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  1. Last 7 days
    1. 2021-07-21

    2. Eder, Stephanie J., Andrew A. Nicholson, Michal M. Stefanczyk, Michał Pieniak, Judit Martínez-Molina, Ondra Pešout, Jakub Binter, Patrick Smela, Frank Scharnowski, and David Steyrl. ‘Securing Your Relationship: Quality of Intimate Relationships During the COVID-19 Pandemic Can Be Predicted by Attachment Style’. Frontiers in Psychology 0 (2021). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.647956.

    3. | https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.647956
    4. The COVID-19 pandemic along with the restrictions that were introduced within Europe starting in spring 2020 allows for the identification of predictors for relationship quality during unstable and stressful times. The present study began as strict measures were enforced in response to the rising spread of the COVID-19 virus within Austria, Poland, Spain and Czech Republic. Here, we investigated quality of romantic relationships among 313 participants as movement restrictions were implemented and subsequently phased out cross-nationally. Participants completed self-report questionnaires over a period of 7 weeks, where we predicted relationship quality and change in relationship quality using machine learning models that included a variety of potential predictors related to psychological, demographic and environmental variables. On average, our machine learning models predicted 29% (linear models) and 22% (non-linear models) of the variance with regard to relationship quality. Here, the most important predictors consisted of attachment style (anxious attachment being more influential than avoidant), age, and number of conflicts within the relationship. Interestingly, environmental factors such as the local severity of the pandemic did not exert a measurable influence with respect to predicting relationship quality. As opposed to overall relationship quality, the change in relationship quality during lockdown restrictions could not be predicted accurately by our machine learning models when utilizing our selected features. In conclusion, we demonstrate cross-culturally that attachment security is a major predictor of relationship quality during COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, whereas fear, pathogenic threat, sexual behavior, and the severity of governmental regulations did not significantly influence the accuracy of prediction.
    5. Securing Your Relationship: Quality of Intimate Relationships During the COVID-19 Pandemic Can Be Predicted by Attachment Style
    1. 2021-07-21

    2. Figueiras, Maria J., Jihane Ghorayeb, Mariana V. C. Coutinho, João Marôco, and Justin Thomas. ‘Levels of Trust in Information Sources as a Predictor of Protective Health Behaviors During COVID-19 Pandemic: A UAE Cross-Sectional Study’. Frontiers in Psychology 0 (2021). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.633550.

    3. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.633550
    4. Health information sources and the level of trust in a particular source may influence the subsequent adoption of advocated health behaviors. Information source preference and levels of trust are also likely to be influenced by sociodemographic (culture, age, gender) variables. Understanding these source-trust-behavior relationships across various national and cultural contexts is integral to improved health messaging. The present study identified the sources most frequently consulted to obtain information about COVID-19 during the pandemic's early stages in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The study quantified levels of trust across an array of information sources, factoring in sociodemographic variables. Finally, the study explored the relationship between sociodemographic variables, levels of trust in information sources, and the adoption of COVID-19 related protective behaviors. Participants (n = 1585) were recruited during the first 2 weeks of April 2020 via announcements in the UAE media and through email networks. All participants completed a web-based survey presented in English or Arabic, as preferred. The most frequently consulted information sources were websites (health information websites), social media, government communications, and family and friends. The sources rated most trustworthy were: personal physicians, health care professionals, and government communications. There were differences in the use of sources and levels of trust according to age, gender, and education. The levels of trust in sources of information were associated with the adoption of protective behaviors, significantly so for citizens of the UAE. These findings may help inform the improvement of pandemic–related health messaging in multicultural contexts.
    5. Levels of Trust in Information Sources as a Predictor of Protective Health Behaviors During COVID-19 Pandemic: A UAE Cross-Sectional Study
    1. 2021-07-07

    2. Jørgensen, Frederik Juhl, Alexander Bor, and Michael Bang Petersen. ‘How the Development, Features and Roll-Out of a SARS-COV-2 Vaccine Shape Public Acceptance: A Conjoint Experiment in a Large Representative Sample of Danes’. PsyArXiv, 28 June 2021. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/4y8ap.

