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1.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(2): e25734, 2021 02 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575972

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In a fast-evolving public health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple pieces of relevant information can be posted sequentially on a social media platform. The interval between subsequent posting times may have a different impact on the transmission and cross-propagation of the old and new information that results in a different peak value and a final size of forwarding users of the new information, depending on the content correlation and whether the new information is posted during the outbreak or quasi-steady-state phase of the old information. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to help in designing effective communication strategies to ensure information is delivered to the maximal number of users. METHODS: We developed and analyzed two classes of susceptible-forwarding-immune information propagation models with delay in transmission to describe the cross-propagation process of relevant information. A total of 28,661 retweets of typical information were posted frequently by each opinion leader related to COVID-19 with high influence (data acquisition up to February 19, 2020). The information was processed into discrete points with a frequency of 10 minutes, and the real data were fitted by the model numerical simulation. Furthermore, the influence of parameters on information dissemination and the design of a publishing strategy were analyzed. RESULTS: The current epidemic outbreak situation, epidemic prevention, and other related authoritative information cannot be timely and effectively browsed by the public. The ingenious use of information release intervals can effectively enhance the interaction between information and realize the effective diffusion of information. We parameterized our models using real data from Sina Microblog and used the parameterized models to define and evaluate mutual attractiveness indexes, and we used these indexes and parameter sensitivity analyses to inform optimal strategies for new information to be effectively propagated in the microblog. The results of the parameter analysis showed that using different attractiveness indexes as the key parameters can control the information transmission with different release intervals, so it is considered as a key link in the design of an information communication strategy. At the same time, the dynamic process of information was analyzed through index evaluation. CONCLUSIONS: Our model can carry out an accurate numerical simulation of information at different release intervals and achieve a dynamic evaluation of information transmission by constructing an indicator system so as to provide theoretical support and strategic suggestions for government decision making. This study optimizes information posting strategies to maximize communication efforts for delivering key public health messages to the public for better outcomes of public health emergency management.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Education , Information Dissemination , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , Public Opinion , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Communication , Disease Outbreaks , Government , Humans , Pandemics , Time Factors
2.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(2): e26302, 2021 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575865

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 (ie, COVID-19) has given rise to a global pandemic affecting 215 countries and over 40 million people as of October 2020. Meanwhile, we are also experiencing an infodemic induced by the overabundance of information, some accurate and some inaccurate, spreading rapidly across social media platforms. Social media has arguably shifted the information acquisition and dissemination of a considerably large population of internet users toward higher interactivities. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate COVID-19-related health beliefs on one of the mainstream social media platforms, Twitter, as well as potential impacting factors associated with fluctuations in health beliefs on social media. METHODS: We used COVID-19-related posts from the mainstream social media platform Twitter to monitor health beliefs. A total of 92,687,660 tweets corresponding to 8,967,986 unique users from January 6 to June 21, 2020, were retrieved. To quantify health beliefs, we employed the health belief model (HBM) with four core constructs: perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefits, and perceived barriers. We utilized natural language processing and machine learning techniques to automate the process of judging the conformity of each tweet with each of the four HBM constructs. A total of 5000 tweets were manually annotated for training the machine learning architectures. RESULTS: The machine learning classifiers yielded areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves over 0.86 for the classification of all four HBM constructs. Our analyses revealed a basic reproduction number R0 of 7.62 for trends in the number of Twitter users posting health belief-related content over the study period. The fluctuations in the number of health belief-related tweets could reflect dynamics in case and death statistics, systematic interventions, and public events. Specifically, we observed that scientific events, such as scientific publications, and nonscientific events, such as politicians' speeches, were comparable in their ability to influence health belief trends on social media through a Kruskal-Wallis test (P=.78 and P=.92 for perceived benefits and perceived barriers, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: As an analogy of the classic epidemiology model where an infection is considered to be spreading in a population with an R0 greater than 1, we found that the number of users tweeting about COVID-19 health beliefs was amplifying in an epidemic manner and could partially intensify the infodemic. It is "unhealthy" that both scientific and nonscientific events constitute no disparity in impacting the health belief trends on Twitter, since nonscientific events, such as politicians' speeches, might not be endorsed by substantial evidence and could sometimes be misleading.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Data Analysis , Health Education/statistics & numerical data , Machine Learning , Natural Language Processing , Public Opinion , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics
3.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0247949, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575332

