Covid-19 / Pandemics

The following information has been gathered to assist in planning for and understanding potential solutions to reentering the area of crowded events and public safety. The information provided has been gathered from open source material online.

“Unliess or until a vaccine is developed, or we discover medicines to treat the virus, our means of controlling the spread of infection depend on behavioural changes and hence upon human psychology. … Indeed, all we can do to control the virus right now is get people to behave appropriately — to ‘do the right thing.’ … However, it is not enough to understand that we need psychology as a core part of efforts against COVID-19. It is also important to understand what sort of psychology helps or hinders in those efforts.”

So reads the introduction to a new book, part monograph and part edited volume, that examines the psychology surrounding the current pandemic and makes recommendations for how to do that right thing and with a reasonable hope of deploying the right sort of behavioral science. As the authors of Together Apart: The Psychology of COVID-19, wrote, “Starting from the premise that an effective response to the pandemic depends upon people coming together and supporting each other as members of a common community, the aim of this book is to use social identity theorising to provide a comprehensive and integrated analysis of the psychology of COVID-19.”

Given the import of its subject matter, SAGE Publishing (the parent of Social Science Space) had agreed to make the e-book freely available. Given the moment, Social Science Space is posting the uncorrected draft today. You can find the download link below. (And while this is free to read, keep in mind that the copyright holders – the authors and contributors — retain copyright.)

As the authors noted, such hurry-up approaches are both necessary and yet potentially pernicious. “Indeed,” they write, “because we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, it is very likely that aspects of our analysis will be somewhat outdated and incomplete by the time the book appears and readers should be mindful of this.

“Nevertheless, we are confident that much of the book’s content has enduring relevance — and indeed it was this that really motivated us to produce it.”

5th June – This document is an update of the guidance published on 6 April 2020 and includes updated scientific evidence relevant to the use of masks for preventing transmission of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as well as practical considerations. The main differences from the previous version include the following: .

Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. Most countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and many are experiencing outbreaks. Authorities in China and some other countries have succeeded in slowing their outbreaks. However, the situation is unpredictable so check regularly for the latest news..

When someone who has COVID-19 coughs or exhales they release droplets of infected fluid. Most of these droplets fall on nearby surfaces and objects, such as desks, tables or telephones. People could catch COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces or objects, and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. If they are standing within 1 meter of a person with COVID-19 they can catch it by breathing in droplets coughed out or exhaled by them. In other words, COVID-19 spreads in a similar way to flu. Most persons infected with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and recover. However, some experience more serious illness and may require hospital care. Risk of serious illness rises with age: people over 40 seem to be more vulnerable than those under 40. People with weakened immune systems and people with conditions such as diabetes, heart and lung disease are also more vulnerable to serious illness.

Background


This sports addendum should be read in conjunction with the WHO key planning recommendations for Mass Gatherings in the context of the current COVID-19 outbreak which provides general advice on the public health aspects of such events.
This addendum has been developed to provide additional support to sports event organizers in assessing the specific additional risks, identifying mitigation activities and making an informed evidence-based decision on continuing to host any sporting event. Additional guidance is provided in the specific WHO COVID-19 mass gatherings sports addendum risk assessment tool and mitigation checklist.

Background


This is an operational tool which offers guidance for organizers holding meetings during the COVID-19 outbreak and which should be accompanied by the WHO COVID-19 Generic Risk Assessment Excel file available on the WHO website.
Routine planning for Mass Gatherings includes conducting risk assessments to determine the overall risk of disease spread. This document provides a COVID-19 risk assessment and mitigation checklist for use by host countries and mass gathering organizers and staff. Specifically, this document provides an overview of the following:
 Information to collect about the meeting
 COVID-19 risk assessment tool
 COVID-19 mitigation measures checklist
 Decision matrix that incorporates the risk assessment and mitigation measure scores for the final determination

Background


Mass gatherings are highly visible events with the potential for serious public health consequences if they are not planned and managed carefully. There is ample evidence that mass
gatherings can amplify the spread of infectious diseases. The transmission of respiratory infections, including influenza, has been frequently associated with mass gatherings.1 Such infections can be transmitted during a mass gathering, during transit to and from the event, and in participants’ home communities upon their return.

This document summarizes WHO’s recommendations for the rational use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in healthcare and community settings, as well as during the handling of cargo; in this context, PPE includes gloves, medical masks, goggles or a face shield, and gowns, as well
as for specific procedures, respirators (i.e., N95 or FFP2 standard or equivalent) and aprons. This document is intended for those who are involved in distributing and managing PPE, as well as public health authorities and individuals in healthcare and community settings, and it aims to provide information about when PPE use is most appropriate.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic1 presents countries with major political, scientific, and public health challenges. Pandemic preparedness and reducing risk of global spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are key concerns.

WHAT MEASURES ARE BEING TAKEN BY DIFFERENT COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD, AS LOCK DOWN RESTRICTIONS ARE SLOWLY LIFTED AND SOCIETY SEEKS TO RETURN TO “NORMAL”?

  • presented to Parliament by the Prime Minister by Command of Her Majesty
  • laid in Parliament on 11 May 2020
  • Command Paper number CP 239
  • Crown copyright 2020
  • ISBN 978-1-5286-1911-0

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Guidance for Landlords and Tenants)

 

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

The purpose of this advisory guidance is to help landlords and tenants understand the
implications of the Coronavirus Act 2020. The Act will mean that, until 30th September
2020, most landlords will not be able to start possession proceedings unless they have
given their tenants three-months’ notice. Landlords can choose to give more than this
three months’ notice.

Evidence for transmission in closed spaces and the role of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems are used to provide comfortable environmental conditions (temperature and humidity) and clean air in indoor settings such as buildings and vehicles. HVAC systems can be configured in a variety of ways, depending on their application and functions of the building/vehicle. Ventilation systems provide clean air by exchanging indoor and outdoor air and filtering. Air-conditioning systems can be part of integrated HVAC systems or stand-alone, providing cooling/warming and dehumidification. Stand-alone systems usually recirculate the air without mixing it with outdoor air.

