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1.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263787, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690711

ABSTRACT

Implementing countrywide lockdown measures in India, from March 2020 to May 2020 was a major step to deal with the COVID -19 pandemic crisis. The decision of country lockdown adversely affected the urban migrant population, and a large section of them was compelled to move out of the urban areas to their native places. The reverse migration garnered widespread media attention and coverage in electronic as well as print media. The present study focuses on the coverage of the issue by print media using descriptive natural language text mining. The study uses topic modelling, clustering, and sentiment analysis to examine the articles on migration issues during the lockdown period published in two leading English newspapers in India- The Times of India and The Hindu. The sentiment analysis results indicate that the majority of articles have neutral sentiment while very few articles show high negative or positive polarity. Descriptive topic modelling results show that transport, food security, special services, and employment with migration and migrants are the majorly covered topics after employing Bag of Words and TF-IDF models. Clustering is performed to group the article titles based on similar traits using agglomerative hierarchical clustering.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Employment/statistics & numerical data , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Transients and Migrants/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Humans , India/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
2.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0259473, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546939

ABSTRACT

The present study, conducted immediately after the 2020 presidential election in the United States, examined whether Democrats' and Republicans' polarized assessments of election legitimacy increased over time. In a naturalistic survey experiment, people (N = 1,236) were randomly surveyed either during the week following Election Day, with votes cast but the outcome unknown, or during the following week, after President Joseph Biden was widely declared the winner. The design unconfounded the election outcome announcement from the vote itself, allowing more precise testing of predictions derived from cognitive dissonance theory. As predicted, perceived election legitimacy increased among Democrats, from the first to the second week following Election Day, as their expected Biden win was confirmed, whereas perceived election legitimacy decreased among Republicans as their expected President Trump win was disconfirmed. From the first to the second week following Election Day, Republicans reported stronger negative emotions and weaker positive emotions while Democrats reported stronger positive emotions and weaker negative emotions. The polarized perceptions of election legitimacy were correlated with the tendencies to trust and consume polarized media. Consumption of Fox News was associated with lowered perceptions of election legitimacy over time whereas consumption of other outlets was associated with higher perceptions of election legitimacy over time. Discussion centers on the role of the media in the experience of cognitive dissonance and the implications of polarized perceptions of election legitimacy for psychology, political science, and the future of democratic society.


Subject(s)
Emotions , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Motivation , Politics , Cognitive Dissonance , Democracy , Humans , Mass Media/ethics , United States
3.
J Nerv Ment Dis ; 210(2): 83-90, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440685

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: This study examined the associations among personality traits, media exposure regarding COVID-19, and deterioration of mental wellbeing among the public in Japan. We conducted a cross-sectional Web-based questionnaire survey among 8000 Japanese men and women aged 25 to 64 years. Approximately half of participants reported deterioration of mental wellbeing. Nearly 20% of participants reported "constant/excessive" exposure to media information regarding COVID-19. As compared with those with low "extraversion" and "less frequent" exposure to media information about COVID-19, those with high "extraversion" and "more frequent" media exposure reported significantly less deterioration of mental wellbeing. In addition, as compared with those with low "neuroticism" and media exposure, those with high "neuroticism" and "constant/excessive" exposure to COVID-19-related information significantly more frequently reported deterioration of mental wellbeing. Under the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, measures for the promotion and maintenance of mental wellbeing should be implemented considering the interaction between personality traits and media exposure.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Personal Satisfaction , Personality , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Surveys , Humans , Internet , Japan/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Personality/physiology
4.
J Nerv Ment Dis ; 210(2): 91-97, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1410067

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: There has been a widespread increase in affective disorders after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the current study, we investigated the effects of exposure to and perceived accuracy of news media and demographic characteristics on anxiety and depressive symptoms. We conducted an online survey of US adults (N = 480) using hierarchical linear regression models to understand the predictive roles of duration and frequency of news media exposure, as well as the perceived accuracy of COVID-19 portrayal by the news media, on anxiety and depression. Increased exposure duration predicted greater anxiety, and decreased frequency of exposure and perceived overreaction in the news media coverage of COVID-19 were linked to greater anxiety and depression. Perceived accuracy moderated the relationship of exposure frequency to both affective outcomes. Accordingly, our data support the importance of adequate levels of accurate and trusted information to help mitigate the overall mental health burden of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Depression/epidemiology , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Female , Health Surveys , Humans , Internet , Male , Middle Aged , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
6.
J Health Commun ; 26(6): 434-442, 2021 06 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1313702