ABSTRACT

AIM: In spring 2020, the first Covid-19-related lockdown included the closing of kindergartens and schools. Home schooling, the lack of social contacts with peers and the care of the children at home posed an enormous challenge for many families. METHODS: The present study investigated the leisure behavior of 285 one- to 10-year-old German children at two time points (t1 and t2) during the Covid-19-related lockdown in spring 2020. In the subsample of primary school children (n = 102), we also explored children's attitudes towards schoolwork at home. Analyses focused on the change of behavior from t1 to t2, on differences in these changes depending on socio-economic status (SES), and on associations of behavior with SES, the number of children at home, and the frequency of receiving learning materials from school. RESULTS: While the frequency of playing outside increased significantly from t1 to t2, the frequency of handicrafts, playing board games, indoor sports, and motivation to do schoolwork decreased. The observed changes between t1 and t2 did not differ depending on SES. However, a lower SES was associated with higher media use, less outdoor activity, and (though only marginally significant) a reduced time doing schoolwork and a reduced ability to concentrate on schoolwork at t1. In households with more children, children played outside more often, but were read to less frequently and (though only marginally significant) watched movies and series less frequently. Children receiving learning materials from school on a regular basis spent significantly more time doing schoolwork at home than children receiving materials only irregularly. CONCLUSIONS: A continuing loss of childcare in day-care facilities and schools entails the danger of declining education in the form of (inter)active indoor activities and schoolwork.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Exercise , Learning , Leisure Activities , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Child Care , Child Day Care Centers , Child Health/statistics & numerical data , Child, Preschool , Female , Health Behavior/classification , Humans , Infant , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Isolation , Schools , Social Class , Social Isolation , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Sports/statistics & numerical data
4.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(2): e26570, 2021 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574329

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19-related information on social media is overabundant and sometimes questionable, resulting in an "infodemic" during the pandemic. While previous studies suggest social media usage increases the risk of developing anxiety symptoms, how induced anxiety affects attitudes and behaviors is less discussed, let alone during a global pandemic. Little is known about the relationship between older adults using social media during a pandemic and their anxiety, their attitudes toward social trust in information, and behaviors to avoid contracting COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to investigate the associations between using social media for COVID-19-related information and anxiety symptoms as well as the mediation effect of anxiety symptoms on social trust in information and COVID-safe behaviors among older adults. METHODS: A cross-sectional telephone survey was conducted in Hong Kong between May and August 2020. A rapid warm-call protocol was developed to train social workers and volunteers from participant nongovernmental organizations to conduct the telephone surveys. Questions related to COVID-safe behaviors, social trust in information, social media use, anxiety and depressive symptoms, and sociodemographic information were asked. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at the community level was used to account for the risk of contracting COVID-19. Ordinary least squares regressions examined the associations between social media use and anxiety symptoms, and how they were associated with social trust in information and COVID-safe behaviors. Structural equation modeling further mapped out these relationships to identify the mediation effects of anxiety symptoms. RESULTS: This study collected information regarding 3421 adults aged 60 years and older. Use of social media for COVID-19-related information was associated with more anxiety symptoms and lower social trust in information but had no significant relationship with COVID-safe behaviors. Anxiety symptoms predicted lower social trust in information and higher COVID-safe behaviors. Lower social trust in information was predicted by using social media for COVID-19 information, mediated by anxiety symptoms, while no mediation effect was found for COVID-safe behaviors. CONCLUSIONS: Older adults who rely on social media for COVID-19-related information exhibited more anxiety symptoms, while showing mixed effects on attitudes and behaviors. Social trust in information may be challenged by unverified and contradictory information online. The negligible impact on COVID-safe behaviors suggested that social media may have caused more confusion than consolidating a consistent effort against the pandemic. Media literacy education is recommended to promote critical evaluation of COVID-19-related information and responsible sharing among older adults.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , Attitude to Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Behavior , Health Education , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telephone , Trust , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics
5.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(51)2021 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1569347

