Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 21

Search results for: COVID19

21 Digital Twin Technology: A Solution for Remote Operation and Productivity Improvement During Covid-19 Era and Future

Authors: Muhamad Sahir Bin Ahmad Shatiry, Wan Normeza Wan Zakaria, Mohamad Zaki Hassan

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The pandemic Covid19 has significantly impacted the world; the spreading of the Covid19 virus initially from China has dramatically impacted the world's economy. Therefore, the world reacts with establishing the new way or norm in daily life. The rapid rise of the latest technology has been seen by introducing many technologies to ease human life to have a minor contract between humans and avoid spreading the virus Covid19. Digital twin technologies are one of the technologies created before the pandemic Covid19 but slow adoption in the industry. Throughout the Covid19, most of the companies in the world started to explore to use it. The digital twin technology provides the virtual platform to replicate the existing condition or setup for anything such as office, manufacturing line, factories' machine, building, and many more. This study investigates the effect on the economic perspective after the companies use the Digital Twin technology in the industry. To minimize the contact between humans and to have the ability to operate the system digitally remotely. In this study, the explanation of the digital twin technology impacts the world's microeconomic and macroeconomic.

Keywords: productivity, artificially intelligence, IoT, digital twin

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20 Future Student Service Organization - Road Map

Authors: Michael Postert

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The Studierendenwerke are legally independent public foundations with a one-century-old history in the German university community. Like the French CROUS, the Italian ANDISU or the Japanese University COOPs, they are set-up to serve the university and student needs. They are legally independent of their client institutions and student stakeholders. Initially set up as a support organization by students for students they have evolved to public business institutions with an annual turnover of EUR 100 Million or more. They are usually engaged in business areas such as student housing, restaurants, student grants, governmental scholarships and counselling services. These institutions are facing major changes over the next few years. The COVID19 pandemic and its impact on the educational system will unavoidably have an immense impact on the German student service organizations (Studierendenwerke). Issues such as digitalization and sustainability will have a huge impact on how the future business model of the Studierendenwerke will look like. The paper will discuss the aims and challenges of this development that started already before the COVID19 pandemic. In light of the way the educational system of the future will look like, the Studierendenwerke have to develop as well.

Keywords: business model, digitalization, education, student services

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19 Predicting College Students’ Happiness During COVID-19 Pandemic; Be optimistic and Well in College!

Authors: Michiko Iwasaki, Jane M. Endres, Julia Y. Richards, Andrew Futterman

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The present study aimed to examine college students’ happiness during COVID19-pandemic. Using the online survey data from 96 college students in the U.S., a regression analysis was conducted to predict college students’ happiness. The results indicated that a four-predictor model (optimism, college students’ subjective wellbeing, coronavirus stress, and spirituality) explained 57.9% of the variance in student’s subjective happiness, F(4,77)=26.428, p<.001, R2=.579, 95% CI [.41,.66]. The study suggests the importance of learned optimism among college students.

Keywords: COVID-19, optimism, spirituality, well-being

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18 Possibility of Prediction of Death in SARS-Cov-2 Patients Using Coagulogram Analysis

Authors: Omonov Jahongir Mahmatkulovic

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Purpose: To study the significance of D-dimer (DD), prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), thrombin time (TT), and fibrinogen coagulation parameters (Fg) in predicting the course, severity and prognosis of COVID-19. Source and method of research: From September 15, 2021, to November 5, 2021, 93 patients aged 25 to 60 with suspected COVID-19, who are under inpatient treatment at the multidisciplinary clinic of the Tashkent Medical Academy, were retrospectively examined. DD, PT, APTT, and Fg were studied in dynamics and studied changes. Results: Coagulation disorders occurred in the early stages of COVID-19 infection with an increase in DD in 54 (58%) patients and an increase in Fg in 93 (100%) patients. DD and Fg levels are associated with the clinical classification. Of the 33 patients who died, 21 had an increase in DD in the first laboratory study, 27 had an increase in DD in the second and third laboratory studies, and 15 had an increase in PT in the third test. The results of the ROC analysis of mortality showed that the AUC DD was three times 0.721, 0.801, and 0.844, respectively; PT was 0.703, 0.845, and 0.972. (P<0:01). Conclusion”: Coagulation dysfunction is more common in patients with severe and critical conditions. DD and PT can be used as important predictors of mortality from COVID-19.