ABSTRACT

The present study examined positive and negative effects of health communication on the fight against the COVID-19 under lockdown, during the first wave of the pandemic in Greece. An online survey (N = 1,199) examined the relationships among media trust, emotional and cognitive reactions to COVID-19 information overload, media attention, and risk perceptions regarding COVID-19. Participants' media attention (exposure and attention combined) to information about the pandemic was positively related to their risk perceptions (perceived susceptibility and severity) about the disease. Media attention was dependent on participants' trust in the media as valid sources of information, but also on their cognitive and emotional reactions to COVID-19 information overload. In response to this overload, they produced negative thoughts and more negative (fear and anger) than positive (protection) emotions. These distinct reactions had differential effects on media attention and risk perceptions. Fear and protection were positively related to media attention and risk perceptions, while anger and negative thinking undermined attention and perceptions. Furthermore, all reactions depended on media trust, which mediated the effect on media attention. These findings highlighted desirable and some undesirable effects of health communication in the fight against COVID-19, which can be used to improve health communication in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Health Communication , Information Dissemination , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cognition , Emotions , Female , Greece/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Quarantine , Risk Assessment , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
7.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0252670, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278176

ABSTRACT

In March of 2020, the United States was confronted with a major public health crisis caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This study aimed to identify what factors influence adherence to recently implemented public health measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing, trust of scientific organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on information pertaining to the pandemic, and level of perceived risk. Data were collected from June 30, 2020 to July 22, 2020 on 951 adult residents of the United States using an online survey through Microsoft Forms. Multiple linear regression was used to identify the strongest predictors for compliance to pandemic-related health measures, trust in the scientific community, and perceived risk. Results showed that the strongest predictor of all variables of interest was degree of policy liberalism. Additionally, participants who consumed more conservative news media conformed less to the pandemic health guidelines and had less trust in the scientific community. Degree of policy liberalism was found to have a significant moderating effect on the relationship between gender and conformity to pandemic-related health behaviors. These findings have concerning implications that factors like degree of policy liberalism and source of news are more influential in predicting adherence to life-saving health measures than established risk factors like pre-existing health conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Behavior , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Policy , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Trust , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Politics , Public Health/methods , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Surveys and Questionnaires/statistics & numerical data , United States , Young Adult
8.
Int J Equity Health ; 20(1): 137, 2021 06 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266488

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This article presents a discussion about the representation of Syrian refugees in Turkish news media during the COVID-19 pandemic. Media play a critical role during pandemics by affecting values, opinions, public knowledge about stigmatized groups. When media ignore and stereotypically represent a social group, the social value of the group decreases, and their problems are trivialized. METHOD: I analyzed data provided by Media Monitoring Center which is an independent media company in Turkey. Sample was selected to reveal news representation of Syrian refugees between March 11, 2020 (the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Turkey) and August 20, 2020 (the time of this research). Mostly watched television evening (prime) news, the most widely circulated newspapers, and the most visited online news platforms were analyzed. By using content analysis method, the news stories about Syrian refugees were examined. RESULTS: It has been revealed that Turkish news media overwhelmingly acclaimed for Turkey's polices on Syrian refugees and the criticized the European Union policies towards refugees in the news stories. Even though almost 4 million Syrian refugees live in Turkey, with the largest refugee population in the world, Turkish news media ignored the plight of Syrian refugees. CONCLUSION: Results of the study demonstrate that Syrian refugees were symbolically annihilated by Turkish news media during the COVID-19 pandemic. The concealment of information and symbolic annihilation of disadvantaged groups could potentially cause health disparities and irreparable harm to public health. Moreover, inequities exacerbate when predicaments of stigmatized groups are ignored in the news media. Further studies are needed to reveal the impact of the media on health disparities among stigmatized groups during the pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Refugees , Humans , Syria/ethnology , Turkey/epidemiology
9.
Western Pac Surveill Response J ; 12(1): 40-45, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1259709