ABSTRACT

The US COVID-19 Trends and Impact Survey (CTIS) is a large, cross-sectional, internet-based survey that has operated continuously since April 6, 2020. By inviting a random sample of Facebook active users each day, CTIS collects information about COVID-19 symptoms, risks, mitigating behaviors, mental health, testing, vaccination, and other key priorities. The large scale of the survey-over 20 million responses in its first year of operation-allows tracking of trends over short timescales and allows comparisons at fine demographic and geographic detail. The survey has been repeatedly revised to respond to emerging public health priorities. In this paper, we describe the survey methods and content and give examples of CTIS results that illuminate key patterns and trends and help answer high-priority policy questions relevant to the COVID-19 epidemic and response. These results demonstrate how large online surveys can provide continuous, real-time indicators of important outcomes that are not subject to public health reporting delays and backlogs. The CTIS offers high value as a supplement to official reporting data by supplying essential information about behaviors, attitudes toward policy and preventive measures, economic impacts, and other topics not reported in public health surveillance systems.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Status Indicators , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Sectional Studies , Epidemiologic Methods , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
6.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(9): e29413, 2021 09 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470726

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Harnessing health-related data posted on social media in real time can offer insights into how the pandemic impacts the mental health and general well-being of individuals and populations over time. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to obtain information on symptoms and medical conditions self-reported by non-Twitter social media users during the COVID-19 pandemic, to determine how discussion of these symptoms and medical conditions changed over time, and to identify correlations between frequency of the top 5 commonly mentioned symptoms post and daily COVID-19 statistics (new cases, new deaths, new active cases, and new recovered cases) in the United States. METHODS: We used natural language processing (NLP) algorithms to identify symptom- and medical condition-related topics being discussed on social media between June 14 and December 13, 2020. The sample posts were geotagged by NetBase, a third-party data provider. We calculated the positive predictive value and sensitivity to validate the classification of posts. We also assessed the frequency of health-related discussions on social media over time during the study period, and used Pearson correlation coefficients to identify statistically significant correlations between the frequency of the 5 most commonly mentioned symptoms and fluctuation of daily US COVID-19 statistics. RESULTS: Within a total of 9,807,813 posts (nearly 70% were sourced from the United States), we identified a discussion of 120 symptom-related topics and 1542 medical condition-related topics. Our classification of the health-related posts had a positive predictive value of over 80% and an average classification rate of 92% sensitivity. The 5 most commonly mentioned symptoms on social media during the study period were anxiety (in 201,303 posts or 12.2% of the total posts mentioning symptoms), generalized pain (189,673, 11.5%), weight loss (95,793, 5.8%), fatigue (91,252, 5.5%), and coughing (86,235, 5.2%). The 5 most discussed medical conditions were COVID-19 (in 5,420,276 posts or 66.4% of the total posts mentioning medical conditions), unspecified infectious disease (469,356, 5.8%), influenza (270,166, 3.3%), unspecified disorders of the central nervous system (253,407, 3.1%), and depression (151,752, 1.9%). Changes in posts in the frequency of anxiety, generalized pain, and weight loss were significant but negatively correlated with daily new COVID-19 cases in the United States (r=-0.49, r=-0.46, and r=-0.39, respectively; P<.05). Posts on the frequency of anxiety, generalized pain, weight loss, fatigue, and the changes in fatigue positively and significantly correlated with daily changes in both new deaths and new active cases in the United States (r ranged=0.39-0.48; P<.05). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 and symptoms of anxiety were the 2 most commonly discussed health-related topics on social media from June 14 to December 13, 2020. Real-time monitoring of social media posts on symptoms and medical conditions may help assess the population's mental health status and enhance public health surveillance for infectious disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Public Health Surveillance/methods , Self Report , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Female , Humans , Male , United States/epidemiology
7.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(10): e2126714, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1469399

