A collection of articles related to coronaviruses that have been authored by researchers at Temple University.

Recent Submissions

  • 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.
  • Are environmental pollution and biodiversity levels associated to the spread and mortality of COVID-19? A four-month global analysis

    Fernández, Daniel; Giné-Vázquez, Ialago; Liu, Ivy; Yucel, Recai; Nai Ruscone, Marta; Morena, Marianthi; García, Víctor Gerardo; Haro, Josep Maria; Pan, William; Tyrovolas, Stefanos (2020-12-21)
    On March 12th, 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. The collective impact of environmental and ecosystem factors, as well as biodiversity, on the spread of COVID-19 and its mortality evolution remain empirically unknown, particularly in regions with a wide ecosystem range. The aim of our study is to assess how those factors impact on the COVID-19 spread and mortality by country. This study compiled a global database merging WHO daily case reports with other publicly available measures from January 21st to May 18th, 2020. We applied spatio-temporal models to identify the influence of biodiversity, temperature, and precipitation and fitted generalized linear mixed models to identify the effects of environmental variables. Additionally, we used count time series to characterize the association between COVID-19 spread and air quality factors. All analyses were adjusted by social demographic, country-income level, and government policy intervention confounders, among 160 countries, globally. Our results reveal a statistically meaningful association between COVID-19 infection and several factors of interest at country and city levels such as the national biodiversity index, air quality, and pollutants elements (PM10, PM2.5, and O3). Particularly, there is a significant relationship of loss of biodiversity, high level of air pollutants, and diminished air quality with COVID-19 infection spread and mortality. Our findings provide an empirical foundation for future studies on the relationship between air quality variables, a country’s biodiversity, and COVID-19 transmission and mortality. The relationships measured in this study can be valuable when governments plan environmental and health policies, as alternative strategy to respond to new COVID-19 outbreaks and prevent future crises.
  • To be or not to be: negotiating leisure constraints with technology and data analytics amid the COVID-19 pandemic

    Du, James; Floyd, Carter; Kim, Amy C. H.; Baker, Bradley J.; Sato, Mikihiro; James, Jeffrey D.; Funk, Daniel C. (2020-12-24)
    The COVID-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on the leisure industry. Mandatory directives such as social distancing and stay-at-home/shelter-in-place orders reduce disease transmission and protect the health and well-being of the public. However, such strategies might impair active leisure participation. We identify challenges and constraints of engaging in active leisure activities during the pandemic and explore how the general public can use technology and big data analytics to negotiate constraints during this uncertain time. Creative applications of big data analytics demonstrate that negotiating active leisure constraints and battling the pandemic are not contradictory goals. We recommend society to harness the power of these data-driven tools to effectively navigate interpersonal, structural, and intrapersonal constraints to active leisure while improving the efficiency with which we combat the spread of COVID-19.
  • Avoiding panic during pandemics: COVID-19 and tourism-related businesses

    Hu, Haisheng; Yang, Yang; Zhang, Jin (2021-03-14)
    The COVID-19 pandemic has brought devastating impacts of an unprecedented scale to tourism-related businesses due to governments instituting mobility restrictions and business closures worldwide. In this research note, we present the results of a survey involving 1,212 tourism-related businesses in Jiangxi province, China, in late February 2020. The survey covered various topics, including (1) self-evaluated effects of COVID-19, (2) business responses, (3) social responsibility behavior, and (4) anticipated government policies. Findings from mixed-effects (ordered) logit models revealed that small-sized businesses appear particularly vulnerable to the pandemic. Social responsibility behavior is determined by business size, local pandemic circumstances, and local tourism dependence. Different businesses favor distinct government aid policies. Based on estimation results from our econometric models, we plotted a policy positioning matrix to identify appropriate policy measures for diverse businesses.
  • 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.
  • A deficit of more than 250,000 public health workers is no way to fight Covid-19

    Taylor Wilson, Robin; Troisi, Catherine L.; Gary-Webb, Tiffany L. (2020-04-05)
  • Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities: COVID-19 Exposures and Mortality Among African American People in the United States

