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1.
Stoch Environ Res Risk Assess ; : 1-11, 2022 Jan 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1941672

ABSTRACT

We provide a stochastic modeling framework for the incidence of COVID-19 in Castilla-Leon (Spain) for the period March 1, 2020 to February 12, 2021, which encompasses four waves. Each wave is appropriately described by a generalized logistic growth curve. Accordingly, the four waves are modeled through a sum of four generalized logistic growth curves. Pointwise values of the twenty input parameters are fitted by a least-squares optimization procedure. Taking into account the significant variability in the daily reported cases, the input parameters and the errors are regarded as random variables on an abstract probability space. Their probability distributions are inferred from a Bayesian bootstrap procedure. This framework is shown to offer a more accurate estimation of the COVID-19 reported cases than the deterministic formulation.

2.
Transp Res Part A Policy Pract ; 163: 338-352, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1907834

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the determinants of changes in future public transport use in Scotland after the COVID-19 pandemic. An online questionnaire was distributed to 994 Scottish residents in order to identify travel habits, attitudes and preferences during the different phases of the COVID-19 outbreak and travel intentions after the pandemic. Quota constraints were enforced for age, gender and household income to ensure the sample was representative of the Scottish population. The respondents indicated that they anticipated they would make less use of buses and trains at the end of the pandemic. Over a third expect to use buses (36%) and trains (34%) less, whilst a quarter expect to drive their cars more. As part of the analysis, a random parameter bivariate probit model with heterogeneity in the means of random parameters was estimated to provide insights into the socio-demographic, behavioural and perceptual factors which might affect future public transport usage. The inclusion of random parameters allows for the potential effects of unobserved heterogeneity within the independent variables to be captured, whilst making allowances for heterogeneity in the means of the random parameters. The model estimation showed that several factors, including pre-lockdown travel choices, perceived risk of COVID-19 infection, household size and region significantly affected intended future use of public transport. In addition, several variables related to age, region, pre-lockdown travel choices and employment status resulted in random parameters. The current paper contributes to our understanding of the potential loss of demand for public transport and the consequences for future equitable and sustainable mobility. Our findings are highly relevant for transport policy when developing measures to strengthen the resilience of the public transport system during and after the pandemic.

3.
J Transp Health ; 23: 101280, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466744

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has had exceptional effects on travel behaviour in the UK. This paper focuses specifically on the outdoor exercise trips of Scottish residents at several distinct points of the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the negative health consequences of limited exercise, this study aims to determine the sociodemographic and behavioural factors affecting frequency of outdoor exercise trips. METHODS: Using recent public survey data (n=6000), random parameters ordered probit models (with allowances for heterogeneity in the means of random parameters) are estimated for three points during the pandemic: the most stringent lockdown, modest restriction easing and further easing of restrictions. RESULTS: The survey data show frequent outdoor exercise in the early stages of the pandemic, with ∼46% making six or more weekly trips during lockdown, reducing to ∼39% during the first phase of restriction easing, and further to ∼34% during the following phase of easing. The model estimations show that common factors, dominated by socioeconomic and demographic variables, influenced the frequency of outdoor exercise trips across most survey groups. The modelling framework also allowed insights into the impact of unobserved characteristics within several independent variables; for example, the lockdown exercise trip rates of those with a health problem or disability, and those over 65, were both found to be dependent on personal vehicle access. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that those with a health problem or disability, those who live in households' where the main income earner is employed in a semi-skilled/unskilled manual occupation or is unemployed and ethnic minority groups (i.e., any mixed, Asian, or Black background) were significantly more likely to complete no weekly outdoor exercise trips throughout the pandemic. As a result, we suggest that these groups are at higher risk of the negative health consequences associated with limited physical activity. Policy implications are discussed in terms of mitigating this effect, as well as reducing transport inequity related to vehicle access.

