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1.
Health Res Policy Syst ; 19(1): 134, 2021 Oct 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1636923

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A variety of policies have been implemented around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This study originally aimed to identify and compare policy responses of different countries and their effects on the pandemic. It quickly evolved into an identification of the heterogeneity among existing policies and the challenges in making meaningful comparisons of the impact of these policies. METHODS: The process of collecting and comparing data from different sources was analysed through inductive thematic analysis to understand the obstacles that impede research designed to compare COVID-19 data and related policies. RESULTS: We identified the following obstacles: (1) no single reputable source of information and too much noise; (2) a lack of standards for how to measure and report data across countries; (3) variations in the content, implementation and enforcement of policies; and (4) politics, instead of science, leading the efforts in pandemic management. CONCLUSION: Heterogeneity in existing policies makes it challenging to compare the effects of various policies worldwide on the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings call for an automatically updated informatics infrastructure across the globe for collecting and maintaining standardized data from multiple sources. There is a strong need for steadfast utilization of scientific and technical experts to inform and influence health policy. Increased investment in public health and emergency planning is essential to overcome the current pandemic, as well as future public health emergencies. Focused leadership and collaboration from world leaders in a unified mission to decrease the mortality and morbidity of the COVID-19 pandemic is imperative.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Health Policy , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Policy , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Curr Opin Pediatr ; 34(1): 2-7, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604018

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This article describes the impacts of food insecurity (FI) on child health, outlines clinical and public policy interventions to mitigate FI in children, and defines new paradigms in population health to ameliorate the harmful effects of FI in children. RECENT FINDINGS: Rates of FI among children have dramatically increased with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with particular adverse impact on low-income children. Population health innovations in screening, referral, and social service integration offer new opportunities to address FI. SUMMARY: Despite advances in clinical practice and public policy, FI remains a persistent issue for many US children. Clinicians and policymakers have opportunities to leverage clinical and community-based integration to improve service delivery opportunities to ameliorate childhood hunger and racial and socioeconomic inequity in the United States.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Child , Food Insecurity , Humans , Public Policy , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , United States/epidemiology
4.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(12): e2139585, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1589284

ABSTRACT

Importance: Although evictions have been associated with adverse mental health outcomes, it remains unclear which stages of the eviction process are associated with mental distress among renters. Variation in COVID-19 pandemic eviction protections across US states enables identification of intervention targets within the eviction process to improve renters' mental health. Objective: To measure the association between the strength of eviction protections (ie, stages blocked by eviction moratoriums) and mental distress among renters during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study used individual-level, nationally representative data from the Understanding Coronavirus in America Survey to measure associations between state eviction moratorium protections and mental distress. The sample of 2317 respondents included renters with annual household incomes less than $75 000 who reported a state of residence and completed surveys between March 10 and September 3, 2020, prior to the federal eviction moratorium order by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Exposures: Time-varying strength of state moratorium protections as a categorical variable: none, weak (blocking court hearings, judgments, or enforcement without blocking notice or filing), or strong (blocking all stages of the eviction process beginning with notice and filing). Main Outcomes and Measures: Moderate to severe mental distress was measured using the 4-item Patient Health Questionnaire. Linear regression models were adjusted for time-varying state COVID-19 incidence and mortality, public health restrictions, and unemployment rates. Models included individual and time fixed effects as well as clustered standard errors. Results: The sample consisted of 2317 individuals (20 853 total observations) composed largely (1788 [78%] weighted) of middle-aged adults (25-64 years of age) and women (1538 [60%]); 640 respondents (23%) self-reported as Hispanic or Latinx, 314 respondents (20%) as non-Hispanic Black, and 1071 respondents (48%) as non-Hispanic White race and ethnicity. Relative to no state-level eviction moratorium protections, strong protections were associated with a 12.6% relative reduction (risk ratio, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.76-0.99) in the probability of mental distress, whereas weak protections were not associated with a statistically significant reduction (risk ratio, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.86-1.06). Conclusions and Relevance: This analysis of the Understanding Coronavirus in America Survey data found that strong eviction moratoriums were associated with protection against mental distress, suggesting that distress begins early in the eviction process with notice and filing. This finding is consistent with the idea that to reduce mental distress among renters, policy makers should focus on primary prevention of evictions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Psychological Distress , Public Policy , State Government , Adult , Female , Humans , Income , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Unemployment , United States
5.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261277, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581755