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Open-source data from online news reports and informal sources may provide information about outbreaks before official notification. This study aims to evaluate the use of open-source data from the epidemic observatory, EpiWATCH, to identify the early signals of pneumonia of unknown cause as a proxy for COVID-19 in Indonesia. METHODS: Using open-source data on pneumonia of unknown cause in Indonesia between 1 November 2019 and 31 March 2020 (extracted from EpiWATCH, an open-source epidemic observatory), a descriptive analysis was performed to identify the trend of pneumonia of unknown cause in Indonesia before official notification of COVID-19 cases. RESULTS: A rise in reports of pneumonia of unknown cause was identified in Indonesia, starting from late January 2020. There were 304 reported cases of pneumonia of unknown cause, 30 of which occurred before the identification of the first COVID-19 cases on 2 March 2020. The early signals of pneumonia of unknown cause in Indonesia may indicate possible unrecognized circulation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) before official detection. DISCUSSION: Open-source data may provide rapid, unvalidated information for early detection of outbreaks. Although unvalidated, such information may be used to supplement or trigger investigation and testing. As EpiWATCH sources global information, this methodology can be repeated for other countries within the Western Pacific Region, and for other diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Causality , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia/diagnosis , Pneumonia/epidemiology , Root Cause Analysis/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Indonesia/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
10.
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0252062, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1241126

ABSTRACT

Transparency of Chinese media coverage became an international controversy when the COVID-19 outbreak initially emerged in Wuhan, the eventual crisis epicenter in China. Unlike studies characterizing mass media in authoritarian contexts as government mouthpieces during a crisis, this study aims to disaggregate Chinese media practices to uncover differences in when, where, and how the severity of COVID-19 was reported. We examine differences in how media institutions reported the severity of the COVID-19 epidemic in China during the pre-crisis period from 1 January 2020 to 20 January 2020 in terms of both the "vertical" or hierarchical positions of media institutions in the Chinese media ecosystem and the "horizontal" positions of media institutions' social proximity to Wuhan in terms of geographical human traffic flows. We find that the coverage of crisis severity is negatively associated with the media's social proximity to Wuhan, but the effect varies depending on the positional prominence of a news article and situation severity. Implications of the institutions' differentiated reporting strategies on future public health reporting in an authoritarian context are also discussed.


Subject(s)
Access to Information , COVID-19/epidemiology , China , Disclosure/legislation & jurisprudence , Disclosure/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Mass Media/legislation & jurisprudence , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Models, Statistical , Political Systems
11.
Indian J Med Ethics ; VI(2): 1-24, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1206582

ABSTRACT

The Indian media's reportage of the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the State's long-standing apathy towards low-income migrants and the structural neglect and violence faced by them in society. But how consistent were the country's print media in reporting on this population group before the crisis? This paper reports the findings of a study that examines the representation of migrants and refugees and their health in the Indian print media prior to the pandemic. A secondary objective was to examine any variations in their representation based on their social positions (for example, ethnicity, nationality, gender, religion). Using frame and content analyses, three English language newspapers were examined for the period January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018. A total of 1,111 articles were retrieved. Analysis revealed that migrants were most frequently framed as "villains", posing a threat to the security, culture, health and economy in their destination states/cities, and less often as victims. On health coverage, the study found that the media frequently pathologised migrants and projected them as carriers of infection. Migrants' religion, ethnicity and class, and their proximity to the majoritarian population appeared most prominent in determining the frame imposed. The articles mostly relied on accounts of state officials and political leaders, whereas migrants' voices comprised less than a quarter of the sources of information. The media thus play a vital role in crystallising these disparities and, through acts of both omission and commission, end up vilifying migrants.


Subject(s)
Apathy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Status , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Refugees/statistics & numerical data , Transients and Migrants/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , India/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors
12.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(6): e28253, 2021 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1202100

