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2.
BMC Ophthalmol ; 21(1): 206, 2021 May 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1223766

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19, a highly contagious respiratory virus, presents unique challenges to ophthalmology practice as a high-volume, office-based specialty. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many operational changes were adopted in our ophthalmology clinic to enhance patient and provider safety while maintaining necessary clinical operations. The aim of this study was to evaluate how measures adopted during the pandemic period affected retina clinic performance and patient satisfaction, and to model future clinic flow to predict operational performance under conditions of increasing patient and provider volumes. METHODS: Clinic event timestamps and demographics were extracted from the electronic medical records of in-person retina encounters from March 15 to May 15, 2020 and compared with the same period in 2019 to assess patient flow through the clinical encounter. Patient satisfaction was evaluated by Press Ganey patient experience surveys obtained from randomly selected outpatient encounters. A discrete-events simulation was designed to model the clinic with COVID-era restrictions to assess operational performance under conditions of increasing patient and provider volumes. RESULTS: Retina clinic volume declined by 62 % during the COVID-19 health emergency. Average check-in-to-technician time declined 79 %, total visit length declined by 46 %, and time in the provider phase of care declined 53 %. Patient satisfaction regarding access nearly doubled during the COVID-period compared with the prior year (p < 0.0001), while satisfaction with overall care and safety remained high during both periods. A model incorporating COVID-related changes demonstrated that wait time before rooming reached levels similar to the pre-COVID era by 30 patients-per-provider in a 1-provider model and 25 patients-per-provider in a 2-provider model (p < 0.001). Capacity to maintain distancing between patients was exceeded only in the two 2-provider model above 25 patients-per-provider. CONCLUSIONS: Clinic throughput was optimized in response to the COVID-19 health emergency. Modeling these clinic changes can help plan for eventual volume increases in the setting of limits imposed in the COVID-era.


Subject(s)
Telemedicine , Humans , Pandemics , Patient Satisfaction , Retina
3.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 937-964, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222756

ABSTRACT

Netting individuals separated from each other by vast distances; the present condition of COVID-19 needs art and its extraordinary capacity to connect human beings and integrate scientific disciplines. We can predict that the COVID-19 pandemic would leave the mind lonely and vulnerable to diseases, for, on the one hand, the COVID-19 pandemic and related problems, in particular social isolation, are itself stressor. On the other hand, studies confirm the potential of COVID-19 to involve the central nervous system by affecting the immune system, either directly or indirectly. The COVID-19 condition, thus, calls for a necessary compensation of loneliness to reduce the psychological impact of the pandemic. Not only art can fulfill this purpose by meeting social affiliation needs, but also its related creativity is a definite achievement of the performer while acting as a motivation facilitator of creation for the observer. Besides, artworks that illustrate effective hygiene behaviors and physical distancing in an easy-to-understand manner could help health information systems to control the spread of COVID-19. The integration of art with biomedical science applied for simulation of the infected population, lung imaging data, and the viral surface has been useful for prediction of the spread of disease and earlier diagnosis of COVID-19 by imaging techniques and might be a contributor to drug discovery for COVID-19. Also, arts admirably influence the immunoemotional regulatory system so that not only would it enable humanity to tolerate quarantine but also enhance antiviral immunity. More interestingly, the effects of dance have been observed in children, elderly, healthcare workers, and pregnant women, which have been of special attention during the COVID-19 pandemic. In summary, arts provide us powerful tools for tolerating the quarantine time and enhancing the immune system, educating behavioral tips for hygiene practices and physical distancing and in psychosocial care of vulnerable populations during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Pandemics , Aged , Child , Female , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pregnancy , Quarantine , Social Isolation
4.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 923-936, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222755

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been a significant concern worldwide. The pandemic has demonstrated that public health issues are not merely a health concern but also affect society as a whole. In this chapter, we address the importance of bringing together the world's scientists to find appropriate solutions for controlling and managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Interdisciplinary cooperation, through modern scientific methods, could help to handle the consequences of the pandemic and to avoid the recurrence of future pandemics.


Subject(s)
Pandemics , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health
5.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 911-921, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222754

ABSTRACT

In the COVID-19 era, while we are encouraged to be physically far away from each other, social and scientific networking is needed more than ever. The dire consequences of social distancing can be diminished by social networking. Social media, a quintessential component of social networking, facilitates the dissemination of reliable information and fighting against misinformation by health authorities. Distance learning, telemedicine, and telehealth are among the most prominent applications of networking during this pandemic. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of collaborative scientific efforts. In this chapter, we summarize the advantages of harnessing both social and scientific networking in minimizing the harms of this pandemic. We also discuss the extra collaborative measures we can take in our fight against COVID-19, particularly in the scientific field.


