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Special Issue "COVID-19 and Environment: Impacts of a Global Pandemic"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2022) | Viewed by 22043

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Sachiko Kodera
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Nagoya Institute of Technology, Nagoya 466-8555, Japan
Interests: human health; risk assessment; computational biophysical modeling; metrology; thermoregulation
Dr. Essam A. Rashed
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Graduate School of Information Science, University of Hyogo, Kobe 650-0047, Japan
Interests: data analysis and visualization; image processing; pattern recognition and artificial intelligence

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on “COVID-19 and the Environment: Impacts of a Global Pandemic” on behalf of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH).

The COVID-19 outbreak was first reported in China in 2019 and spread worldwide in early 2020. With the spread of COVID-19 and the corresponding negative impact on different life aspects, it has become important to understand the ways to deal with the pandemic as a part of daily life. Numerous studies on COVID-19 have investigated meteorological factors, clinical features, and public health interventions that affect infection and morbidity. However, problems still exist, and more investigation is required. The major challenges are the limitation of accurate/complete data, the effect of restrictions, and variabilities of medical service quality in different countries. In addition, circumstances are dynamically changing due to policies, vaccines, and the advent of new variants all over the world. The investigation correlation between COVID-19 and environmental factors based on the long-term analysis and data curation would lead to better sustainable management of healthcare resources and government policies.

This Special Issue aims to attract articles of high academic standard investigating the links between the COVID-19 pandemic and environmental factors. We welcome original research papers, systematic reviews, and case reports that address topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic and environmental factors.

We look forward to your contributions. 

Dr. Sachiko Kodera
Dr. Essam A. Rashed
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • metrology
  • mobility
  • epidemiology
  • forecasting
  • risk assessment
  • risk management
  • data analysis
  • pandemic modeling