This is a descriptive review of data on disparities in the risk and outcomes from COVID19. This review presents findings based on surveillance data available to PHE at the
time of its publication, including through linkage to broader health data sets. It confirms
that the impact of COVID-19 has replicated existing health inequalities and, in some
cases, has increased them. These results improve our understanding of the pandemic
and will help in formulating the future public health response to it.

This guidance is applicable in England. Dental services operating under contract to the NHS
in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales should refer to guidance and standard operating
procedures (SOPs) produced by the governing bodies and regulators in their devolved
administration. This document covers a local systems approach to the organisation and
operation of urgent dental care (UDC) provision. It includes:


• system-level guidance: of particular relevance to local commissioning teams, local
dental networks, local dental committees, managed clinical networks, and local PHE
dental public health colleagues
• standard operating procedures for UDC services (in primary dental care settings and
designated UDC provider sites): of particular relevance to dental providers and dental
teams.

Abstract

The coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is a highly transmittable and pathogenic viral infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which emerged in Wuhan, China and spread around the world. Genomic analysis revealed that SARS-CoV-2 is phylogenetically related to severe acute respiratory syndrome-like (SARS-like) bat viruses, therefore bats could be the possible primary reservoir. The intermediate source of origin and transfer to humans is not known, however, the rapid human to human transfer has been confirmed widely. There is no clinically approved antiviral drug or vaccine available to be used against COVID-19. However, few broad-spectrum antiviral drugs have been evaluated against COVID-19 in clinical trials, resulted in clinical recovery. In the current review, we summarize and comparatively analyze the emergence and pathogenicity of COVID-19 infection and previous human coronaviruses severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). We also discuss the approaches for developing effective vaccines and therapeutic combinations to cope with this viral outbreak.

This guidance offers advice and direction to certifying authorities in their discharge of
powers under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 and Fire Safety and Safety of
Places of Sport Act 1987 in respect of any proposal to play designated football matches1
with no spectators during the current COVID-19 pandemic restrictions

As municipal officials begin to allow small groups of people to gather in public even while the fight against COVID-19 continues, there is a tremendous need for guidance how small events and venues can reopen as safely as possible under these incredibly challenging circumstances.  In response, the Event Safety Alliance today released The Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide.  

The Reopening Guide addresses health and sanitary issues that event and venue professionals need to consider in order to protect both patrons and workers.  Since there is still insufficient testing, no contact tracing, and no vaccine against COVID-19, this guidance is particularly detailed.  The first edition is tailored to be especially useful for event professionals reopening the smallest events with the fewest resources available to mitigate their risks, since in every municipal reopening plan these will be allowed to reopen first.   

Other than emphasizing the importance of following authoritative scientific advice from organizations such as the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, the Reopening Guide offers suggestions and alternative practices for consideration rather than claiming that any one practice is better than all others.  Event Safety Alliance Vice President Steven A. Adelman, the head of Adelman Law Group, PLLC and editor of the Reopening Guide, explains how the document applies the legal duty of care.

“As a matter of common law, everyone has a duty to behave reasonably under their own circumstances.  Consequently, there is no such thing as ‘best’ practices.  There are only practices that are reasonable for this venue, this event, this crowd, this time and place, during this pandemic.  Because few operational bright lines would make sense, The Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide is designed to help event professionals think through their own circumstances.  In the order than one plans an event, the Reopening Guide looks closely at the health and safety risks involved in reopening public spaces, then proposes risk mitigation measures that are likely to be reasonable under the circumstances of the smaller events and venues that will reopen first.”    

The Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide is the product of contributions from more than 300 professionals from all facets of the live event industry, from the smallest to largest producers and the many businesses that work to support them.   As it says on the cover, “Please share this Guide – We all want to reopen safely.” 

The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) is an umbrella organisation representing leading trade and professional organisations, government agencies and other significant influencers in the business visits and events sector.

BVEP’s vision is to support sustainable growth for the United Kingdom’s Events Industry.

The Events Industry comprises a number of diverse industry sectors covering, meetings, conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, incentive travel, event hospitality, ceremonies, sporting, cultural and festivals as well as other services provided to travellers and attendees to events.

BVEP’s mission is to support growth across the entire sector via advocacy, networking, collaboration and a collective voice.

BVEP’s objectives are to:
a) operate an umbrella organisation to represent, promote and further the interest of member organisations involved in the United Kingdom Events Industry;
b) advance the interests, standing, quality, sustainability and growth of the United Kingdom Events’ Industry;
c) seek greater collaboration across the Events’ Industry sectors on common issues;
d) forge close links with Government departments, including devolved Governments where possible via Representation, that can influence favourable policies towards the Industry. In particular, maintain strong relationships with key sponsoring departments, DCMS, DIT and BEIS;
e) seek a stronger link with the Creative Industries and other related sectors;
f) encourage joint events;
g) increase the focus on professionalism and skills development.

This interim guidance is intended for organizers and staff responsible for planning mass gatherings or large community events in the United States. A mass gathering is a planned or spontaneous event with a large number of people in attendance that could strain the planning and response resources of the community hosting the event, such as a concert, festival, conference, or sporting event.

BACKGROUND


We previously reviewed the evidence for social distancing in our COVID-19 Evidence Service. Here we take a closer look at the evidence for mass gatherings and sporting events and their impact on health and infectious disease in particular.

This guidance is based on the prevailing circumstances in Ireland at the time of its preparation, with a small number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and with limited evidence of community transmission. Based on these prevailing circumstances, and based on current ECDC guidance, most events are likely to take place as expected.