    3. While effective vaccines against the SARS-COV-2 virus have been developed and countries around the world have invested heavily to secure vaccine rollout, a fundamental challenge remains. How do policy-makers around the world ensure high vaccine uptake? What is lacking is a comprehensive assessment that captures a total spectrum of features related to the development of a vaccine, the vaccine's characteristics as well as the implementation of the vaccination program. To provide such an assessment, we designed a conjoint experiment embedded in large-scale surveys based on a random sample from the central database of Danish social security numbers (N = 3,099), providing a sample that is representative for the adult Danish population. In the conjoint experiment, we vary features relating to three dimensions: 1) the stage of vaccine development, 2) the specific characteristics of the vaccine, and 3) the implementation of the vaccination strategy. We show that the features relating to characteristics of the specific vaccine have the strongest impact on vaccine acceptance. The features relating to vaccine development were the second most powerful, while the features relating to the implementation of the vaccination strategy were the least.
    4. 10.31234/osf.io/4y8ap
    5. How the Development, Features and Roll-Out of a SARS-COV-2 Vaccine Shape Public Acceptance: A Conjoint Experiment in a Large Representative Sample of Danes
    1. 2021-07-13

    2. Chen, Cathy Xi, Gordon Pennycook, and David Rand. ‘What Makes News Sharable on Social Media?’ PsyArXiv, 9 July 2021. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/gzqcd.

    3. 10.31234/osf.io/gzqcd
    4. With the rise of social media, everyone has the potential to be both a consumer and producer of online content. As a result, the role that word of mouth plays in news consumption has been dramatically increased. Although one might assume that consumers share news because they believe it to be true, widespread concerns about the spread of misinformation suggest that truthfulness may actually not be a dominant driver of sharing online. Across two studies with 5,000 participants, we investigate what makes news sharable on social media. We find that sharing is positively predicted by two separate factors. One factor does involve the headline’s perceived accuracy, as well as its familiarity. The second, however, involves the headline’s perceived importance and emotional evocativeness. This second factor is negatively associated with the headline’s objective veracity, and less decision weight is put on the second factor by subjects with more cognitive reflection and political knowledge, and by subjects who are less politically conservative. These findings have important implications for news publishers, social media platforms, and society at large.
    5. What Makes News Sharable on Social Media?
  2. Jul 2021
    1. 2021-08-18

    2. Hitchman, Sara, Lukas Tribelhorn, Sarah Geber, and Thomas N. Friemel. ‘Reasons for Not Getting Vaccinated against COVID-19 in German-Speaking Switzerland: An Online Survey among Vaccine Hesitant 16-60 Year Olds’. PsyArXiv, 30 June 2021. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/hnzke.

    3. 10.31234/osf.io/hnzke
    4. Background: Several research studies have examined the reasons why people are hesitant to be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, there is no published data to date on Switzerland. Identifying these reasons among the Swiss population who are vaccine hesitant may help inform campaigns to encourage vaccine confidence. Aims: The primary aim of this study is to identify the reasons for not getting vaccinated against COVID-19 among Swiss residents who are vaccine hesitant. The secondary aim is to examine whether reasons differ by age, gender, education, and likelihood of accepting a vaccination to better target campaigns and design interventions. Design: An online survey asked participants to indicate the reasons why they were hesitant to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Setting: German-speaking Swiss Cantons, the survey was administered online between 5 May 2021 and 16 May 2021. Participants: The participants in this analysis were a sample of (N=1191) Swiss residents age 16-60 years old from German-speaking Cantons, who could answer an online survey in German, who had yet not been vaccinated, who had not yet registered for a vaccination appointment, and who did not indicate that they would definitely be vaccinated if offered the chance. Findings: Among people who are vaccine hesitant in Switzerland, the most common reasons for being hesitant were side-effect, safety, and effectiveness concerns. It was also common for people to indicate that they were healthy/at low risk, would decide later, and that they wanted to build immunity naturally. Less common, but still prevalent concerns included wanting more information, thinking COVID-19 was not a real threat, and concerns that the vaccine may serve another purpose. Differences in reasons for being vaccine hesitant were found by age, gender, education, and likelihood of accepting a vaccination if offered. Conclusions: To increase the likelihood of accepting a vaccination, vaccination campaigns should address side-effect, safety, and effectiveness concerns. Campaigns could also consider informing people why it is necessary for people in lower risk groups to be vaccinated, and why vaccination is preferable to infection for building immunity. While campaigns may be effective in reaching some of the population, alternative strategies might be necessary to strengthen the trust relationship with vaccines and vaccine providers in some groups. Less prevalent concerns, such as not liking needles, could be addressed through individual level interventions.
    5. Reasons for not getting vaccinated against COVID-19 in German-speaking Switzerland: An online survey among vaccine hesitant 16-60 year olds
    1. Agarwala, Hemlata, and Sandeep Kaur-Ghumaan. ‘Agarwala and Ghumaan_Covid-19_Impact of Covid-19 on Women in South Asia’. PsyArXiv, 23 July 2021. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/6ycqz.