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Before the advent of an effective vaccine, nonpharmaceutical interventions, such as mask-wearing, social distancing, and lockdowns, have been the primary measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Such measures are highly effective when there is high population-wide adherence, which requires information on current risks posed by the pandemic alongside a clear exposition of the rules and guidelines in place. OBJECTIVE: Here we analyzed online news media coverage of COVID-19. We quantified the total volume of COVID-19 articles, their sentiment polarization, and leading subtopics to act as a reference to inform future communication strategies. METHODS: We collected 26 million news articles from the front pages of 172 major online news sources in 11 countries (available online at SciRide). Using topic detection, we identified COVID-19-related content to quantify the proportion of total coverage the pandemic received in 2020. The sentiment analysis tool Vader was employed to stratify the emotional polarity of COVID-19 reporting. Further topic detection and sentiment analysis was performed on COVID-19 coverage to reveal the leading themes in pandemic reporting and their respective emotional polarizations. RESULTS: We found that COVID-19 coverage accounted for approximately 25.3% of all front-page online news articles between January and October 2020. Sentiment analysis of English-language sources revealed that overall COVID-19 coverage was not exclusively negatively polarized, suggesting wide heterogeneous reporting of the pandemic. Within this heterogenous coverage, 16% of COVID-19 news articles (or 4% of all English-language articles) can be classified as highly negatively polarized, citing issues such as death, fear, or crisis. CONCLUSIONS: The goal of COVID-19 public health communication is to increase understanding of distancing rules and to maximize the impact of governmental policy. The extent to which the quantity and quality of information from different communication channels (eg, social media, government pages, and news) influence public understanding of public health measures remains to be established. Here we conclude that a quarter of all reporting in 2020 covered COVID-19, which is indicative of information overload. In this capacity, our data and analysis form a quantitative basis for informing health communication strategies along traditional news media channels to minimize the risks of COVID-19 while vaccination is rolled out.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Data Mining/methods , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Public Health/methods , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Health Resources , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
13.
J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs ; 34(2): 139-146, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1166048

ABSTRACT

PROBLEM: Suicide incidences among adolescents and youths during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdowns have been reported across the world. However, no studies have been carried out to investigate cumulative nature, patterns, and causative factors of such suicide incidences. METHODS: A purposive sampling of Google news between 15 February and 6 July was performed. After excluding duplicate reports, the final list comprised a total of 37-suicide cases across 11 countries. FINDINGS: More male suicides were reported (21-cases, i.e., 56.76%), and the mean age of the total victims was 16.6 ± 2.7 years (out of a total of 29 cases). About two-thirds of the suicides were from three countries named India (11-cases), UK (8-cases), and the USA (6-cases). Out of 23-student victims, 14 were school-going students. Hanging was the most common suicide method accounting in 51.4% of cases. The most common suicide causalities were related to mental sufferings such as depression, loneliness, psychological distress, and so forth, whereas either online schooling or overwhelming academic distress was placed as the second most suicide stressors followed by TikTok addiction-related psychological distress, and tested with the COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: The finding of the temporal distribution of suicides concerning lockdowns may help in exploring and evolving public measures to prevent/decrease pandemic-related suicides in young people.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Mass Media , Suicide, Completed/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , COVID-19/psychology , Child , Female , Humans , Male , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Psychological Distress , Social Isolation/psychology , Young Adult
14.
J Health Commun ; 26(3): 161-173, 2021 03 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1160382

ABSTRACT

Media framing of epidemics was found to influence public perceptions and behaviors in experiments, yet no research has been conducted on real-world behaviors during public health crises. We examined the relationship between Italian news media coverage of COVID-19 and compliance with stay-at-home orders, which could impact the spread of epidemics. We used a computational method for framing analysis (ANTMN) and combined it with Google's Community Mobility data. A time-series analysis using vector autoregressive models showed that the Italian media used media frames that were largely congruent with ones used by journalists in other countries: A scientific frame focusing on symptoms and health effects, a containment frame focusing on attempts to ameliorate risks, and a social frame, focusing on political and social impact. The prominence of different media frames over time was associated with changes in Italians' mobility patterns. Specifically, we found that the social frame was associated with increased mobility, whereas the containment frame was associated with decreased mobility. The results demonstrate that the ways the news media discuss epidemics can influence changes in community mobility, above and beyond the effect of the number of deaths per day.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Community Participation/statistics & numerical data , Epidemics , Health Communication/methods , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Qualitative Research , Surveys and Questionnaires
15.
J Med Syst ; 45(4): 50, 2021 Mar 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1118252

