Search results for: COVID-19 pandemic
Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 88

Search results for: COVID-19 pandemic

88 Impact of Crises on Official Statistics: A Case Study of Environmental Statistics at Statistical Centre for the Cooperation Council for the Arab Countries of the Gulf during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Ibtihaj Al-Siyabi

Abstract:

The crisis of COVID-19 posed enormous challenges to the statistical providers. While official statistics were disrupted by the pandemic and related containment measures, there was a growing and pressing need for real-time data and statistics to inform decisions. This paper gives an account of the way the pandemic impacted the operations of the National Statistical Offices (NSOs) in general in terms of data collection and methods used, and the main challenges encountered by them based on international surveys. It highlights the performance of the Statistical Centre for the Cooperation Council for the Arab Countries of the Gulf, GCC-STAT, and its responsiveness to the pandemic placing special emphasis on environmental statistics. The paper concludes by confirming the GCC-STAT’s resilience and success in facing the challenges.

Keywords: NSO, COVID-19, pandemic, National Statistical Offices.

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87 The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Foreign Students Studying in Hungary

Authors: Anita Kéri

Abstract:

Satisfying foreign student needs has been in the center of research interest in the past several years. Higher education institutions have been exploring factors influencing foreign student satisfaction to stay competitive on the educational market. Even though foreign student satisfaction and loyalty are topics investigated deeply in the literature, the academic years of 2020 and 2021 have revealed challenges never experienced before. With the COVID-19 pandemic, new factors have emerged that might influence foreign student satisfaction and loyalty in higher education. The aim of the current research is to shed lights on what factors influence foreign student satisfaction and loyalty in the post-pandemic educational era, and to reveal if the effects of factors influencing satisfaction and loyalty have changed compared to previous findings. Initial results show that students are less willing to participate in online surveys during and after the pandemic. The return rate of the survey instrument is below 5%. Results also reveal that there is a slight difference in what factors students deem important during pandemic times regarding their satisfaction and loyalty. The results of the current study help us determine what factors higher education institutions need to consider, when planning the future service affordances for their foreign students, that might influence their satisfaction and loyalty.

Keywords: COVID-19, foreign students, loyalty, pandemic, satisfaction.

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86 COVID-19 Pandemic Influence on Toddlers and Preschoolers’ Screen Time

Authors: Juliana da Silva Cardoso, Cláudia Correia, Rita Gomes, Carolina Fraga, Inês Cascais, Sara Monteiro, Beatriz Teixeira, Sandra Ribeiro, Carolina Andrade, Cláudia Oliveira, Diana Gonzaga, Catarina Prior, Inês Vaz Matos

Abstract:

The average daily screen time (ST) has been increasing in children, even at young ages. This seems to be associated with a higher incidence of neurodevelopmental disorders, and as the time of exposure increases, the greater is the functional impact. This study aims to compare the daily ST of toddlers and preschoolers previously and during the COVID-19 pandemic. A questionnaire was applied by telephone to parents/caregivers of children between 1 and 5 years old, followed up at four primary care units belonging to the Group of Primary Health Care Centers of Western Porto, Portugal. A total of 520 children were included: 52.9% male, mean age 39.4 ± 13.9 months. The mean age of first exposure to screens was 13.9 ± 8.0 months, and most of the children were exposed to more than one screen daily. Considering the WHO recommendations, before the COVID-19 pandemic, 385 (74.0%) and 408 (78.5%) children had excessive ST during the week and the weekend, respectively; during the lockdown, these values increased to 495 (95.2%) and 482 (92.7%). Maternal education and both the child's median age and the median age of first exposure to screens had a statistically significant association with excessive ST, with OR 0.2 (p = 0.03, CI 95% 0.07-0.86), OR 1.1 (p = 0.01, 95% CI 1.05-1.14) and OR 0.9 (p = 0.05, 95% CI 0. 87-0.98), respectively. Most children in this sample had a higher than recommended ST, which increased with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. These results are worrisome and point to the need for urgent intervention.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, preschoolers, screen time, toddlers

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85 Online Teaching Methods and Student Satisfaction during a Pandemic

Authors: Anita Kéri

Abstract:

With the outbreak of the global pandemic of COVID-19, online education characterizes today’s higher education. For some higher education institutions (HEIs), the shift from classroom education to online solutions was swift and smooth, and students are continuously asked about their experience regarding online education. Therefore, there is a growing emphasis on student satisfaction with online education, a field that had emerged previously, but has become the center of higher education and research interest today. The aim of the current paper is to give a brief overview of the tools used in the online education of marketing-related classes at the examined university and to investigate student satisfaction with the applied teaching methodologies with the tool of a questionnaire. Results show that students are most satisfied with their teachers’ competences and preparedness, while they are least satisfied with online class quality, where it seems that further steps are needed to be taken.