    2. 2021-07-23

    3. 10.31234/osf.io/6ycqz
    4. The first reports of COVID-19 cases were traced in Wuhan City, China, in late December 2019, post which, the deadly virus rapidly registered itself into the category of pandemics. It has continued to upend lives across the world ever since. “Lockdowns” have ensued, aimed at saving lives by putting the virus on leash, and preventing health systems from being overrun. Such quarantine measures have led to economic depression, leaving millions jobless, befalling deplorably the more vulnerable sections of society, women and girls being the primary unseen targets globally. The socio-economic downturns of the pandemic, such as closure of work places, child day-care facilities, schools, decrease in cross-country migration, and so on, have impacted women across different strata. In this article, we have attempted to collect and collate information related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls in South Asia. Owing to unavailability of sufficient research literature on the gendered aspect of COVID-19 in South Asia, we present excerpts and case studies from various local sources like newspapers, blogs, online archives, press releases, journal articles, and some statistics of gendered impact of COVID-19 from well-respected sources. Through this article we aim to illuminate the reader about the plight of women in such a distressful time, a matter particularly less-focused on by the governments in South Asia, at the same time highlight the importance of addressing the alarming issue of staggering gender imbalance in bringing our world back to an equilibrium and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
    5. Agarwala and Ghumaan_Covid-19_Impact of Covid-19 on women in South Asia
    1. Drury, John, Guanlan Mao, Ann John, Atiya Kamal, G. James Rubin, Clifford Stott, Tushna Vandrevala, and Theresa M. Marteau. ‘Behavioural Responses to Covid-19 Health Certification: A Rapid Review’. BMC Public Health 21, no. 1 (24 June 2021): 1205. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-11166-0.

    2. 2021-06-24

    3. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-11166-0
    4. Covid-status certification – certificates for those who test negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, test positive for antibodies, or who have been vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 – has been proposed to enable safer access to a range of activities. Realising these benefits will depend in part upon the behavioural and social impacts of certification. The aim of this rapid review was to describe public attitudes towards certification, and its possible impact on uptake of testing and vaccination, protective behaviours, and crime.
    5. Behavioural responses to Covid-19 health certification: a rapid review
    1. Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine was less effective at keeping people from getting the coronavirus in Israel in recent weeks, but it continues to provide a strong shield against severe Covid-19, according to government data.The vaccine protected 64% of people against the illness between June 6 and early July, down from a previous 94%. The drop was observed as the delta variant was spreading in Israel, the Health Ministry said. It also coincided with the lifting of virus restrictions at the start of June.
    2. Pfizer Shot Halts Severe Illness in Israel as Delta Spreads
    1. I figured it was best to make a comprehensive thread concerning the study out of The Lancet concerning variant B.1.617.2 (Delta) after mRNA vaccination to help clear up some confusion. Most aren’t breaking it down into layman’s terms, so allow me. Let’s discuss.
    2. ReconfigBehSci. ‘RT @sailorrooscout: I Figured It Was Best to Make a Comprehensive Thread Concerning the Study out of The Lancet Concerning Variant B.1.617.…’. Tweet. @SciBeh (blog), 4 June 2021. https://twitter.com/SciBeh/status/1401215508968398848.

    3. 2021-06-04

    1. 2021-05-20

    2. ‘Social Networks Are Exporting Disinformation About Covid Vaccines’. Bloomberg.Com, 20 May 2021. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-05-20/facebook-instagram-twitter-export-covid-vaccine-misinformation-from-u-s.