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic changed expectations for information dissemination and use around the globe, challenging accepted models of communications, leadership, and social systems. We explore how social media discourse about COVID-19 in Italy was affected by the rapid spread of the virus, and how themes in postings changed with the adoption of social distancing measures and non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI). We used topic modeling and social network analysis to highlight critical dimensions of conversations around COVID-19: 1) topics in social media postings about the Coronavirus; 2) the scope and reach of social networks; and 3) changes in social media content as the nation moved from partial to full social distancing. Twitter messages sent in Italy between February 11th and March 10th, 2020. 74,306 Tweets sent by institutions, news sources, elected officials, scientists and social media influencers. Messages were retweeted more than 1.2 million times globally. Non-parametric chi-square statistic with residual analysis to identify categories, chi-square test for linear trend, and Social Network Graphing. The first phase of the pandemic was dominated by social media influencers, followed by a focus on the economic consequences of the virus and placing blame on immigrants. As the crisis deepened, science-based themes began to predominate, with a focus on reducing the spread of the virus through physical distancing and business closures Our findings highlight the importance of messaging in social media in gaining the public's trust and engagement during a pandemic. This requires credible scientific voices to garner public support for effective mitigation. Fighting the spread of an infectious disease goes hand in hand with stemming the dissemination of lies, bad science, and misdirection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Communication/methods , Health Education/statistics & numerical data , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Physical Distancing , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Italy , Public Health , Public Opinion , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Social Networking
16.
Pathog Glob Health ; 115(3): 178-187, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1117439

ABSTRACT

During the Covid-19 pandemic, rich countries employed lockdown and physical distancing policies for transmission control. However, the question still remains whether these measures are also suitable in countries with a fragile economy, which rests mainly on the informal sector. The impacts of lockdown measures in disadvantaged population strata in six low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) were reviewed using i) 93 media reports and ii) 17 published scientific papers. This review showed that those who suffered the most from the lockdown were migrants, workers in the large informal sector, small businesses, slum dwellers, women and elderly, revealing the social, cultural and economic inequalities of societies. Financial and food support for the poor was inadequate and sometimes mismanaged. In the better organized societies, the resilience was stronger (South Korea, Kerala/India) but here also the poor had to suffer the most. It is strongly recommended that outbreak response strategies should particularly focus on the poor and vulnerable population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/economics , Developing Countries/economics , Asia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Developing Countries/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Publications/statistics & numerical data , Socioeconomic Factors
17.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(2): e25651, 2021 02 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1102457

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During COVID-19, studies have reported the appearance of internet searches for disease symptoms before their validation by the World Health Organization. This suggested that monitoring of these searches with tools including Google Trends may help monitor the pandemic itself. In Europe and North America, dermatologists reported an unexpected outbreak of cutaneous acral lesions (eg, chilblain-like lesions) in April 2020. However, external factors such as public communications may also hinder the use of Google Trends as an infodemiology tool. OBJECTIVE: The study aimed to assess the impact of media announcements and lockdown enforcement on internet searches related to cutaneous acral lesions during the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. METHODS: Two searches on Google Trends, including daily relative search volumes for (1) "toe" or "chilblains" and (2) "coronavirus," were performed from January 1 to May 16, 2020, with the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany as the countries of choice. The ratio of interest over time in "chilblains" and "coronavirus" was plotted. To assess the impact of lockdown enforcement and media coverage on these internet searches, we performed an interrupted time-series analysis for each country. RESULTS: The ratio of interest over time in "chilblains" to "coronavirus" showed a constant upward trend. In France, Italy, and the United Kingdom, lockdown enforcement was associated with a significant slope change for "chilblain" searches with a variation coefficient of 1.06 (SE 0.42) (P=0.01), 1.04 (SE 0.28) (P<.01), and 1.21 (SE 0.44) (P=0.01), respectively. After media announcements, these ratios significantly increased in France, Spain, Italy, and the United States with variation coefficients of 18.95 (SE 5.77) (P=.001), 31.31 (SE 6.31) (P<.001), 14.57 (SE 6.33) (P=.02), and 11.24 (SE 4.93) (P=.02), respectively, followed by a significant downward trend in France (-1.82 [SE 0.45]), Spain (-1.10 [SE 0.38]), and Italy (-0.93 [SE 0.33]) (P<.001, P=0.004, and P<.001, respectively). The adjusted R2 values were 0.311, 0.351, 0.325, and 0.305 for France, Spain, Italy, and the United States, respectively, suggesting an average correlation between time and the search volume; however, this correlation was weak for Germany and the United Kingdom. CONCLUSIONS: To date, the association between chilblain-like lesions and COVID-19 remains controversial; however, our results indicate that Google queries of "chilblain" were highly influenced by media coverage and government policies, indicating that caution should be exercised when using Google Trends as a monitoring tool for emerging diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Internet , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Public Health Surveillance/methods , Public Policy , Search Engine/trends , Skin Diseases/virology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , United States/epidemiology
18.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(2): e24585, 2021 02 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1076392