North Dakota anticipates future community transmission of COVID-19. Community transmission means that illness is spreading between people in the community when it is unclear who might be contagious. While community transmission is not currently in North Dakota, it is critical for all citizens to take personal actions to help mitigate and contain the spread of COVID-19.

Modeling the impact of social distancing, testing, contact tracing and household quarantine on second-wave scenarios of the COVID-19 epidemic


Alberto Aleta, David Mart´ın-Corral , Ana Pastore y Piontti , Marco Ajelli, Maria Litvinova, Matteo Chinazzi, Natalie E. Dean, M. Elizabeth Halloran, Ira M. Longini, Jr., Stefano
Merler, Alex Pentland, Alessandro Vespignani, Esteban Moro & Yamir Moreno

The new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has required the implementation of severe mobility restrictions and social distancing measures worldwide. While these measures have been proven effective in abating the epidemic in several countries, it is important to estimate the effectiveness of testing and tracing strategies to avoid a potential second wave of the COVID-19 epidemic. We integrate highly detailed (anonymized, privacy-enhanced) mobility data from mobile devices, with census and demographic data to build a detailed agent-based model to describe the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in the Boston metropolitan area. We find that enforcing strict social distancing followed by a policy based on a robust level of testing, contact-tracing and household quarantine, could keep the disease at a level that does not exceed the capacity of the health care system. Assuming the identification of 50% of the symptomatic infections, and the tracing of 40% of their contacts and households, which corresponds to about 9% of individuals quarantined, the ensuing reduction in transmission allows the reopening of economic activities while attaining a manageable impact on the health care system. Our results show that a response system based on enhanced testing and contact tracing can play a major role in relaxing social distancing interventions in the absence of herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2

Stopping the Spread of COVID-19

Angel N. Desai, MD, MPH; Payal Patel, MD, MPH
What Is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory infection caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, which was recently discovered after an outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. SARS-CoV-2 is a type of coronavirus, which is a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe infections in humans.

Using social and behavioural science to support COVID-19 pandemic response

Jay J. Van Bave, l Katherine Baicker, Robb Willer

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic represents a massive global health crisis. Because the crisis requires large-scale behaviour change and places significant psychological burdens on individuals, insights from the social and behavioural sciences can be used to help align human behaviour with the recommendations of epidemiologists and public health experts. Here we discuss evidence from a selection of research topics relevant to pandemics, including work on navigating threats, social and cultural influences on behaviour, science communication, moral decision-making, leadership, and stress and coping. In each section, we note the nature and quality of prior research, including uncertainty and unsettled issues. We identify several insights for effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic and highlight important gaps researchers should move quickly to fill in the coming weeks and months.

COVID-19, networks and sport

Daniel Parnell, Paul Widdop, Alex Bond & Rob Wilson

This commentary serves to provide a rapid analysis of the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on sporting mass gatherings. The focus of this commentary surrounds sporting mass gatherings and strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, with a particular focus on the UEFA EURO 2020 competition. Further references to the 2020 Olympic Games, and community recreational football are made. The intention is to stimulate discussion, analysis, interest and research on what the initial impact of COVID-19 has on sport. COVID-19 could fundamentally change the way sport operates in the future and requires further analysis. We hope this commentary provides an interesting record and reference point for future research and practice of those operating in sporting organisations. Learning lesson from this crisis, must ensure sport managers and practitioners are better prepared in sport and society for similar events in the future.

To the Editor-in-chief:

The control of the COVID-19 epidemic is in many locations moving from a public health strategy of containment to mitigation.1 A main control strategy of COVID-19 is contact tracing. Its effectiveness depends on the pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic patterns of the disease. With 100% symptomatic cases, R0 of 1.5 could be controlled with 50% of the contacts traced. With R0 of 3.5, 90% is required.2 With pre-symptomatic and potential asymptomatic transmission, the effectiveness of contact tracing is reduced further.2 In Italy, for example, only one out of four cases is identified.3 Thus, even for a low R0 and no pre-symptomatic transmission, contact tracing will on its own not be able to contain the outbreak. In addition to isolation of ill persons, contact tracing and quarantining of all their contacts, to reduce community spread, it will be necessary to strategically reduce contact rates. By reducing contact rates, the growth rate of the outbreak can be reduced. Controlling contact rates is key to outbreak control, and such a strategy depends on population densities.

Key findings

As of April 3, 2020, a total of 106 countries have introduced or adapted social protection and
jobs programs in response to COVID-19. This is an 26% increase since last week (when countries
were 84), while the number of programs grew by almost 50%, i.e., from 283 to 418. Among
classes of interventions, social assistance (non-contributory transfers) keeps being the most
widely used (including a total of 241 programs), followed by actions in social insurance (116)
and supply-side labor market interventions (61).

Abstract

Our recommendation, as experts who have monitored health hazards at the Hajj for over 15 years, especially if the situation with COVID-19 continues to escalate globally is that Hajj 2020 will be at risk of being suspended and a means for Muslims to fulfill their rights in the future either personally or even by proxy need to be announced. The same holds true for the Summer 2020 Olympics in Japan and for many other MGs and large gatherings. Decisions in the time of COVID-19 will be closely followed and will be a blueprint for other mass gatherings.

COVID-19 in humanitarian settings and lessons learned from past epidemics

Ling San Lau, Goleen Samari, Rachel T. Moresky, Sara E. Casey, S. Patrick Kachur, Leslie F. Roberts & Monette Zard

In the COVID-19 pandemic, the most vulnerable people are most likely to be the hardest hit. What can we learn from past epidemics to protect not only refugees but also the wider population?