Keywords: Online teaching, pandemic, satisfaction, students.

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84 Nurturing National Progress: The Crucial Role of Philosophy and Education in the Post-Pandemic Era

Authors: Aldrin R. Logdat

Abstract:

Philosophy offers a systematic approach to reflective, logical, and innovative thinking, which involves a thorough investigation of various concepts. On the other hand, national development encompasses a country’s ability to embrace its unique identity and take charge of its future. Education, meanwhile, provides individuals with enlightening experiences and specialized training in different fields. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate how philosophy and education can serve as catalysts for national progress. Given the Philippines' diverse socio-cultural, religious, ethnic, and political backgrounds, this study seeks to answer two crucial questions: Can the country achieve development despite its differences? If that is the case, what are the critical elements propelling this advancement? By means of historical interpretation and philosophical analysis, this article posits that philosophy and education are essential components in driving the country's progress in the era following the pandemic.

Keywords: Philosophy, national progress, educational discourse, pandemic.

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83 Conspiracy Theory in Discussions of the Coronavirus Pandemic in the Gulf Region

Authors: Rasha Salameh

Abstract:

In light of the tense relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran, this research paper sheds some light on Saudi-owned television network, Al-Arabiya’s reporting of the Coronavirus in the Gulf region. Particularly because most of the cases in the beginning were coming from Iran, some programs of this Saudi channel embraced a conspiracy theory. Hate speech has been used in the talking and discussions about the topic. The results of these discussions will be detailed in this paper in percentages with regard to the research sample, which includes five programs on the Al-Arabiya channel: ‘DNA’, ‘Marraya’ (Mirrors), ‘Panorama’, ‘Tafaolcom’ (Your Interaction) and ‘Diplomatic Street’, in the period between January 19, that is, the date of the first case in Iran, and April 10, 2020. The research shows the use of a conspiracy theory in the programs, in addition to some professional violations. The surveyed sample also shows that the matter receded due to the Arab Gulf states' preoccupation with the successively increasing cases that have appeared there since the start of the pandemic. The results indicate that hate speech was present in the sample at a rate of 98.1%, and that most of the programs that dealt with the Iranian issue under the Coronavirus pandemic on Al Arabiya used the conspiracy theory at a rate of 75.5%.

Keywords: Al-Arabiya, Iran, COVID-19, hate speech, conspiracy theory, politicization of the pandemic

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82 Impact of the Electricity Market Prices on Energy Storage Operation during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Marin Mandić, Elis Sutlović, Tonći Modrić, Luka Stanić

Abstract:

With the restructuring and deregulation of the power system, storage owners, generation companies or private producers can offer their multiple services on various power markets and earn income in different types of markets, such as the day-ahead, real-time, ancillary services market, etc. During the COVID-19 pandemic, electricity prices, as well as ancillary services prices, increased significantly. The optimization of the energy storage operation was performed using a suitable model for simulating the operation of a pumped storage hydropower plant under market conditions. The objective function maximizes the income earned through energy arbitration, regulation-up, regulation-down and spinning reserve services. The optimization technique used for solving the objective function is mixed integer linear programming (MILP). In numerical examples, the pumped storage hydropower plant operation has been optimized considering the already achieved hourly electricity market prices from Nord Pool for the pre-pandemic (2019) and the pandemic (2020 and 2021) years. The impact of the electricity market prices during the COVID-19 pandemic on energy storage operation is shown through the analysis of income, operating hours, reserved capacity and consumed energy for each service. The results indicate the role of energy storage during a significant fluctuation in electricity and services prices.

Keywords: Electrical market prices, electricity market, energy storage optimization, mixed integer linear programming, MILP, optimization.

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81 Risk and Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on Real Estate

Authors: Tahmina Akhter

Abstract:

In the present work, we make a study of the repercussions of the pandemic generated by COVID-19 in the real estate market, this disease has affected almost all sectors of the economy across different countries in the world, including the real estate markets. This documentary research, basically focused on the years 2021 and 2022, as we seek to focus on the strongest time of the pandemic. We carried out the study trying to take into account the repercussions throughout the world and that is why the data we analyze take into account information from all possible continents. Particularly in the US, Europe and China, where the COVID-19 impact has been of such proportions that it has fundamentally affected the housing market for middle-class housing. In addition, the pandemic has posed risks to investments in this market, due to the fact that companies in the sector have generated losses in certain cases; in the Chinese case, Evergrande, one of the largest companies in the sector, fell into default.

Keywords: COVID-19, real estate market, statistics of COVID-19, Evergrande Real Estate.