    Maness, Sarah B.; Merrell, Laura; Thompson, Erika L.; Griner, Stacey B.; Kline, Nolan; Wheldon, Christopher (2020-11-11)
    The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States provides yet another example of the enduring and pernicious effect of social determinants of health (SDH) on African American communities. SDH, as defined by the Healthy People 2020 SDH framework, include domains of economic stability, education, social and community context, health and health care, and neighborhood and built environment.1 Within each domain, key areas represent elements of focus for the decade (Box). Compared with non-Hispanic White people, African American people have higher rates of COVID-19 cases (2.6 times higher), hospitalization (4.7 times higher), and death (2.1 times higher).2-4 Although the pandemic is ongoing, it is not premature to call attention to the root causes of health inequity in the United States that have persisted for decades and are being highlighted in the current crisis.
  • Monitoring the global COVID-19 impact on tourism: The COVID19tourism index

    Yang, Yang; Altschuler, Benjamin; Liang, Zhengkang; Li, Xiang (Robert) (2020-12-15)
    The COVID-19 virus is highly transmittable, wreaking havoc on the world's economy with the travel and tourism industry one of the most ravaged sectors. Given the impacts of COVID-19 and the intricacies of the global tourism economy, it is critical for policymakers to monitor recovery across numerous destinations. In this research note, we describe the development and calibration of an analytical tool named the “COVID19tourism index” to monitor the pandemic's tourism effects. As a powerful numerical and visual tool, the index provides important information related to the potential travel and tourism recovery at the global, regional, and country levels. Compared to a benchmark of “normal” levels (equal to 100 in this case), the COVID19tourism index offers insight into the tourism industry's recovery process along with the pandemic's impacts on numerous aspects of tourism.
  • User reactions to COVID-19 screening chatbots from reputable providers

    Dennis, Alan R.; Kim, Antino; Rahimi, Mohammad; Ayabakan, Sezgin (2020-06-06)
    Objectives: The objective was to understand how people respond to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) screening chatbots. Materials and Methods: We conducted an online experiment with 371 participants who viewed a COVID-19 screening session between a hotline agent (chatbot or human) and a user with mild or severe symptoms. Results: The primary factor driving user response to screening hotlines (human or chatbot) is perceptions of the agent’s ability. When ability is the same, users view chatbots no differently or more positively than human agents. The primary factor driving perceptions of ability is the user’s trust in the hotline provider, with a slight negative bias against chatbots’ ability. Asian individuals perceived higher ability and benevolence than did White individuals. Conclusions: Ensuring that COVID-19 screening chatbots provide high-quality service is critical but not sufficient for widespread adoption. The key is to emphasize the chatbot’s ability and assure users that it delivers the same quality as human agents.
  • The role of epidemiologists in SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research

    International Network for Epidemiology in Policy COVID-19 Group (2020-10-17)
  • Healthcare resource use among solid organ transplant recipients hospitalized with COVID‐19

    Heldman, Madeleine R.; Kates, Olivia S.; Haydel, Brandy M.; Florman, Sander S.; Rana, Meenakshi M.; Chaudhry, Zohra S.; Ramesh, Mayur S.; Safa, Kassem; Kotton, Camille N.; Blumberg, Emily A.; Besharatian, Behdad D.; Tanna, Sajal D.; Ison, Michael G.; Malinis, Maricar; Azar, Marwan M.; Rakita, Robert M.; Morillas, Jose A.; Majeed, Aneela; Sait, Afrah S.; Spaggiari, Mario; Hemmige, Vagish; Mehta, Sapna A.; Neumann, Henry; Badami, Abbasali; Jeng, Amy; Goldman, Jason D.; Lala, Anuradha; Hemmersbach‐Miller, Marion; McCort, Margaret E.; Bajrovic, Valida; Ortiz‐Bautista, Carlos; Friedman‐Moraco, Rachel; Sehgal, Sameep; Lease, Erika D.; Limaye, Ajit P.; Fisher, Cynthia E. (2020-12-22)
  • Recent Smell Loss Is the Best Predictor of COVID-19 Among Individuals With Recent Respiratory Symptoms

