• A complex dynamic systems perspective on identity and its development: The dynamic systems model of role identity

      Kaplan, Avi; Garner, Joanna K.; 0000-0002-2898-0085 (2017)
      Current prominent models of identity face challenges in bridging across divergent perspectives and apparent dichotomies such as personal or social-collective, conscious or unconscious, and epigenetic or discursive-relational, and affording pursuit of research questions that allows integrative answers. This article presents a coherent theoretical perspective on the integrative nature of identity and its developmental mechanisms. Adopting the contextual social role as a primary unit of analysis, the Dynamic Systems Model of Role Identity (DSMRI) conceptualizes role identity as a Complex Dynamic System (CDS) anchored in action that comprises the actor’s ontological and epistemological beliefs, purpose and goals, self-perceptions and self-definitions, and perceived action possibilities in the role. These system components are conceptualized as interdependent, and identity development is viewed as emergent, continuous, nonlinear, contextualized, and given to influences from within and without the system. The role identity itself constitutes an element within a multilevel hierarchy, which at the unit of analysis of the individual reflects a CDS of the multiple roles that constitute the person’s psychosocial identity. Identity development involves the formation and restructuring of relations within and among role identities through intra- and interpersonal processes that are mediated by sociocognitive and cultural means, and framed by the context as well as by implicit dispositions. The DSMRI provides a framework to conceptualize and investigate the nature of the identity system, its development, and the relationship between identity development and psychological functioning at different units of-analysis, across different developmental stages and contexts, and using quantitative and qualitative methodologies.
    • A human rights framework for the Anthropocene

      Sinden, Amy (2019-12-04)
      Calls for recognition of a human right to security from climate disruption have become more common, from both courts and scholars. But such a right has a far better chance of being effective – substantively and rhetorically – if grounded in the civil and political rights tradition, rather than the second or third-generation rights of the post-Second World War era. This chapter begins to sketch out some arguments that would situate a human right to climate security squarely in the civil and political rights tradition by connecting that new right to the fundamental values and concerns that have always animated that tradition. Whether one views those values as centrally concerned with the maintenance of individual autonomy and dignity or with protecting the integrity of the democratic process, civil and political rights are at bottom a response to power imbalance. While many twentieth century theorists have understandably focused on the power imbalance most emblematic of that century’s central moral challenge (that fuelled by prejudice), in constructing a human right for the twenty-first century, we should broaden that lens to encompass the other forms of power imbalance driving the climate crisis: between wealthy corporate interests and the poor and powerless; between us and future generations or other species; and between the functioning governments of the globe that possess the unique power to tackle this textbook collective action problem and individual citizens.
    • A Longitudinal Study of BNT162b2 Vaccine-Induced Humoral Response and Reactogenicity in Health Care Workers with Prior COVID-19 Disease

      Kelsen, Steven; Braverman, Alan S.; Aksoy, Mark O.; Hayman, Jacob A.; Patel, Puja; Rajput, Charu; Zhao, Huaqing; Fisher, Susan G.; Ruggieri, Michael; GENTILE, NINA; Kelsen|0000-0002-5214-145X; Zhao|0000-0002-0953-4768; Ruggieri Sr.|0000-0003-3052-3630; Gentile|0000-0002-1222-5966 (2021-07-31)
      Background: Current recommendations in the United States are that subjects with a previous history of COVID-19 disease receive the full 2 dose mRNA vaccine regimen. We tested the hypothesis that humoral immune responses and reactogenicity to a SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine (BNT-162b2) differ qualitatively and quantitatively in subjects with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection versus infection-naïve subjects. Methods: Health care workers (n=61) from a single academic institution with and without prior COVID-19 received two 30 µg doses of BNT162b2 vaccine 3 weeks apart. The COVID group (n=30) received vaccine approximately 7 months post infection. IgG antibody against the Spike receptor-binding domain (RBD), serum neutralizing activity and vaccine adverse reactions were assessed every 2 weeks for 56 days after the 1st injection. A longitudinal design and long study duration allowed the onset, maximum response and initial decay rate of Spike IgG antibody to be assessed in each subject. In addition, Spike IgG antibody levels are expressed as µg / mL to provide normal values for clinical decision making. Findings: Spike IgG responses were highly variable in both groups. However, the COVID group manifested rapid increases in Spike IgG antibody and serum neutralizing activity post 1st vaccine dose but little or no increase in Spike IgG or serum neutralizing activity after the 2nd dose. In fact, Spike IgG was maximum prior to the 2nd dose in 36% of the COVID group and 0% of controls. Peak IgG antibody was lower but appeared to fall more slowly in the COVID than in the control group. Finally, adverse systemic reactions e.g., fever, headache and malaise, after both the 1st and 2nd injection were more frequent and lasted longer in the COVID group than in the control group. Conclusions: Health care workers with prior COVID-19 demonstrate a robust, accelerated humoral immune response to the 1st dose of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine but attenuated response to the 2nd dose. They also experience greater reactogenicity than controls. Accordingly, subjects with prior COVID-19 may require only a single dose of vaccine.
    • A Mixed Method Analysis of Burnout and Turnover Intentions Among Higher Education Professionals During COVID-19