ABSTRACT

Importance: Tensions around COVID-19 and systemic racism have raised the question: are hospitals advocating for equity for their Black patients? It is imperative for hospitals to be supportive of the Black community and acknowledge themselves as safe spaces, run by clinicians and staff who care about social justice issues that impact the health of the Black community; without the expression of support, Black patients may perceive hospitals as uncaring and unsafe, potentially delaying or avoiding treatment, which can result in serious complications and death for those with COVID-19. Objective: To explore how hospitals showed public-facing support for the Black community as measured through tweets about social equity or the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Design, Setting, and Participants: Using a retrospective longitudinal cohort study design, tweets from the top 100 ranked hospitals were collected, starting with the most recent over a 10-year span, from May 3, 2009, to June 26, 2020. The date of the George Floyd killing, May 25, 2020, was investigated as a point of interest. Data were analyzed from June 11 to December 4, 2020. Main Outcomes and Measures: Tweets were manually identified based on 4 categories: BLM, associated with the BLM movement; Black support, expressed support for Black population within the hospital's community; Black health, pertained to health concerns specific to and the creation of health care for the Black community; or social justice, associated with general social justice terms that were too general to label as Black. If a tweet did not contain any hashtags from these categories, it remained unlabeled. Results: A total of 281 850 tweets from 90 unique social media accounts were collected. Each handle returned at least 1279 tweets, with 85 handles (94.4%) returning at least 3000 tweets. Tweet publication dates ranged from 2009 to 2020. A total of 274 tweets (0.097%) from 67 handles (74.4%) used a hashtag to support the BLM movement. Among the tweets labeled BLM, the first tweet was published in 2018 and only 4 tweets (1.5%) predated the killing of George Floyd. A similar trend of low signal observed was detected for the other categories (Black support: 244 tweets [0.086%] from 42 handles [46.7%] starting in 2013; Black health: 28 tweets [0.0099%] from 15 handles [16.7%] starting in 2018; social justice: 40 tweets [0.014%] from 21 handles [23.3%] starting in 2015). Conclusions and Relevance: These findings reflect the low signal of tweets regarding the Black community and social justice in a generalized way across approximately 10 years of tweets for all the hospital handles within the data set. From 2009 to 2020, hospitals rarely engaged in issues pertaining to the Black community and if so, only within the last half of this time period. These later entrances into these discussions indicate that these discussions are relatively recent.


Subject(s)
Hospitals/statistics & numerical data , Social Justice/statistics & numerical data , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , African Americans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , Racism , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Justice/psychology , United States/epidemiology
8.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 20098, 2021 10 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462023

ABSTRACT

Access to online information has been crucial throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We analyzed more than eight million randomly selected Twitter posts from the first wave of the pandemic to study the role of the author's social status (Health Expert or Influencer) and the informational novelty of the tweet in the diffusion of several key types of information. Our results show that health-related information and political discourse propagated faster than personal narratives, economy-related or travel-related news. Content novelty further accelerated the spread of these discussion themes. People trusted health experts on health-related knowledge, especially when it was novel, while influencers were more effective at propagating political discourse. Finally, we observed a U-shaped relationship between the informational novelty and the number of retweets. Tweets with average novelty spread the least. Tweets with high novelty propagated the most, primarily when they discussed political, health, or personal information, perhaps owing to the immediacy to mobilize this information. On the other hand, economic and travel-related information spread most when it was less novel, and people resisted sharing such information before it was duly verified.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Information Dissemination/methods , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Psychological Distance , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Data Interpretation, Statistical , Humans , Machine Learning , Pandemics/prevention & control , Poisson Distribution
9.
Plast Reconstr Surg ; 148(5): 825e-836e, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443162