ABSTRACT

This paper analyzes the dynamics of the labor market in Latin America during the COVID-19 pandemic. After a decade of a virtuous circle of growth with the creation of formal jobs, the pandemic has had an considerable impact on the region's labor market, generating an unparalleled increase in the proportion of the inactive population, considerable reductions in informality, and, in contrast, smaller fluctuations in formal jobs. In this context, the formal sector, given its lower flexibility, became a "social safety net" that preserved the stability of employment and wages. Based on the findings presented in this paper, it is projected that, starting in 2021, informality will grow to levels higher than those of the pre-COVID-19 era-with 7.56 million additional informal jobs-as a result of the population returning to the labor market to compensate for the declines in incomes. According to the simulations presented, postponing or forgiving income tax payments and social security contributions conditional on the generation of formal jobs could reduce the growth of informality by 50 to 75 percent. Achieving educational improvements has the potential to reduce it by 50 percent.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Employment/trends , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Employment/statistics & numerical data , Family Characteristics , Female , Humans , Latin America/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Occupations , Public Policy , Salaries and Fringe Benefits , Social Class , Socioeconomic Factors , Young Adult
6.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(2): e23957, 2021 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1576022

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided updates on the novel coronavirus and the government's responses to the pandemic in his daily briefings from March 13 to May 22, 2020, delivered on the official Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) YouTube channel. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine comments on Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau's COVID-19 daily briefings by YouTube users and track these comments to extract the changing dynamics of the opinions and concerns of the public over time. METHODS: We used machine learning techniques to longitudinally analyze a total of 46,732 English YouTube comments that were retrieved from 57 videos of Prime Minister Trudeau's COVID-19 daily briefings from March 13 to May 22, 2020. A natural language processing model, latent Dirichlet allocation, was used to choose salient topics among the sampled comments for each of the 57 videos. Thematic analysis was used to classify and summarize these salient topics into different prominent themes. RESULTS: We found 11 prominent themes, including strict border measures, public responses to Prime Minister Trudeau's policies, essential work and frontline workers, individuals' financial challenges, rental and mortgage subsidies, quarantine, government financial aid for enterprises and individuals, personal protective equipment, Canada and China's relationship, vaccines, and reopening. CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first to longitudinally investigate public discourse and concerns related to Prime Minister Trudeau's daily COVID-19 briefings in Canada. This study contributes to establishing a real-time feedback loop between the public and public health officials on social media. Hearing and reacting to real concerns from the public can enhance trust between the government and the public to prepare for future health emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Federal Government , Natural Language Processing , Public Health , Public Opinion , Social Media , COVID-19 Vaccines , Canada , Emigration and Immigration , Financial Stress , Financing, Government , Government , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment , Public Policy , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Unsupervised Machine Learning
7.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0243263, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1576004

ABSTRACT

As mobile device location data become increasingly available, new analyses are revealing the significant changes of mobility pattern when an unplanned event happened. With different control policies from local and state government, the COVID-19 outbreak has dramatically changed mobility behavior in affected cities. This study has been investigating the impact of COVID-19 on the number of people involved in crashes accounting for the intensity of different control measures using Negative Binomial (NB) method. Based on a comprehensive dataset of people involved in crashes aggregated in New York City during January 1, 2020 to May 24, 2020, people involved in crashes with respect to travel behavior, traffic characteristics and socio-demographic characteristics are found. The results show that the average person miles traveled on the main traffic mode per person per day, percentage of work trip have positive effect on person involved in crashes. On the contrary, unemployment rate and inflation rate have negative effects on person involved in crashes. Interestingly, different level of control policies during COVID-19 outbreak are closely associated with safety awareness, driving and travel behavior, and thus has an indirect influence on the frequency of crashes. Comparing to other three control policies including emergence declare, limits on mass gatherings, and ban on all nonessential gathering, the negative relationship between stay-at-home policy implemented in New York City from March 20, 2020 and the number of people involved crashes is found in our study.


