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1.
Front Public Health ; 9: 799658, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1573575

ABSTRACT

This paper investigates the effects of pandemics sentiment (the World Pandemics Discussion Index) on the returns of the global art market from 1998Q1 to 2021Q2 at the global level. The Ordinary Least Squares and the Quantile Regression estimations indicate that global pandemics sentiment positively affects the returns of the global art market. This evidence means that investing in the art market can hedge the uncertainty shocks related to pandemics at the global level.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Attitude , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Uncertainty
2.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(2)2022 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1602775

ABSTRACT

Pooled testing increases efficiency by grouping individual samples and testing the combined sample, such that many individuals can be cleared with one negative test. This short paper demonstrates that pooled testing is particularly advantageous in the setting of pandemics, given repeated testing, rapid spread, and uncertain risk. Repeated testing mechanically lowers the infection probability at the time of the next test by removing positives from the population. This effect alone means that increasing frequency by x times only increases expected tests by around [Formula: see text] However, this calculation omits a further benefit of frequent testing: Removing infections from the population lowers intragroup transmission, which lowers infection probability and generates further efficiency. For this reason, increasing testing frequency can paradoxically reduce total testing cost. Our calculations are based on the assumption that infection rates are known, but predicting these rates is challenging in a fast-moving pandemic. However, given that frequent testing naturally suppresses the mean and variance of infection rates, we show that our results are very robust to uncertainty and misprediction. Finally, we note that efficiency further increases given natural sampling pools (e.g., workplaces, classrooms) that induce correlated risk via local transmission. We conclude that frequent pooled testing using natural groupings is a cost-effective way to provide consistent testing of a population to suppress infection risk in a pandemic.


Subject(s)
Mass Screening/economics , Mass Screening/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Humans , Population Surveillance , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Uncertainty
3.
Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging ; 319: 111414, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605786

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a period of unprecedented uncertainty. Research indicates individuals differ in their response to uncertainty and these differences are mediated by anterior insula (aINS) function. Those most sensitive to uncertainty are likely vulnerable to negative affect in the context of the pandemic. The current study was designed to directly test this question using both neural and self-reported measures of sensitivity to uncertainty. Fifty-nine volunteers completed a task designed to probe neural response to anticipation of predictable (P-) and unpredictable (U-) threat-of-electric-shock during functional magnetic resonance imaging and a self-report measure of intolerance of uncertainty (IU). Approximately two years later, during the peak of the pandemic, participants reported their emotional reactions to the COVID-19 crisis. Multilevel mixed models revealed that greater aINS activation to U-threat and greater self-reported IU were independent predictors of increased COVID-related negative affect. These findings were significant when adjusting for biological sex and depression and anxiety symptom severity. The results add to a growing literature demonstrating that individual differences in response to uncertainty have a robust impact on mood and functioning. Results also highlight that individuals highly sensitive to uncertainty may be at increased risk for poor mental health during the ongoing pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Self Report , Uncertainty
4.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(2)2022 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593390

ABSTRACT

We consider epidemiological modeling for the design of COVID-19 interventions in university populations, which have seen significant outbreaks during the pandemic. A central challenge is sensitivity of predictions to input parameters coupled with uncertainty about these parameters. Nearly 2 y into the pandemic, parameter uncertainty remains because of changes in vaccination efficacy, viral variants, and mask mandates, and because universities' unique characteristics hinder translation from the general population: a high fraction of young people, who have higher rates of asymptomatic infection and social contact, as well as an enhanced ability to implement behavioral and testing interventions. We describe an epidemiological model that formed the basis for Cornell University's decision to reopen for in-person instruction in fall 2020 and supported the design of an asymptomatic screening program instituted concurrently to prevent viral spread. We demonstrate how the structure of these decisions allowed risk to be minimized despite parameter uncertainty leading to an inability to make accurate point estimates and how this generalizes to other university settings. We find that once-per-week asymptomatic screening of vaccinated undergraduate students provides substantial value against the Delta variant, even if all students are vaccinated, and that more targeted testing of the most social vaccinated students provides further value.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Return to School/methods , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Decision Making , Humans , Mass Screening , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Uncertainty , United States/epidemiology , Universities , Vaccination
5.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260767, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581773