    Gerkin, Richard C.; Ohla, Kathrin; Veldhuizen, Maria G.; Joseph, Paule V.; Kelly, Christine E.; Bakke, Alyssa J.; Steele, Kimberley E.; Farruggia, Michael C.; Pellegrino, Robert; Pepino, Marta Y.; Bouysset, Cédric; Soler, Graciela M.; Pereda-Loth, Veronica; Dibattista, Michele; Cooper, Keiland W.; Croijmans, Ilja; Di Pizio, Antonella; Ozdener, Mehmet Hakan; Fjaeldstad, Alexander W.; Lin, Cailu; Sandell, Mari A.; Singh, Preet B.; Brindha, V. Evelyn; Olsson, Shannon B.; Saraiva, Luis R.; Ahuja, Gaurav; Alwashahi, Mohammed K.; Bhutani, Surabhi; D'Errico, Anna; Fornazieri, Marco A.; Golebiowski, Jérôme; Hwang, Liang Dar; Öztürk, Lina; Roura, Eugeni; Spinelli, Sara; Whitcroft, Katherine L.; Faraji, Farhoud; Fischmeister, Florian Ph S.; Heinbockel, Thomas; Hsieh, Julien W.; Huart, Caroline; Konstantinidis, Iordanis; Menini, Anna; Morini, Gabriella; Olofsson, Jonas K.; Philpott, Carl M.; Pierron, Denis; Shields, Vonnie D.C.; Voznessenskaya, Vera V.; Albayay, Javier; Altundag, Aytug; Bensafi, Moustafa; Bock, María Adelaida; Calcinoni, Orietta; Fredborg, William; Laudamiel, Christophe; Lim, Juyun; Lundström, Johan N.; Macchi, Alberto; Meyer, Pablo; Moein, Shima T.; Santamaría, Enrique; Sengupta, Debarka; Dominguez, Paloma Rohlfs; Yanik, Hüseyin; Hummel, Thomas; Hayes, John E.; Reed, Danielle R.; Niv, Masha Y.; Munger, Steven D.; Parma, Valentina (2020-12-25)
    In a preregistered, cross-sectional study, we investigated whether olfactory loss is a reliable predictor of COVID-19 using a crowdsourced questionnaire in 23 languages to assess symptoms in individuals self-reporting recent respiratory illness. We quantified changes in chemosensory abilities during the course of the respiratory illness using 0–100 visual analog scales (VAS) for participants reporting a positive (C19+; n = 4148) or negative (C19−; n = 546) COVID-19 laboratory test outcome. Logistic regression models identified univariate and multivariate predictors of COVID-19 status and post-COVID-19 olfactory recovery. Both C19+ and C19− groups exhibited smell loss, but it was significantly larger in C19+ participants (mean ± SD, C19+: −82.5 ± 27.2 points; C19−: −59.8 ± 37.7). Smell loss during illness was the best predictor of COVID-19 in both univariate and multivariate models (ROC AUC = 0.72). Additional variables provide negligible model improvement. VAS ratings of smell loss were more predictive than binary chemosensory yes/no-questions or other cardinal symptoms (e.g., fever). Olfactory recovery within 40 days of respiratory symptom onset was reported for ~50% of participants and was best predicted by time since respiratory symptom onset. We find that quantified smell loss is the best predictor of COVID-19 amongst those with symptoms of respiratory illness. To aid clinicians and contact tracers in identifying individuals with a high likelihood of having COVID-19, we propose a novel 0–10 scale to screen for recent olfactory loss, the ODoR-19. We find that numeric ratings ≤2 indicate high odds of symptomatic COVID-19 (4 < OR < 10). Once independently validated, this tool could be deployed when viral lab tests are impractical or unavailable.
  • Cellular mechanisms underlying neurological/neuropsychiatric manifestations of COVID‐19