Abstract
Social distancing at its various levels has been a key measure to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19. The implementation of strict measures for social distancing is challenging, including in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) due to its level of urbanizations, its social and religious norms and its annual hosting of high visibility international religious mass gatherings. KSA started introducing decisive social distancing measures early before the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the Kingdom. These ranged from suspension or cancelations of religious, entertainment and sporting mass gatherings and events such as the Umrah, shutting of educational establishments and mosques and postponing all non-essential gatherings, to imposing a partial curfew. These measures were taken in spite of their socio-economic, political and religious challenges in the interest of public and global health. The effect of these actions on the epidemic curve of the Kingdom and on the global fight against COVID-19 remains to be seen. However, given the current COVID-19 situation, further bold and probably unpopular measures are likely to be introduced in the future.

The Wellbeing Costs of COVID-19 in the UK


An Independent Research Report by Simetrica-Jacobs and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Dr Daniel Fujiwara, Simetrica-Jacobs & London School of Economics and Political Science
Professor Paul Dolan, London School of Economics and Political Science
Dr Ricky Lawton, Simetrica-Jacobs
Dr Fatemeh Behzadnejad, Simetrica-Jacobs
Augustin Lagarde, Simetrica-Jacobs
Cem Maxwell, Simetrica-Jacobs
Sebastien Peytrignet, Simetrica-Jacobs

The COVID-19 health pandemic is having a major impact on our lives. Very little is known, however, about the effects of the policy responses on people’s wellbeing. We estimate the wellbeing costs of COVID-19 and social distancing measures by looking at the impacts of the pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of people in the UK between 9 and 19 April 2020 using a large survey with nationally representative quotas.

A risk-based approach is best for decision making on holding mass gathering events

Brian McCloskey, Alimuddin Zumla, Poh Lian Lim, Tina Endericks, Paul Arbon, Anita Cicero, Maria Borodina

Memish and colleagues,  in their response to our Comment, perceive conflict between the current best-practice risk management advice on physical distancing and the scientific evaluation of cancelling or continuing mass gathering events during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Although we have already acknowledged the need to balance these two considerations in order to maintain public understanding and trust, we do not accept that conflict is inevitable as our approach requires all mass gatherings to be considered in context, including the prevailing advice on physical distancing and movement restrictions. An open and transparent process to explicitly consider the risks of a mass gathering can, in fact, promote public confidence in the decision.

ABSTRACT

Our recommendation, as experts who have monitored health hazards at the Hajj for over 15 years, especially ifthe situation with COVID-19 continues to escalate globally is that Hajj 2020 will be at risk of being suspendedand a means for Muslims to fulfill their rights in the future either personally or even by proxy need to beannounced. The same holds true for the Summer 2020 Olympics in Japan and for many other MGs and largegatherings. Decisions in the time of COVID-19 will be closely followed and will be a blueprint for other massgatherings

COVID-19, networks and sport

Daniel Parnell, Paul Widdop, Alex Bond & Rob Wilson

This commentary serves to provide a rapid analysis of the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on sporting mass gatherings. The focus of this commentary surrounds sporting mass gatherings and strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, with a particular focus on the UEFA EURO 2020 competition. Further references to the 2020 Olympic Games, and community recreational football are made. The intention is to stimulate discussion, analysis, interest and research on what the initial impact of COVID-19 has on sport. COVID-19 could fundamentally change the way sport operates in the future and requires further analysis. We hope this commentary provides an interesting record and reference point for future research and practice of those operating in sporting organisations. Learning lesson from this crisis, must ensure sport managers and practitioners are better prepared in sport and society for similar events in the future.

COVID-19 in humanitarian settings and lessons learned from past epidemics

Ling San Lau,Goleen Samari, Rachel T. Moresky, Sara E. Casey, S. Patrick Kachur, Leslie F. Roberts & Monette Zard

In the COVID-19 pandemic, the most vulnerable people are most likely to be the hardest hit. What can we learn from past epidemics to protect not only refugees but also the wider population?

Abstract

As of March 2020, social distancing is seen as pivotal in reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus, SARS-COV-2. Many countries, including Germany, recently established a set of strict measures that aim at social distancing, and the population, in general, seems to support these measures. However, the economic impact of these measures will likely be severe. Due to the corona outbreak, the population is thus subjected to two types of threats—a health threat by the virus, and an economic threat caused, to a large extent, by social distancing measures which curb supply and demand. In the present study, we investigate the psychological interplay of both threats on the acceptance of social distancing measures, and argue that with increasing worries about economic damage (which is likely to rise over the next few weeks and months), the now-high acceptance of social distance measures will diminish. In the current preregistration, we propose a set of corresponding hypotheses, which we plan to test using data from the COVID-19 Snapshot MOnitoring (COSMO) instrument, a weekly monitoring survey on “variables that are critical for behaviour change in the population to avoid transmission of COVID-19, including risk perceptions, trust, use of information sources, knowledge as well as barriers and drivers to recommended behaviours” (WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2020, p. 9). While the analyses will primarily focus on the German COSMO survey (COSMO Germany; Betsch et al., in press), additional analyses may be conducted using COSMO data from other countries. Data will be analyzed upon availability of the respective weekly surveys, and regularly updated results will be published as preprints in PsychArchives.

Abstract

The first months of 2020 threw people into a period of societal turmoil and pathogen threat with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. By promoting epistemic and existential motivational processes and activating people’s behavioral immune systems, this pandemic may have changed social and political attitudes. The current research specifically asked the following question: As COVID-19 became pronounced in the United States during March-April 2020, did people living there become more socially conservative? We present a longitudinal study (N = 695) that assessed political ideology, gender role conformity, and gender stereotypes among U.S. adults before (two months preceding) versus during the pandemic. During the pandemic, participants reported conforming more strongly to traditional gender roles and believing more strongly in traditional gender stereotypes than they did before the pandemic. Political ideology remained constant from before to during the pandemic. These findings suggest that a pandemic may promote preference for traditional gender roles.