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected health care systems worldwide. Multidisciplinary teams provide specialist palliative home care (SPHC) for patients with incurable, severe, progressive diseases. These patients are at the same time at high risk, if infected, highly constricted by containment measures, and dependent on support. AIM: To explore i) how German SPHC teams were affected by the pandemic during the first wave, ii) which challenges they faced, and iii) which strategies helped to handle the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for providing good SPHC. METHOD: Four focus groups (with representatives of 18 SPHC teams) and five guided interviews with stakeholders were conducted and analysed using qualitative content analysis. RESULTS: Seven key categories emerged from the data. A category in the background describes dependence on organizational characteristics (e.g. sponsorship), which varied by regional factors. Information management was a challenge to SPHC teams, as they had to collect, interpret and adapt, and disseminate information. They reported a shift in patient care because of the COVID-19 pandemic, due to restricted home visits, visitation ban in nursing homes, and difficulties for hospital, hospice and nursing home admissions. Measures to reduce risk of infection impeded teamwork. Teams relied upon their local networks in crisis management, but felt often overlooked by local health authorities. Their respective SPHC state associations supported them in information management and exchange. DISCUSSION: The pandemic has severely impacted home care for especially vulnerable seriously ill and dying people. A good network with local health providers and authorities could help to harmonize local regulations and ensure quality care for all patient groups. SPHC teams could play an important role in caring for palliative patients with COVID-19 who are not admitted to a hospital due to preferences or resources.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adaptation, Physiological , Humans , Uncertainty
6.
Front Public Health ; 9: 788171, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581103

ABSTRACT

In the COVID-19 pandemic, the bidirectional policy adopted by the governments to stimulate domestic economy and reinforce foreign trade control is making the trade environment abnormally complex. China is facing a new challenge in export trade growth. Based on the continuous monthly data from January 2002 to April 2021, this paper uses the time-varying TVP-SV-VAR model to study the impulse response of China's export trade to economic policy uncertainty (EPU). It is found that (1) on the whole, the shock of global EPU and China's EPU on China's export to the OBOR/RCEP member countries is time-varying, different, and structurally significant; (2) during the pandemic, EPU has a significant short-term negative shock on China's gross exports and export to OBOR/RCEP members, and this shock is especially big in the case of global EPU. In the post-pandemic era, China should strengthen pandemic control and economic risk monitoring, continue with execution of multilateral FTAs and create a sustainably stable export trade environment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Economic Development , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Uncertainty
7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(1)2021 12 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580786

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the relationships between sociodemographic variables, intolerance to uncertainty (INT), social support, and psychological distress (i.e., indicators of Common Mental Disorders (CMDs) and perceived stress (PS)) in Brazilian men during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A cross-sectional study with national coverage, of the web survey type, and conducted with 1006 Brazilian men during the period of social circulation restriction imposed by the health authorities in Brazil for suppression of the coronavirus and control of the pandemic. Structural equation modeling analysis was performed. RESULTS: Statistically significant direct effects of race/skin color (λ = 0.268; p-value < 0.001), socioeconomic status (SES) (λ = 0.306; p-value < 0.001), household composition (λ = 0.281; p-value < 0.001), PS (λ = 0.513; p-value < 0.001), and INT (λ = 0.421; p-value < 0.001) were evidenced in the occurrence of CMDs. Black-skinned men with higher SES, living alone, and with higher PS and INT levels presented higher prevalence values of CMDs. CONCLUSIONS: High levels of PS and INT were the factors that presented the strongest associations with the occurrence of CMDs among the men. It is necessary to implement actions to reduce the stress-generating sources as well as to promote an increase in resilience and the development of intrinsic reinforcements to deal with uncertain threats.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychological Distress , Brazil/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Support , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Uncertainty
8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(1)2021 Dec 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580780

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is permanently changing modern social and economic coexistence. Most governments have declared infection control to be their top priority while citizens face great restrictions on their civil rights. A pandemic is an exemplary scenario in which political actors must decide about future, and thus uncertain, events. This paper tries to present a tool well established in the field of entrepreneurial and management decision making which could also be a first benchmark for political decisions. Our approach builds on the standard epidemiological SEIR model in combination with simulation techniques used in risk management. By our case study we want to demonstrate the opportunities that risk management techniques, especially risk analyses using Monte Carlo simulation, can provide to policy makers in general, and in a public health crisis in particular. Hence, our case study can be used as a framework for political decision making under incomplete information and uncertainty. Overall, we want to point out that a health policy that aims to provide comprehensive protection against infection should also be based on economic criteria. This is without prejudice to the integration of ethical considerations in the final political decision.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Decision Making , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Risk Management , SARS-CoV-2 , Uncertainty
9.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(2): e25893, 2021 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575197