4.
Health Place ; 71: 102659, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1397344

ABSTRACT

Most of the existing literature concerning the links between built environment and COVID-19 outcomes is based on aggregate spatial data averaged across entire cities or counties. We present neighborhood level results linking census tract-level built environment and active/sedentary travel measures with COVID-19 hospitalization and mortality rates in King County Washington. Substantial variations in COVID-19 outcomes and built environment features existed across neighborhoods. Using rigorous simulation-assisted discrete outcome random parameter models, the results shed new lights on the direct and indirect connections between built environment, travel behavior, positivity, hospitalization, and mortality rates. More mixed land use and greater pedestrian-oriented street connectivity is correlated with lower COVID-19 hospitalization/fatality rates. Greater participation in sedentary travel correlates with higher COVID-19 hospitalization and mortality whereas the reverse is true for greater participation in active travel. COVID-19 hospitalizations strongly mediate the relationships between built environment, active travel, and COVID-19 survival. Ignoring unobserved heterogeneity even when higher resolution smaller area spatial data are harnessed leads to inaccurate conclusions.


Subject(s)
Built Environment , COVID-19 , Hospitalization , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Walking
5.
Transp Res Interdiscip Perspect ; 11: 100441, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1347843

ABSTRACT

Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have dramatically transformed industry, healthcare, mobility, and education. Many workers have been forced to shift to work-from-home, adjust their commute patterns, and/or adopt new behaviors. Particularly important in the context of mitigating transportation-related emissions is the shift to work-from-home. This paper focuses on two major shifts along different stages of the pandemic. First, it investigates switching to work-from-home during the pandemic, followed by assessing the likelihood of continuing to work-from-home as opposed to returning to the workplace. This second assessment, being conditioned on workers having experienced work-from-home as the result of the pandemic, allows important insights into the factors affecting work-from-home probabilities. Using a survey collected in July and August of 2020, it is found that nearly 50 percent of the respondents who did not work-from-home before but started to work-from-home during the COVID-19 pandemic, indicated the willingness to continue work-from-home. A total of 1,275 observations collected using the survey questionnaire, that was administered through a U.S. nationwide panel (Prime Panels), were used in the model estimation. The methodological approach used to study work-from-home probabilities in this paper captures the complexities of human behavior by considering the effects of unobserved heterogeneity in a multivariate context, which allows for new insights into the effect of explanatory variables on the likelihood of working from home. Random parameters logit model estimations (with heterogeneity in the means and variances of random parameters) revealed additional insights into factors affecting work-from-home probabilities. It was found that gender, age, income, the presence of children, education, residential location, or job sectors including marketing, information technologies, business, or administration/administrative support all played significant roles in explaining these behavioral shifts and post-pandemic preferences.

6.
Sustain Cities Soc ; 73: 103089, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1267922

ABSTRACT

Compact walkable environments with greenspace support physical activity and reduce the risk for depression and several obesity-related chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. Recent evidence confirms that these chronic diseases increase the severity of COVID-19 infection and mortality risk. Conversely, denser transit supportive environments may increase risk of exposure to COVID-19 suggesting the potential for contrasting chronic versus infectious disease impacts of community design. A handful of recent studies have examined links between density and COVID-19 mortality rates reporting conflicting results. Population density has been used as a surrogate of urban form to capture the degree of walkability and public transit versus private vehicle travel demand. The current study employs a broader range of built environment features (density, design, and destination accessibility) and assesses how chronic disease mediates the relationship between built and natural environment and COVID-19 mortality. Negative and significant relationships are observed between built and natural environment features and COVID-19 mortality when accounting for the mediating effect of chronic disease. Findings underscore the importance of chronic disease when assessing relationships between COVID-19 mortality and community design. Based on a rigorous simulation-assisted random parameter path analysis framework, we further find that the relationships between COVID-19 mortality, obesity, and key correlates exhibit significant heterogeneity. Ignoring this heterogeneity in highly aggregate spatial data can lead to incorrect conclusions with regards to the relationship between built environment and COVID-19 transmission. Results presented here suggest that creating walkable environments with greenspace is associated with reduced risk of chronic disease and/or COVID-19 infection and mortality.

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