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1.
International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction ; : 103490, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2149841

ABSTRACT

Purchasing food from community-level grassroots organizations was a novel and unforgettable experience for Wuhan residents during the COVID-19 lockdown, but little attention was paid to it. The study examined the relationship between community-level grassroots organizations and household food insecurity based on an online survey of household food insecurity in Wuhan in March 2020. The study found that problems in all three domains of food insecurity including food anxiety, food quality and food quantity existed but were uneven. The COVID-19 epidemic affected household food quality the most, while it had the least impact on household food quantity. Community-level grassroots organizations played an important role in promoting food security including reducing worries about food supply and providing enough food intake, but did not ensure households had adequate food quality due to increasing food prices, fewer varieties of food and decreased food freshness. Compared to other grassroots organizations, the community committee had actually become an extension of the government to run administrative grassroots affairs before the epidemic, so its tight relationship with local government made it become the major grassroots power in ensuring household food security at the residential community level.

2.
Cities ; 131: 104034, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2068792

ABSTRACT

This paper examines food provisioning initiatives that were implemented to reduce food insecurity during the period of the spread of Covid-19. Food insecurity increased sharply during this time, particularly among those who contracted the virus and had to remain in quarantine, and those who suddenly lost their jobs. As a possible solution to alleviate the problem, voluntary organisations collected food from stores with surplus produce (such as restaurants that were forced to close, supermarkets, etc.) and redistributed it to people in need. This redistribution occurred in several Italian cities, including Cremona, which was one of the first towns in Italy to be dramatically affected by the pandemic. Looking through the lens of social innovation theory, this paper analyses redistribution initiatives in this town and assesses their capacity to enhance their impact on social wellbeing and to involve local society in response to social challenges. Thanks to desk research and interviews with several volunteers, it demonstrates that these initiatives are good examples of social innovation, as they address emerging social challenges and generate benefits for the entire society (not just food aid recipients), reconfigure previous aid models, actively involve local population, and assume educational and social assistance purposes.

3.
Gender and Development ; 30(1-2):283-309, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2050960

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the dynamics and implications of gendered austerity in Ecuador in the context of the fiscal consolidation framework recommended in the country's International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme, through three channels. First, that of the public health sector and the experiences of women public health workers. Second, that of unpaid care work and significant augmentations in home-based health care of family members as well as education support. And third, increases in consumer debt incurred by women through extractive short-term lenders. To illustrate the lived experiences of women, interviews were conducted with a leader of a nurses' union in the capital city of Quito and results collected from external published focus group surveys with women engaged in unpaid and paid care work as well as in community savings organizations. Two key theoretical frameworks are employed within feminist political economy. First, the social provisioning approach, where economic activity encompasses unpaid and paid work, human well-being is the yardstick of economic success, and power inequities, agency and economic outcomes are shaped by gender. Second, the literature on gender, care work and. © 2022 Oxfam KEDV.

4.
Proc Biol Sci ; 289(1981): 20220065, 2022 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2037618

ABSTRACT

Transgenerational plasticity is a form of non-genetic inheritance that can reduce or enhance offspring fitness depending on parental stress. Yet, the adaptive value of such parental environmental effects and whether their expression varies among populations remain largely unknown. We used self-fertilized lines from climatically distinct populations of the crop wild relative Lupinus angustifolius. In the parental generation, full-siblings were grown in two contrasting watering environments. Then, to robustly separate the within-generation and transgenerational response to drought, we reciprocally assigned the offspring of parents to the same experimental treatments. We measured key functional traits and assessed lifetime reproductive fitness. Offspring of drought-stressed parents produced less reproductive biomass, but a similar number of lighter seeds, in dry soil compared to offspring of genetically identical, well-watered parents, an effect not mediated by differences in seed provisioning. Importantly, while the offspring of parents grown in the favourable environment responded to drought by slightly increasing individual seed mass, the pattern of plasticity of the offspring of drought-grown parents showed the opposite direction, and the negative effects of parental drought on seed mass were more pronounced in populations from cooler and moist habitats. Overall, our results show that parental effects may override immediate adaptive responses to drought and provide evidence of population-level variation in the expression of transgenerational plasticity.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Physiological , Droughts , Ecosystem , Seeds/physiology , Soil
5.
Innov Syst Softw Eng ; : 1-17, 2022 Jun 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1885485

