented (3,4).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Schools/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Contact Tracing , Female , Humans , Male , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Physical Distancing , Schools/organization & administration , Utah/epidemiology
5.
J Psychiatr Res ; 137: 437-443, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142073

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting public health measures may have major impacts on mental health, including on self-harm. We have investigated what factors related to the pandemic influenced hospital presentations following self-harm during lockdown in England. METHOD: Mental health clinicians assessing individuals aged 18 years and over presenting to hospitals in Oxford and Derby following self-harm during the period March 23rd to May 17, 2020 recorded whether the self-harm was related to the impact of COVID-19 and, if so, what specific factors were relevant. These factors were organized into a classification scheme. Information was also collected on patients' demographic characteristics, method of self-harm and suicide intent. RESULTS: Of 228 patients assessed, in 46.9% (N = 107) COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions were identified as influencing self-harm. This applied more to females than males (53.5%, N = 68/127 v 38.6%, N = 39/101, χ2 = 5.03, p = 0.025), but there were no differences in age, methods of self-harm or suicide intent between the two groups. The most frequent COVID-related factors were mental health issues, including new and worsening disorders, and cessation or reduction of services (including absence of face-to-face support), isolation and loneliness, reduced contact with key individuals, disruption to normal routine, and entrapment. Multiple, often inter-connected COVID-related factors were identified in many patients. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-related factors were identified as influences in nearly half of individuals presenting to hospitals following self-harm in the period following introduction of lockdown restrictions. Females were particularly affected. The fact that mental health problems, including issues with delivery of care, predominated has implications for organisation of services during such periods. The contribution of isolation, loneliness and sense of entrapment highlight the need for relatives, friends and neighbours to be encouraged to reach out to others, especially those living alone. The classification of COVID-related factors can be used as an aide-memoire for clinicians.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Pandemics , Self-Injurious Behavior/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Physical Distancing , Young Adult
7.
J Affect Disord ; 282: 991-995, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1039423

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic and public health measures necessary to address it may have major effects on mental health, including on self-harm. We have used well-established monitoring systems in two hospitals in England to investigate trends in self-harm presentations to hospitals during the early period of the pandemic. METHOD: Data collected in Oxford and Derby on patients aged 18 years and over who received a psychosocial assessment after presenting to the emergency departments following self-harm were used to compare trends during the three-month period following lockdown in the UK (23rd March 2020) to the period preceding lockdown and the equivalent period in 2019. RESULTS: During the 12 weeks following introduction of lockdown restrictions there was a large reduction in the number of self-harm presentations to hospitals by individuals aged 18 years and over compared to the pre-lockdown weeks in 2020 (mean weekly reduction of 13.5 (95% CI 5.6 - 21.4) and the equivalent period in 2019 (mean weekly reduction of 18.0 (95% CI 13.9 - 22.1). The reduction was greater in females than males, occurred in all age groups, with a larger reduction in presentations following self-poisoning than self-injury. CONCLUSIONS: A substantial decline in hospital presentations for self-harm occurred during the three months following the introduction of lockdown restrictions. Reasons could include a reduction in self-harm at the community level and individuals avoiding presenting to hospital following self-harm. Longer-term monitoring of self-harm behaviour during the pandemic is essential, together with efforts to encourage help-seeking and the modification of care provision.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Self-Injurious Behavior , Adolescent , Adult , Communicable Disease Control , Emergency Service, Hospital , England/epidemiology , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Self-Injurious Behavior/epidemiology
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