    3. One of the earliest people to get Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine was a nurse in Tennessee, who fainted after getting the shot on live television in December. The incident sparked rumors that she had died and that the vaccine was a tool of genocide. Five months later the nurse, who is not dead, continues to be bombarded by messages from strangers on social media. They send condolences to her family or demand details about the incident. Oddly, they often do so in German, Italian, or Portuguese.The international fixation on this case follows what is becoming a common pattern. U.S.-based social media users begin spreading misleading or false information, which then moves to other countries, according to researchers studying the rumors. The U.S. may not yet have figured out an efficient way to distribute shots to other countries, but it has become a major exporter of misinformation.
    4. Social Networks Are Exporting Disinformation About Covid Vaccines
  3. Jun 2021
    1. 2021-03-22

    2. the Guardian. ‘TUC Says Covid Vaccine Efforts Hindered by Lack of Paid Time off for Jab’, 22 March 2021. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/mar/22/tuc-says-covid-vaccine-efforts-hindered-by-lack-of-paid-time-off-for-jab.

    3. The TUC has urged the government to put pressure on employers who it claims are hindering the UK’s vaccine rollout by refusing to give staff paid time off to receive and recover from their Covid jabs.The trade union body said in a poll of private sector employers it found fewer than half were offering staff paid time-off to attend their vaccination appointments.
    4. TUC says Covid vaccine efforts hindered by lack of paid time off for jab
    1. 2021-06-08

    2. Lyons, Benjamin A., Jacob M. Montgomery, Andrew M. Guess, Brendan Nyhan, and Jason Reifler. ‘Overconfidence in News Judgments Is Associated with False News Susceptibility’. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118, no. 23 (8 June 2021). https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2019527118.

    3. We examine the role of overconfidence in news judgment using two large nationally representative survey samples. First, we show that three in four Americans overestimate their relative ability to distinguish between legitimate and false news headlines; respondents place themselves 22 percentiles higher than warranted on average. This overconfidence is, in turn, correlated with consequential differences in real-world beliefs and behavior. We show that overconfident individuals are more likely to visit untrustworthy websites in behavioral data; to fail to successfully distinguish between true and false claims about current events in survey questions; and to report greater willingness to like or share false content on social media, especially when it is politically congenial. In all, these results paint a worrying picture: The individuals who are least equipped to identify false news content are also the least aware of their own limitations and, therefore, more susceptible to believing it and spreading it further
    4. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2019527118
    5. Overconfidence in news judgments is associated with false news susceptibility
    1. 2021-04-13

    2. ‘Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Paused over Rare Blood Clots’. BBC News, 13 April 2021, sec. US & Canada. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-56733715.

    3. The US, South Africa and European Union will temporarily stop the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Covid jab, after reports of rare blood clotting.Six cases were detected in more than 6.8 million doses of the vaccine, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said.Johnson & Johnson has paused its EU rollout, which started this week
    4. Johnson & Johnson vaccine paused over rare blood clots
    1. Darby, Alistair C., and Julian A. Hiscox. ‘Covid-19: Variants and Vaccination’. BMJ 372 (23 March 2021): n771. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n771.

    2. 2021-03-23

    3. SARS-CoV-2 has been in the human population for more than a year now, causing severe disease in some and resulting in a pandemic that continues to put severe strain on economies and healthcare infrastructures worldwide.1 In the UK, the first three vaccines have emergency use authorisation, and a national rollout is in progress. Many other countries are also instigating large scale vaccination programmes. These vaccines express the spike glycoprotein, the major target of neutralising antibodies in a natural infection. The vaccines protect against disease,234 and preliminary data suggest that transmission is also decreased after vaccination.5Current vaccines are based on a version of the spike glycoprotein from the start of the outbreak, however, and central questions remain around the ability of an old version of the spike glycoprotein to generate protective antibodies against newer emerging variants. The linked paper by Challen and colleagues (doi:10.1136/bmj.n579) suggesting that variant of concern B.1.1.7 might be associated with increased mortality adds urgency to these questions.6
    4. doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n771
    5. Covid-19: variants and vaccination
    1. 03-06-2021

    2. Heathers, James. ‘Putting Microchips in Vaccines Is a Terrible Idea, When You Think About It’. The Atlantic, 3 June 2021. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2021/06/microchipped-vaccines-15-minute-investigation/619081/.