Subject(s)
Accidents, Traffic/statistics & numerical data , Automobile Driving/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Safety/statistics & numerical data , Travel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , New York City , Public Policy , Risk-Taking
8.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(2): e25108, 2021 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574667

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a national public health protection agency in the United States. With the escalating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on society in the United States and around the world, the CDC has become one of the focal points of public discussion. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to identify the topics and their overarching themes emerging from the public COVID-19-related discussion about the CDC on Twitter and to further provide insight into public's concerns, focus of attention, perception of the CDC's current performance, and expectations from the CDC. METHODS: Tweets were downloaded from a large-scale COVID-19 Twitter chatter data set from March 11, 2020, when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, to August 14, 2020. We used R (The R Foundation) to clean the tweets and retain tweets that contained any of five specific keywords-cdc, CDC, centers for disease control and prevention, CDCgov, and cdcgov-while eliminating all 91 tweets posted by the CDC itself. The final data set included in the analysis consisted of 290,764 unique tweets from 152,314 different users. We used R to perform the latent Dirichlet allocation algorithm for topic modeling. RESULTS: The Twitter data generated 16 topics that the public linked to the CDC when they talked about COVID-19. Among the topics, the most discussed was COVID-19 death counts, accounting for 12.16% (n=35,347) of the total 290,764 tweets in the analysis, followed by general opinions about the credibility of the CDC and other authorities and the CDC's COVID-19 guidelines, with over 20,000 tweets for each. The 16 topics fell into four overarching themes: knowing the virus and the situation, policy and government actions, response guidelines, and general opinion about credibility. CONCLUSIONS: Social media platforms, such as Twitter, provide valuable databases for public opinion. In a protracted pandemic, such as COVID-19, quickly and efficiently identifying the topics within the public discussion on Twitter would help public health agencies improve the next-round communication with the public.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. , Data Mining , Public Opinion , Social Media , Communication , Humans , Pandemics , Public Health , Public Policy , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
9.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0248072, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1573852

ABSTRACT

The spread of COVID-19 and resulting local and national lockdowns have a host of potential consequences for demographic trends. While impacts on mortality and, to some extent, short-term migration flows are beginning to be documented, it is too early to measure actual consequences for family demography. To gain insight into potential future consequences of the lockdown for family demography, we use cross-national Google Trends search data to explore whether trends in searches for words related to fertility, relationship formation, and relationship dissolution changed following lockdowns compared to average, pre-lockdown levels in Europe and the United States. Because lockdowns were not widely anticipated or simultaneous in timing or intensity, we exploit variability over time and between countries (and U.S. states). We use a panel event-study design and difference-in-differences methods, and account for seasonal trends and average country-level (or state-level) differences in searches. We find statistically significant impacts of lockdown timing on changes in searches for terms such as wedding and those related to condom use, emergency contraception, pregnancy tests, and abortion, but little evidence of changes in searches related to fertility. Impacts for union formation and dissolution tended to only be statistically significant at the start of a lockdown with a return to average-levels about 2 to 3 months after lockdown initiation, particularly in Europe. Compared to Europe, returns to average search levels were less evident for the U.S., even 2 to 3 months after lockdowns were introduced. This may be due to the fact, in the U.S., health and social policy responses were less demarcated than in Europe, such that economic uncertainty was likely of larger magnitude. Such pandemic-related economic uncertainty may therefore have the potential to slightly increase already existing polarization in family formation behaviours in the U.S. Alongside contributing to the wider literature on economic uncertainty and family behaviors, this paper also proposes strategies for efficient use of Google Trends data, such as making relative comparisons and testing sensitivity to outliers, and provides a template and cautions for their use in demographic research when actual demographic trends data are not yet available.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/prevention & control , Europe , Family Characteristics , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Policy , Quarantine/psychology , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , United States
10.
J Glob Health ; 10(2): 020354, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560886
11.
Lancet Public Health ; 7(1): e86-e92, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1562177