      Winfield, Jake; Paris, Joseph; Paris|0000-0001-7636-903X; Winfield|0000-0001-6181-8664 (2021-10-11)
      The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly and dramatically altered higher education including changes to the workplace. Many staff and faculty positions were eliminated while other employees experienced furloughs or reduced work hours. Our study examines the experiences of 1,080 higher education professionals serving in various functional roles during the COVID-19 pandemic from 830 institutions of higher education in the United States. We utilized an explanatory sequential mixed methods research design to examine quantitative and qualitative survey data from October 2020 to understand how jobs in higher education changed during the pandemic and how these changes were associated with an individual's burnout and intention to leave higher education. Using multiple regression and thematic analysis and the job-demands and resources framework, we find that higher education professionals who experienced significant disruption in their work had increased odds of experiencing burnout. We also find that eliminating staff positions and significant levels of burnout were associated with increased intentions to leave their current profession in higher education. In open ended responses, higher education professionals described how increased job demands through decreased staff and increased workloads were not accompanied with increased resources, leading to burnout. These working conditions negatively affected participants' personal lives, including their physical and mental health. We conclude with recommendations for research on working conditions in higher education in the pandemic-era and emphasize that institutional leaders should seek systemic changes to support employees.
    • A Partition-Based Group Testing Algorithm for Estimating the Number of Infected Individuals

      Beigel, Richard; Webber, Max J. (2021-07-28)
      The dangers of COVID-19 remain ever-present worldwide. The asymptomatic nature of COVID-19 obfuscates the signs policy makers look for when deciding to reopen public areas or further quarantine. In much of the world, testing resources are often scarce, creating a need for testing potentially infected individuals that prioritizes efficiency. This report presents an advancement to Beigel and Kasif’s Approximate Counting Algorithm (ACA). ACA estimates the infection rate with a number of tests that is logarithmic in the population size. Our newer version of the algorithm provides an extra level of efficiency: each subject is tested exactly once. A simulation of the algorithm, created for and presented as part of this paper, can be used to find a linear regression of the results with R2 > 0.999. This allows stakeholders and members of the biomedical community to estimate infection rates for varying population sizes and ranges of infection rates.
    • A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial of Sarilumab in Hospitalized Patients with Covid-19

      Sarilumab-COVID-19 Study Team (2021-06-19)
      BACKGROUND: Sarilumab (anti-interleukin-6 receptor-α monoclonal antibody) may attenuate the inflammatory response in Covid-19. METHODS: We performed an adaptive, phase 2/3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of intravenous sarilumab 200 mg or 400 mg in adults hospitalized with Covid-19. The phase 3 primary analysis population (cohort 1) was patients with critical Covid-19 receiving mechanical ventilation (MV) randomized to sarilumab 400 mg or placebo. The primary end point for phase 3 was the proportion of patients with ≥1-point improvement in clinical status from baseline to day 22. RESULTS: Four-hundred fifty-seven (457) and 1365 patients were randomized and treated in phases 2 and 3, respectively. Among phase 3 critical patients receiving MV (n=289; 34.3% on corticosteroids), the proportion with ≥1-point improvement in clinical status (alive not receiving MV) at day 22 was 43.2% in sarilumab 400 mg and 35.5% in placebo (risk difference [RD] +7.5%; 95% confidence interval [CI], –7.4 to 21.3; P=0.3261), representing a relative risk improvement of 21.7%. Day 29 all-cause mortality was 36.4% in sarilumab 400 mg versus 41.9% in placebo (RD –5.5%; 95% CI, –20.2 to 8.7; relative risk reduction 13.3%). In post hoc analyses pooling phase 2 and 3 critical patients receiving MV, the hazard ratio (HR) for death in sarilumab 400 mg compared with placebo was 0.76 (95% CI, 0.51 to 1.13) overall, improving to 0.49 (95% CI, 0.25 to 0.94) in patients receiving corticosteroids at baseline. CONCLUSION: In hospitalized patients with Covid-19 receiving MV, numerical benefits with sarilumab did not achieve statistical significance, but benefit may be greater in patients receiving corticosteroids. A larger study is required to confirm this observed numerical benefit.
    • A Statistical Approach to Batched Prevalence Testing for Coronavirus