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Research

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Article
Air Pollution Increased the Demand for Gym Sports under COVID-19: Evidence from Beijing, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12614; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912614 - 02 Oct 2022
Viewed by 687
Abstract
Air pollution may change people’s gym sports behavior. To test this claim, first, we used big data crawler technology and ordinary least square (OLS) models to investigate the effect of air pollution on people’ gym visits in Beijing, China, especially under the COVID-19 [...] Read more.
Air pollution may change people’s gym sports behavior. To test this claim, first, we used big data crawler technology and ordinary least square (OLS) models to investigate the effect of air pollution on people’ gym visits in Beijing, China, especially under the COVID-19 pandemic of 2019–2020, and the results showed that a one-standard-deviation increase in PM2.5 concentration (fine particulate matter with diameters equal to or smaller than 2.5 μm) derived from the land use regression model (LUR) was positively associated with a 0.119 and a 0.171 standard-deviation increase in gym visits without or with consideration of the COVID-19 variable, respectively. Second, using spatial autocorrelation analysis and a series of spatial econometric models, we provided consistent evidence that the gym industry of Beijing had a strong spatial dependence, and PM2.5 and its spatial spillover effect had a positive impact on the demand for gym sports. Such a phenomenon offers us a new perspective that gym sports can be developed into an essential activity for the public due to this avoidance behavior regarding COVID-19 virus contact and pollution exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Environment: Impacts of a Global Pandemic)
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Article
Variation in Public Trust, Perceived Societal Fairness, and Well-Being before and after COVID-19 Onset—Evidence from the China Family Panel Studies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12365; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912365 - 28 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 697
Abstract
The sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on all aspects of people’s lives, including their attitudes toward society and psychological well-being. This study aimed to analyze the variation in public trust, perceived societal fairness, and well-being before and after [...] Read more.
The sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on all aspects of people’s lives, including their attitudes toward society and psychological well-being. This study aimed to analyze the variation in public trust, perceived societal fairness, and well-being before and after the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study used two-wave longitudinal data of 15,487 residents (2018, T1; 2020, T2) derived from the Chinese Family Panel Studies (CFPS). A repeated measures analysis of variance showed that (a) public trust, perceived societal fairness, and subjective well-being significantly improved and (b) depression significantly increased. Linear regression analysis showed that education and socioeconomic status had a significant predictive effect on public trust, perceived societal fairness, and depression; socioeconomic status had a significant predictive effect on subjective well-being. This study provides evidence and direction for current social governance, namely, policy implementation and pandemic response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Environment: Impacts of a Global Pandemic)
Article
Assessing the Nationwide COVID-19 Risk in Mexico through the Lens of Comorbidity by an XGBoost-Based Logistic Regression Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 11992; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191911992 - 22 Sep 2022
Viewed by 593
Abstract
The outbreak of the new COVID-19 disease is a serious health problem that has affected a large part of the world population, especially older adults and people who suffer from a previous comorbidity. In this work, we proposed a classifier model that allows [...] Read more.
The outbreak of the new COVID-19 disease is a serious health problem that has affected a large part of the world population, especially older adults and people who suffer from a previous comorbidity. In this work, we proposed a classifier model that allows for deciding whether or not a patient might suffer from the COVID-19 disease, considering spatio-temporal variables, physical characteristics of the patients and the presence of previous diseases. We used XGBoost to maximize the likelihood function of the multivariate logistic regression model. The estimated and observed values of percentage occurrence of cases were very similar, and indicated that the proposed model was suitable to predict new cases (AUC = 0.75). The main results revealed that patients without comorbidities are less likely to be COVID-19 positive, unlike people with diabetes, obesity and pneumonia. The distribution function by age group showed that, during the first and second wave of COVID-19, young people aged 20 were the least affected by the pandemic, while the most affected were people between 20 and 40 years, followed by adults older than 40 years. In the case of the third and fourth wave, there was an increased risk for young individuals (under 20 years), while older adults over 40 years decreased their chances of infection. Estimates of positive COVID cases with both the XGBoost-LR model and the multivariate logistic regression model were used to create maps to visualize the spatial distribution of positive cases across the country. Spatial analysis was carried out to determine, through the data, the main geographical areas where a greater number of positive cases occurred. The results showed that the areas most affected by COVID-19 were in the central and northern regions of Mexico. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Environment: Impacts of a Global Pandemic)
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Article
Coronavirus Disease Pandemic Effect on Medical-Seeking Behaviors Even in One Resource-Competent Community: A Case Controlled Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(17), 10822; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191710822 - 30 Aug 2022
Viewed by 652
Abstract
(1) Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had overwhelming impacts on medical services. During its initial surge, Taiwan was unique in maintaining its medical services without imposing travel restrictions, which provided an ideal environment in which to test if the fear of [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had overwhelming impacts on medical services. During its initial surge, Taiwan was unique in maintaining its medical services without imposing travel restrictions, which provided an ideal environment in which to test if the fear of becoming infected with COVID-19 interfered with health-seeking behavior (HSB). We tested this hypothesis among adults with acute complicated appendicitis (ACA). (2) Methods: Adults with acute appendicitis were enrolled between 1 January and 30 June 2020 (COVID-19 period). The first two quarters of the preceding 3 years were defined as a historical control group. Outcome measures included the rate of ACA and the number of hospital stays. (3) Results: The COVID-19 era included 145 patients with acute appendicitis. Compared to the historical control (320 patients), the COVID-19 era was significantly associated with a higher length of symptom duration until presentation to the emergency room within >48 h (17.2% vs. 9.1%, p = 0.011), a higher incidence of ACA (29.7% vs. 19.4%, p = 0.014), and a longer length of hospital stays (5.0 days vs. 4.0 days, p = 0.043). The adjusted models showed that the COVID-19 period had a significant relationship with a higher rate of ACA (odds ratio (OR) = 1.87; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.23–2.52; p = 0.008) and longer length of hospital stays (OR= 2.10; 95% CI: 0.92 to 3.31; p < 0.001). (4) Conclusions: The fear of COVID-19 may prohibit patients from seeking medical help, worsening their clinical outcomes. The surgical community should take action to provide scientific information to relive mental stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Environment: Impacts of a Global Pandemic)