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In response to the cancellation of away rotations and the shift to virtual interviews due to the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, residency programs have pursued other methods of sharing program details, most notably with the use of social media. This study aimed to evaluate the extent of social media utilization in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic by plastic surgery residency programs. METHODS: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts of plastic surgery programs, program directors, and chiefs were identified. Number of followers, total posts, and posts since March 1, 2020, were extracted. Account content was categorized as informational, social, operative, research, self-promotional, guest lecture, education, or other. Spearman's coefficient was used to determine correlations among account data. Differences among regions and program pathways were evaluated using the Kruskal-Wallis test. RESULTS: Since March 1, 2020, 17 Instagram, five Twitter, and three Facebook accounts have been created. Instagram was most widely used and followed (1720 posts, 1235.7 ± 735.9 followers) compared with Twitter (722 tweets, 325.6 ± 451.0 followers) and Facebook (430 posts, 338.3 ± 363.3 followers). Although the majority of content was informational (45.1 percent), Instagram contained more social content (21 percent), Twitter contained more research (21 percent), and Facebook contained more self-promotional content (25 percent). Integrated-only programs on average posted more on Instagram (21.5 ± 15.1 posts) than did independent-only programs (9.4 ± 8.5 posts), and post volume moderately correlated with number of followers. There were no statistically significant differences among regional means. CONCLUSION: Plastic surgery residency programs have incorporated social media into their recruitment strategies and will likely continue to increase and diversify their posts to effectively engage with future applicants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Internship and Residency , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Surgery, Plastic/education , Humans , United States
10.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257729, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435620

ABSTRACT

Prior to the COVID 19 pandemic, discussions about online learning referred to the use of e-learning platforms and social networks as auxiliary tools in the educational process. Due to the pandemic, universities were forced to adopt an exclusive online teaching process and most universities today use platforms dedicated to online learning such as Moodle platforms. In this context, we were interested in analyzing the attitude of students regarding the way social networks could be integrated into the educational process, and if the positive attitude of students towards social networks and their use for academic purposes, proven in previous studies, remains positive under the conditions generated by the pandemic. In this regard, the present study aimed at identifying the attitude of Romanian students towards the use of Facebook and Instagram as educational tools and the circumstances in which students believe these platforms could be used by them and their teachers. An online survey was conducted on 872 students from public higher education institutions in Romania. Based on the exploratory factor analysis and the parametric test, the empirical results show that students have a slightly positive attitude towards using Facebook in the educational process, but they have a more reticent, less positive attitude towards using Instagram. Thus, the most appropriate contexts in which these platforms could be used are represented by extracurricular activities. A higher preference for the use of Facebook rather than Instagram, was identified among master and PhD students. No major differences were revealed in student subgroups sorted by gender or study domain.


Subject(s)
Education, Distance/methods , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Students, Medical/statistics & numerical data , Universities/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Attitude , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Learning/physiology , Male , Romania/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
11.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257428, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435612