    3. I got my first COVID-19 vaccine recently. The whole experience was tremendously routine: I showed my registration, stood in a waiting area, saw a nurse, got the jab, waited 15 minutes in case of an adverse reaction, and left.Oh, and I got a button.The waiting period, of course, was when it happened.James, said the pestilential voice inside my head, while I was scrolling on my phone. James!What is it?What if they microchipped you? You know, Bill Gates, with the 5Gs and the Wi-Fis?Shut up, I’m looking at cat memes.James! You design wearable devices for a living. You know that microchipping someone is possible.Yeah, of course it is. They didn’t.So prove it, big boy.It’s true, I am the chief scientific officer of a data company that makes wearable devices. I’ve spent the past 15 years sticking tech on people, and in people. Thinking about how body-mounted devices work takes up basically my whole day, and one of my favorite mental exercises is seeing if I can pry practical insights from the wild and irresponsible conceptions of the smooth-brained garbage-people on the internet.Ergo: Had Uncle Bill microchipped me?
    4. Putting Microchips in Vaccines Is a Terrible Idea, When You Think About It
    1. 15-04-21

    2. Dagan, Noa, Noam Barda, Eldad Kepten, Oren Miron, Shay Perchik, Mark A. Katz, Miguel A. Hernán, Marc Lipsitch, Ben Reis, and Ran D. Balicer. ‘BNT162b2 MRNA Covid-19 Vaccine in a Nationwide Mass Vaccination Setting’. New England Journal of Medicine 384, no. 15 (15 April 2021): 1412–23. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2101765.

    3. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2101765
    4. As mass vaccination campaigns against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) commence worldwide, vaccine effectiveness needs to be assessed for a range of outcomes across diverse populations in a noncontrolled setting. In this study, data from Israel’s largest health care organization were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine
    5. BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine in a Nationwide Mass Vaccination Setting
    1. 26-05-21

    2. Johnson, Khari. ‘AI Could Soon Write Code Based on Ordinary Language’. Wired. Accessed 21 June 2021. https://www.wired.com/story/ai-write-code-ordinary-language.

    3. In recent years, researchers have used artificial intelligence to improve translation between programming languages or automatically fix problems. The AI system DrRepair, for example, has been shown to solve most issues that spawn error messages. But some researchers dream of the day when AI can write programs based on simple descriptions from non-experts.On Tuesday, Microsoft and OpenAI shared plans to bring GPT-3, one of the world’s most advanced models for generating text, to programming based on natural language descriptions. This is the first commercial application of GPT-3 undertaken since Microsoft invested $1 billion in OpenAI last year and gained exclusive licensing rights to GPT-3.
    4. AI Could Soon Write Code Based on Ordinary Language
    1. 16-02-21

    2. Iacobucci, Gareth. ‘Covid:19: Ethnic Minority Health Staff Are Less Likely to Take up Vaccine, Early Data Show’. BMJ 372 (16 February 2021): n460. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n460.

    3. A hospital trust in the Midlands has said that it is working to understand why some of its staff remain unvaccinated against covid-19 after preliminary findings from a study showed that uptake was especially low among doctors and ethnic minority staff.The analysis, published as a preprint on 13 February,1 looked at 19 044 staff at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust who had all been offered a vaccination since 12 December. As of 3 February, 65% (12 278) had received at least one dose of vaccine. But this masked substantial variation, with 71% (8147 of 11 485) of white staff taking up the vaccine, compared with 59% (2843 of 4863) of South Asian staff and 37% (499 of 1357) of black staff. Overall, 36% of the trust’s staff are from ethnic minority backgrounds.
    4. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n460
    5. Covid:19: Ethnic minority health staff are less likely to take up vaccine, early data show
    1. 07-06-21

    2. The BMJ. ‘Left in Limbo—Barriers to Covid “Passports” for Trial Participants Will Deter People from Taking Part in Research’, 7 June 2021. https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2021/06/07/left-in-limbo-barriers-to-covid-passports-for-trial-participants-will-deter-people-from-taking-part-in-research/.

    3. Late last year, partly out of self-interest, and partly altruistically, I decided to enrol in a covid-19 vaccine trial. What I didn’t realise back then, with the second covid-19 wave just about to break, was that the decision would ultimately land me in a bureaucratic and administrative black hole, unable to officially prove my vaccination status, and with no certainty as to when I will be able to do so. 
    4. NHS US healthcare South Asia China Patient and public perspectives More … Access thebmj.com - Left in limbo—barriers to covid “passports” for trial participants will deter people from taking part in research
  4. May 2021
    1. 04-05-21

    2. Staff, Jeff Neal/HLS News, May 4, and 2021. ‘Waiving COVID Vaccine Patent Rights? It’s Complicated’. Harvard Law Today. Accessed 11 May 2021. https://today.law.harvard.edu/waiving-covid-vaccine-patent-rights-its-complicated/.