    Center for Metabolic Disease Research (Temple University) (2020-12-10)
    Patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus‐2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) infection manifest mainly respiratory symptoms. However, clinical observations frequently identified neurological symptoms and neuropsychiatric disorders related to COVID‐19 (Neuro‐SARS2). Accumulated robust evidence indicates that Neuro‐SARS2 may play an important role in aggravating the disease severity and mortality. Understanding the neuropathogenesis and cellular mechanisms underlying Neuro‐SARS2 is crucial for both basic research and clinical practice to establish effective strategies for early detection/diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. In this review, we comprehensively examine current evidence of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection in various neural cells including neurons, microglia/macrophages, astrocytes, pericytes/endothelial cells, ependymocytes/choroid epithelial cells, and neural stem/progenitor cells. Although significant progress has been made in studying Neuro‐SARS2, much remains to be learned about the neuroinvasive routes (transneuronal and hematogenous) of the virus and the cellular/molecular mechanisms underlying the development/progression of this disease. Future and ongoing studies require the establishment of more clinically relevant and suitable neural cell models using human induced pluripotent stem cells, brain organoids, and postmortem specimens.
  • From examining the relationship between (corona)viral adhesins and galectins to glyco-perspectives

    Institute of Computational Molecular Science (Temple University) (2021-03-16)
    Glycan-lectin recognition is vital to processes that impact human health, including viral infections. Proceeding from crystallographical evidence of case studies on adeno-, corona-, and rotaviral spike proteins, the relationship of these adhesins to mammalian galectins was examined by computational similarity assessments. Intrafamily diversity among human galectins was in the range of that to these viral surface proteins. Our findings are offered to inspire the consideration of lectin-based approaches to thwart infection by present and future viral threats, also mentioning possible implications for vaccine development.
  • 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.
  • Should I leave this industry? The role of stress and negative emotions in response to an industry negative work event

    Yu, Heyao; Lee, Lindsey; Popac, Iuliana; Madera, Juan M. (2021-04)
    The effects of subjective stress and negative emotions on work have been theorized and widely researched, but the literature has mostly focused on organization-specific contexts. The purpose of the current paper was to understand the impact of subjective stress and negative emotions associated with COVID-19 on employee attitudes and behaviors toward the hospitality industry. In Study 1, qualitative interviews showed that the COVID-19 pandemic is (1) perceived as a negative event affecting the industry, rather than only affecting a particular job or company, and (2) distressful, provoking negative emotions. In Study 2, a quantitative study examined subjective stress and negative emotions associated with COVID-19, as well as industry turnover intentions and industry negative word-of-mouth as responses to the stress and negative emotions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The current research underscores the importance of studying work events that impact an industry and attitudes and behaviors toward the industry.
  • Will Investments in Human Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis Pay Off After the Crisis?

    Oh, In‐Sue; Han, Joo Hun (2021-02-03)
    Rudolph et al. (2020), in their focal article, discussed two areas of strategic human resources (HR) policies/practices in which the COVID-19 pandemic crisis calls for action and attention from both HR managers and researchers. The first area is downsizing, which is unavoidable in many firms due to the immediate negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis on firm financial performance. The other area is online training, which deserves more attention due to the immediate need for educating employees for skills that are necessary to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. Whereas Rodolph et al. drew on evidence from research when they suggested that “HR managers should strive for a transparent and fair way of communication about downsizing measures” (p. XX), they did not provide evidence-based advice regarding the use of online training. Instead, given the lack of relevant research evidence, Rodolph et al. advanced an interesting research question – “empirical HR research will have to test if [investing in online training during the crisis] indeed pays off in increasing employee skills and productivity in the mid and long run” (p. XX). We believe that recent strategic HR research can provide some useful insights into this question, as discussed below.
  • Impact of Tobacco Smoking Status on Morbidity and Mortality in Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19 Pneumonia: Observational study