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has triggered unprecedented challenges and put the whole world in a parlous condition. The impacts of COVID-19 is a matter of grave concern in terms of fatality rate, socio-economical condition, health infrastructure. It is obvious that only pharmaceutical solutions (vaccine) cannot eradicate this pandemic completely, and effective strategies regarding lockdown measures, restricted mobility, emergency services to users-in brief data-driven decision system is of utmost importance. This necessitates an efficient data analytics framework, data infrastructure to store, manage pandemic related information, and distributed computing platform to support such data-driven operations. In the past few decades, Internet of Things-based devices and applications have emerged significantly in various sectors including healthcare and time-critical applications. To be specific, health-sensors help to accumulate health-related parameters at different time-instances of a day, the movement sensors keep track of mobility traces of the user, and helps to assist them in varied conditions. The smartphones are equipped with several such sensors and the ability of low-cost connected sensors to cover large areas makes it the most useful component to combat pandemics such as COVID-19. However, analysing and managing the huge amount of data generated by these sensors is a big challenge. In this paper we have proposed a unified framework which has three major components: (i) Spatial Data Infrastructure to manage, store, analyse and share spatio-temporal information with stakeholders efficiently, (ii) Cloud-Fog-Edge-based hierarchical architecture to support preliminary diagnosis, monitoring patients' mobility, health parameters and activities while they are in quarantine or home-based treatment, and (iii) Assisting users in varied emergency situation leveraging efficient data-driven techniques at low-latency and energy consumption. The mobility data analytics along with SDI is required to interpret the movement dynamics of the region and correlate with COVID-19 hotspots. Further, Cloud-Fog-Edge-based system architecture is required to provision healthcare services efficiently and in timely manner. The proposed framework yields encouraging results in taking decisions based on the COVID-19 context and assisting users effectively by enhancing accuracy of detecting suspected infected people by ∼ 24% and reducing delay by ∼ 55% compared to cloud-only system.

6.
Land ; 10(12):1345, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1596875

ABSTRACT

Intensive agriculture and urbanization are putting pressure on natural capital in Aotearoa–New Zealand (NZ), with native ecosystems and water quality suffering degradation. As the population has increased, so development has pushed into the rural–urban fringe. Over the last 30 years, the number of lifestyle properties in NZ has increased dramatically. Many of these properties have been developed on some of NZ’s most productive soils, meaning a loss of provisioning services from this land. However, given their location, these developments present new opportunities for the enhancement and protection of other ecosystem services. This paper presents the findings of an exploratory study conducted on lifestyle block residents in peri-urban Palmerston North. The results showed that these residents have a good sense of environmental stewardship and a desire to plant native species, improve connectivity, and protect their land from the invasion of pests and weeds. These residents are also quite community-focused and protective of their special place. This creates an excellent basis from which to encourage greater collaborative action towards protecting and enhancing biodiversity and to put in place land management strategies that can enhance natural capital and assist in other ecosystem service protection serving to improve the landscape ecology of peri-urban environments.

7.
IEEE Transactions on Broadcasting ; 67(4):851-867, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1558914

ABSTRACT

Within the current global context, the coronavirus pandemic has led to an unprecedented surge in the Internet traffic, with most of the traffic represented by video. The improved wired and guided network infrastructure along with the emerging 5G networks enables the provisioning of increased bandwidth support while the virtualization introduced by the integration of Software Defined Networks (SDN) enables traffic management and remote orchestration of networking devices. However, the popularity and variety of multimedia-rich applications along with the increased number of users has led to an ever increasing pressure that these multimedia-rich content applications are placing on the underlying networks. Consequently, a simple increase in the system capacity will not be enough and an intelligent traffic management solution is required to enable the Quality of Service (QoS) provisioning. In this context, this paper proposes a Reinforcement Learning (RL)-based framework within a multimedia-based SDN environment, that decides on the most suitable routing algorithm to be applied on the QoS-based traffic flows to improve QoS provisioning. The proposed RL-based solution was implemented and evaluated using an experimental setup under a realistic SDN environment and compared against other state-of-the-art solutions from the literature in terms of throughput, packet loss, latency, peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR) and mean opinion score (MOS). The proposed RL-based framework finds the best trade-off between QoS vs. Quality of User Experience (QoE) when compared to other state-of-the-art approaches.

8.
Am J Primatol ; 82(8): e23176, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-656485

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in late 2019 and human responses to the resulting COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 have rapidly changed many aspects of human behavior, including our interactions with wildlife. In this commentary, we identify challenges and opportunities at human-primate interfaces in light of COVID-19, focusing on examples from Asia, and make recommendations for researchers working with wild primates to reduce zoonosis risk and leverage research opportunities. First, we briefly review the evidence for zoonotic origins of SARS-CoV-2 and discuss risks of zoonosis at the human-primate interface. We then identify challenges that the pandemic has caused for primates, including reduced nutrition, increased intraspecific competition, and increased poaching risk, as well as challenges facing primatologists, including lost research opportunities. Subsequently, we highlight opportunities arising from pandemic-related lockdowns and public health messaging, including opportunities to reduce the intensity of problematic human-primate interfaces, opportunities to reduce the risk of zoonosis between humans and primates, opportunities to reduce legal and illegal trade in primates, new opportunities for research on human-primate interfaces, and opportunities for community education. Finally, we recommend specific actions that primatologists should take to reduce contact and aggression between humans and primates, to reduce demand for primates as pets, to reduce risks of zoonosis in the context of field research, and to improve understanding of human-primate interfaces. Reducing the risk of zoonosis and promoting the well-being of humans and primates at our interfaces will require substantial changes from "business as usual." We encourage primatologists to help lead the way.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Primate Diseases/prevention & control , Zoonoses/prevention & control , Animals , COVID-19 , Conservation of Natural Resources/trends , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Feeding Behavior/physiology , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Primate Diseases/transmission , Primate Diseases/virology , Primates , Risk Factors , Zoonoses/transmission
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