Prolonged Grief Disorder following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Maarten C Eisma, P.A. Boelen, Lonneke Lenferink

Dear editor,

The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are undeniably severe. As of the 18th of April 2020, there are nearly 2.2 million confirmed cases and more than 146,000 deaths of registered infected individuals worldwide (World Health Organization, 2020). Additionally, the COVID-19 outbreak may indirectly increase its death toll because treatments of people with other life threatening diseases may be postponed and people experiencing other health issues may avoid visiting health care facilities to avoid getting infected. Eventually, worldwide, the number of casualties can therefore be expected to exceed some of the most deadly natural disasters in recent history, including the 2004 East-Asia Tsunami (230,000 deaths) and the 2010 Haiti earthquake (highest estimate: 316,000 deaths). The pandemic and governmental policies to curb its impact can yield additional stressors, e.g., social isolation, job-loss, risk of viral infection for some workers, severe ill-ness, quarantine, and intensive care admission.

Anxiety, worry and perceived stress in the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, March 2020. Preliminary results.

Rosario Sinta Gamonal Limcaoco, Enrique Montero Mateos, Juan Matias Fernandez, Carlos Roncero

Abstract

Introduction: Since the beginning of the outbreak in China, ending 2019, the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread subsequently to the rest of the world causing an on-going pandemic. The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19: a public health emergency of international concern. Having into consideration the lockdown and quarantine situation, we decided to do evaluate the current emotional state on the general population with a web-based survey in English and in Spanish, which was considered a useful and fast method that could help us determine how people perceived stress and worry due to the COVID-19. Methods: The survey included a 22 items, gathering information in 3 sections: Sociodemographic data, the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) by Cohen and additional queries that assessed the current worry and change of behaviours due to this pandemic. Results: The survey received 891 respondents from 25 countries, from March 17 to 23rd, 2020. The mean age of the respondents was 43.8 (14.2) years old, and more than two thirds were women. 12.8% were health personnel.The mean of the PSS-10 score was 17.4 (6.4). Significantly higher scores were observed among women, youth, students, and among those who expressed concern and those who perceived increased susceptibility to the COVID-19. In contrast, no significant differences were observed between the health professionals and the general population. A good correlation was observed between mean relative volume (RSV) of the las 14 days and the number of cases reported (rho = 0.68, p <0.001) and deaths (rho = 0.51, p <0.001). Discussion: With these results we describe an increase of affective symptoms due to the COVID-19. This pandemic is raising the anxiety levels. The findings of our study show the affective and cognitive alterations people are going through. This survey is the first attempt to measure the psychological consequences this pandemic is having, in order to be able to later be able to provide the support to confront this global issue, addressing the mental health care that will be needed.

Jordi Honey-Roses, Isabelle Anguelovski, Josep Bohigas, Vincent Chireh, Carolyn Daher, Cecil Konijnendijk, Jill Litt, Vrushti Mawani, Mike McCall, Arturo Orellana, Emilia Oscilowicz, Ulises Sánchez, Maged Senbel, Xueqi Tan, Erick Villagomez, Oscar Zapata, Mark Nieuwenhuijsen

Abstract

Restrictions on the use of public space and social distancing have been key policy measures to reduce the transmission of SAR-CoV-2 and protect public health. At the time of writing, one half of the world’s population has been asked to stay home and avoid many public places. What will be the long term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on public space once the restrictions have been lifted? The depth and extent of transformation is unclear, especially as it relates to the future design, use and perceptions of public space. This article aims to highlight emerging questions at the interface of COVID-19 and city design. It is possible that the COVID-19 crisis may fundamentally change our relationship with public space. In the ensuing months and years, it will be critical to study and measure these changes in order to inform urban planning and design in a post-COVID-19 world.

Rational use of face masks in the COVID-19 pandemic

Shuo Feng, , Chen Shen, Nan XiaWei Song, Mengzhen Fan, Benjamin J Cowling

Since the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that caused coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the use of face masks has become ubiquitous in China and other Asian countries such as South Korea and Japan. Some provinces and municipalities in China have enforced compulsory face mask policies in public areas; however, China’s national guideline has adopted a risk-based approach in offering recommendations for using face masks among health-care workers and the general public. We compared face mask use recommendations by different health authorities (panel). Despite the consistency in the recommendation that symptomatic individuals and those in health-care settings should use face masks, discrepancies were observed in the general public and community settings.

For example, the US Surgeon General advised against buying masks for use by healthy people. One important reason to discourage widespread use of face masks is to preserve limited supplies for professional use in health-care settings. Universal face mask use in the community has also been discouraged with the argument that face masks provide no effective protection against coronavirus infection.

Summary


The current situation of emergency is global. As of today, March 22nd 2020, there are more than 23 countries with more than 1.000 infected cases by COVID-19, in the exponential growth phase of the disease. Furthermore, there are different mitigation and suppression strategies in place worldwide, but many of them are based on enforcing, to a more or less extent, the so-called social distancing. The impact and outcomes of the adopted measures are yet to be contrasted and quantified. Therefore, realistic modeling approaches could provide important clues about what to expect and what could be the best course of actions. Such modeling efforts could potentially save thousands, if not millions of lives. Our report contains preliminary results that aim at answering the following questions in relation to the spread and control of the COVID-19 pandemic:

Internal and External Effects of Social Distancing in a Pandemic
Maryam Farboodi, Gregor Jarosch, and Robert Shimer

Abstract


We use a conventional dynamic economic model to integrate individual optimization, equilibrium interactions, and policy analysis into the canonical epidemiological model. Our tractable framework allows us to represent both equilibrium and optimal allocations as a set of differential equations that can jointly be solved with the epidemiological model in a unified fashion. Quantitatively, the laissez-faire equilibrium accounts for the decline in social activity we measure in US micro-data from SafeGraph. Relative to that, we highlight three key features of the optimal policy: it imposes immediate, discontinuous social distancing; it keeps social distancing in place for a long time or until treatment is found; and it is never extremely restrictive, keeping the effective reproduction number mildly above the share of the population susceptible to the disease.