Keywords: Covid19, DD, PT, Coagulogram analysis, APTT

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17 In-Silico Investigation of Phytochemicals from Ocimum Sanctum as Plausible Antiviral Agent in COVID-19

Authors: Dileep Kumar, Janhavi Ramchandra Rao Kumar, Rao

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COVID-19 has ravaged the globe, and it is spreading its Spectre day by day. In the absence of established drugs, this disease has created havoc. Some of the infected persons are symptomatic or asymptomatic. The respiratory system, cardiac system, digestive system, etc. in human beings are affected by this virus. In our present investigation, we have undertaken a study of the Indian Ayurvedic herb, Ocimum sanctum against SARS-CoV-2 using molecular docking and dynamics studies. The docking analysis was performed on the Glide module of Schrödinger suite on two different proteins from SARS-CoV-2 viz. NSP15 Endoribonuclease and spike receptor-binding domain. MM-GBSA based binding free energy calculations also suggest the most favorable binding affinities of carvacrol, β elemene, and β caryophyllene with binding energies of −61.61, 58.23, and −54.19 Kcal/mol respectively with spike receptor-binding domain and NSP15 Endoribonuclease. It rekindles our hope for the design and development of new drug candidates for the treatment of COVID19.

Keywords: molecular docking, COVID-19, ocimum sanctum, binding energy

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16 Lessons Learned from Covid19 - Related ERT in Universities

Authors: Sean Gay, Cristina Tat

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This presentation will detail how a university in Western Japan has implemented its English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program during the onset of CoViD-19 in the spring semester of 2020. In the spring semester of 2020, after a 2 week delay, all courses within the School of Policy Studies EAP Program at Kwansei Gakuin University were offered in an online asynchronous format. The rationale for this decision was not to disadvantage students who might not have access to devices necessary for taking part in synchronous online lessons. The course coordinators were tasked with consolidating the materials originally designed for face-to-face14 week courses for a 12 week asynchronous online semester and with uploading the modified course materials to Luna, the university’s network, which is a modified version of Blackboard. Based on research to determine the social and academic impacts of this CoViD-19 ERT approach on the students who took part in this EAP program, this presentation explains how future curriculum design and implementation can be managed in a post-CoViD world. There are a wide variety of lessons that were salient. The role of the classroom as a social institution was very prominent; however, awareness of cognitive burdens and strategies to mitigate that burden may be more valuable for teachers. The lessons learned during this period of ERT can help teachers moving forward.

Keywords: asynchronous online learning, emergency remote teaching (ERT), online curriculum design, synchronous online learning

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15 The Development of Crisis Distance Education at Kuwait University During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Waleed Alanzi

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The purpose of this qualitative study was to add to the existing literature and provide a more detailed understanding of the individual experiences and perceptions of 15 Deans at the University of Kuwait regarding their first year of planning, developing, and implementing crisis distance education (CDE) in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. An interpretative phenomenological approach was applied, using the thematic analysis of interview transcripts to describe the challenging journeys taken by each of the Deans from the first-person point of view. There was objective evidence, manifested by four primary themes (“Obstacles to the implementation of CDE”; “Planning for CDE”; “Training for CDE,” and “Future Directions”) to conclude that the faculty members, technical staff, administrative staff, and students generally helped each other to overcome the obstacles associated with planning and implementing CDE. The idea that CDE may turn homes into schools and parents into teachers was supported. The planning and implementation of CDE were inevitably associated with a certain amount of confusion, as well as disruptions in the daily routines of staff and students, as well as significant changes in their responsibilities. There were contradictory ideas about the future directions of distance education after the pandemic. Previous qualitative research on the implementation of CDE at higher education institutions in the Arab world has focused mainly on the experiences and perceptions of students; however, little is known about the experiences and perceptions of the students at the University of Kuwait during the COVID19 pandemic, providing a rationale and direction for future research.

Keywords: distance learning, qualitative research, COVID-19 epidemic, Kuwait university

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14 Theoretical Lens Driven Strategies for Emotional Wellbeing of Parents and Children in COVID-19 Era

Authors: Anamika Devi

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Based on Vygotsky’s cultural, historical theory and Hedegaard’s concept of transition, this study aims to investigate to propose strategies to maintain digital wellbeing of children and parents during and post COVID pandemic. Due COVID 19 pandemic, children and families have been facing new challenges and sudden changes in their everyday life. While children are juggling to adjust themselves in new circumstance of onsite and online learning settings, parents are juggling with their work-life balance. A number of papers have identified that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of many families around the world in many ways, for example, the stress level of many parents increased, families faced financial difficulties, uncertainty impacted on long term effects on their emotional and social wellbeing. After searching and doing an intensive literature review from 2020 and 2021, this study has found some scholarly articles provided solution or strategies of reducing stress levels of parents and children in this unprecedented time. However, most of them are not underpinned by proper theoretical lens to ensure they validity and success. Therefore, this study has proposed strategies that are underpinned by theoretical lens to ensure their impact on children’s and parents' emotional wellbeing during and post COVID-19 era. The strategies will highlight on activities for positive coping strategies to the best use of family values and digital technologies.