      Berger, William; Dabrowski, Konrad; Robinson, Jake; Sales, Adam (2020-03-30)
      As cases of novel coronavirus mount, the ability to conduct expeditious prevalence testing becomes paramount. A statistical approach to batched prevalence testing offers a more rapid and efficient means of monitoring at-risk populations.
    • Bayesian analysis in educational psychology research: An example of gender differences in achievement goals

      Peterson, Steven K.; Kaplan, Avi; 0000-0002-2898-0085 (2016-01-23)
      Much research in educational psychology concerns group differences. In this study, we argue that Bayesian estimation is more appropriate for testing group differences than is the traditional null hypothesis significance testing (NHST). We demonstrate the use of Bayesian estimation on gender differences in students' achievement goals. Research findings on gender differences in achievement goals have been mixed. We explain how Bayesian estimation of mean differences is more intuitive, informative, and coherent in comparison with NHST, how it overcomes structural and interpretive problems of NHST, and how it offers a way to achieve cumulative progress toward increasing precision in estimating gender differences in achievement goals. We provide an empirical demonstration by comparing a Bayesian and a traditional NHST analysis of gender differences in achievement goals among 442 7th-grade students (223 girls and 219 boys). Whereas findings from the two analyses indicate comparable results of higher endorsement of mastery goals among girls and higher endorsement of performance-approach and avoidance goals among boys, it is the Bayesian analysis rather than the NHST that is more intuitively interpreted. We conclude by discussing the perceived disadvantages of Bayesian estimation, and some ways in which a consideration of Bayesian probability can aid interpretations of traditional analytical methods.
    • Book Review: Gender and Violence in Haiti: Women’s Path from Victims to Agents by Benedetta Faedi Duramy

      Ramji-Nogales, Jaya (2016-02-11)
      Over the past two decades, international law has made great strides in recognizing and addressing gender-based violence. Sexual violence has become the dominant lens through which international law views gendered harms. In international criminal law, rape and sexual enslavement have been criminalized and prosecuted. Sex trafficking has become a global concern, and the topic of proliferating international and national legislation. Though these harms are real and powerful, the narrow focus on sexual and gender-based violence can obscure other harms experienced by women and similar harms experienced by men. The title of Prof. Benedetta Faedi Duramy’s book, Gender and Violence in Haiti: Women’s Path from Victims to Agents, demarcates a more nuanced approach that explores the roles women play not only as subjects but also as perpetrators of violence. The book contextualizes sexual violence, situating it within a cycle of inequality that begins by requiring young girls to be household servants and ends with the nearly complete exclusion of women from politics. Prof. Duramy’s in-depth case study contributes both substance and method to the burgeoning literature on gender violence and international law.
    • Cardiomyocyte GSK-3β deficiency induces cardiac progenitor cell proliferation in the ischemic heart through paracrine mechanisms

      Yusuf, Ayesha M.; Qaisar, Rizwan; Al-Tamimi, Abaher O.; Jayakumar, Manju Nidagodu; Woodgett, James R.; Koch, Walter; Ahmad, Firdos; Koch|0000-0002-8522-530X; Ahmad|0000-0001-6530-6068 (2021-08-28)
      Cardiomyopathy is an irreparable loss and novel strategies are needed to induce resident cardiac progenitor cell (CPC) proliferation in situ to enhance the possibility of cardiac regeneration. Here we identify a potential role for glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β), a critical regulator of cell proliferation and differentiation, in CPC proliferation that occurs after myocardial infarction (MI). Cardiomyocyte-specific conditional GSK-3β knockout (cKO) and littermate control mice were employed and challenged with MI. Though cardiac left ventricular chamber dimension (LVID) and contractile functions were comparable at two week post-MI, cKO mice displayed significantly preserved LV chamber and contractile function vs. control mice at four-weeks post-MI. Consistent with protective phenotypes, an increased percentage of c-kit positive cells (KPCs) were observed in the cKO hearts at four and six weeks post-MI which was accompanied by increased levels of cardiomyocyte proliferation. Further analysis revealed that the observed increased number of KPCs in the ischemic cKO hearts was mainly from a cardiac lineage as the majority of identified KPCs were negative for the hematopoietic lineage marker, CD45. Mechanistically, cardiomyocyte-GSK-3β profoundly suppresses the expression of growth factors (GFs), including basic-FGF angiopoietin-2, erythropoietin, stem cell factor (SCF), PDGF-BB, G-CSF, and VEGF, post-hypoxia. In conclusion, our findings strongly suggest that loss of cardiomyocyte-GSK-3β promotes cardiomyocyte and resident CPC proliferation post-MI. The induction of cardiomyocytes and CPC proliferation in the ischemic cKO hearts is potentially regulated by autocrine and paracrine signaling governed by dysregulated growth factors post-MI. A strategy to inhibit cardiomyocyte GSK-3β could be helpful for promotion of in-situ cardiac regeneration post-MI injury.
    • Challenges Experienced by Older People During the Initial Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic

      Siminoff Research Group (Temple University) (2020-09-21)
      Background and Objectives: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created unique stressors for older people to manage. Informed by the Stress Process Model and the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping, we examined the extent to which older people are adhering to physical distancing mandates and the pandemic-related experiences that older people find most challenging. Research Design and Methods: From May 4 to May 17, 2020, a web-based questionnaire focused on the COVID-19 pandemic was completed by 1,272 people (aged 64 and older) who were part of an ongoing research panel in New Jersey recruited in 2006. Frequencies for endorsement of physical distancing behaviors were tabulated, and open-ended responses to the biggest challenge of the pandemic were systematically coded and classified using content analysis. Results: More than 70% of participants reported adhering to physical distancing behaviors. Experiences appraised as most difficult by participants fell into 8 domains: Social Relationships, Activity Restrictions, Psychological, Health, Financial, Global Environment, Death, and Home Care. The most frequently appraised challenges were constraints on social interactions (42.4%) and restrictions on activity (30.9%). Discussion and Implications: In the initial weeks of the pandemic, the majority of older adults reported adhering to COVID-19 physical distancing mandates and identified a range of challenging experiences. Results highlight the factors having the greatest impact on older adults, informing quantitative modeling for testing the impact of the pandemic on health and well-being outcomes, and identifying how intervention efforts may be targeted to maximize the quality of life of older adults.
    • Connecting the learning of advanced mathematics with the teaching of secondary mathematics: Inverse functions, domain restrictions, and the arcsine function

      Weber, Keith; Mejía-Ramosa, Juan Pablo; Fukawa-Connelly, Timothy; Wasserman, Nicholas (2019-12-26)
      Prospective secondary mathematics teachers are typically required to take advanced university mathematics courses. However, many prospective teachers see little value in completing these courses. In this paper, we present the instantiation of an innovative model that we have previously developed on how to teach advanced mathematics to prospective teachers in a way that informs their future pedagogy. We illustrate this model with a particular module in real analysis in which theorems about continuity, injectivity, and monotonicity are used to inform teachers’ instruction on inverse trigonometric functions and solving trigonometric equations. We report data from a design research study illustrating how our activities helped prospective teachers develop a more productive understanding of inverse functions. We then present pre-test/post-test data illustrating that the prospective teachers were better able to respond to pedagogical situations around these concepts that they might encounter.
    • Coronaviruses and the Chemical Senses: Past, Present, and Future

      Pellegrino, Robert; Cooper, Keiland W.; Di Pizio, Antonella; Joseph, Paule V.; Bhutani, Surabhi; Parma, Valentina; 0000-0003-0276-7072 (2020-05-14)
      A wealth of rapidly evolving reports suggests that olfaction and taste disturbances may be manifestations of the novel COVID-19 pandemic. While otolaryngological societies worldwide have started to consider chemosensory evaluation as a screening tool for COVID-19 infection, the true nature of the relationship between the changes in chemosensory ability and COVID-19 is unclear. Our goal with this review is to provide a brief overview of published and archived literature, as well as the anecdotal reports and social trends related to this topic up to April 29, 2020. We also aim to draw parallels between the clinical/chemosensory symptomology reported in association to past coronavirus pandemics (such as SARS and MERS) and the novel COVID-19. This review also highlights current evidence on persistent chemosensory disturbances after the infection has resolved. Overall, our analysis pinpoints the need for further studies: (1) to better quantify olfaction and taste disturbances associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, compared to those of other viral and respiratory infections, (2) to understand the relation between smell, taste, and chemesthesis disturbances in COVID-19, and (3) to understand how persistent are these disturbances after the infection has resolved.
    • Correlation of vaccine-elicited antibody levels and neutralizing activities against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants

      Center for Metabolic Disease Research (Temple University) (2021-05-31)
      Both Pfizer-BNT162b2 and Moderna-mRNA-1273 vaccines can elicit an effective immune response against SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, the elicited serum antibody levels vary substantially and longitudinally decrease after vaccination. We examined the correlation of vaccination-induced IgG levels and neutralization titers against newly emerged variants remains and demonstrate a significant reduction of neutralization activities against the variants (B.1.1.7, B.1.525, and B.1.351) in Pfizer or Moderna vaccined sera. There was a significant and positive correlation between serum IgG levels and ID50 titers for not only SARS-CoV-2 WT but also the variants. These findings indicate that a high level of anti-spike IgG may offer better protection against infection from SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. Therefore, it is necessary to longitudinally monitor specific serum IgG level for evaluating the protective efficacy of the vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and its new variants.
    • COVID Moonshot: Open Science Discovery of SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease Inhibitors by Combining Crowdsourcing, High-Throughput Experiments, Computational Simulations, and Machine Learning

      The COVID Moonshot Consortium (2020-10-30)
      Herein we provide a living summary of the data generated during the COVID Moonshot project focused on the development of SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) inhibitors. Our approach uniquely combines crowdsourced medicinal chemistry insights with high throughput crystallography, exascale computational chemistry infrastructure for simulations, and machine learning in triaging designs and predicting synthetic routes. This manuscript describes our methodologies leading to both covalent and non-covalent inhibitors displaying protease IC50 values under 150 nM and viral inhibition under 5 uM in multiple different viral replication assays. Furthermore, we provide over 200 crystal structures of fragment-like and lead-like molecules in complex with the main protease. Over 1000 synthesized and ordered compounds are also reported with the corresponding activity in Mpro enzymatic assays using two different experimental setups. The data referenced in this document will be continually updated to reflect the current experimental progress of the COVID Moonshot project, and serves as a citable reference for ensuing publications. All of the generated data is open to other researchers who may find it of use.
    • COVID-19 and restaurant demand: early effects of the pandemic and stay-at-home orders

      Yang, Yang; Liu, Hongbo; Chen, Xiang (2020-11-06)
      Purpose: This paper aims to evaluate the early effects of the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and accompanying stay-at-home orders on restaurant demand in US counties. Design/methodology/approach: The following two sets of daily restaurant demand data were collected for each US county: foot traffic data and card transaction data. A two-way fixed-effects panel data model was used to estimate daily restaurant demand from February 1 to April 30, 2020. Findings: Results show that a 1% increase in daily new COVID-19 cases led to a 0.0556% decrease in daily restaurant demand, while stay-at-home orders were collectively associated with a 3.25% drop in demand. The extent of these declines varied across counties; ethnicity, political ideology, eat-in habits and restaurant diversity were found to moderate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders. Practical implications: These results characterize the regional restaurant industry’s resilience to COVID-19 and identify particularly vulnerable areas that may require pubic policies and managerial strategies for intervention. Originality/value: This study represents a pioneering attempt to investigate the economic impact of COVID-19 on restaurant businesses.
    • COVID-19 in solid organ transplant: A multi-center cohort study