The Incubation Period of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) From Publicly Reported Confirmed Cases: Estimation and Application FREE

Abstract

Background:

A novel human coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified in China in December 2019. There is limited support for many of its key epidemiologic features, including the incubation period for clinical disease (coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]), which has important implications for surveillance and control activities.

Estimates of the severity of COVID-19 disease

RobertVerity, LucyC Okell, Ilaria Dorigatti, Peter Winskill, Charles Whittaker, Natsuko Imai, Gina CuomoDannenburg, Hayley Thompson, Patrick Walker, Han Fu, Amy Dighe, Jamie Griffin, Anne Cori, Marc Baguelin, Sangeeta Bhatia, Adhiratha Boonyasiri, Zulma M Cucunuba, Rich Fitzjohn, Katy A M Gaythorpe, Will Green, Arran Hamlet, Wes Hinsley, Daniel Laydon, Gemma NedjatiGilani, Steven Riley, Sabine vanElsand, Erik Volz, Haowei Wang, Yuanrong Wang, Xiayoue Xi, Christl Donnelly, Azra Ghani, Neil Ferguson

Abstract

Background: A range of case fatality ratio (CFR) estimates for COVID 19 have been produced that differ substantially in magnitude. Methods: We used individual-case data from mainland China and cases detected outside mainland China to estimate the time between onset of symptoms and outcome (death or discharge from hospital). We next obtained age-stratified estimates of the CFR by relating the aggregate distribution of cases by dates of onset to the observed cumulative deaths in China, assuming a constant attack rate by age and adjusting for the demography of the population, and age and location-based under ascertainment. We additionally estimated the CFR from individual linelist data on 1,334 cases identified outside mainland China. We used data on the PCR prevalence in international residents repatriated from China at the end of January 2020 to obtain age-stratified estimates of the infection fatality ratio (IFR). Using data on age stratified severity in a subset of 3,665 cases from China, we estimated the proportion of infections that will likely require hospitalisation. Findings: We estimate the mean duration from onset-of-symptoms to death to be 17.8 days (95% credible interval, crI 16.9,19.2 days) and from onset-of-symptoms to hospital discharge to be 22.6 days (95% crI 21.1,24.4 days). We estimate a crude CFR of 3.67% (95% crI 3.56%,3.80%) in cases from mainland China. Adjusting for demography and under-ascertainment of milder cases in Wuhan relative to the rest of China, we obtain a best estimate of the CFR in China of 1.38% (95% crI 1.23%,1.53%) with substantially higher values in older ages. Our estimate of the CFR from international cases stratified by age (under 60 or 60 and above) are consistent with these estimates from China. We obtain an overall IFR estimate for China of 0.66% (0.39%,1.33%), again with an increasing profile with age. Interpretation: These early estimates give an indication of the fatality ratio across the spectrum of COVID-19 disease and demonstrate a strong age-gradient in risk.

Public perceptions and experiences of social distancing and social isolation
during the COVID-19 pandemic: A UK-based focus group study.


Simon N Williams Senior Lecturer in People and Organisation, Christopher J. Armitage, Professor of Health Psychology, Tova Tampe, Independent Consultant , Kimberly Dienes, Lecturer in Psychology: 

ABSTRACT


OBJECTIVE: Explore the perceptions and experiences of the UK public of social distancing
and social isolation measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DESIGN: Qualitative study comprising five focus groups carried out online during the early
stages of the UK’s social distancing and isolation measures (5-12 days post lockdown).
SETTING: Online video-conferencing
PARTICIPANTS: 27 participants, all UK residents aged 18 years and older, representing a
range of gender, ethnic, age and occupational backgrounds.
RESULTS: The social distancing and isolation associated with COVID-19 policy has had having substantial negative impacts on the mental health and wellbeing of the UK public within a short time of policy implementation. It has disproportionately negatively affected those in low-paid or precarious employment. Practical social and economic losses – the loss of (in-person) social interaction, loss of income and loss of structure and routine – led to psychological and emotional ‘losses’ – the loss of motivation, loss of meaning, and loss of self-worth. Participants reported high adherence to distancing and isolation guidelines but reported seeing or hearing of non-adherence in others. A central concern for participants was the uncertainty duration of the measures, and their ability to cope longer-term. Some participants felt they would have lingering concerns over social contact while others were eager to return to high levels of social activity

Grappling with the Ethics of Social Distancing: A Framework for Evaluating Social
Distancing Policies and Reopening Plans

Justin Bernstein, Brian Hutler, Travis N. Rieder, & Anne Barnhill, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics

Public health experts and government officials have called on all of us to practice aggressive social distancing in order to “flatten the curve” and reduce the spread of COVID-19 to levels that our health system has a better chance of handling. Many local and state governments have implemented a suite of measures to promote social distancing—shuttering restaurants and bars, closing schools, closing “non-essential businesses,” and shelter-in-place orders. Such policies have serious costs, both immediate and long-term. It has seemed obvious to some that these costs are justified, because we should do whatever it takes to reduce COVID-19 deaths and prevent the healthcare system from being overwhelmed. Others reject this “whatever it costs” mindset, pointing out that social distancing, at some point, could do more harm than good. Recently, however, the discussion has shifted, as policy experts, academics, and government officials have put forward plans for “reopening” society by relaxing, replacing, or eliminating at least some social distancing policies. These new plans raise new and difficult questions:

Hank Rothgerber, Thomas Wilson, Davis Whaley, Daniel L. Rosenfeld, Michael Humphrey, Allie Moore, & Allison Bihl

Abstract

Data from two MTurk studies with U.S. respondents (total N =1,153) revealed an ideological divide in adherence to social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, political conservatism inversely predicted compliance with behaviors aimed at preventing the spread of the COVID-19. Differences in reported social distancing were mediated by divergent perceptions of the health risk posed by COVID-19 (Studies 1 and 2), which were explained by differences in self-reported knowledge of COVID-19 (Study 1) and perceived media accuracy in covering the pandemic (Studies 1 and 2). The politicization of COVID-19 may have prompted conservatives to discount mainstream media reports of the severity of the virus, leading them to downplay its health risks and consequently adherence less to social distancing protocols. These effects hold when controlling for key demographic characteristics as well as psychological variables, including belief in science and COVID-19-related anxiety. Thus, political ideology may uniquely explain COVID-19 behavior.