Keywords: onsite and online learning, strategies, emotional wellbeing, tips, and strategies, COVID19

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13 The Impact of Social Media Exposure on COVID- 19 Vaccine Hesitancy “A Comparative Study on the Public in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates”

Authors: Lamiaa Shehata

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The current (COVID-19) pandemic is one of the international crises, and a lot of efforts have been directed toward the improvement of efficient vaccines, however vaccine hesitancy is one of the universal menaces that make the fulfillment of society immunity very hard. The World Health Organization acknowledges vaccine hesitancy as the society’s maximum risk to people's health protection, especially in little and moderate-revenue nations. Social media is strong in observing audience behaviors and evaluating the circulation, which would supply useful data for strategy makers. It has a significant function in spreading facts during the pandemic, it could assist to boost protective manners. The objective of this study is to determine the effects of social media exposure on vaccine hesitancy. Data were collected using a survey in a form of a structured questionnaire conducted during December 2021- January 2022 using convenient sampling techniques (680) in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. The results revealed that there was a significant relationship between the high exposure to social media and the refusal of the Covid19 vaccine also, the percentage of the refusal of the vaccine is higher in Egypt, however, UAE forced people to take the vaccine. Furthermore, public attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccination vary from gender and region. In conclusion, policymakers must adjust their policies through the use of social media to immediate actions to vaccine-related news to support vaccination approval.

Keywords: COVID-19, hesitancy, social media, vaccine

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12 Indian Diplomacy in a Post Pandemic World

Authors: Esha Banerji

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This paper attempts an assessment of India's behaviour as a foreign policy actor amidst the COVID 19 pandemic by briefly surveying the various introductions and alterations made to India's foreign policy. First, the paper attempts to establish the key strategic pillars of Indian foreign policy after reviewing the existing works. It then proceeds to assess the prominent part played by Health Diplomacy ("Vaccine Maitri") in India's bilateral and multilateral relations during the pandemic and the role of the Indian diaspora in shaping India's foreign policy. This is followed by examining "India's Neighbourhood First policy" and the way it's been employed by the Indian government to extend India’s strategic influence during the pandemic. An empirical assessment will be done to examine the changing dynamics of India's relation with different regional groupings like SAARC, ASEAN, BIMSTEC, etc. The paper also explores the new alliances formed post-pandemic and India's role in them. This paper analyses the contemporary challenges that the largest nation in South Asia faces with the onset of a global pandemic and how Ancient Indian values like "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" have influenced India's foreign policy, especially during the pandemic. It also attempts to grasp the changes within the negotiation style of the Indian government, and the role played by various stakeholders in shaping India's position in the present geopolitical landscape. The study has been conducted using data collected from government records, External Affairs Ministry database, and other available literature. The paper concludes with an attempt to predict the far-reaching strategic implications that the policy, as mentioned above, may have for India.

Keywords: Indian foreign policy, COVID19, diplomacy, post pandemic world

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11 A Machine Learning Approach for Performance Prediction Based on User Behavioral Factors in E-Learning Environments

Authors: Naduni Ranasinghe

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E-learning environments are getting more popular than any other due to the impact of COVID19. Even though e-learning is one of the best solutions for the teaching-learning process in the academic process, it’s not without major challenges. Nowadays, machine learning approaches are utilized in the analysis of how behavioral factors lead to better adoption and how they related to better performance of the students in eLearning environments. During the pandemic, we realized the academic process in the eLearning approach had a major issue, especially for the performance of the students. Therefore, an approach that investigates student behaviors in eLearning environments using a data-intensive machine learning approach is appreciated. A hybrid approach was used to understand how each previously told variables are related to the other. A more quantitative approach was used referred to literature to understand the weights of each factor for adoption and in terms of performance. The data set was collected from previously done research to help the training and testing process in ML. Special attention was made to incorporating different dimensionality of the data to understand the dependency levels of each. Five independent variables out of twelve variables were chosen based on their impact on the dependent variable, and by considering the descriptive statistics, out of three models developed (Random Forest classifier, SVM, and Decision tree classifier), random forest Classifier (Accuracy – 0.8542) gave the highest value for accuracy. Overall, this work met its goals of improving student performance by identifying students who are at-risk and dropout, emphasizing the necessity of using both static and dynamic data.