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80 Blockchain Technology Applications in Patient Tracking Systems Regarding Privacy-Preserving Concerns and COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Farbod Behnaminia, Saeed Samet

Abstract:

The COVID-19 pandemic has paralyzed many lives until a vaccine has been available, which caused the so-called "new normal". COVID-19 is an infectious disease. It can cause significant illness or death in anyone. Governments and health officials tried to impose rules and regulations to avoid and slow down transmission. Therefore, software engineers worldwide developed applications to trace and track patients’ movements and notify others, mainly using Bluetooth. In this way, everyone could be informed whether they came in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 and take proper safety precautions. Because most of the applications use technologies that can potentially reveal the user’s identity and location, researchers have debated privacy preservation and how to improve user privacy during such pandemics. We conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the literature by looking for papers in the relevant field and dividing them into pre- and post-pandemic systems. Additionally, we discussed the many uses of blockchain technology in pandemic control. We found that two major obstacles facing blockchain implementation across many healthcare systems are scalability and privacy. The Polkadot platform is presented, along with a review of its efficacy in tackling current concerns. A more scalable healthcare system is achievable in near future using Polkadot as well as a much more privacy-preserving environment.

Keywords: Blockchain, Electronic Record Management, EHR, Privacy-Preserving, patient tracking, COVID-19, trust and confidence, Polkadot.

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79 Unveiling the Domino Effect: Barriers and Strategies in the Adoption of Telecommuting as a Post-Pandemic Workspace

Authors: D. Lingam, D. R. Seenivasagam, P. Chand, C. Yee, J. Chief, R. Ananthanarayanan

Abstract:

In a post-pandemic workspace, identifying the barriers, solutions, and strategies related to telecommuting becomes crucial. Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, remote work emerged as a vital business continuity measure. This study investigates telecommuting’s modern work model, exploring benefits and obstacles. Utilizing Interpretive Structural Modelling, it uncovers barriers hindering telecommuting adoption. A validated set of thirteen barriers is examined through departmental surveys, revealing interrelationships. The resulting model highlights interactions and dependencies, forming a foundational framework. By addressing dominant barriers, a domino effect on subservient barriers is demonstrated. This research fosters further exploration, proposing management strategies for successful telecommuting adoption, reshaping the traditional workspace.

Keywords: Barriers, interpretive structural modelling, post-pandemic, telecommuting.

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78 Patient Perspectives on Telehealth during the Pandemic in the United States

Authors: Manal Sultan Alhussein, Xiang Michelle Liu

Abstract:

Telehealth is an advanced technology using digital information and telecommunication facilities that provide access to health services from a distance. It slows the transmission factor of COVID-19, especially for elderly patients and patients with chronic diseases during the pandemic. Therefore, understanding patient perspectives on telehealth services and the factors impacting their option of telehealth service will shed light on the measures that healthcare providers can take to improve the quality of telehealth services. This study aimed to evaluate perceptions of telehealth services among different patient groups and explore various aspects of telehealth utilization in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. An online survey distributed via social media platforms was used to collect research data. In addition to the descriptive statistics, both correlation and regression analyses were conducted to test research hypotheses. The empirical results highlighted that the factors such as accessibility to telehealth services and the type of specialty clinics that the patients required play important roles in the effectiveness of telehealth services they received. However, the results found that patients’ waiting time to receive telehealth services and their annual income did not significantly influence their desire to select receiving healthcare services via telehealth. The limitations of the study and future research directions are discussed.

Keywords: Telehealth, patient satisfaction, pandemic, healthcare, remote patient monitor.

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77 Impact on Course Registration and SGPA of the Students of BSc in EEE Programme due to Online Teaching during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Muhibul Haque Bhuyan

Abstract:

Most educational institutions were compelled to switch over to the online mode of teaching, learning, and assessment due to the lockdown when the corona pandemic started around the globe in the early part of the year 2020. However, they faced a unique set of challenges in delivering knowledge and skills to their students as well as formulating a proper assessment policy. This paper investigates whether there is an impact on the student Semester Grade Point Average (SGPA) due to the online mode of teaching and learning assessment at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) of Southeast University (SEU). Details of student assessments are discussed. Then students’ grades were analyzed to find out the impact on SGPA based on the z-test by finding the standard deviation (). It also pointed out the challenges associated with the online classes and assessment strategies to be adopted during the online assessment. The student admission, course advising, and registration statistics were also presented in several tables and analyzed based on the change in percentage to observe the impact on it due to the pandemic. In summary, it was observed that the students’ SGPAs are not affected but student course advising and registration were affected slightly by the pandemic. Finally, the paper provides some recommendations to improve the online teaching, learning, assessment, and evaluation system.