Subject(s)
Social Media , Humans , Pandemics , Socialization
6.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 891-910, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222753

ABSTRACT

This chapter briefly describes the universal intricacies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, from the ineffectiveness of distance measures, the massive economic impacts, and the severe mental health challenges to the failure of finding a vaccine, a therapeutic agent or even accurately diagnosing the infection. The entire world is suffering, but every country is trying to combat this pandemic individually, and this deed is the main barrier that prevents reaching a peaceful end.


Subject(s)
Pandemics , Humans , Mental Health
7.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 875-889, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222752

ABSTRACT

The rapid epidemiological shift from an epidemic/outbreak in Wuhan, China, to a global pandemic of COVID-19 in less than 3 months came with lessons the world's health system should learn to prepare for the future outbreaks. Since February 20, 2020, the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has been increased very slowly in the countries of East Asia, including Japan, South Korea, and China, when compared with those in the Western countries. This chapter begins with an overview of the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare workers and public health facilities, followed by immediate global actions and research in response to the newly emerged pandemic. It includes an evaluation of the potential influence of culture on the implementation of different protective measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic while at the same time offering suggestions that will make it easier for all populations to adapt protective steps against COVID-19 and other respiratory infectious diseases. Finally, the chapter provides a detailed discussion of lessons we have learned from the pandemic, leading to the conclusion that the transition from individualism to collaborative efforts is the treatment of universal pandemics.


Subject(s)
Pandemics , China/epidemiology , Far East , Humans , Japan , Pandemics/prevention & control , Republic of Korea/epidemiology
8.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 859-873, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222751

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created a maelstrom of challenges affecting virtually every aspect of global healthcare system. Critical hospital capacity issues, depleted ventilator and personal protective equipment stockpiles, severely strained supply chains, profound economic slowdown, and the tremendous human cost all culminated in what is questionably one of the most profound challenges that humanity faced in decades, if not centuries. Effective global response to the current pandemic will require innovation and ingenuity. This chapter discusses various creative approaches and ideas that arose in response to COVID-19, as well as some of the most impactful future trends that emerged as a result. Among the many topics discussed herein are telemedicine, blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, stereolithography, and distance learning.


Subject(s)
Telemedicine , Artificial Intelligence , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment
9.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 825-837, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222749

ABSTRACT

Pandemics are enormous threats to the world that impact all aspects of our lives, especially the global economy. The COVID-19 pandemic has emerged since December 2019 and has affected the global economy in many ways. As the world becomes more interconnected, the economic impacts of the pandemic become more serious. In addition to increased health expenditures and reduced labor force, the pandemic has hit the supply and demand chain massively and caused trouble for manufacturers who have to fire some of their employees or delay their economic activities to prevent more loss. With the closure of manufacturers and companies and reduced travel rates, usage of oil after the beginning of the pandemic has decreased significantly that was unprecedented in the last 30 years. The mining industry is a critical sector in several developing countries, and the COVID-19 pandemic has hit this industry too. Also, world stock markets declined as investors started to become concerned about the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tourism industry and airlines have also experienced an enormous loss too. The GDP has reduced, and this pandemic will cost the world more than 2 trillion at the end of 2020.


Subject(s)
Pandemics , Humans , Industry , Pandemics/prevention & control , Travel
10.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 815-824, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222748

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic is leading to significant changes in terms of people's economic behavior, which will inevitably impact the tourism industry and tourism activity both worldwide and in tourism host countries. Immediate control measures, such as necessary restrictions on travel, avoiding physical contact, social distancing, as well as tourists' and patients' changes in priority making, have vanished interest in traveling away from the place of usual residence and seeking to receive tourism services. COVID-19 pandemic has caused immediate impacts across the whole spectrum of economic and social activity. The duration and intensity of the arising malfunction in tourism are not yet known; thus, it is too early to make any assessments of the financial losses that will be recorded on an annual basis. However, an initial approach is necessary in order to assess the range of to date impacts, aiming at a critical appraisal of the current situation. It will mainly help in making the appropriate pandemic management plan in the tourism industry.