Keywords: academic performance prediction, e learning, learning analytics, machine learning, predictive model

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10 Aberrant Genome‐Wide DNA Methylation Profiles of Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells from Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19

Authors: Inam Ridha, Christine L. Kuryla, Madhuranga Thilakasiri Madugoda Ralalage Don, Norman J. Kleiman, Yunro Chung, Jin Park, Vel Murugan, Joshua LaBaer

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To date, more than 275 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and the rapid spread of the omicron variant suggests many millions more will soon become infected. Many infections are asymptomatic, while others result in mild to moderate illness. Unfortunately, some infected individuals exhibit more serious symptoms including respiratory distress, thrombosis, cardiovascular disease, multi-organ failure, cognitive difficulties, and, in roughly 2% of cases, death. Studies indicate other coronaviruses can alter the host cell's epigenetic profile and lead to alterations in the immune response. To better understand the mechanism(s) by which SARS-CoV-2 infection causes serious illness, DNA methylation profiles in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 90 hospitalized severely ill COVID-19 patients were compared to profiles from uninfected control subjects. Exploratory epigenome-wide DNA methylation analyses were performed using multiplexed methylated DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDIP) followed by pathway enrichment analysis. The findings demonstrated significant DNA methylation changes in infected individuals as compared to uninfected controls. Pathway analysis indicated that apoptosis, cell cycle control, Toll-like receptors (TLR), cytokine interactions, and T cell differentiation were among the most affected metabolic processes. In addition, changes in specific gene methylation were compared to SARS-CoV-2 induced changes in RNA expression using published RNA-seq data from 3 patients with severe COVID-19. These findings demonstrate significant correlations between differentially methylated and differentially expressed genes in a number of critical pathways.

Keywords: COVID19, epigenetics, DNA mathylation, viral infection

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9 The Psychology of Virtual Relationships Provides Solutions to the Challenges of Online Learning: A Pragmatic Review and Case Study from the University of Birmingham, UK

Authors: Catherine Mangan, Beth Anderson

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There has been a significant drive to use online or hybrid learning in Higher Education (HE) over recent years. HEs with a virtual presence offer their communities a range of benefits, including the potential for greater inclusivity, diversity, and collaboration; more flexible learning packages; and more engaging, dynamic content. Institutions can also experience significant challenges when seeking to extend learning spaces in this way, as can learners themselves. For example, staff members’ and learners’ digital literacy varies (as do their perceptions of technologies in use), and there can be confusion about optimal approaches to implementation. Furthermore, the speed with which HE institutions have needed to shift to fully online or hybrid models, owing to the COVID19 pandemic, has highlighted the significant barriers to successful implementation. HE environments have been shown to predict a range of organisational, academic, and experiential outcomes, both positive and negative. Much research has focused on the social aspect of virtual platforms, as well as the nature and effectiveness of the technologies themselves. There remains, however, a relative paucity of synthesised knowledge on the psychology of learners’ relationships with their institutions; specifically, how individual difference and interpersonal factors predict students’ ability and willingness to engage with novel virtual learning spaces. Accordingly, extending learning spaces remains challenging for institutions, and wholly remote courses, in particular, can experience high attrition rates. Focusing on the last five years, this pragmatic review summarises evidence from the psychological and pedagogical literature. In particular, the review highlights the importance of addressing the psychological and relational complexities of students’ shift from offline to online engagement. In doing so, it identifies considerations for HE institutions looking to deliver in this way.