Keywords: electrical and electronic engineering students, impact on course grading and SGPA, online assessment, online teaching, student registration, semester result

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76 Molecular Dynamics Study on Laninamivir Inhibiting Neuraminidases of H5N1 and pH1N1 Influenza a Viruses

Authors: A. Meeprasert, W. Khuntawee, S. Hannongbua, T. Rungrotmongkol

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Viral influenza A subtypes H5N1 and pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) have worldwide emerged and transmitted. The most common anti-influenza drug for treatment of both seasonal and pandemic influenza viruses is oseltamivir that nowadays becomes resistance to influenza neuraminidase. The novel long-acting drug, laninamivir, was discovered for treatment of the patients infected with influenza B and influenza A viruses. In the present study, laninamivir complexed with wild-type strain of both H5N1 and pH1N1 viruses were comparatively determined the structures and drug-target interactions by means of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The results show that the hydrogen bonding interactions formed between laninamivir and its binding residues are likely similar for the two systems. Additionally, the presence of intermolecular interactions from laninamivir to the residues in the binding pocket is established through their side chains in accordance with hydrogen bond interactions.

Keywords: Laninamivir, neuraminidase, H5N1, pandemic H1N1, wild-type, MD simulation

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75 The Psychological Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Non-Healthcare Migrant Workers in a Construction Company in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Viviane Nascimento, Dania Mehmod

Abstract:

Introduction: The Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease was firstly reported in Asia at the end of 2019 and became a pandemic at the beginning of 2020. It resulted in a significant impact over the global economy and the health care systems around the world. The immediate measure adopted worldwide to contain the virus was mainly the lockdown and curfews. This certainly had an important impact on expats workers due to the financial insecurity, culture barrier and distance from the family. Saudi Arabia has one of the largest flows of foreign workers in the world and expats are the majority of the workforce. The aim of this essay was assessing the psychological impact of COVID-19 in non-health care expats living in Saudi Arabia. Methods: The study was conducted in a construction company in Riyadh with non-health care employees. The cross-sectional study protocol was approved by the company's executive management. Employees who verbally agreed to participate in the study were asked to anonymously answer a questionnaire validated for behavioral research (DASS-21). In addition, a second questionnaire was created to assess feelings and emotions. Results: More than a third of participants screened positive for one or more psychological symptoms (depression, anxiety and stress) on the DASS-21 scale. Moreover, it was observed an increase on negative feelings on the additional questionnaire. Conclusion: This study reveals an increase on negative feelings and psychological symptoms among non-health care migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of this, it is crucial to understand the emotional effects caused by the pandemic on migrant workers in order to create supportive and informative strategies minimizing the emotional impact on this vulnerable group.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, Saudi Arabia, psychological effects, migrant workers.

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74 Portfolio Management for Construction Company during Covid-19 Using AHP Technique

Authors: Sareh Rajabi, Salwa Bheiry

Abstract:

In general, Covid-19 created many financial and non-financial damages to the economy and community. Level and severity of covid-19 as pandemic case varies over the region and due to different types of the projects. Covid-19 virus emerged as one of the most imperative risk management factors word-wide recently. Therefore, as part of portfolio management assessment, it is essential to evaluate severity of such risk on the project and program in portfolio management level to avoid any risky portfolio. Covid-19 appeared very effectively in South America, part of Europe and Middle East. Such pandemic infection affected the whole universe, due to lock down, interruption in supply chain management, health and safety requirements, transportations and commercial impacts. Therefore, this research proposes Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to analyze and assess such pandemic case like Covid-19 and its impacts on the construction projects. The AHP technique uses four sub-criteria: Health and safety, commercial risk, completion risk and contractual risk to evaluate the project and program. The result will provide the decision makers with information which project has higher or lower risk in case of Covid-19 and pandemic scenario. Therefore, the decision makers can have most feasible solution based on effective weighted criteria for project selection within their portfolio to match with the organization’s strategies.

Keywords: Portfolio management, risk management, COVID-19, analytical hierarchy process technique.

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73 Basic Science Medical Students’ Perception of a Formative Peer Assessment Model for Reinforcing the Learning of Physical Examination Skills During the COVID-19 Pandemic Online Learning Period

Authors: Neilal A. Isaac, Madison Edwards, Kirthana Sugunathevan, Mohan Kumar

Abstract:

The COVID-19 pandemic challenged the education system and forced medical schools to transition to online learning. With this transition, one of the major concerns for students and educators was to ensure that Physical Examination (PE) skills were still being mastered. Thus, the formative peer assessment model was designed to enhance the learning of PE skills during the COVID-19 pandemic in the online learning landscape. Year 1 and year 2 students enrolled in clinical skills courses at the University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts were asked to record themselves demonstrating PE skills with a healthy patient volunteer after every skills class. Each student was assigned to exchange feedback with one peer in the course. At the end of the first two semesters of this learning activity, a cross-sectional survey was conducted for the two cohorts of year-1 and year-2 students. The year-1 cohorts most frequently rated the peer assessment exercise as 4 on a 5-point Likert scale, with a mean score of 3.317 [2.759, 3.875]. The year-2 cohorts most frequently rated the peer assessment exercise as 4 on a 5-point Likert scale, with a mean score of 3.597 [2.978, 4.180]. Students indicated that guidance from faculty, flexible deadlines, and detailed and timely feedback from peers were areas for improvement in this process.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, distant learning, online medical education, peer assessment, physical examination.

