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Monitoring SARS-CoV-2 Through Wastewater-Based Epidemiology and COVID-19 Clinical Testing Data on a Large US University Campus

Description

As the return to normality in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic enters its early stages, the necessity for accurate, quick, and community-wide surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 has been emphasized. Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) has been used across the world as a

As the return to normality in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic enters its early stages, the necessity for accurate, quick, and community-wide surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 has been emphasized. Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) has been used across the world as a tool for monitoring the pandemic, but studies of its efficacy in comparison to the best-known method for surveillance, randomly selected COVID-19 testing, has limited research. This study evaluated the trends and correlations present between SARS-CoV-2 in the effluent wastewater of a large university campus and random COVID-19 testing results published by the university. A moderately strong positive correlation was found between the random testing and WBE surveillance methods (r = 0.63), and this correlation was strengthened when accommodating for lost samples during the experiment (r = 0.74).

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2021-05

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Employee Well-being During COVID-19

Description

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the structure of work foremployees worldwide, as many began working remotely in response to national and local
social distancing efforts. These changes occurring amid the transition to remote working
conditions led to the question

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the structure of work foremployees worldwide, as many began working remotely in response to national and local
social distancing efforts. These changes occurring amid the transition to remote working
conditions led to the question of how daily stress and daily uplifts occur in this new work
context. For the present thesis study, I explored how internal (i.e., optimism) and external
(i.e., team flow) resources function to moderate the effects of daily hassles and uplifts on
employee well-being (i.e., burnout and professional efficacy) during the COVID-19
pandemic. In a sample of 417 adults at baseline, and 266 at the follow-up, I investigated
how specific resources function to protect employees experiencing occupational burnout.
Additionally, I explored gender differences in these relationships. Study results
demonstrated that both daily uplifts and hassles predicted burnout and professional
efficacy at earlier stages of the pandemic, while at a later stage in the pandemic, the
relationships between daily uplifts and burnout and daily hassles and burnout persisted,
but only daily hassles were associated with professional efficacy. For males at baseline,
higher scores in optimism strengthened the negative relationship between daily uplifts
and burnout. Surprisingly, males with relatively low team flow in work or school settings
seemed to fare better professionally with increased daily hassles. This finding indicates
that males with less collaboration at work thrive as they experience increased daily stress.
While these findings are specific to the COVID-19 context, they may be beneficial for
companies and supervisors seeking to improve employee engagement.

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Date Created
2021

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Project COPE: An Investigation of Daily Experiences of Stress, Physical Activity, and Sleep During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Description

The health benefits of sufficient moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sleep arewell-supported, with established links to decreased cancer risk, cardiometabolic health, all-cause mortality, and psychiatric symptomatology—including stress-related phenomena—for those who engage in 150 min MVPA/week and get at least 7

The health benefits of sufficient moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sleep arewell-supported, with established links to decreased cancer risk, cardiometabolic health, all-cause mortality, and psychiatric symptomatology—including stress-related phenomena—for those who engage in 150 min MVPA/week and get at least 7 hours sleep/night. The latter outcome has rapidly become a major public health concern as our nation grapples with the impact of prolonged COVID-19 pandemic stress, which has triggered an onslaught of depression, anxiety, and PTSD throughout the population. Thus, while strategies to decrease stress are desperately needed, many Americans fall short of the very MVPA and sleep recommendations that have been shown to increase their capacity to cope. The purpose of the present study was to explore time-varying associations of MVPA and sleep with momentary perceived stress in adults forced to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thirty remote-working adults (86.7% women; mean age 37.5 years, SD = 10.4 years) wore GENEActiv accelerometers on the wrist to capture MVPA and sleep data, and answered four Ecological Momentary Assessments (EMAs) per day regarding perceived stress, for fourteen days straight. Between- and within-person variations in MVPA, sleep quality rating (SQR), total sleep time (TST), and sleep efficiency (SE) were analyzed via multilevel models to determine whether certain changes in these parameters might lead to decreased perceived momentary stress. Between-person models revealed a significant negative effect of SQR on perceived stress levels the next day, beta= -.651, SE= .303, P= .04. Mean MVPA, TST, and SE were not significant inter-individual predictors of momentary stress. However, within persons, higher than normal MVPA (beta= -.005, SE= .002, P= .015), SQR (beta= -.277, SE= .071, P <.001), TST (beta= -.001, SE= .000, P = .004), and SE (beta= -.524, SE= .242, P = .031) were all associated with significant decreases in momentary stress, with individuals experiencing incremental benefits with each additional minute of MVPA and TST. In conclusion, daily fluctuations in MVPA and sleep habits correlate more strongly with momentary stress than do typical levels of these behaviors; this presents an attainable strategy for individuals to enhance their capacity to cope.