Keywords: higher education, individual differences, interpersonal relationships, online learning, virtual environment

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8 The Impact of the Atypical Crisis on Educational Migration: Economic and Policy Challenges

Authors: Manana Lobzhanidze, Marine Kobalava, Lali Chikviladze

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The global pandemic crisis has had a significant impact on educational migration, substantially limiting young people’s access to education abroad. Therefore, it became necessary to study the economic, demographic, social, cultural and other factors associated with educational migration, to identify the economic and political challenges of educational migration and to develop recommendations. The aim of the research is to study the effects of the atypical crisis on educational migration and to make recommendations on effective migration opportunities based on the identification of economic and policy challenges in this area. Bibliographic research is used to assess the effects of the impact of the atypical crisis on educational migration presented in the papers of various scholars. Against the background of the restrictions imposed during the COVID19 pandemic, migration rates have been analyzed, endogenous and exogenous factors affecting educational migration have been identified. Quantitative and qualitative research of students and graduates of TSU Economics and Business Faculty is conducted, the results have been processed by SPSS program, the factors hindering educational migration and the challenges have been identified. The Internet and digital technologies have been shown to play a vital role in alleviating the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, however, lack of Internet access and limited financial resources have played a disruptive role in the educational migration process. The analysis of quantitative research materials revealed the problems of educational migration caused by the atypical crisis, while some issues were clarified during the focus group meetings. The following theoretical-methodological approaches were used during the research: a bibliographic research, analysis, synthesis, comparison, selection-grouping are used; Quantitative and qualitative research has been carried out, the results have been processed by SPSS program. The article presents the consequences of the atypical crisis for educational migration, identifies the main economic and policy challenges in the field of educational migration, and develops appropriate recommendations to overcome them.

Keywords: educational migration, atypical crisis, economic-political challenges, educational migration factors

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7 Evaluating the Efficacy of Tasquinimod in Covid-19

Authors: Raphael Udeh, Luis García De Guadiana Romualdo, Xenia Dolje-Gore

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Background: Quite disturbing is the huge public health impact of COVID-19: As at today [25th March 2021, the COVID-19 global burden shows over 123 million cases and over 2.7 million deaths worldwide. Rationale: Recent evidence shows calprotectin’s potential as a therapeutic target, stating that tasquinimod, from the Quinoline-3-Carboxamide family is capable of blocking the interaction between calprotectin and TLR4. Hence preventing the cytokine release syndrome, that heralds the functional exhaustion in COVID-19. Early preclinical studies showed that tasquinimod inhibit tumor growth and prevent angiogenesis/cytokine storm. Phase I – III clinical studies in prostate cancer showed it has a good safety profile with good radiologic progression free survival but no effect on overall survival. Rationale/hypothesis: Strategic endeavors have been amplified globally to assess new therapeutic interventions for COVID-19 management – thus the clinical and antiviral efficacy of tasquinimod in COVID-19 remains to be explored. Hence the primary objective of this trial will be to evaluate the efficacy of tasquinimod in the treatment of adult patients with severe COVID-19 infections. Therefore, I hypothesise that among adults with COVID19 infection, tasquinimod will reduce the severe respiratory distress associated with COVID-19 compared to placebo, over a 28-day study period. Method: The setting is in Europe. Design – a randomized, placebo-controlled, phase II double-blinded trial. Trial lasts for 28 days from randomization, Tasquinimod capsule given as 0.5mg daily 1st fortnight, then 1mg daily 2nd fortnight. I0 outcome - assessed using six-point ordinal scale alongside eight 20 outcomes. 125 participants to be enrolled, data collection at baseline and subsequent data points, and safety reporting monitored via serological profile. Significance: This work could potentially establish tasquinimod as an effective and safe therapeutic agent for COVID-19 by reducing the severe respiratory distress, related time to recovery, time on oxygen/admission. It will also drive future research – as in larger multi-centre RCT.

Keywords: Calprotectin, COVID-19, Phase II Trial, Tasquinimod

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6 Doing Durable Organisational Identity Work in the New World of Work: Meeting the Challenge of Different Workplace Strategies