      Kates, Olivia S.; Haydel, Brandy M.; Florman, Sander S.; Rana, Meenakshi M.; Chaudhry, Zohra S.; Ramesh, Mayur S.; Safa, Kassem; Kotton, Camille Nelson; Blumberg, Emily A.; Besharatian, Behdad D.; Tanna, Sajal D.; Ison, Michael G.; Malinis, Maricar; Azar, Marwan M.; Rakita, Robert M.; Morilla, Jose A.; Majeed, Aneela; Sait, Afrah S.; Spaggiari, Mario; Hemmige, Vagish; Mehta, Sapna A.; Neumann, Henry; Badami, Abbasali; Goldman, Jason D.; Lala, Anuradha; Hemmersbach-Miller, Marion; McCort, Margaret E.; Bajrovic, Valida; Ortiz-Bautista, Carlos; Friedman-Moraco, Rachel; Sehgal, Sameep; Lease, Erika D.; Fisher, Cynthia E.; Limaye, Ajit P. (2020-08-07)
      Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to significant reductions in transplantation, motivated in part by concerns of disproportionately more severe disease among solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients. However, clinical features, outcomes, and predictors of mortality in SOT recipients are not well described. Methods: We performed a multicenter cohort study of SOT recipients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Data were collected using standardized intake and 28-day follow-up electronic case report forms. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify risk factors for the primary endpoint, 28-day mortality, among hospitalized patients. Results: Four hundred eighty-two SOT recipients from >50 transplant centers were included: 318 (66%) kidney or kidney/pancreas, 73 (15.1%) liver, 57 (11.8%) heart, and 30 (6.2%) lung. Median age was 58 (interquartile range [IQR] 46–57), median time post-transplant was 5 years (IQR 2–10), 61% were male, and 92% had ≥1 underlying comorbidity. Among those hospitalized (376 [78%]), 117 (31%) required mechanical ventilation, and 77 (20.5%) died by 28 days after diagnosis. Specific underlying comorbidities (age >65 [adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 3.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.7–5.5, P < .001], congestive heart failure [aOR 3.2, 95% CI 1.4–7.0, P = .004], chronic lung disease [aOR 2.5, 95% CI 1.2–5.2, P = .018], obesity [aOR 1.9, 95% CI 1.0–3.4, P = .039]) and presenting findings (lymphopenia [aOR 1.9, 95% CI 1.1–3.5, P = .033], abnormal chest imaging [aOR 2.9, 95% CI 1.1–7.5, P = .027]) were independently associated with mortality. Multiple measures of immunosuppression intensity were not associated with mortality. Conclusions: Mortality among SOT recipients hospitalized for COVID-19 was 20.5%. Age and underlying comorbidities rather than immunosuppression intensity-related measures were major drivers of mortality.
    • COVID-19 Related Chemosensory Changes in Individuals with Self-Reported Obesity

      Monell Chemical Senses Center (Temple University) (2021-03-03)
      Background/objectives: Individuals with obesity show alterations in smell and taste abilities. Smell and taste loss are also the most prominent neurological symptoms of COVID-19, yet how chemosensory ability present in individuals with obesity with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis is unknown. Subjects/Methods: In this secondary analysis of a cross-sectional global dataset, we compared self-reported chemosensory ability in participants with a respiratory illness reporting a positive (C19+; n = 5156) or a negative (C19−; n = 659) COVID-19 laboratory test outcome, who also self-reported to be obese (C19+; n = 433, C19−; n = 86) or non-obese. Results: Compared to the C19− group, C19+ exhibited a greater decline in smell, taste, and chemesthesis during illness, though these symptoms did not differ between participants with obesity and without obesity. In 68% of participants who reported recovery from respiratory illness symptoms (n=3431 C19+ and n= 539 C19−), post-recovery chemosensory perception did not differ in C19+ and C19− diagnosis, and by self-reported obesity. Finally, we found that all chemosensory and other symptoms combined predicted the C19+ diagnosis in participants with obesity with a moderately good estimate (63% accuracy). However, in C19+ participants with obesity, we observed a greater relative prevalence of non-chemosensory symptoms, including respiratory as respiratory and GI symptoms. Conclusions: We conclude that despite a presumed lower sensitivity to chemosensory stimuli, COVID-19 respondents with obesity experience a similar self-reported chemosensory loss as those without obesity, and in both groups self-reported chemosensory symptoms are similarly predictive of COVID-19.
    • COVID-19, Social Media, and the Role of the Public Physician

      Topf, Joel M.; Williams, Paul N. (2021-01-14)
      The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an avalanche of information, much of it false or misleading. Social media posts with misleading or dangerous opinions and analyses are often amplified by celebrities and social media influencers; these posts have contributed substantially to this avalanche of information. An emerging force in this information infodemic is public physicians, doctors who view a public presence as a large segment of their mission. These physicians bring authority and real-world experience to the COVID-19 discussion. To investigate the role of public physicians, we interviewed a convenience cohort of physicians who have played a role in the infodemic. We asked the physicians about how their roles have changed, how their audience has changed, what role politics plays, and how they address misinformation. The physicians noted increased audience size with an increased focus on the pandemic. Most avoided confronting politics, but others found it unavoidable or that even if they tried to avoide it, it would be brought up by their audience. The physicians felt that confronting and correcting misinformation was a core part of their mission. Public physicians on social media are a new occurrence and are an important part of fighting online misinformation.