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Twitter represents a mainstream news source for the American public, offering a valuable vehicle for learning how citizens make sense of pandemic health threats like Covid-19. Masking as a risk mitigation measure became controversial in the US. The social amplification risk framework offers insight into how a risk event interacts with psychological, social, institutional, and cultural communication processes to shape Covid-19 risk perception. METHODS: Qualitative content analysis was conducted on 7,024 mask tweets reflecting 6,286 users between January 24 and July 7, 2020, to identify how citizens expressed Covid-19 risk perception over time. Descriptive statistics were computed for (a) proportion of tweets using hyperlinks, (b) mentions, (c) hashtags, (d) questions, and (e) location. RESULTS: Six themes emerged regarding how mask tweets amplified and attenuated Covid-19 risk: (a) severity perceptions (18.0%) steadily increased across 5 months; (b) mask effectiveness debates (10.7%) persisted; (c) who is at risk (26.4%) peaked in April and May 2020; (d) mask guidelines (15.6%) peaked April 3, 2020, with federal guidelines; (e) political legitimizing of Covid-19 risk (18.3%) steadily increased; and (f) mask behavior of others (31.6%) composed the largest discussion category and increased over time. Of tweets, 45% contained a hyperlink, 40% contained mentions, 33% contained hashtags, and 16.5% were expressed as a question. CONCLUSIONS: Users ascribed many meanings to mask wearing in the social media information environment revealing that COVID-19 risk was expressed in a more expanded range than objective risk. The simultaneous amplification and attenuation of COVID-19 risk perception on social media complicates public health messaging about mask wearing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Masks/virology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Communication , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Perception/physiology , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , Public Opinion , Risk-Taking , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , United States
12.
Nat Microbiol ; 6(10): 1271-1278, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1402078

ABSTRACT

Genomics, combined with population mobility data, used to map importation and spatial spread of SARS-CoV-2 in high-income countries has enabled the implementation of local control measures. Here, to track the spread of SARS-CoV-2 lineages in Bangladesh at the national level, we analysed outbreak trajectory and variant emergence using genomics, Facebook 'Data for Good' and data from three mobile phone operators. We sequenced the complete genomes of 67 SARS-CoV-2 samples (collected by the IEDCR in Bangladesh between March and July 2020) and combined these data with 324 publicly available Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) SARS-CoV-2 genomes from Bangladesh at that time. We found that most (85%) of the sequenced isolates were Pango lineage B.1.1.25 (58%), B.1.1 (19%) or B.1.36 (8%) in early-mid 2020. Bayesian time-scaled phylogenetic analysis predicted that SARS-CoV-2 first emerged during mid-February in Bangladesh, from abroad, with the first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) reported on 8 March 2020. At the end of March 2020, three discrete lineages expanded and spread clonally across Bangladesh. The shifting pattern of viral diversity in Bangladesh, combined with the mobility data, revealed that the mass migration of people from cities to rural areas at the end of March, followed by frequent travel between Dhaka (the capital of Bangladesh) and the rest of the country, disseminated three dominant viral lineages. Further analysis of an additional 85 genomes (November 2020 to April 2021) found that importation of variant of concern Beta (B.1.351) had occurred and that Beta had become dominant in Dhaka. Our interpretation that population mobility out of Dhaka, and travel from urban hotspots to rural areas, disseminated lineages in Bangladesh in the first wave continues to inform government policies to control national case numbers by limiting within-country travel.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Cell Phone/statistics & numerical data , Genome, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Bangladesh/epidemiology , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Genomics , Health Policy/legislation & jurisprudence , Humans , Phylogeny , Population Dynamics/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Travel/legislation & jurisprudence , Travel/statistics & numerical data
13.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(9): e31052, 2021 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394691