    Fernandez Romero, Gustavo; Dominguez-Castillo, Eduardo; Zheng, Matthew; Yousef, Ibraheem; Darnell, Melinda; Ganghemi, Andrew; Dorey-Stein, Zack; Zantah, Massa; Townsend, Ryan; Myers, Catherine; Ku, Tse-Shuen; Patel, Maulin; Patlakh, Nicole; Jacobs, Michael; Zhao, Huaqing; Gupta, Rohit; Rali, Parth; Criner, Gerard J. (2020-11-14)
    Background: Determine the impact of tobacco smoking status on patients hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia in the need for ICU care, mechanical ventilation and mortality. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study, that involved chart review. All adults 18 years or older with a diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia hospitalized from March 15th, 2020 to May 06th, 2020 with a positive reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) nasopharyngeal swab for COVID-19. We used chi-squared test for categorical variables and student t-tests or Wilcoxon rank sum tests for continuous variables. We further used adjusted and unadjusted logistic regression to assess risk factors for mortality and intubation. Results: Among 577 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia, 268 (46.4%) had a history of smoking including 187 former and 81 active smokers. The former smokers when compared with non-smokers were predominantly older with more comorbidities. Also, when compared with never smokers D Dimer levels were elevated in active (p=0.05) and former smokers (p<0.01). The former smokers versus non-smokers required increased need for advanced non-invasive respiratory support on admission (p<0.05), ICU care (p<0.05) and had higher mortality [1.99 (CI 95% 1.03-3.85, p<0.05)]. Active smokers versus non-smokers received more mechanical ventilation [OR 2.11 (CI 95% 1.06-4.19, p<0.05)]. Conclusions: In our cohort of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, former smokers had higher need for non-invasive respiratory support on admission, ICU care, and mortality compared to non-smokers. Also, active smokers versus non-smokers needed more mechanical ventilation.
  • Targeting SARS-CoV-2 M3CLpro by HCV NS3/4a Inhibitors: In Silico Modeling and In Vitro Screening

    Institute of Computational Molecular Science (Temple University) (2021-02-04)
    Currently the entire human population is in the midst of a global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2). This highly pathogenic virus has to date caused >71 million infections and >1.6 million deaths in >180 countries. Several vaccines and drugs are being studied as possible treatments or prophylactics of this viral infection. M3CLpro (coronavirus main cysteine protease) is a promising drug target as it has a significant role in viral replication. Here we use the X-ray crystal structure of M3CLpro in complex with boceprevir to study the dynamic changes of the protease upon ligand binding. The binding free energy was calculated for water molecules at different locations of the binding site, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were carried out for the M3CLpro/boceprevir complex, to thoroughly understand the chemical environment of the binding site. Several HCV NS3/4a protease inhibitors were tested in vitro against M3CLpro. Specifically, asunaprevir, narlaprevir, paritaprevir, simeprevir, and telaprevir all showed inhibitory effects on M3CLpro. Molecular docking and MD simulations were then performed to investigate the effects of these ligands on M3CLpro and to provide insights into the chemical environment of the ligand binding site. Our findings and observations are offered to help guide the design of possible potent protease inhibitors and aid in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • COVID-19: implications for NCDs and the continuity of care in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Owopetu, Oluwatomi; Fasehun, Luther-King; Abakporo, Uzoma (2021-02-12)
    There has been a rise in non-communicable diseases (NCD) in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), driven by westernization, urbanization and unhealthy lifestyles. The prevalence of NCDs and their risk factors vary considerably in SSA between countries and the various sub-populations. A study documented the prevalence of stroke ranging from 0.07 to 0.3%, diabetes mellitus from 0 to 16%, hypertension from 6 to 48%, obesity from 0.4 to 43%, and current smoking from 0.4 to 71%. The numbers of these NCD cases are predicted to rise over the next decade. However, in the context of a global pandemic such as COVID-19, with the rising cases, lockdowns and deaths recorded worldwide, many people living with NCDs may find accessing care more difficult. The majority of the available resources on the subcontinent have been diverted to focus on the ongoing pandemic. This has caused interruptions in care, complication management, drug pick-up alongside the almost neglected silent NCD epidemic, with major consequences for the health system post the COVID-19 era. We explore the issues surrounding the continuity of care and offer some solutions for Sub-Saharan Africa.

View more