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72 Changing Human Resources Policies in Companies after the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: C. Murat, T. Elifnaz

Abstract:

Today, with globalization, human mobility has increased the interaction between countries significantly, and this contact has also increased the possibility of epidemics, although this contact has moved societies forward in terms of civilization. The coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, which caused the most loss of life from these epidemics, quickly swept the whole world with the effect of globalization. The coronavirus epidemic has affected the world economically as well as health problems. While some businesses around the world experienced an extraordinary increase in demand, some businesses temporarily stopped their activities or were forced to do so. Businesses affected by the crisis had to adapt to new legal regulations but had to make changes in matters such as working styles, human resources practices, and policies. One of the measures considered is the reduction of the workforce. The current COVID-19 crisis has created serious challenges for many organizations and has led to an unprecedented wave of termination notices. In this study, examples of companies that were affected by the pandemic process and changed their working policies after the pandemic were examined. This study aims to reveal the impact of the global COVID-19 epidemic on human resources policies and employees and how these situations will affect businesses in the future.

Keywords: COVID-19, human resource management, crisis management, business function.

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71 Urban Resilience: Relation between COVID-19 and Urban Environment in Amman City

Authors: Layla Mujahed

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COVID-19 is an exam for all the city’s systems. It shows many gaps in the systems such as healthcare, economic, social, and environment. This pandemic is paving for a new era, an era of technology and it has changed people’s lives, such as physical, and emotional changes, and converting communication into digitalized. The effect of COVID-19 has covered all urban city parts. COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic our cities will face. For that, more researches focus on enhancing the quality of the urban environment. This pandemic encourages a rethinking of the environment’s role, especially in cities. Cities are trying to provide the best suitable strategies and regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and an example of that is Amman city. Amman has a high increment in the number of COVID-19 infected people, while it has controlled the situation for months. For that, this paper studies the relation between COVID-19 and urban environmental studies cases about cities around the world, and learns from their models to face COVID-19. In Amman, people’s behavior has changed towards public transportation and public green spaces. N­ew governmental regulations focus on increasing people’s mental awareness, supporting local businesses, and enhancing neighborhood planning that can help Amman to face any future pandemics.

Keywords: COVID-19, urban environment, urban planning, urban resilience.

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70 Exploring the Perspective of Service Quality in mHealth Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Wan-I Lee, Nelio Mendoza Figueredo

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The impact of COVID-19 has a significant effect on all sectors of society globally. Health information technology (HIT) has become an effective health strategy in this age of distancing. In this regard, Mobile Health (mHealth) plays a critical role in managing patient and provider workflows during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the users' perception of service quality about mHealth services plays a significant role in shaping confidence and subsequent behaviors regarding the mHealth users' intention of use. This study's objective was to explore levels of user attributes analyzed by a qualitative method of how health practitioners and patients are satisfied or dissatisfied with using mHealth services; and analyzed the users' intention in the context of Taiwan during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research explores the experienced usability of a mHealth services during the Covid-19 pandemic. This study uses qualitative methods that include in-depth and semi-structured interviews that investigate participants' perceptions and experiences and the meanings they attribute to them. The five cases consisted of health practitioners, clinic staff, and patients' experiences using mHealth services. This study encourages participants to discuss issues related to the research question by asking open-ended questions, usually in one-to-one interviews. The findings show the positive and negative attributes of mHealth service quality. Hence, the significant importance of patients' and health practitioners' issues on several dimensions of perceived service quality is system quality, information quality, and interaction quality. A concept map for perceptions regards to emergency uses' intention of mHealth services process is depicted. The findings revealed that users pay more attention to "Medical care", "ease of use" and "utilitarian benefits" and have less importance for "Admissions and Convenience" and "Social influence". To improve mHealth services, the mHealth providers and health practitioners should better manage users' experiences to enhance mHealth services. This research contributes to the understanding of service quality issues in mHealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19, mobile health, mHealth, service quality, use intention.