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused great panic among the public, with many people suffering from adverse stress reactions. To control the spread of the pandemic, governments in many countries have imposed lockdown policies. In this unique pandemic context, people can obtain information about pandemic dynamics on the internet. However, searching for health-related information on the internet frequently increases the possibility of individuals being troubled by the information that they find, and consequently, experiencing symptoms of cyberchondria. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to examine the relationships between people's perceived severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and their depression, anxiety, and stress to explore the role of cyberchondria, which, in these relationship mechanisms, is closely related to using the internet. In addition, we also examined the moderating role of lockdown experiences. METHODS: In February 2020, a total of 486 participants were recruited through a web-based platform from areas in China with a large number of infections. We used questionnaires to measure participants' perceived severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, to measure the severity of their cyberchondria, depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms, and to assess their lockdown experiences. Confirmatory factor analysis, exploratory factor analysis, common method bias, descriptive statistical analysis, and correlation analysis were performed, and moderated mediation models were examined. RESULTS: There was a positive association between perceived severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and depression (ß=0.36, t=8.51, P<.001), anxiety (ß=0.41, t=9.84, P<.001), and stress (ß=0.46, t=11.45, P<.001), which were mediated by cyberchondria (ß=0.36, t=8.59, P<.001). The direct effects of perceived severity of the COVID-19 pandemic on anxiety (ß=0.07, t=2.01, P=.045) and stress (ß=0.09, t=2.75, P=.006) and the indirect effects of cyberchondria on depression (ß=0.10, t=2.59, P=.009) and anxiety (ß=0.10, t=2.50, P=.01) were moderated by lockdown experience. CONCLUSIONS: The higher the perceived severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the more serious individuals' symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. In addition, the associations were partially mediated by cyberchondria. Individuals with higher perceived severity of the COVID-19 pandemic were more likely to develop cyberchondria, which aggravated individuals' depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms. Negative lockdown experiences exacerbated the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on mental health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Perception , Quarantine/psychology , Stress, Psychological/complications , Adolescent , Adult , Anxiety/etiology , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , China/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/etiology , Depression/psychology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Quarantine/standards , Social Media/standards , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Stress, Psychological/psychology
15.
J Nerv Ment Dis ; 209(9): 681-683, 2021 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376357

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: The COVID-19 pandemic brought with itself significant mental health challenges owing not only to the morbidity and mortality from the infection but also to mitigation strategies of social distancing and self-isolation. Indeed, in the absence of adequate pharmaceutical aids, quarantine and social distancing measures are taken to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Thus, living in the world of social media, the average usage of social media could be expected to show a sharp rise as measures of social distancing and quarantine are adopted to contain the pandemic. In this context, social media could be thought of as an additional preventative resource aiding the containment of the pandemic by being a key network for communication during a crisis.Because social media usage cannot be brought down to null considering the fact that it does have some positive aspects to it in terms of disposition of useful information, we could alternatively modify the reporting to be more responsible.In conclusion, we could hypothesize that social media might surge responses for some adverse mental health conditions, increasing fear, anxiety, and panic responses, even spreading suicidal ideation and therefore impacting incidence of suicide in some way. Moreover, social media should be carefully handled, particularly during the pandemic, as social media engagement spiked. Indeed, suicide news, when not reported adequately, and most dangerous social media challenges could have devastating effects among youngest users.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Suicidal Ideation , Suicide/prevention & control , Humans , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Online Social Networking , Psychiatry/methods
17.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(8): e29150, 2021 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1365496

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 outbreak has induced negative emotions among people. These emotions are expressed by the public on social media and are rapidly spread across the internet, which could cause high levels of panic among the public. Understanding the changes in public sentiment on social media during the pandemic can provide valuable information for developing appropriate policies to reduce the negative impact of the pandemic on the public. Previous studies have consistently shown that the COVID-19 outbreak has had a devastating negative impact on public sentiment. However, it remains unclear whether there has been a variation in the public sentiment during the recovery phase of the pandemic. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we aim to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in mainland China by continuously tracking public sentiment on social media throughout 2020. METHODS: We collected 64,723,242 posts from Sina Weibo, China's largest social media platform, and conducted a sentiment analysis based on natural language processing to analyze the emotions reflected in these posts. RESULTS: We found that the COVID-19 pandemic not only affected public sentiment on social media during the initial outbreak but also induced long-term negative effects even in the recovery period. These long-term negative effects were no longer correlated with the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases both locally and nationwide during the recovery period, and they were not attributed to the postpandemic economic recession. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic induced long-term negative effects on public sentiment in mainland China even as the country recovered from the pandemic. Our study findings remind public health and government administrators of the need to pay attention to public mental health even once the pandemic has concluded.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emotions , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Public Opinion , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , China/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors
18.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(8): e29029, 2021 08 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360690