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Date Created
2021

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A Secure Protocol for Contact Tracing and Hotspots Histogram Computation

Description

Contact tracing has been shown to be effective in limiting the rate of spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19. Several solutions based on the exchange of random, anonymous tokens between users’ mobile devices via Bluetooth, or using users’ location traces

Contact tracing has been shown to be effective in limiting the rate of spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19. Several solutions based on the exchange of random, anonymous tokens between users’ mobile devices via Bluetooth, or using users’ location traces have been proposed and deployed. These solutions require the user device to download the tokens (or traces) of infected users from the server. The user tokens are matched with infected users’ tokens to determine an exposure event. These solutions are vulnerable to a range of security and privacy issues, and require large downloads, thus warranting the need for an efficient protocol with strong privacy guarantees. Moreover, these solutions are based solely on proximity between user devices, while COVID-19 can spread from common surfaces as well. Knowledge of areas with a large number of visits by infected users (hotspots) can help inform users to avoid those areas and thereby reduce surface transmission. This thesis proposes a strong secure system for contact tracing and hotspots histogram computation. The contact tracing protocol uses a combination of Bluetooth Low Energy and Global Positioning System (GPS) location data. A novel and deployment-friendly Delegated Private Set Intersection Cardinality protocol is proposed for efficient and secure server aided matching of tokens. Secure aggregation techniques are used to allow the server to learn areas of high risk from location traces of diagnosed users, without revealing any individual user’s location history.

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Date Created
2021

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Factors Affecting Compassion Fatigue Among Nurses During the Global COVID-19 Pandemic: Through a Socio-Ecological Model

Description

Background: During the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, nurses experienced increased workloads which affected their compassion fatigue (CF). High levels of CF affect quality of care. However, little is known about what factors are associated with CF among nurses during the

Background: During the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, nurses experienced increased workloads which affected their compassion fatigue (CF). High levels of CF affect quality of care. However, little is known about what factors are associated with CF among nurses during the pandemic. Aim: This study aims to examine the factors associated with CF using the socio-ecological model (SEM).
Methods: This study is a cross-sectional correlational study which targeted nurses who are actively practicing and can speak English, Korean, Japanese, or French. Online websites for the recruitment including the study description and survey link were provided in each country. Survey data were collected from July 1, 2020 to January 25, 2021.
CF, consisting of burnout and secondary traumatic stress (STS), was measured using Professional Quality of Life scale (ProQOL). Factors based on each level of the SEM were measured: intrapersonal factors (demographic factors, resilience), fear of infection, intention to leave their job, care of COVID-19 patients, developing policies, being asked to work at higher acuity levels, received training about COVID-19, and any COVID-19 test results); interpersonal factors (fear of bringing COVID-19 to family); organizational factors (provision of personal protective equipment [PPE] or masks, organizational support to prevent COVID-19, type of organization, and accommodational support); community factors (country of practice and incidence rate); and policy factor (mask policy). These data were analyzed using multiple regression using maximum likelihood estimation with robust standard errors.
Results: Intrapersonal factors (resilience, age, being bedside staff, fear of infection, intention to leave their job, being asked to work at higher acuity levels, and receiving the positive COVID-19 results), organizational factors (provision of PPE, organizational support for COVID-19, and accommodational support), community factors (incidence rate when the mask policy was not in effect, and country of practice), and policy factor (mask policy under a high incidence rate) were the associated factors. The interaction between incidence rate and mask policy was significant.
Conclusion: To prepare for future emerging infectious disease crises, organizational support with proper PPE supplies, continuing education on emerging infectious diseases, and providing interventions to increase resilience are suggested.

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Date Created
2021

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Health Check Among Passengers Air Travel in the Age of COVID-19

Description

This research covers the possibility of airports serving as virus scanning hubs for future intercontinental travels. This aims at providing an idea for better control of tackling potential harmful viruses unknowingly carried by travelers. The benefit of this research is

This research covers the possibility of airports serving as virus scanning hubs for future intercontinental travels. This aims at providing an idea for better control of tackling potential harmful viruses unknowingly carried by travelers. The benefit of this research is to help prevent less blow to the local economy and businesses, help keep travel industries, especially airlines, operating, slow down the rate of infection, and decrease cases and death rates, by providing a more secure health check for incoming and outgoing air travelers.

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Date Created
2021

The Persistence of Art Music: Creating Contemporary Clarinet Works Under COVID-19 Restrictions

Description

In the early part of 2020, musicians faced an unprecedented challenge. A novel coronavirus emerged, spreading throughout the world and creating a pandemic. To control the spread of this virus, local governing officials suspended large gatherings in public spaces, which

In the early part of 2020, musicians faced an unprecedented challenge. A novel coronavirus emerged, spreading throughout the world and creating a pandemic. To control the spread of this virus, local governing officials suspended large gatherings in public spaces, which meant that all live music performances were cancelled for the foreseeable future. As a response to these cancellations, many musicians turned to live streaming, sharing transmissions of live performances over the internet. However, as life under COVID-19-related restrictions continued, the internet quickly became oversaturated with live stream music performances. This led musicians to discover innovative ways to adapt their creative practices for virtual settings. Through the process of commissioning, premiering, and recording new works, this research project explores how music practitioners can create music that is designed specifically for the imposed restrictions on the performing arts that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic. To complete this project, I commissioned new works for clarinet and bass clarinet intended for performance under shelter-in-place conditions. The pieces included in this project are Two Flights for B-Flat Clarinet by Bill Clay (2020), 8 Months by Jessi Harvey (2020), R....v...rs....m oooiiiiii by Gabo Champagne (2021) and Od-ieu by Kim Farris-Manning (2021). I presented these works in two virtual formats: (1) I staged a virtual concert of their premieres from my home studio space, and (2) released studio-quality recordings of them paired with extra-musical video footage. This document offers an account of the virtual concert, a description of the process of the video production component, and performance guides for each commissioned piece. An audio/video recording of the virtual concert is included as a supplemental media file to this document, as are all music videos.