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. The pandemic not only induced a public health crisis, but has led to severe economic, social, and educational crises. Across economies and societies, the distributional consequences of the pandemic have been uneven. Among groups living in vulnerable conditions, the pandemic substantially magnified the inequality gaps, with possible negative implications for these individuals' long-term physical, socioeconomic, and mental wellbeing. This Viewpoint proposes priority, programmatic, and policy recommendations that governments, resource partners, and relevant stakeholders should consider in formulating medium-term to long-term strategies for preventing the spread of COVID-19, addressing the virus's impacts, and decreasing health inequalities. The world is at a never more crucial moment, requiring collaboration and cooperation from all sectors to mitigate the inequality gaps and improve people's health and wellbeing with universal health coverage and social protection, in addition to implementation of the health in all policies approach.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Public Policy , Universal Health Insurance , Vulnerable Populations/psychology , Global Health , Humans , Public Health
12.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev ; 22(S2): 51-57, 2021 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559636

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Sale of single cigarettes (also known as singles or loosies) is a key driver for early initiation of smoking and is a leading contributor to the smoking epidemic in India. Sale of singles additionally deter implementation of tobacco control strategies of pictorial health warnings including plain packaging and defeat effective taxation and promote illicit trade. We review India's tobacco control policy responses towards banning singles and other products sold as loose tobacco and identify opportunities for future policy intervention especially in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Existing national and sub-national policy documents were analyzed for their content since the inception of the tobacco control laws in the country. RESULTS: There are no effective provisions at national level to ban loose tobacco products in India. However, the implementation of multiple legislative and regulatory measures (Acts/circulars/letters/notifications/orders/court judgements) in 16 Indian states and jurisdictions provide sufficient legal framework to substantiate its complete ban pan India. While the majority of state governments have adopted state level measures, Rajasthan had issued specific directive to all the 33 districts banning loose cigarettes and other tobacco products. Himachal Pradesh introduced the most unique and comprehensive legislation, for banning the sale of cigarettes and beedis (Dated November 7, 2016). The most recent notification in the state of Maharashtra (September 24, 2020) is the first to leverage powers using a mix of national and state legislations including the legislation addressing the rapidly emerging challenge of managing COVID-19. CONCLUSION: A robust national policy which supports strong provision to deter tobacco companies, their distribution network and vendors from selling singles or loose tobacco products is urgently needed. Such policy should be backed by cautionary messaging for consumers as well. Eliminating singles and loose tobacco sale will help in blunting tobacco use prevalence besides curbing spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Public Policy/legislation & jurisprudence , Smoking Prevention/legislation & jurisprudence , Smoking/economics , Smoking/epidemiology , Tobacco Industry/economics , Tobacco Products/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , India/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , State Government , Taxes/legislation & jurisprudence , Tobacco Industry/legislation & jurisprudence
13.
Global Health ; 17(1): 132, 2021 11 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526647

ABSTRACT

In recent years, "nudging" has become a standard behavioral intervention at the individual level and for the design of social policies. Although nudges are effective, such interventions seem to be limited to a given space and time, and there is only scant evidence to support the contrary view. On the other hand, choice architects may utilize another type of intervention called "boosting," which shows the promise of generalized and lasting behavioral change. A government can use these tools to shape public policy. Behavioral interventions such as policy-making tools have their boundaries, as does the law. We argue that nudging and boosting may serve as active local or global aids in support of the legal system under certain circumstances. Nudging and boosting can also support the legal system, especially in relation to emerging social issues or events that are unprecedented, such as the recent global COVID-19 pandemic, where certain behavioral patterns are expected, but it would be difficult or impossible to enforce them through the law alone.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Decision Making , Health Policy , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Policy , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Nat Hum Behav ; 5(11): 1519-1527, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526081

ABSTRACT

Physical distancing reduces transmission risks and slows the spread of COVID-19. Yet compliance with shelter-in-place policies issued by local and regional governments in the United States was uneven and may have been influenced by science skepticism and attitudes towards topics of scientific consensus. Using county-day measures of physical distancing derived from cell phone location data, we demonstrate that the proportion of people who stayed at home after shelter-in-place policies went into effect in March and April 2020 in the United States was significantly lower in counties with a high concentration of science skeptics. These results are robust to controlling for other potential drivers of differential physical distancing, such as political partisanship, income, education and COVID severity. Our findings suggest that public health interventions that take local attitudes towards science into account in their messaging may be more effective.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Public Health , Public Policy , Science , Humans , Physical Distancing , United States
15.
Health Policy Plan ; 36(10): 1613-1624, 2021 Nov 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522192