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Widespread fear surrounding COVID-19, coupled with physical and social distancing orders, has caused severe adverse mental health outcomes. Little is known, however, about how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted LGBTQ+ youth, who disproportionately experienced a high rate of adverse mental health outcomes before the COVID-19 pandemic. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to address this knowledge gap by harnessing natural language processing methodologies to investigate the evolution of conversation topics in the most popular subreddit for LGBTQ+ youth. METHODS: We generated a data set of all r/LGBTeens subreddit posts (n=39,389) between January 1, 2020 and February 1, 2021 and analyzed meaningful trends in anxiety, anger, and sadness in the posts. Because the distribution of anxiety before widespread social distancing orders was meaningfully different from the distribution after (P<.001), we employed latent Dirichlet allocation to examine topics that provoked this shift in anxiety. RESULTS: We did not find any differences in LGBTQ+ youth anger and sadness before and after government-mandated social distancing; however, anxiety increased significantly (P<.001). Further analysis revealed a list of 10 anxiety-provoking topics discussed during the pandemic: attraction to a friend, coming out, coming out to family, discrimination, education, exploring sexuality, gender pronouns, love and relationship advice, starting a new relationship, and struggling with mental health. CONCLUSIONS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, LGBTQ+ teens increased their reliance on anonymous discussion forums when discussing anxiety-provoking topics. LGBTQ+ teens likely perceived anonymous forums as safe spaces for discussing lifestyle stressors during COVID-19 disruptions (eg, school closures). The list of prevalent anxiety-provoking topics in LGBTQ+ teens' anonymous discussions can inform future mental health interventions in LGBTQ+ youth.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Natural Language Processing , Pandemics , Sexual and Gender Minorities/psychology , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Social Media/trends , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Emotions , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Sexual and Gender Minorities/statistics & numerical data
19.
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 100(32): e26713, 2021 Aug 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358516

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on toothache patients through posts on Sina Weibo. METHODS: Using Gooseeker, we searched and screened 24,108 posts about toothache on Weibo during the dental clinical closure period of China (February 1, 2020-February 29, 2020), and then divided them into 4 categories (causes of toothache, treatments of toothache, impacts of COVID-19 on toothache treatment, popular science articles of toothache), including 10 subcategories, to analyze the proportion of posts in each category. RESULTS: There were 12,603 postings closely related to toothache. Among them, 87.6% of posts did not indicate a specific cause of pain, and 92.8% of posts did not clearly indicate a specific method of treatment. There were 38.9% of the posts that clearly showed that their dental treatment of toothache was affected by COVID-19, including 10.5% of the posts in which patients were afraid to see the dentists because of COVID-19, and 28.4% of the posts in which patients were unable to see the dentists because the dental clinic was closed. Only 3.5% of all posts were about popular science of toothache. CONCLUSIONS: We have studied and analyzed social media data about toothache during the COVID-19 epidemic, so as to provide some insights for government organizations, the media and dentists to better guide the public to pay attention to oral health through social media. Research on social media data can help formulate public health policies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Toothache/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , China/epidemiology , Data Mining/methods , Data Mining/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Oral Health/standards , Oral Health/trends , Toothache/epidemiology , Toothache/psychology
20.
Dermatol Online J ; 27(6)2021 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1357581

ABSTRACT

To investigate the extent to which dermatology programs use social media to connect with applicants, we conducted a search of all 140 residency programs on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Our search revealed 74 (53%) Instagram, 21 (15%) Facebook, 20 (14%) Twitter, and four (3%) YouTube accounts for dermatology programs, with the number of Instagram accounts increasing five-fold from the end of 2019 to present. Our results demonstrate that conditions created during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic accelerated dermatology residency programs' acceptance of social media, particularly Instagram, as a means to communicate and share information with applicants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Internship and Residency , Pandemics , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Dermatologists/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Personnel Selection/methods , Personnel Selection/statistics & numerical data , Social Media/trends , Students, Medical/statistics & numerical data
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