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Date Created
2021

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Food Skills and Resilience: An Exploration of Self-Sufficiency During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Description

This study was designed to examine the associations between food skills, resilience, and coping during the Covid-19 pandemic. Between April and June of 2020, a sample of 154 students, faculty, and staff from Arizona State University were surveyed. Each respondent

This study was designed to examine the associations between food skills, resilience, and coping during the Covid-19 pandemic. Between April and June of 2020, a sample of 154 students, faculty, and staff from Arizona State University were surveyed. Each respondent was administered a survey containing demographic questions, a food skill questionnaire, and the 14-item Resilience Scale (RS). Results indicate that food skill was correlated with resilience (p<0.001) at an r=0.364 and r2=0.1243 and that resilience was correlated with coping during the Covid-19 pandemic (p<0.001) at an r=0.455. Correlations were also run between resilience score and the separate domains of food skill score: all domains remained significantly associated with resilience score (p<0.001) with a r=0.340 and r2=0.1173 for ‘Food Selection and Planning,’ r=0.312 and r2=0.0958 for ‘Food Preparation,’ and r=0.294 and r2=0.0767 for ‘Food Safety.’ Data seems to be consistent with contemporary research suggesting positive associations between diet quality and physiological resilience and positive associations between resilience and coping during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Date Created
2020

Self-contained System for Mitigation of Contaminated Aerosol Sources of SARS-CoV-2

Description

Contaminated aerosols and micro droplets are easily generated by infected hosts through sneezing, coughing, speaking and breathing1-3 and harm humans’ health and the global economy. While most of the efforts are usually targeted towards protecting individuals from getting infected,4 eliminating

Contaminated aerosols and micro droplets are easily generated by infected hosts through sneezing, coughing, speaking and breathing1-3 and harm humans’ health and the global economy. While most of the efforts are usually targeted towards protecting individuals from getting infected,4 eliminating transmissions from infection sources is also important to prevent disease transmission. Supportive therapies for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV-2) pneumonia such as oxygen supplementation, nebulizers and non-invasive mechanical ventilation all carry an increased risk for viral transmission via aerosol to healthcare workers.5-9 In this work, I study the efficacy of five methods for self-containing aerosols emitted from infected subjects undergoing nebulization therapies with a diverse spectrum on Non-Invasive Positive Pressure Ventilator (NIPPV) with oxygen delivery therapies. The work includes five study cases: Case I: Use of a Full-Face Mask with biofilter in bilevel positive airway pressure device (BiPAP) therapy, Case II: Use of surgical mask in High Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC) therapy, Case III: Use of a modified silicone disposable mask in a HFNC therapy, Case IV: Use of a modified silicone disposable mask with a regular nebulizer and normal breathing, Case V: Use of a mitigation box with biofilter in a BiPAP. We demonstrate that while cases I, III and IV showed efficacies of 98-100%; cases II and V, which are the most commonly used, resulted with significantly lower efficacies of 10-24% to mitigate the dispersion of nebulization aerosols. Therefore, implementing cases I, III and IV in health care facilities may help battle the contaminations and infections via aerosol transmission during a pandemic.

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Date Created
2021

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The Moderating Effect of Commitment on the Association Between COVID-19 Stress and Symptoms of Mental Health Distress for Medical First Responders in Australia and the U.S.

Description

Given the severity of risks that accompany the current COVID-19 pandemic, many are experiencing negative psychological effects, such as increased symptoms of depression and anxiety (i.e., mental health distress). As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impress upon society, it is

Given the severity of risks that accompany the current COVID-19 pandemic, many are experiencing negative psychological effects, such as increased symptoms of depression and anxiety (i.e., mental health distress). As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impress upon society, it is pertinent to assess the ways in which COVID-19 may be impacting first responders; many of which who are responsible for tending to the safety and wellbeing of communities during this time. However, little is known about how medical first responders may be experiencing COVID-19 related stress, whether this impacts their experience with symptoms of mental health distress, and furthermore whether this stress is different for those in different countries. As such, the present study sought to assess the association between COVID-19 related stress and symptoms of mental health distress in medical first responders for those living in Australia and the United States. Further, given the positive effects romantic relationships have on an individual’s interpersonal functioning, the potential moderating effect of perceived relationship commitment was examined. A total number of 79 participants completed the study. Contrary to hypotheses, results showed that there was no significant association between COVID-19 related stress and symptoms of distress, nor was relationship commitment found to moderate symptoms of distress. Implications of this study have the potential to guide mental health professionals working with medical first responders who are experiencing symptoms of distress, particularly in times of crises similar to that of COVID-19.

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Date Created
2021