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Contact tracing apps are an essential component of an effective COVID-19 testing strategy to counteract the spread of the pandemic and thereby avoid overburdening the health care system. As the adoption rates in several regions are undesirable, governments must increase the acceptance of COVID-19 tracing apps in these times of uncertainty. OBJECTIVE: Building on the Uncertainty Reduction Theory (URT), this study aims to investigate how uncertainty reduction measures foster the adoption of COVID-19 tracing apps and how their use affects the perception of different risks. METHODS: Representative survey data were gathered at two measurement points (before and after the app's release) and analyzed by performing covariance-based structural equation modeling (n=1003). RESULTS: We found that uncertainty reduction measures in the form of the transparency dimensions disclosure and accuracy, as well as social influence and trust in government, foster the adoption process. The use of the COVID-19 tracing app in turn reduced the perceived privacy and performance risks but did not reduce social risks and health-related COVID-19 concerns. CONCLUSIONS: This study contributes to the mass adoption of health care technology and URT research by integrating interactive communication measures and transparency as a multidimensional concept to reduce different types of uncertainty over time. Furthermore, our results help to derive communication strategies to promote the mass adoption of COVID-19 tracing apps, thus detecting infection chains and allowing intelligent COVID-19 testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Contact Tracing/methods , Mobile Applications , Empirical Research , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Uncertainty
10.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(24)2021 12 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1554853

ABSTRACT

This research uses structural equation modeling to determine the influence of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic as an independent variable in the negative emotional states and resilience (as mediating variables) vs. drug addiction, alcoholism, and suicide ideation as dependent variables in 5557 students from a public state university in Northern Mexico. The five variables are related through eight hypotheses and tested using partial least squares. We used an adapted questionnaire sent by email in May 2020. Findings show that uncertainty facing the COVID-19 pandemic had a direct and significant influence on negative emotional states and a significant inverse effect on resilience; in the trajectory, drug addiction and alcoholism, and suicide ideation are explained.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Suicidal Ideation , Uncertainty
11.
J Gen Intern Med ; 36(8): 2408-2413, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549541

ABSTRACT

Scholars from a range of disciplines including medicine, sociology, psychology, and philosophy have addressed the concepts of ambiguity and uncertainty in medical practice and training. Most of this scholarship has been descriptive, focusing on defining and measuring ambiguity and uncertainty tolerance or tracking clinicians' responses to ambiguous and uncertain situations. Meanwhile, scholars have neglected some fundamental normative questions: Is tolerance of uncertainty good; if so, to what extent? Using a philosophical approach to these questions, we show that neither tolerance nor intolerance of uncertainty is necessarily a good or bad trait. Rather, both tolerance and intolerance of uncertainty can give physicians advantages while at the same time exposing them to pitfalls in clinical practice. After making this case, we argue that cultivating certain virtues-like courage, diligence, and curiosity-could help clinicians avoid the dangers of excessive tolerance and intolerance of uncertainty. Finally, we suggest that medical educators develop curricula and career counseling beginning with matriculation and proceeding through specialty choice and residency training that explicitly address trainees' responses to clinical uncertainty. These programs should encourage trainees, students and residents, to be mindful of their reactions to uncertainty and help them develop virtues that will allow them to avoid the hazards of extreme tolerance or intolerance of uncertainty.


Subject(s)
Internship and Residency , Physicians , Clinical Decision-Making , Curriculum , Humans , Uncertainty
12.
Glob Health Action ; 14(1): 1995958, 2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528094

ABSTRACT

This debate examines the impact of infodemics - an over-abundance of information - on social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of its external effects, social distancing behavior (SDB) shares fundamental properties with public goods, whose potential for undersupply has been examined extensively in the social sciences. Although the negative effects of infodemics have been emphasized by governments and international organizations, theoretical models suggest that infodemics may work as a mitigation mechanism. That is, infodemics may enhance people's SDBs. Based on original survey data, we show that media exposure can positively increase SDB. We conclude by discussing two public health implications. First, the media plays an important role in motivating SDB. Second, even if infodemics can increase SDB, we must be wary of their ability to pose other, non-negligible dangers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , Humans , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2 , Uncertainty
13.
J Gen Intern Med ; 36(11): 3562-3564, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525596
15.
Front Public Health ; 9: 771364, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518582

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an upsurge economic policy uncertainty (EPU). Study on the time-varying effect of EPU is of substantial implication for the central bank in implementation of monetary policy. To empirically investigate the time-varying effect of EPU, the paper considers the shock of the monetary policy implemented by China's central bank on different economic variables including interest rate, output gap, and inflationary gap using the latent threshold time-varying parameter vector autoregressive model (LT-TVP-VAR Model). Data period is chosen to be January 2015 through April 2021. Our findings show that (i) EPU has a significant threshold effect on the shock of quantitative monetary policy instrument and the shock of price-based monetary policy, and that the two types of policy are positively correlated; (ii) the price-based monetary policy instrument has a significant counter-cyclical effect on both output gap and inflationary gap; (iii) relative to the quantitative monetary policy instrument, the price-based monetary policy instrument has a more significant counter-cyclical effect on output gap; and (iv) a higher level of EPU is associated with a more significant monetary policy effect on output gap and inflationary gap.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Economic Development , China/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Policy , SARS-CoV-2 , Uncertainty
17.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(21)2021 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512299