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has triggered an unprecedented number of policy responses around the world across multiple policy domains. While governments have combined containment and health policies with social policies (CHSPs) during the initial phase of the pandemic in various ways, the current literature offers little knowledge of the patterns of these combinations and their determinants and outcomes. This paper fills this gap by investigating CHSP combinations across ≥120 countries. We further examined whether the CHSP response was determined by political regimes or compensation hypotheses-serving the purposes of responding to pre-existing economic downturns, inequality or social unrest. We also investigated the associations between CHSP responses and mobility, virus infection and unemployment. Using policy data from the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, results from sequence analysis indicated that governments' CHSP responses could be clustered into five categories: high social policies (SPs), middle SPs, containment and health (CH) leading SPs, low SPs and gradual high SPs. We used multinomial regression models to investigate determinants of CHSP responses. We found that CHSP responses did not differ by political regimes, and CHSP combinations were not driven by compensation hypotheses. Instead, gross domestic product per capita and government effectiveness were the key drivers for high levels of policy responses. We also found that low SP responses were associated with fewer mobility changes. Taken together, our findings suggest that lower-income countries required more support and resources in order for them to adopt necessary CH and SP responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Government , Health Policy , Humans , Public Policy , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Saudi Med J ; 42(4): 384-390, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1513255

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To measure the Saudi population's sleep quality during the lockdown of COVID-19. METHODS: An internet-based questionnaire that was performed during the lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic among the Saudi population over 2 weeks from April 1 to April 15, 2020. We used the instant messaging application WhatsApp and Twitter to reach the targeted population. Saudi citizens and non-Saudi residents who can read and understand the questionnaire were recruited. Data were analyzed using Stata and SPSS. RESULTS: A total of 790 responses were included. The majority of participants were the Saudi population 735 (92.9%). The prevalence of insomnia and poor sleep quality were 54.4% and 55.5%, respectively. Saudi citizenship was associated with longer sleep duration (p=0.031). Female gender and being married were associated with worse global PSQI, sleep quality, sleep distribution, sleep latency, and daytime dysfunction. CONCLUSION: Our findings showed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Saudi population had a high prevalence of insomnia and poor sleep quality. Routine monitoring of the psychological impact of life-threatening outbreaks and the adoption of effective early mental health actions should be considered.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disorders of Excessive Somnolence/epidemiology , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/epidemiology , Sleep , Adult , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Educational Status , Female , Humans , Male , Marital Status/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Public Policy , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , Sex Factors , Sleep Latency , Surveys and Questionnaires , Unemployment/statistics & numerical data
20.
Nihon Eiseigaku Zasshi ; 76(0)2021.
Article in Japanese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506199

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In this study, we aimed to clarify the transition to the implementation of smoking prohibition at eating and drinking establishments one year before and after April 2020, the time when they became "nonsmoking" in principle following the implementation of the amendment bill for the Health Promotion Act of Japan. METHODS: The total number of nonsmoking/smoking eating and drinking establishments by industry were obtained using the data from "Tabelog®." The number of people who tested positive for COVID-19 by the polymerase chain reaction test on the day of the survey nationwide and the bankruptcy status of the companies (eating and drinking establishments, etc.) for each month were ascertained. RESULTS: In 2020, a state of emergency was declared owing to the increase in the number of people positive for COVID-19, and many eating and drinking establishments went bankrupt. Despite these circumstances, the number of nonsmoking eating and drinking establishments exceeded that of smoking establishments in March 2020 and continued to increase thereafter. Additionally, the number of nonsmoking "restaurants" increased and exceeded that of smoking restaurants in June 2020. The number of nonsmoking "cafes" already exceeded that of smoking "cafes" at the beginning of this survey and continued to increase. The number of nonsmoking "bars" increased, but that of smoking "bars" remained high. CONCLUSION: It is necessary to promote measures against passive smoking while paying attention to the trends for different types of eating and drinking establishments, rather than considering all establishments together.


Subject(s)
Public Policy/legislation & jurisprudence , Restaurants/legislation & jurisprudence , Smoking/legislation & jurisprudence , Tobacco Smoke Pollution/prevention & control , COVID-19 , Health Promotion , Humans , Japan , Public Policy/trends , Restaurants/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Smoking Prevention/statistics & numerical data
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