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is severely affecting people worldwide. Currently, an important approach to understand this phenomenon and its impact on the lives of people consists of monitoring social networks and news on the internet. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to present a methodology to capture the main subjects and themes under discussion in news media and social media and to apply this methodology to analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil. METHODS: This work proposes a methodology based on topic modeling, namely entity recognition, and sentiment analysis of texts to compare Twitter posts and news, followed by visualization of the evolution and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We focused our analysis on Brazil, an important epicenter of the pandemic; therefore, we faced the challenge of addressing Brazilian Portuguese texts. RESULTS: In this work, we collected and analyzed 18,413 articles from news media and 1,597,934 tweets posted by 1,299,084 users in Brazil. The results show that the proposed methodology improved the topic sentiment analysis over time, enabling better monitoring of internet media. Additionally, with this tool, we extracted some interesting insights about the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil. For instance, we found that Twitter presented similar topic coverage to news media; the main entities were similar, but they differed in theme distribution and entity diversity. Moreover, some aspects represented negative sentiment toward political themes in both media, and a high incidence of mentions of a specific drug denoted high political polarization during the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: This study identified the main themes under discussion in both news and social media and how their sentiments evolved over time. It is possible to understand the major concerns of the public during the pandemic, and all the obtained information is thus useful for decision-making by authorities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Health Communication/methods , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Brazil , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Psychiatry Res ; 298: 113799, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1071855

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Suicide reports during the COVID pandemic is an increasing cause for concern. However, there is a limited understanding of suicide among individuals with positive/suspected COVID diagnosis specifically. Hence, this study, using online newspaper reports, aimed to determine factors influencing suicide among individuals withCOVID-19 infection status. METHODOLOGY: Information regarding positive/suspected COVID related suicide was obtained from online newspapers published in 4 languages between 30th Jan 2020 to 16th August 2020 using google news aggregator. Of 235 online identified, 93 were eligible for analysis after the exclusion and analysed using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: Median Age of COVID related suicide victims was 45 years (range 15 - 80) wherein 61.3% belonged to 30-59 year age group, and 75.3% were males. 50% of suicides occurred within the first week of COVID diagnosis confirmation, and 50% suicides occurred at COVID centres. Hanging (53.8%) was the commonest method of suicide, followed by jumping (12.9%). CONCLUSION: Higher risk for suicide was observed among male gender and those with positive/suspected COVID infection within the first week, while receiving treatment in COVID care centres. Hanging and jumping were the two commonest methods. The above highlight an urgent need to integrate suicide preventive strategies into standard care protocols of COVID-19 positive and suspected cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Suicide/psychology , Suicide/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , India , Internet/statistics & numerical data , Male , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Young Adult
20.
Anxiety Stress Coping ; 34(2): 130-144, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066118

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Research during prior virus outbreaks has examined vulnerability factors associated with increased anxiety and fear. DESIGN: We explored numerous psychopathology, sociodemographic, and virus exposure-related variables associated with anxiety and perceived threat of death regarding COVID-19. METHOD: We recruited 908 adults from Eastern China for a cross-sectional web survey, from 24 February to 15 March 2020, when social distancing was heavily enforced in China. We used several machine learning algorithms to train our statistical model of predictor variables in modeling COVID-19-related anxiety, and perceived threat of death, separately. We trained the model using many simulated replications on a random subset of participants, and subsequently externally tested on the remaining subset of participants. RESULTS: Shrinkage machine learning algorithms performed best, indicating that stress and rumination were the most important variables in modeling COVID-19-related anxiety severity. Health anxiety was the most potent predictor of perceived threat of death from COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: Results are discussed in the context of research on anxiety and fear from prior virus outbreaks, and from theory on outbreak-related emotional vulnerability. Implications regarding COVID-19-related anxiety are also discussed.


Subject(s)
Anxiety Disorders/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Fear/psychology , Machine Learning , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Socioeconomic Factors , Adult , China , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Models, Statistical , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
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