ABSTRACT

R&D investment is the source of technological innovation of pharmaceutical enterprises, but it will be restricted by the funding level, especially in the context of major public health emergencies occurring more frequently, therefore exploring the impact of monetary policy uncertainty on the R&D investment smoothing behavior of pharmaceutical manufacturing enterprises has important theoretical and practical value. Based on the relevant data of Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturing enterprises from 2012 to 2018, this paper studies the impact of monetary policy uncertainty on R&D investment smoothing behavior of pharmaceutical enterprises, and investigates whether there is a threshold effect. First, our results demonstrate that the empirical test results of this article support the hypothesis of R&D investment smoothing behavior of pharmaceutical manufacturing enterprises. Second, there is a negative correlation between monetary policy uncertainty and R&D investment smoothing behavior, and the shorter the period is, the higher the financing constraints of pharmaceutical enterprises are, and the more obvious the negative correlation is. Third, financing constraints have a single threshold effect on the R&D investment smoothing behavior of pharmaceutical manufacturing enterprises, with a threshold of -13.7693. Moreover, this conclusion can better promote the virtuous circle of the real economy of financial and pharmaceutical manufacturing enterprises. It is recommended that pharmaceutical manufacturing enterprises establish and improve the enterprise R&D reserve system, reduce the risk of R&D investment, play the role of R&D smoothing, and realize the sustainable development of enterprise R&D.


Subject(s)
Investments , Pharmaceutical Preparations , China , Empirical Research , Sustainable Development , Uncertainty
18.
BMC Psychol ; 9(1): 178, 2021 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511761

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 outbreak has not only increased mortality but has also negatively affected mental health among populations across the world. Furthermore, individuals are experiencing uncertainty about their current and future situation because of the pandemic. Therefore, the present study investigated the mediating role of intolerance of uncertainty in the relationship between fear of COVID-19 and procrastination among a sample of Turkish university students. METHODS: Between October and November 2020, 450 university students (291 females and 159 males aged 17 to 24 years) from three state universities in Turkey completed an online survey. Correlation analysis and structural equation modeling methods were employed to examine a model for understanding the general procrastination during COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: The results of the correlation analysis indicated that the fear of COVID-19 was positively correlated with both intolerance of uncertainty (r = .26, p < .001) and procrastination (r = .23, p < .001). The mediation analysis also showed that intolerance of uncertainty had a significant mediating role in the relationship between fear of COVID-19 and procrastination (ß = .11, p < .001). CONCLUSION: Reducing the fear of COVID-19 and intolerance of uncertainty is likely to contribute to reducing individuals' procrastination behaviors during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Procrastination , Fear , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Students , Turkey , Uncertainty , Universities
19.
Elife ; 92020 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497821
20.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 21413, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493222

ABSTRACT

In this study, we proposed a new data-driven hybrid technique by integrating an ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD), an autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA), with a nonlinear autoregressive artificial neural network (NARANN), called the EEMD-ARIMA-NARANN model, to perform time series modeling and forecasting based on the COVID-19 prevalence and mortality data from 28 February 2020 to 27 June 2020 in South Africa and Nigeria. By comparing the accuracy level of forecasting measurements with the basic ARIMA and NARANN models, it was shown that this novel data-driven hybrid model did a better job of capturing the dynamic changing trends of the target data than the others used in this work. Our proposed mixture technique can be deemed as a helpful policy-supportive tool to plan and provide medical supplies effectively. The overall confirmed cases and deaths were estimated to reach around 176,570 [95% uncertainty level (UL) 173,607 to 178,476] and 3454 (95% UL 3384 to 3487), respectively, in South Africa, along with 32,136 (95% UL 31,568 to 32,641) and 788 (95% UL 775 to 804) in Nigeria on 12 July 2020 using this data-driven EEMD-ARIMA-NARANN hybrid technique. The contributions of this study include three aspects. First, the proposed hybrid model can better capture the dynamic dependency characteristics compared with the individual models. Second, this new data-driven hybrid model is constructed in a more reasonable way relative to the traditional mixture model. Third, this proposed model may be generalized to estimate the epidemic patterns of COVID-19 in other regions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Models, Statistical , Neural Networks, Computer , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Data Accuracy , Forecasting/methods , Humans , Nigeria/epidemiology , Prevalence , South Africa/epidemiology , Uncertainty
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