Subject(s)
Pandemics , Humans , Tourism , Travel
11.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 785-813, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222747

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic shook the world in ways not seen since the pandemic influenza of 1918-1919. As of late August 2020, over 25 million persons had been infected, and we will see the global death toll exceed one million by the end of 2020. Both are minimum estimates. All segments of society have been drastically affected. Schools worldwide have been forced to close due to illness and absenteeism, transmission and risk to vulnerable members of the school community, and community concerns. The decision to reopen school during a pandemic will have a tremendous impact on children's safety, growth, and well-being. Not opening invites social isolation and suboptimal educational experiences, especially for youth whose computing assets and online access are limited and those with special needs. The opening has hazards as well, and the mitigation of these risks is the topic of this chapter. Opening schools requires careful considerations of benefits, risks, and precautions. Guiding principles for safety and strategic application of the principles in each educational niche are critical issues to consider during school reopening. The fundamental principles of disease control involve school-directed initiatives (physical distancing and mask use, hand/face and surface cleansing, administrative controls, engineering controls) and individual-level risk reduction approaches to maximize adherence to new guidelines. The school-initiated "top-down" approaches and the individual-level "bottom-up" approaches must be synergized, as no single method will ensure safety. We discuss how to effectively layer strategies in each educational space to increase safety. Since the vulnerability of children has been heightened during this pandemic crisis, we highlight the special considerations for mental health support that should be considered by schools. The safety principles, disease control strategies, and other critical issues discussed here will serve as a starting point for developing a safe, comprehensive, and feasible reopening plan.


Subject(s)
Influenza, Human , Adolescent , Child , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Schools
12.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 773-784, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222746

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has abruptly affected every aspect of people's daily lives worldwide. Just like every other area, the medical field has been dramatically impacted by the need to care for a large number of patients while at the same time protecting staff, patients, and their families. Changes in the wake of the pandemic called for the prompt and extensive rechanneling and re-organization of resources. The pandemic has opened challenges and concerns for patient safety, starting with the early recognition that individuals, including medical staff, may spread the virus during the asymptomatic phase. Many healthcare facilities faced resource-limited settings, including challenges in the availability of personal protective equipment for healthcare providers. Additionally, the pandemic has disrupted medical education, both at the undergraduate and at the graduate levels, and according to many predictions, its effects may forever transform the ways medical education is delivered. In this chapter, we are exploring the history of medical education, describe changes in medical education experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and predict some of the considerations worth taking into account when envisioning the future of medical education.


Subject(s)
Education, Medical , Health Personnel , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control
13.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 759-771, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222745

ABSTRACT

A newly discovered coronavirus called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is not only physically challenging but also has many subtle and overt mental impacts. The concern of being infected, lack of antiviral agents, preventive strategies of social distancing, and home isolation have created unrest in the society. The way of reacting to emergencies varies from individual to individual, and that this variability lies in our unique personality traits. The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the mental stability of all of us, and hence it is crucial to recognize the vulnerable population and support them to prevent or minimize the catastrophe like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), emotional trauma, and suicides. In this context, the role of psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and other mental healthcare providers is indispensable.


Subject(s)
Population Health , Suicide , Humans , Pandemics
14.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 737-757, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222744

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has posed enormous challenges to the healthcare systems worldwide, which are mainly shouldered by healthcare workers from all professions. This chapter outlines the potential stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic for health professionals and describes possible consequences for their mental health as well as potential interventions and coping strategies. The chapter is based on preliminary research on the psychosocial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic in health professionals and is complemented by findings from previous outbreaks of high-risk infectious diseases. High proportions of healthcare workers report acute symptoms of anxiety, depression, high psychological stress, and insomnia in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Coping strategies and self-care on an individual level, interventions on an institutional level such as specific training and institutional support, as well as social and psychological support can help to mitigate psychological strain. Further reliable and prospective studies regarding the mental health of health professionals, as well as further measures to protect their short- and long-term mental health, are required.


Subject(s)
Pandemics , Anxiety , Health Personnel , Humans , Mental Health , Prospective Studies
15.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 727-735, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222743

ABSTRACT

As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has spread, so has the psychological impact of the disease been felt worldwide. Despite this, the mechanisms of COVID-19-related psychological problems and mental disorders remain unclear. As such, effective therapeutic schemes or intervention strategies cannot be developed. It is, therefore, necessary to establish a theoretical basis of psychological problems and mental disorders related to public health emergencies such as COVID-19. Herein, the potential mechanisms of occurrence and development of COVID-19-related psychological problems and mental disorders have been discussed from two angles: the pandemic as a public health emergency itself and the extensive quarantine situation during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Mental Disorders , Humans , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics , Quarantine
16.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 705-725, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222742

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of a new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which appeared in late 2019 and eventually resulted in the announcement of a pandemic by the World Health Organization, led to global fear and panic as well as the spread of false information and fake news from different sources. As a result, a sharp increase in prejudice, discrimination, and xenophobia against different groups of people was observed in different geographical locations. This chapter presents the psychological and social sources of stereotypes and prejudices that take forms in the COVID-19 pandemic. These sources can be located in psychosocial processes, such as (i) socially generated and reinforced fears; (ii) human responses to stress induced by certain types of stimuli; (iii) sense of helplessness based on the lack of control over reality; (iv) psychological responses reinforced by conformism (crowd psychology); and (v) the stigmatization process. The chapter also presents the main groups of increased risk of experiencing prejudice and discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic (Asians, health-care workers, COVID-19 patients, and their relatives). Moreover, it provides a documented example of such behaviors. The groups at higher risk of more adverse effects of COVID-19 due to pre-pandemic discrimination are also discussed. Finally, initiatives taken to mitigate the discrimination associated with COVID-19 are presented, as well as the recommendations and good practices for preventing these behaviors during future outbreaks and for limiting discrimination against COVID-19 until the disease can be contained.