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69 Controlled Vocabularies and Information Retrieval: 1918 Pandemic’s Scientific Literature as an Example

Authors: M. Garcia-Alsina, J. Cobarsí

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The role of controlled vocabularies in information retrieval is broadly recognized as a relevant feature. Besides, there is a standing demand that editors and databases should consider the effective introduction of controlled vocabularies in their procedures to index scientific literature. That is especially important because information retrieval is pointed out as a significant point to drive systematic literature review. Hence, a first question emerges: Are the controlled vocabularies at this moment considered? On the other hand, subject searching in the catalogs is complex mainly due to the dichotomy between keywords from authors versus keywords based on controlled vocabularies. Finally, there is some demand to unify the terminology related to health to make easier the medical history exploitation and research. Considering these features, this paper focuses on controlled vocabularies related to the health field and their role for storing, classifying, and retrieving relevant literature. The objective is knowing which role plays the controlled vocabularies related to the health field to index and retrieve research literature in data bases such as Web of Science (WoS) and Scopus. So, this exploratory research is grounded over two research questions: 1) Which are the terms considered in specific controlled vocabularies of the health field; and 2) How papers are indexed in relevant databases to be easily retrieved, considering keywords vs specific health’ controlled vocabularies? This research takes as fieldwork the controlled vocabularies related to health and the scientific interest for 1918 flu pandemic, also known equivocally as ‘Spanish flu’. This interest has been fostered by the emergence in the early 21st of epidemics of pneumonic diseases caused by virus. Searches about and with controlled vocabularies on WoS and Scopus databases are conducted. First results of this work in progress are surprising. There are different controlled vocabularies for the health field, into which the terms collected and preferred related to ‘1918 pandemic’ are identified. To summarize, ‘Spanish influenza epidemic’ or ‘Spanish flu’ are collected as not preferred terms. The preferred terms are: ‘influenza’ or ‘influenza pandemic, 1918-1919’. Although the controlled vocabularies are clear in their election, most of the literature about ‘1918 pandemic’ is retrievable either by ‘Spanish’ or by ‘1918’ disjunct, and the dominant word to retrieve literature is ‘Spanish’ rather than ‘1918’. This is surprising considering the existence of suitable controlled vocabularies related to health topics, and the modern guidelines of World Health Organization concerning naming of diseases that point out to other preferred terms. A first conclusion is the failure of using controlled vocabularies for a field such as health, and in consequence for WoS and Scopus. This research opens further research questions about which is the role that controlled vocabularies play in the instructions to authors that journals deliver to documents’ authors.

Keywords: Controlled vocabularies, indexing, 1918 influenza, information retrieval, keywords, 1918 pandemic, scientific databases.

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68 Stochastic Impact Analysis of COVID-19 on Karachi Stock Exchange

Authors: Syeda Maria Ali Shah, Asif Mansoor, Talat Sharafat Rehmani, Safia Mirza

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The stock market of any country acts as a predictor of the economy. The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the global financial markets. Besides, it has also critically affected the economy of Pakistan. In this study, we consider the role of the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) with regard to the Pakistan Stock Exchange and quantify the impact on macroeconomic variables in presence of COVID-19. The suitable macroeconomic variables are used to quantify the impact of COVID-19 by developing the stochastic model. The sufficiency of the computed model is attained by means of available techniques in the literature. The estimated equations are used to forecast the impact of pandemic on macroeconomic variables. The constructed model can help the policymakers take counteractive measures for restricting the influence of viruses on the Karachi Stock Market.

Keywords: COVID-19, Karachi Stock Market, macroeconomic variables, stochastic model, forecasting.

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67 Fighting COVID-19: Lessons and Experience from the World’s Largest Economies

Authors: Xiaowen Zhang, Wanda Luen-Wun Siu

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The paper reviews the insights gained in combating COVID-19 in the US, Japan, and China. After evaluation and investigation, we found that China’s and Japan’s experience of fighting COVID-19 is commendable. The Chinese government and the Japanese administration have implemented highly effective governance and public health course of action to fight COVID-19. Government-led epidemic control with a staunch belief in science can roll out effective pandemic control strategies. In contrast, the US failed to react to COVID-19 effectively. The relaxed public health measures of ending shutdowns prematurely were not working. When the US keeps business open after the spring shutdown, COVID-19 cases are soaring. Such experiences inform us effective governance and a mandatory and stricter approach can better curb a pandemic than milder measures in handling a public health emergency. And China and Japan, where collectivistic culture reins, can better maneuver a public health crisis with collective efforts.

Keywords: COVID-19, China, Japan, US.