Authors: Theo Heyns Veldsman, Dieter Veldsman

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Organisational Identity (OI) refers to who and what the organisation is, what it stands for and does, and what it aspires to become. OI explores the perspectives of how we see ourselves, are seen by others and aspire to be seen. It provides as rationale the ‘why’ for the organisation’s continued existence. The most widely accepted differentiating features of OI are encapsulated in the organisation’s core, distinctive, differentiating, and enduring attributes. OI finds its concrete expression in the organisation’s Purpose, Vision, Strategy, Core Ideology, and Legacy. In the emerging new order infused by hyper-turbulence and hyper-fluidity, the VICCAS world, OI provides a secure anchor and steady reference point for the organisation, particularly the growing widespread focus on Purpose, which is indicative of the organisation’s sense of social citizenship. However, the transforming world of work (TWOW) - particularly the potent mix of ongoing disruptive innovation, the 4th Industrial Revolution, and the gig economy with the totally unpredicted COVID19 pandemic - has resulted in the consequential adoption of different workplace strategies by organisations in terms of how, where, and when work takes place. Different employment relations (transient to permanent); work locations (on-site to remote); work time arrangements (full-time at work to flexible work schedules); and technology enablement (face-to-face to virtual) now form the basis of the employer/employee relationship. The different workplace strategies, fueled by the demands of TWOW, pose a substantive challenge to organisations of doing durable OI work, able to fulfill OI’s critical attributes of core, distinctive, differentiating, and enduring. OI work is contained in the ongoing, reciprocally interdependent stages of sense-breaking, sense-giving, internalisation, enactment, and affirmation. The objective of our paper is to explore how to do durable OI work relative to different workplace strategies in the TWOW. Using a conceptual-theoretical approach from a practice-based orientation, the paper addresses the following topics: distinguishes different workplace strategies based upon a time/place continuum; explicates stage-wise the differential organisational content and process consequences of these strategies for durable OI work; indicates the critical success factors of durable OI work under these differential conditions; recommends guidelines for OI work relative to TWOW; and points out ethical implications of all of the above.

Keywords: organisational identity, workplace strategies, new world of work, durable organisational identity work

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5 Tagging a corpus of Media Interviews with Diplomats: Challenges and Solutions

Authors: Roberta Facchinetti, Sara Corrizzato, Silvia Cavalieri

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Increasing interconnection between data digitalization and linguistic investigation has given rise to unprecedented potentialities and challenges for corpus linguists, who need to master IT tools for data analysis and text processing, as well as to develop techniques for efficient and reliable annotation in specific mark-up languages that encode documents in a format that is both human and machine-readable. In the present paper, the challenges emerging from the compilation of a linguistic corpus will be taken into consideration, focusing on the English language in particular. To do so, the case study of the InterDiplo corpus will be illustrated. The corpus, currently under development at the University of Verona (Italy), represents a novelty in terms both of the data included and of the tag set used for its annotation. The corpus covers media interviews and debates with diplomats and international operators conversing in English with journalists who do not share the same lingua-cultural background as their interviewees. To date, this appears to be the first tagged corpus of international institutional spoken discourse and will be an important database not only for linguists interested in corpus analysis but also for experts operating in international relations. In the present paper, special attention will be dedicated to the structural mark-up, parts of speech annotation, and tagging of discursive traits, that are the innovational parts of the project being the result of a thorough study to find the best solution to suit the analytical needs of the data. Several aspects will be addressed, with special attention to the tagging of the speakers’ identity, the communicative events, and anthropophagic. Prominence will be given to the annotation of question/answer exchanges to investigate the interlocutors’ choices and how such choices impact communication. Indeed, the automated identification of questions, in relation to the expected answers, is functional to understand how interviewers elicit information as well as how interviewees provide their answers to fulfill their respective communicative aims. A detailed description of the aforementioned elements will be given using the InterDiplo-Covid19 pilot corpus. The data yielded by our preliminary analysis of the data will highlight the viable solutions found in the construction of the corpus in terms of XML conversion, metadata definition, tagging system, and discursive-pragmatic annotation to be included via Oxygen.

Keywords: spoken corpus, diplomats’ interviews, tagging system, discursive-pragmatic annotation, english linguistics

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4 Fake news and Conspiracy Narratives in the Covid-19 Crisis: An International Comparison

Authors: Caja Thimm

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Already well before the Corona pandemic hit the world, ‘fake news‘ were no longer regarded as harmless twists of the truth but as intentionally composed disinformation, often with the goal of manipulative populist propaganda. During the Corona crisis, particularly conspiracy narratives have become a worldwide phenomenon with dangerous consequences (anti vaccination myths). The success of these manipulated news need s to be counteracted by trustworthy news, which in Europe particularly includes public broadcasting media and their social media channels. To understand better how the main public broadcasters in Germany, the UK, and France used Instagram strategically, a comparative study was carried out. The study – comparative analysis of Instagram during the Corona Crisis In our empirical study, we compared the activities by selected formats during the Corona crisis in order to see how the public broadcasters reached their audiences and how this might, in the longer run, affect journalistic strategies on social media platforms. First analysis showed that the increase in the use of social media overall was striking. Almost one in two adult online users (48 %) obtained information about the virus in social media, and in total, 38% of the younger age group (18-24) looked for Covid19 information on Instagram, so the platform can be regarded as one of the central digital spaces for Corona related information searches. Quantitative measures showed that 47% of recent posts by the broadcasters were related to Corona, and 7% treated conspiracy myths. For the more detailed content analysis, the following categories of analysis were applied: • Digital storytelling and instastories • Textuality and semantic keys • links to information • stickers • videochat • fact checking • news ticker • service • infografics and animated tables Additionally to these basic features, we particularly looked for new formats created during the crisis. Journalistic use of social media platforms opens up immediate and creative ways of applying the media logics of the respective platforms, and particularly the BBC and ARD formats proved to be interactive, responsive, and entertaining. Among them were new formats such as a space for user questions and personal uploads, interviews, music, comedy, etc. Particularly the fact checking channel got a lot of attention, as many user questions were focused on the conspiracy theories, which dominated the public discourse during many weeks in 2020. In the presentation, we will introduce eight particular strategies that show how public broadcasting journalism can adopt digital platforms and use them creatively and, hence help to counteract against conspiracy narratives and fake news.