    3. Since vaccines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 were first approved only months ago, more than 40% of people living in the United States have received at least one dose. But in nations like Mozambique, Namibia, and Sudan, that number is closer to 2%. So far, the World Health Organization’s vaccine-sharing initiative, COVAX, has failed to close the gap.  President Biden recently came out in support of international efforts to convince the World Health Organization to lift intellectual property restrictions in order to allow local manufacturers to produce generic versions of the life-saving drugs.
    4. Waiving COVID vaccine patent rights? It’s complicated
    1. 03-05-21

    2. Science | AAAS. ‘What’s the Future of Vaccines Linked to Rare Clotting Disorders? Science Breaks down the Latest’, 3 May 2021. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/05/what-s-future-vaccines-linked-rare-clotting-disorders-science-breaks-down-latest.

    3. doi:10.1126/science.abj2912
    4. Vaccine regulators have delivered a clear verdict: In most settings, the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines made by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) far outweigh the small risk they will cause an unusual and sometimes deadly clotting disorder. But many questions remain about who is most at risk, how the risk-benefit calculus changes when cases fall, and what the side effects mean for the future of these vaccines, which use adenoviruses to ferry the gene for SARS-CoV-2’s spike protein into human cells.
    5. What’s the future of vaccines linked to rare clotting disorders? Science breaks down the latest
    1. 11-05-21

    2. Westgate, Erin, Nick Buttrick, Yijun Lin, and Gaelle Milad El Helou. ‘Pandemic Boredom: Predicting Boredom and Its Consequences during Self-Isolation and Quarantine’. PsyArXiv, 11 May 2021. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/78kma.

    3. 10.31234/osf.io/78kma
    4. Does boredom increase risk behaviors in real-world settings, and if so, might it contribute to failure to comply with public health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic? In a large cross-national sample of 63,336 community respondents from 116 countries, we examined the prevalence of lockdown-related boredom during the initial outbreak of COVID-19, as well as its demographic and situational predictors. Boredom was higher in countries with more COVID-19 cases, more stringent lockdown policies, and lower GDPs, as well as among men and less educated/younger adults. Additionally, we examined whether “pandemic boredom” predicted longitudinal decreases in social distancing behavior (and vice versa; n = 8031). We found little evidence that changes in boredom predict individual public health behaviors (handwashing, staying home, self-quarantining, avoiding crowds) over time, or that such behaviors had any reliable longitudinal effects on boredom itself. In summary, we found little evidence that boredom affects pandemic health behaviors.
    5. Pandemic boredom: Predicting boredom and its consequences during self-isolation and quarantine
    1. 07-05-21

    2. Racine, Nicole, Rachel Eirich, Jessica Cookee, Jenney Zhu, Paolo Pador, Nicole Dunnewold, and Sheri Madigan. ‘When the Bough Breaks: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Mental Health Symptoms in Mothers of Young Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic’. PsyArXiv, 7 May 2021. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/u8pnh.

    3. Parents have experienced considerable challenges and stress during the COVID-19 pandemic, which may impact their well-being. This meta-analysis sought to identify: 1) the prevalence of depression and anxiety in parents of young children (< age 5) during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 2) sociodemographic (e.g., parent age, minority status) and methodological moderators (e.g., study quality) that explain heterogeneity among studies. A systematic search was conducted across four databases from January 1st, 2020 to March 3st, 2021. A total of 18 non-overlapping studies (9,101 participants), all focused on maternal mental health, met inclusion criteria. Random-effect meta-analyses were conducted. Pooled prevalence estimates for clinically significant depression and anxiety symptoms for mothers of young children during the COVID-19 pandemic were 27.4% (95% CI: 21.5-34.3) and 43.5% (95% CI:27.5-60.9), respectively. Prevalence of clinically elevated depression and anxiety symptoms were higher in Europe and North America and among older mothers. Clinically elevated depressive symptoms were lower in studies with a higher percentage of racial and ethnic minority individuals. In comparison, clinically elevated anxiety symptoms were higher among studies of low study quality and in samples with highly educated mothers. Policies and resources targeting improvements in maternal mental health are essential.
    4. 10.31234/osf.io/u8pnh
    5. When the Bough Breaks: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Mental Health Symptoms in Mothers of Young Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic
    1. 11-05-21

    2. Gagne, Christopher, and Peter Dayan. ‘Peril, Prudence and Planning as Risk, Avoidance and Worry’. PsyArXiv, 11 May 2021. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/tcn7e.