Subject(s)
Pandemics , Disease Outbreaks , Health Personnel , Humans
17.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 687-703, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222741

ABSTRACT

Starting in December 2019 in Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has crossed the borders forming a pandemic in 2020. The absence of pharmacological interventions has pushed governments to apply different sets of old, non-pharmacological interventions, which are, though temporary, helpful to prevent further pandemic propagation. In the context of COVID-19, research confirms that quarantine is useful, mainly if applied early and if combined with other public health measures. However, the efficacy of quarantine and isolation is limited in many ways, ranging from legal issues and suspension of economic activities to mental health considerations. This chapter is an exploration of (i) epidemiological impact of isolation and quarantine; (ii) emotional impact of isolation and quarantine; and (iii) the possible effect of culture on quarantine experience.


Subject(s)
Quarantine , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics/prevention & control
18.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 673-686, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222740

ABSTRACT

Stories and narratives are part of our human sociocultural history, which are always preserved in what I call "societal memory." We construct stories to weave meanings that help us make sense of our lifeworlds. Like stories, rumors and conspiracy theories can offer deep meanings when analyzed in specific contexts. Such narratives become most prominent in times of looming uncertainties, anxieties, and fears. Thus, the challenging coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has become surrounded by plentiful rumors and conspiracy theories. These narratives reveal geopolitics when they code the pandemic as "bioengineered." They also demonstrate local concerns, as in Pakistan, people started drinking "miraculous" tea as a form of prevention, shaving their heads, and/or praying to God to undo his "punishment." Some conceptualized the pandemic as an invented "plot." These narratives seem to empower individuals to make sense of this pandemic and to deal with its multidimensional effects: they allow them to feel confident enough to go outside and earn their livelihood. In this chapter, the author builds on his long-term ethnographic fieldwork on infectious diseases, recent telephone interviews, and content analysis of the media to discuss narratives revolving around COVID-19 in Pakistan. The author argues that these rumors and conspiracy theories are social phenomena pregnant with multiple meanings that deserve to be thoroughly explored, especially by anthropologists. A dearth of understanding about COVID-19 and narratives surrounding it would substantially impede the strategies to deal with this ongoing pandemic.


Subject(s)
Health Personnel , Humans , Pakistan , Pandemics
19.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 657-672, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222739

ABSTRACT

Currently, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread worldwide and continues to rise. There remains a significant unmet need for patients with hematological malignancies requiring specialized procedures and treatments, like cellular therapy to treat or cure their disease. For instance, chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapy is approved for relapsed/refractory (after two or more lines of therapy) diffuse large B cell lymphoma and B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia that is refractory or in the second relapse in patients younger than 25 years of age. Similarly, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) can be a lifesaving procedure for many patients, such as those with acute myeloid leukemia with high-risk cytogenetics. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrust upon the hematologists and transplant specialists' unique challenges with the implementation and management of cellular therapy. One of the significant concerns regarding this immunocompromised patient population is the significant risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection due to its highly contagious nature. Experts have recommended that if medically indicated, especially in high-risk disease (where chemotherapy is unlikely to work), these lifesaving procedures should not be delayed even during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, proceeding with CAR-T cell therapy and HSCT during the pandemic is a considerable task and requires dedication from the transplant team and buy-in from the patients and their family or support system. Open conversations should be held with the patients about the risks involved in undergoing cellular therapies during current times and the associated future uncertainties.


Subject(s)
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation , Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy , Humans , Immunotherapy, Adoptive , Pandemics
20.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 637-655, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222738

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to ophthalmology. At least 16 ophthalmologists worldwide have succumbed to COVID-19. It reflects the susceptibility of ophthalmologists to COVID-19 infection as they are in close proximity to patients. This chapter provides an overview of the ocular manifestations of COVID-19, risks of COVID-19 to ophthalmologists and patients, clinical service adjustments due to COVID-19, and infection control measures to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 in ophthalmic practice.


Subject(s)
Ophthalmology , Humans , Infection Control , Pandemics
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