Keywords: fake news, social media, digital journalism, digital methods

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3 Coping Strategies Used by Pregnant Women in India to Overcome the Psychological Impact of COVID-19

Authors: Harini Atturu, Divyani Byagari, Bindhu Rani Thumkunta, Sahitya Bammidi, Manasa Badveli

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Introduction: Biological, psychological and social domains influence the outcomes of pregnancy. The COVID19 pandemic had a significant effect on the psychological and social domains of pregnant women all over the world. Everyone has inherent coping mechanisms which ultimately determine the actual impact of such external stimulus on outcomes of pregnancy. This study aims to understand the coping strategies used by pregnant women to overcome the psychological impact of the first wave of the COVID 19 pandemic. Methods: Institutional ethics permission was sought. All pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in the institution during September 2020 were included in the study. Brief-COPE, a self-rated questionnaire, was provided to understand the coping strategies used by them. The Questionnaire consists of 28 questions that fall into 14 themes. These 14 themes were mapped into four domains consisting of Approaching coping (APC) styles, Avoidant Coping (AVC) styles, Humor and Religion. The results were analyzed using univariate and multivariate analysis. Factor analysis was performed to identify themes that are most frequently used. Results: 162 pregnant women were included in the study. The majority of the women were aged between 18 and 30 (90.1%). 60.9% of the respondents were having their first pregnancy and were in the 2nd trimester (59.6%). The majority of them were living in the city (74%), belonged to the middle class (77.6%) and were not working (70.1%). 56 respondents (34.6%) reported that they had contact with suspected or Covid positive patients. Many were worried that their pregnancy might be complicated (43%), their baby may contract COVID (45%) and their family members could get COVID during the hospital visits for antenatal check-ups. 33.6% of women admitted missing their regular antenatal check-ups because of the above concerns. All respondents used various coping strategies to overcome the psychological impact of COVID 19. Out of the 4 coping strategies, participants scored high on Religion with a mean of 5.471.45 followed by Approaching Coping (APC) styles (5.131.25), Humor (4.592.07) and Avoidant Coping (AVC) styles (4.130.88). Religion as a coping strategy scored high for all respondents irrespective of age, parity, trimester, social and employment status. Exploratory Factor analysis revealed two cluster groups that explained 68% of the variance, with Component 1 contributing to 58.9% and component 2 contributing 9.13% of the variance. Humor, Acceptance, Planning, and Religion were the top 4 factors that showed strong loadings. Conclusion: Most of the pregnant women were worried about the negative impact of COVID 19 on the outcomes of their pregnancy. Religion and Approaching coping styles seem to be the predominant coping strategies used by them. Interventionists and policymakers should consider these factors while providing support to such women.

Keywords: coping strategies, pregnancy, COVID-19, brief-COPE

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2 Knowledge Management in the Tourism Industry in Project Management Paradigm

Authors: Olga A. Burukina

Abstract:

Tourism is a complex socio-economic phenomenon, partly regulated by national tourism industries. The sustainable development of tourism in a region, country or in tourist destination depends on a number of factors (political, economic, social, cultural, legal and technological), the understanding and correct interpretation of which is invariably anthropocentric. It is logical that for the successful functioning of a tour operating company, it is necessary to ensure its sustainable development. Sustainable tourism is defined as tourism that fully considers its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, taking into account the needs of the industry, the environment and the host communities. For the business enterprise, sustainable development is defined as adopting business strategies and activities that meet the needs of the enterprise and its stakeholders today while protecting, sustaining and enhancing the human and natural resources that will be needed in the future. In addition to a systemic approach to the analysis of tourist destinations, each tourism project can and should be considered as a system characterized by a very high degree of variability, since each particular case of its implementation differs from the previous and subsequent ones, sometimes in a cardinal way. At the same time, it is important to understand that this variability is predominantly of anthropogenic nature (except for force majeure situations that are considered separately and afterwards). Knowledge management is the process of creating, sharing, using and managing the knowledge and information of an organization. It refers to a multidisciplinary approach to achieve organisational objectives by making the best use of knowledge. Knowledge management is seen as a key systems component that allows obtaining, storing, transferring, and maintaining information and knowledge in particular, in a long-term perspective. The study aims, firstly, to identify (1) the dynamic changes in the Italian travel industry in the last 5 years before the COVID19 pandemic, which can be considered the scope of force majeure circumstances, (2) the impact of the pandemic on the industry and (3) efforts required to restore it, and secondly, how project management tools can help to improve knowledge management in tour operating companies to maintain their sustainability, diminish potential risks and restore their pre-pandemic performance level as soon as possible. The pilot research is based upon a systems approach and has employed a pilot survey, semi-structured interviews, prior research analysis (aka literature review), comparative analysis, cross-case analysis, and modelling. The results obtained are very encouraging: PM tools can improve knowledge management in tour operating companies and secure the more sustainable development of the Italian tourism industry based on proper knowledge management and risk management.

Keywords: knowledge management, project management, sustainable development, tourism industr

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1 Impact of Traffic Restrictions due to Covid19, on Emissions from Freight Transport in Mexico City

Authors: Oscar Nieto-Garzón, Angélica Lozano

Abstract:

In urban areas, on-road freight transportation creates several social and environmental externalities. Then, it is crucial that freight transport considers not only economic aspects, like retailer distribution cost reduction and service improvement, but also environmental effects such as global CO2 and local emissions (e.g. Particulate Matter, NOX, CO) and noise. Inadequate infrastructure development, high rate of urbanization, the increase of motorization, and the lack of transportation planning are characteristics that urban areas from developing countries share. The Metropolitan Area of Mexico City (MAMC), the Metropolitan Area of São Paulo (MASP), and Bogota are three of the largest urban areas in Latin America where air pollution is often a problem associated with emissions from mobile sources. The effect of the lockdown due to COVID-19 was analyzedfor these urban areas, comparing the same period (January to August) of years 2016 – 2019 with 2020. A strong reduction in the concentration of primary criteria pollutants emitted by road traffic were observed at the beginning of 2020 and after the lockdown measures.Daily mean concentration of NOx decreased 40% in the MAMC, 34% in the MASP, and 62% in Bogota. Daily mean ozone levels increased after the lockdown measures in the three urban areas, 25% in MAMC, 30% in the MASP and 60% in Bogota. These changes in emission patterns from mobile sources drastically changed the ambient atmospheric concentrations of CO and NOX. The CO/NOX ratioat the morning hours is often used as an indicator of mobile sources emissions. In 2020, traffic from cars and light vehicles was significantly reduced due to the first lockdown, but buses and trucks had not restrictions. In theory, it implies a decrease in CO and NOX from cars or light vehicles, maintaining the levels of NOX by trucks(or lower levels due to the congestion reduction). At rush hours, traffic was reduced between 50% and 75%, so trucks could get higher speeds, which would reduce their emissions. By means an emission model, it was found that an increase in the average speed (75%) would reduce the emissions (CO, NOX, and PM) from diesel trucks by up to 30%. It was expected that the value of CO/NOXratio could change due to thelockdownrestrictions. However, although there was asignificant reduction of traffic, CO/NOX kept its trend, decreasing to 8-9 in 2020. Hence, traffic restrictions had no impact on the CO/NOX ratio, although they did reduce vehicle emissions of CO and NOX. Therefore, these emissions may not adequately represent the change in the vehicle emission patterns, or this ratio may not be a good indicator of emissions generated by vehicles. From the comparison of the theoretical data and those observed during the lockdown, results that the real NOX reduction was lower than the theoretical reduction. The reasons could be that there are other sources of NOX emissions, so there would be an over-representation of NOX emissions generated by diesel vehicles, or there is an underestimation of CO emissions. Further analysis needs to consider this ratioto evaluate the emission inventories and then to extend these results forthe determination of emission control policies to non-mobile sources.

Keywords: COVID-19, emissions, freight transport, latin American metropolis

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