The Socio-Economic Implications of the Coronavirus and COVID-19 Pandemic: A Review

Maria Nicola, Zaid Alsafi, Catrin Sohrabi, Ahmed Kerwan, Ahmed Al-Jabir, Christos Iosifidis, Maliha Agha, and Riaz Agha

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in over 1.4 million confirmed cases and over 83,000 deaths globally. It has also sparked fears of an impending economic crisis and recession. Social distancing, self-isolation and travel restrictions forced a decrease in the workforce across all economic sectors and caused many jobs to be lost. Schools have closed down, and the need of commodities and manufactured products has decreased. In contrast, the need for medical supplies has significantly increased. The food sector has also seen a great demand due to panic-buying and stockpiling of food products. In response to this global outbreak, we summarise the socio-economic effects of COVID-19 on individual aspects of the world economy.

As Covid-19 cases began building outside of China, the world started filling up with experts in a subject I’m a bona fide expert in. Despite this I made the conscious decision to refrain from most of these conversations in a serious way for two reasons. For one, social media didn’t need any more experts, and secondly, how much could the history of flu pandemics, albeit the respiratory disease pandemic commonality, tell us about the current crisis?

Defining Facets of Social Distancing during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Twitter Analysis

Jiye Kwon, Connor Grady, Josemari T. Feliciano, Samah J. Fodeh

Abstract

Social distancing has been one of the primary mitigation strategies in the United States to control the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and can be viewed as a multi-faceted public health measure. Using Twitter data, we aim to (1) define and quantify the prevalence and evolution of facets of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic in the US in a spatiotemporal context and (2) examine the most amplified tweets among social distancing facets. We analyzed a total of 259,529 unique tweets containing “coronavirus” from 115,485 unique users between January 23, 2020 and March 24, 2020 that were identified by the Twitter API as English and U.S.-based. Tweets containing specified keywords (determined a priori) were grouped into six social distancing facets: implementation, purpose, social disruption, adaptation, positive emotions, and negative emotions. Tweets about social disruptiveness were most retweeted, and implementation tweets were most favorited. Social distancing tweets became overall more prevalent in the U.S. from late January to March but were not geographically uniform. In January and February, facets of social distancing appeared in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, which were among the first cities impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Tweets related to the “implementation” and “negative emotions” facets of social distancing largely dominated in combination with topics of “social disruption” and “adaptation”, albeit to a lesser degree. Social distancing can be defined in terms of facets that respond and represent certain moments and events in a pandemic, including travel restrictions and rising COVID-19 case counts. For example, in February, Miami, FL had a low volume of social distancing tweets but grew in March which corresponded with the rise of COVID-19 cases in the city. This suggests that overall volume of social distancing tweets can reflect the relative case count in respective locations.

The Government’s roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Published 11 May 2020

Guidance for employers, employees and the self-employed
Published 11 May 2020

Guidance for employers, employees and the self-employed
Published 11 May 2020

Safer working principles and risk assessment for transport operators and organisations.

This guide will help organisations, agencies and others (such as self-employed transport providers) understand how to provide safer workplaces and services for themselves, their workers and passengers across all modes of private and public transport. It outlines measures to assess and address the risks of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the transport sector across England.

Each transport provider will need to translate the principles and examples in this guidance into specific actions. It must be considered alongside legal duties and other guidance produced by the government and the relevant transport regulator for your mode. Transport providers should remain mindful of their obligations under both health and safety and employment legislation. The integrated nature of the UK’s public transport system makes it important that transport providers try to co- ordinate their planning and their actions with other providers.

Who this guide is for

This guide is aimed at all employers and those who are self-employed and work with or near other people. It explains how you can protect people from coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace, for example by putting in place social distancing measures, staggering shifts and providing additional handwashing facilities. The guidance may also be useful to workers and their representatives.

Who this guide is for


This guide is aimed at all employers. It explains how you can talk to your workers about preventing coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace, for example by putting in place social distancing measures, staggering shifts and providing additional handwashing facilities. The guidance may also be useful to workers and their representatives, and those who are self-employed and work with or near other people. The law requires all employers to assess the risk of returning to work while the coronavirus outbreak is ongoing and to put steps in place to
manage that risk. A short guide Working safely during the coronavirus outbreak provides simple steps you can take to help manage the risk while continuing to run your business: www.hse.gov.uk/news/workingsafely-during-coronavirus-outbreak.htm

There is more specific guidance for your industry or sector. You can find details at www.gov.uk/workingsafely

Abstract


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is having negative effects on societies’ mental health. Both the pandemic and the measures taken to combat it can affect individuals’ mental health.

Aims: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the levels of depression, anxiety and health anxiety in Turkish society during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to examine the factors affecting these.

Method: The study was performed using an online questionnaire. Participants were asked to complete a sociodemographic data form, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Health Anxiety Inventory (HAI). The effects on depression, anxiety and health anxiety levels of factors such as age, sex, marital status, living with an individual aged above 60, the presence of a new Coronavirus+ patient among friends or relatives, previous and current psychiatric illness and
presence of accompanying chronic disease were then investigated.

Results: In terms of HADS cut-off points, 23.6% (n = 81) of the population scored above the depression cut-off point, and 45.1% (n = 155) scored above the cut-off point for anxiety. In regression analysis, female gender, living in urban areas and previous psychiatric illness history were found as risk factors for anxiety; living in urban areas was found as risk factor for depression; and female gender, accompanying chronic disease and previous psychiatric history were found as risk factors for health anxiety.