    3. 10.31234/osf.io/tcn7e
    4. Risk occupies a central role in both the theory and practice of decision-making. Although it is deeply implicated in many conditions involving dysfunctional behavior and thought, modern theoretical approaches to understanding and mitigating risk, in either one-shot or sequential settings, have yet to permeate fully the fields of neural reinforcement learning and computational psychiatry. Here we use one prominent approach, called conditional value-at-risk (CVaR), to examine optimal risk-sensitive choice and one form of optimal, risk-sensitive offline planning. We relate the former to both a justified form of the gambler’s fallacy and extremely risk-avoidant behavior resembling that observed in anxiety disorders. We relate the latter to worry and rumination.
    5. Peril, Prudence and Planning as Risk, Avoidance and Worry
    1. 07-05-21

    2. Zhang, Juanjuan, Maria Litvinova, Yuxia Liang, Wen Zheng, Huilin Shi, Alessandro Vespignani, Cecile Viboud, Marco Ajelli, and Hongjie Yu. ‘The Impact of Relaxing Interventions on Human Contact Patterns and SARS-CoV-2 Transmission in China’. Science Advances 7, no. 19 (1 May 2021): eabe2584. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abe2584.

    3. Nonpharmaceutical interventions to control SARS-CoV-2 spread have been implemented with different intensity, timing, and impact on transmission. As a result, post-lockdown COVID-19 dynamics are heterogeneous and difficult to interpret. We describe a set of contact surveys performed in four Chinese cities (Wuhan, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Changsha) during the pre-pandemic, lockdown and post-lockdown periods to quantify changes in contact patterns. In the post-lockdown period, the mean number of contacts increased by 5 to 17% as compared to the lockdown period. However, it remains three to seven times lower than its pre-pandemic level sufficient to control SARS-CoV-2 transmission. We find that the impact of school interventions depends nonlinearly on the intensity of other activities. When most community activities are halted, school closure leads to a 77% decrease in the reproduction number; in contrast, when social mixing outside of schools is at pre-pandemic level, school closure leads to a 5% reduction in transmission.
    4. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abe2584
    5. The impact of relaxing interventions on human contact patterns and SARS-CoV-2 transmission in China
    1. 06-05-21

    2. Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. ‘Access to COVID Vaccine Patents Is Not the Same as Access to Vaccines | DW | 06.05.2021’. DW.COM. Accessed 11 May 2021. https://www.dw.com/en/access-to-covid-vaccine-patents-is-not-the-same-as-access-to-vaccines/a-57448750.

    3. The US has backed India and South Africa's bid to temporarily lift patent protection for COVID-19 vaccines. The support for an IP waiver by the WTO has left pharma companies dismayed and health activists asking for more.
    4. Access to COVID vaccine patents is not the same as access to vaccines
    1. 30-04-21

    2. Choe, Hyeryun, and Michael Farzan. ‘How SARS-CoV-2 First Adapted in Humans’. Science 372, no. 6541 (30 April 2021): 466–67. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abi4711.

    3. DOI: 10.1126/science.abi4711
    4. Viruses need entry proteins to penetrate the cells where they will replicate. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) version is called the spike or S protein. The S protein, also the target of the current vaccines, is quickly adapting to its new human hosts. It took its first major step in this direction early in 2020, when its amino acid 614 (of 1297) changed from an aspartic acid (D) to a glycine (G). Viruses bearing this D614G mutation transmit among humans more rapidly and now form the majority in circulation
    5. How SARS-CoV-2 first adapted in humans
    1. 13-04-21

    2. Page, Michael Le. ‘India Sees Record Surges in Cases Due to Coronavirus Variants’. New Scientist. Accessed 2 May 2021. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2274286-india-sees-record-surges-in-cases-due-to-coronavirus-variants/.