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66 Delineating Students’ Speaking Anxieties and Assessment Gaps in Online Speech Performances

Authors: Mary Jane B. Suarez

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Speech anxiety is innumerable in any traditional communication classes especially for ESL students. The speech anxiety intensifies when communication skills assessments have taken its toll in an online mode of learning due to the perils of the COVID-19 virus. Teachers and students have experienced vast ambiguity on how to realize a still effective way to teach and learn various speaking skills amidst the pandemic. This mixed method study determined the factors that affected the public speaking skills of students in online performances, delineated the assessment gaps in assessing speaking skills in an online setup, and recommended ways to address students’ speech anxieties. Using convergent parallel design, quantitative data were gathered by examining the desired learning competencies of the English course including a review of the teacher’s class record to analyze how students’ performances reflected a significantly high level of anxiety in online speech delivery. Focus group discussion was also conducted for qualitative data describing students’ public speaking anxiety and assessment gaps. Results showed a significantly high level of students’ speech anxiety affected by time constraints, use of technology, lack of audience response, being conscious of making mistakes, and the use of English as a second language. The study presented recommendations to redesign curricular assessments of English teachers and to have a robust diagnosis of students’ speaking anxiety to better cater to the needs of learners in attempt to bridge any gaps in cultivating public speaking skills of students as educational institutions segue from the pandemic to the post-pandemic milieu.

Keywords: Blended learning, communication skills assessment, online speech delivery, public speaking anxiety, speech anxiety.

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65 Investigating Technical and Pedagogical Considerations in Producing Screen Recorded Videos

Authors: M. Nikafrooz, J. Darsareh

Abstract:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, its impacts on education all over the world, and the problems arising from the use of traditional methods in education during the pandemic, it was necessary to apply alternative solutions to achieve educational goals. In this regard, electronic content production through screen recording became popular among many teachers. However, the production of screen-recorded videos requires special technical and pedagogical considerations. The purpose of this study was to extract and present the technical and pedagogical considerations for producing screen-recorded videos to provide a useful and comprehensive guideline for e-content producers. This study was applied research, the design was descriptive, and data collection has been done using qualitative method. In order to collect the data, 524 previously produced screen-recorded videos were evaluated by using an open-ended questionnaire. After collecting the data, they were categorized, and finally, 83 items as technical and pedagogical considerations in the form of 5 domains were determined. By applying such considerations, it is expected to decrease producing and editing time, increase the technical and pedagogical quality, and finally facilitate and enhance the processes of teaching and learning.

Keywords: E-learning, e-content, screen recorded-videos, screen recording software, technical and pedagogical considerations.

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64 Individuals’ Inner Wellbeing during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Quantitative Comparison of Social Connections and Close Relationships between the UK and India

Authors: Maria Spanoudaki, Pauldy C. J. Otermans, Dev Aditya

Abstract:

Relationships form an integral part of our everyday wellbeing. In this study, the focus is on Inner Wellbeing which can be described as an individuals' thoughts and feelings about what they can do and be. Relationships can come in many forms and can be divided into Social Connections (thoughts and feelings about the social network people can establish and rely on), and Close Relationships (thoughts and feeling about the emotional support people can receive from significant others or their close, intimate circle). The purpose of this study is to compare the Social Connections and Close Relationship dimensions of Inner Wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic between the UK and India. As part of the study, 392 participants in the UK and 205 participants India completed an online questionnaire using the Inner Wellbeing scale. Factor analyses showed that the construct of Inner Wellbeing can be described as one factor for the UK sample whereas it can be described as two factors (one focusing on positive items and one focusing on negative items) for the Indian sample. Results showed that during COVID-19, Social Connections were significantly different in the UK compared to India, whereas there is no significant difference for Close Relationships. The implications on relationships and wellbeing are discussed in detail.

Keywords: Social networks, relationship maintenance, relationship satisfaction, inner wellbeing.

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63 Impact of Enhanced Business Models on Technology Companies in the Pandemic: A Case Study about the Revolutionary Change in Management Styles

Authors: Murat Colak, Berkay Cakir Saridogan

Abstract:

Since the dawn of modern corporations, almost every single employee has been working in the same loop, which contains three basic steps: going to work, providing the needs for the work, and getting back home. Only a small amount of people was able to break that standard and live outside the box. As the 2019 pandemic hit the Earth and most companies shut down their physical offices, that loop had to change for everyone. This means that the old management styles had to be significantly re-arranged to the "work from home" type of business methods. The methods include online conferences and meetings, time and task tracking using algorithms, globalization of the work, and, most importantly, remote working. After the global epidemic started, even the tech giants were concerned. Now, it can be seen that those technology companies have an incredible step-up in their shares compared to the other companies because they know how to manage such situations even better than every other industry. This study aims to take the old traditional management styles in big companies and compare them with the post-Covid methods (2019-2022). As a result of this comparison made using the annual reports and shared statistics, this study aims to explain why the winners of this crisis are the technology companies.

Keywords: COVID-19, technology companies, business models, remote work.