Conclusion: The results of this cross-sectional study suggest that the groups most psychologically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are women, individuals with previous psychiatric illness, individuals living in urban areas and those with an accompanying chronic disease. Priority might therefore be attached to these in future psychiatric planning.

Trust in science and experts during the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy


Pietro Battiston, Ridhi Kashyap, and Valentina Rotondi.

Abstract


Trust in science and experts is extremely important in times of epidemics to ensure compliance with public health measures. Yet little is known about how this trust evolves while an epidemic is underway. In this paper, we examine the dynamics of trust in science and experts in real-time as the high-impact epidemic of Coronavirus (COVID-19) unfolds in Italy, by drawing on digital trace data from Twitter and survey data collected online via Telegram and Facebook. Both Twitter and Telegram data point to initial increases in reliance on and information-seeking from scientists and health authorities with the diffusion of the disease. Consistent with these increases, using a separately fielded online survey we find that knowledge about health information linked to COVID-19 and support for containment measures was fairly widespread. Trust in science, relative to trust in institutions (e.g. local or national government), emerges as a consistent predictor of both knowledge and containment outcomes. However, over time and as the epidemic peaks, we detect a slowdown and turnaround in reliance and information-seeking from scientists and health authorities, which we interpret as signs of an erosion in trust. This is supported by a novel survey experiment, which finds that those holding incorrect beliefs about COVID-19 give no or lower importance to information about the virus when the source of such information is known to be
scientific

Facilitating Collective Psychosocial Resilience in the Public in Emergencies: Twelve Recommendations Based on the Social Identity Approach

John Drury, Holly CarterChris Cocking, Evangelos Ntontis, Selin Tekin Guven and Richard Amlôt

.

Accumulated evidence demonstrates the centrality of social psychology to the behavior of members of the public as immediate responders in emergencies. Such public behavior is a function of social psychological processes—in particular identities and norms

Stephen Reicher and John Drury argue for an identity-based approach to coronavirus.

The way we deal with the coronavirus is bound up with the way we think about society and about the individual. And the problem is that we are in danger of getting it wrong on all counts, with the consequence that we will be less effective in containing the virus. There is nothing new about us being wrong. But this time, lives are at stake.

Abstract

When addressing public behaviour during mass emergencies and disasters, it is important to consider that such emergencies and disasters will often involve crowds. An understanding of emergency crowds is therefore crucial in ensuring that incidents are managed as effectively as possible. The elaborated social identity model of crowd behaviour emphasizes that the way in which emergency responders manage crowds during an incident can play a crucial role in determining how members of the public react. Specifically, if affected casualties see emergency responders’ instructions and actions as legitimate, this will result in increased identification and cooperation between emergency responders and members of the public. In this paper, we show how the social identity approach can be applied to best explain crowd behaviour during mass emergencies and disasters, and how this improved theoretical understanding can be used to generate specific recommendations for operational good practice during incident management.

Abstract

How do people behave when disasters strike? Popular media accounts depict panic and cruelty, but in fact, individuals often cooperate with and care for one another during crises. I summarize evidence for such “catastrophe compassion,” discuss its roots, and consider how it might be cultivated in more mundane times.

.

Abstract

Crowd models can be used for the simulation of people movement in the built environment. Crowd model outputs have been used for evaluating safety and comfort of pedestrians, inform crowd management and perform forensic investigations. Microscopic crowd models allow the representation of each person and the obtainment of information concerning their location over time and interactions with the physical space/other people. Pandemics such as COVID-19 have posed several questions on safe building usage, given the risk of disease transmission among building occupants. Here we show how crowd modelling can be used to assess occupant exposure in confined spaces. The policies adopted concerning building usage and social distancing during a pandemic can vary greatly, and they are mostly based on the macroscopic analysis of the spread of disease rather than a safety assessment performed at a building level. The proposed model allows the investigation of occupant exposure in buildings based on the analysis of microscopic people movement. Risk assessment is performed by retrofitting crowd models with a universal model for exposure assessment which can account for different types of disease transmissions. This work allows policy makers to perform informed decisions concerning building usage during a pandemic.

Estimated effectiveness of symptom and risk screening to prevent the spread of COVID-19


Katelyn Gostic , Ana CR Gomez, Riley O Mummah , Adam J Kucharski, James O Lloyd-Smith

Abstract

Traveller screening is being used to limit further spread of COVID-19 following its recent emergence, and symptom screening has become a ubiquitous tool in the global response. Previously, we developed a mathematical model to understand factors governing the effectiveness of traveller screening to prevent spread of emerging pathogens (Gostic et al., 2015). Here, we estimate the impact of different screening programs given current knowledge of key COVID-19 life history and epidemiological parameters. Even under best-case assumptions, we estimate that screening will miss more than half of infected people. Breaking down the factors leading to screening successes and failures, we find that most cases missed by screening are fundamentally undetectable, because they have not yet developed symptoms and are unaware they were exposed. Our work underscores the need for measures to limit transmission by individuals who become ill after being missed by a screening program. These findings can support evidence-based policy to combat the spread of COVID-19, and prospective planning to mitigate future emerging pathogens.

On 15 April 2020, the European Commission, in cooperation with the President of the European Council, put forward a Joint European Roadmap setting out recommendations on lifting COVID-19 containment measures. As called for in the Roadmap, on 13 May 2020, the Commission put forward further guidelines on how to progressively restore transport services, connectivity and free movement as swiftly as the health situation allows it, while protecting the health of transport workers and passengers . The Commission Communication mandated EASA and ECDC to issue jointly more detailed technical operational guidance for the aviation sector.

The route map gives an indication of the order in which we will carefully and gradually seek to change current restrictions. It provides practical examples of what people, organisations and businesses can expect to see change over time. The phasing table will continue to be updated.

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