    3. Coronavirus cases are surging in many countries, with the highest number of new cases now being reported in Asia. India alone reported 161,736 new cases on 12 April. In the Indian city of Surat, parts of gas furnaces used for cremations melted after being used non-stop. Meanwhile, millions have been gathering for festivals across the country.
    4. India sees record surges in cases due to coronavirus variants
    1. Padma, T. V. ‘India’s COVID-Vaccine Woes — by the Numbers’. Nature 592, no. 7855 (15 April 2021): 500–501. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-021-00996-y.

    2. 15-04-21

    3. doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-021-00996-y
    4. India, one of the world’s biggest suppliers of vaccines, is facing a COVID-19 vaccine crunch, partly due to an explosion of cases linked to new variants. This spells trouble for many countries relying on Indian-made vaccines supplied through the COVAX initiative for equitable access to vaccines, led by bodies including the World Health Organization.
    5. India’s COVID-vaccine woes — by the numbers
  5. Apr 2021
    1. 14-04-21

    2. Lodder, Gerine M. A., Sjoerd van Halem, Anne Bülow, M. A. van Scheppingen, Joshua Weller, and Anne K. Reitz. ‘Daily Fluctuations in Occupation with and Worry about COVID-19’. PsyArXiv, 14 April 2021. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/nf3ja.

    3. 10.31234/osf.io/nf3ja
    4. In the first week after the first COVID-19 patient was reported in the Netherlands, we conducted a pre-registered momentary assessment study (7 surveys per day, 50 participants, 7 days) to study the dynamic relationship between individuals’ occupation with and worries about COVID-19 in daily life, and the moderating role of neuroticism in this relationship. At the group level, higher scores on occupation and worry co-occurred, and occupation predicted worry one hour later, but not vice versa. There were substantial individual differences in the magnitudes and directions of the effects. For instance, occupation with COVID-19 was related to increases in worry for some, but decreases in worry for others. Neuroticism did not predict any of these individual differences in the links between worry and occupation. This study suggests that it is important to go beyond group-level analyses and to account for individual differences in responses to COVID-19.
    5. Daily Fluctuations in Occupation with and Worry about COVID-19
    1. The European Union continues to export more vaccines than it administers, in data highlighting the risk of a backlash against the bloc’s governments amid setbacks that keep threatening to delay its own rollout.
    2. EU Vaccine Exports Outstrip Number of Shots Given Its Own People
    1. 16-04-21

    2. Betsch, Cornelia, and Philipp Sprengholz. ‘The Human Factor between Airborne Pollen Concentrations and COVID-19 Disease Dynamics’. PsyArXiv, 16 April 2021. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/hw9gf.

    3. 10.31234/osf.io/hw9gf
    4. In their seminal paper, Damialis and colleagues (2021, PNAS) report that, in early 2020, higher airborne pollen concentrations were related to higher COVID-19 infection rates. As a mechanism, the authors propose that “pollen exposure weakens the immunity … by diminishing the antiviral interferon response.” Although they assume an effect for the whole population, they speculate that it could be stronger for those with allergies. As a limitation, they acknowledge that they did not account for the countries’ testing strategies. As allergic people may be more likely to show symptoms that may be mistaken for those of COVID-19 (runny nose, headache, increased temperature), we explored whether people with allergies were more prone to get a rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen test. Moreover, we assessed whether the test result was more likely to be positive among those with allergies.
    5. The human factor between airborne pollen concentrations and COVID-19 disease dynamics
    1. 16-04-21

    2. Loose, Tianna, and Alejandro Vásquez-Echeverría. ‘Psychosocial Impacts of COVID-19 among University Students in Uruguay’. PsyArXiv, 15 April 2021. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/w9rde.

    3. 10.31234/osf.io/w9rde
    4. The novel coronavirus has taken a catastrophic toll worldwide on physical and mental health. We focused on the psychosocial impact among students in Uruguay, a country relatively protected from the pandemic. Our study had three main aims : 1) describe in detail the impact among university students, 2) identify relationships between different dimensions and 3) highlight the factors determinant of mental distress. We designed a multi-dimensional questionnaire to investigate the perceived impact on the lives of students. The questionnaire was administered to 144 undergraduates in Uruguay online while the university was closed. 38-66% of students indicated increases in signs of anxiety, depression or sleep disturbances. Independently of other related factors, increases in substance use, impairments in social relationships, negative impacts of school closures, and personal economic worries explained 41% of variance in psychological distress. Findings are discussed in terms of policies for public health and future directions for research on mental health.
    5. Psychosocial Impacts of COVID-19 among University Students in Uruguay