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62 Strategic Investment in Infrastructure Development to Facilitate Economic Growth in the United States

Authors: Arkaprabha Bhattacharyya, Makarand Hastak

Abstract:

The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in terms of its global reach and economic impacts. Historically, investment in infrastructure development projects has been touted to boost the economic growth of a nation. The State and Local governments responsible for delivering infrastructure assets work under tight budgets. Therefore, it is important to understand which infrastructure projects have the highest potential of boosting economic growth in the post-pandemic era. This paper presents relationships between infrastructure projects and economic growth. Statistical relationships between investment in different types of infrastructure projects (transit, water and wastewater, highways, power, manufacturing etc.) and indicators of economic growth are presented using historic data between 2002 and 2020 from the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The outcome of the paper is the comparison of statistical correlations between investment in different types of infrastructure projects and indicators of economic growth. The comparison of the statistical correlations is useful in ranking the types of infrastructure projects based on their ability to influence economic prosperity. Therefore, investment in the infrastructures with the higher rank will have a better chance of boosting the economic growth. Once, the ranks are derived, they can be used by the decision-makers in infrastructure investment related decision-making process.

Keywords: Economic growth, infrastructure development, infrastructure projects, strategic investment.

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61 Improving the Compaction Properties and Shear Resistance of Sand Reinforced with COVID-19 Waste Mask Fibers

Authors: Samah Said, Muhsin Elie Rahhal

Abstract:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, disposable plastic-based face-masks were excessively used worldwide. Therefore, the production and consumption rates of these masks were significantly brought up, which led to severe environmental problems. The main purpose of this research is to test the possibility of reinforcing soil deposits with mask fibers to reuse pandemic-generated waste materials. When testing the compaction properties, the sand was reinforced with a fiber content that increased from 0% to 0.5%, with successive small increments of 0.1%. The optimum content of 0.1% remarkably increased the maximum dry density of the soil and dropped its optimum moisture content. Added to that, it was noticed that 15 mm and rectangular chips were, respectively, the optimum fiber length and shape to maximize the improvement of the sand compaction properties. Regarding the shear strength, fiber contents of 0.1%, 0.25%, and 0.5% were adopted. The direct shear tests have shown that the highest enhancement was observed for the optimum fiber content of 0.25%. Similar to compaction tests, 15 mm and rectangular chips were respectively the optimum fiber length and shape to extremely enhance the shear resistance of the tested sand.

Keywords: COVID-19, mask fibers, compaction properties, soil reinforcement, shear resistance.

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60 Affective (and Effective) Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Getting Social Again

Authors: Laura Zizka, Gaby Probst

Abstract:

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have given their courses. From emergency remote where all students and faculty were immediately confined to home teaching and learning, the continuing evolving sanitary situation obliged HEIs to adopt other methods of teaching and learning from blended courses that included both synchronous and asynchronous courses and activities to HyFlex models where some students were on campus while others followed the course simultaneously online. Each semester brought new challenges for HEIs and, subsequently, additional emotional reactions. This paper investigates the affective side of teaching and learning in various online modalities and its toll on students and faculty members over the past three semesters. The findings confirm that students and faculty who have more self-efficacy, flexibility, and resilience reported positive emotions and embraced the opportunities that these past semesters have offered. While HEIs have begun a new semester in an attempt to return to ‘normal’ face-to-face courses, this paper posits that there are lessons to be learned from these past three semesters. The opportunities that arose from the challenge of the pandemic should be considered when moving forward by focusing on a greater emphasis on the affective aspect of teaching and learning in HEIs worldwide. 

Keywords: affective teaching and learning, engagement, interaction, motivation, social presence

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59 Understanding Factor Influence in Mask-Wearing Intention Onboard Airplanes during COVID-19: Attitude as a Mediator

Authors: Jing Yu Pan, Dahai Liu

Abstract:

Airlines in the US have taken protective measures to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, with a mask mandate being the most important one, especially in the aircraft cabin. As the airline industry is recovering from the pandemic, mask-wearing will eventually become a personal choice during a flight. Nevertheless, COVID-19 will continue to create uncertainty for a long time into the future, making it necessary to understand the attitude and voluntary use of masks by air travelers on airplanes even after masks are no longer mandatory. This study aimed to understand the relationship between demographic characteristics and mask-wearing intention in the US. For age, gender, income, educational, and ethnicity groups, this study examined three factors – subjective norms, risk avoidance, and information seeking and their influence on the mask-wearing intention onboard airplanes during COVID-19, and whether or not attitude toward masks was an important mediator. The results show that all demographic factors except gender could help to explain the group variations in factor impact and the mediating effect in mask-wearing intentions. In particular, Asian travelers had mask-wearing intentions that were not affected by attitude either directly or indirectly. These findings provide useful implications to enhance the health safety of air travelers, especially in the US where opposing views toward mask-wearing still widely exist.

Keywords: COVID-19, passenger demographics, aircraft cabin, mask-wearing intention, attitude as mediator.

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