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Article
The Lived Experiences of Women without COVID-19 in Breastfeeding Their Infants during the Pandemic: A Descriptive Phenomenological Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9511; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159511 - 02 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1016
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in 2020 has led to several changes and disturbances in the daily lives of the general public. Particularly for new (first-time) mothers, there has been a significant impact on the practices of raising and feeding their babies. [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in 2020 has led to several changes and disturbances in the daily lives of the general public. Particularly for new (first-time) mothers, there has been a significant impact on the practices of raising and feeding their babies. Social distancing measures everywhere have made mothers hesitant to breastfeed their babies anywhere else but at home. Combined with the fear of being infected with COVID-19, the present situation has created unprecedented barriers for breastfeeding mothers to accessing various types of support: emotional, instrumental, informational, and appraisal. There has been no research on the influence of the pandemic on social support regarding breastfeeding in Hong Kong. This study aimed to explore the social support and impact of COVID-19 on mothers breastfeeding their babies. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 currently breastfeeding women in Hong Kong. Colaizzi’s seven-step method was used for data analysis. Two key themes emerged from the interview data: (1) positive influences on breastfeeding support during COVID-19 and (2) negative influences on breastfeeding support during COVID-19. Our findings may help mothers prepare to breastfeed their babies in places other than their homes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Environment: Impacts of a Global Pandemic)
Article
Survey of Pharmacists’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices (KAP) concerning COVID-19 Infection Control after Being Involved in Vaccine Preparation: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9035; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159035 - 25 Jul 2022
Viewed by 886
Abstract
Vaccination is crucial for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Vaccination for COVID-19 was implemented in Japan in community units, and community pharmacists were engaged in vaccine preparation. Capturing the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of pharmacists regarding COVID-19 infection control is important for [...] Read more.
Vaccination is crucial for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Vaccination for COVID-19 was implemented in Japan in community units, and community pharmacists were engaged in vaccine preparation. Capturing the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of pharmacists regarding COVID-19 infection control is important for developing future community health action strategies and plans. We conducted a cross-sectional study among 141 pharmacists who were members of a pharmacist association in the Shinagawa Ward of Tokyo (1–31 July 2021) using a Google online questionnaire. The questionnaire included demographic information and KAP questions regarding COVID-19. A correlation test was used for analyzing KAP scores. Significant correlations were found among all KAP scores. Stepwise logistic regression analysis showed “age” as a significant knowledge factor and “marriage”, “pharmacist careers”, “information source: official government website”, and “information source: word of mouth from family and friends” as significant attitude factors. Good KAP scores were recorded in this study, indicating increased comprehension of infection control measures and increased knowledge scores, as pharmacy pharmacists were practically involved in COVID-19 infection control measures through vaccine preparation. Policymakers should understand the value of pharmacists as healthcare professionals and should enhance public health through the effective use of pharmacists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Environment: Impacts of a Global Pandemic)
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Article
Impact of COVID-19 on Urban Mobility and Parking Demand Distribution: A Global Review with Case Study in Melbourne, Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7665; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137665 - 23 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 902
Abstract
The tremendous impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on societal, political, and economic rhythms has given rise to a significant overall shift from pre- to post-pandemic policies. Restrictions, stay-at-home regulations, and lockdowns have directly influenced day-to-day urban transportation flow. The rise of door-to-door [...] Read more.
The tremendous impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on societal, political, and economic rhythms has given rise to a significant overall shift from pre- to post-pandemic policies. Restrictions, stay-at-home regulations, and lockdowns have directly influenced day-to-day urban transportation flow. The rise of door-to-door services and the demand for visiting medical facilities, grocery stores, and restaurants has had a significant impact on urban transportation modal demand, further impacting zonal parking demand distribution. This study reviews the overall impacts of the pandemic on urban transportation with respect to a variety of policy changes in different cities. The parking demand shift was investigated by exploring the during- and post-COVID-19 parking policies of distinct metropolises. The detailed data related to Melbourne city parking, generated by the Internet of things (IoT), such as sensors and devices, are examined. Empirical data from 2019 (16 March to 26 May) and 2020 (16 March to 26 May) are explored in-depth using explanatory data analysis to demonstrate the demand and average parking duration shifts from district to district. The results show that the experimental zones of Docklands, Queensbery, Southbanks, Titles, and Princess Theatre areas have experienced a decrease in percentage change of vehicle presence of 29.2%, 36.3%, 37.7%, 23.7% and 40.9%, respectively. Furthermore, on-street level analysis of Princess Theatre zone, Lonsdale Street, Exhibition Street, Spring Street, and Little Bourke Street parking bays indicated a decrease in percentage change of vehicle presence of 38.7%, 56.4%, 12.6%, and 35.1%, respectively. In conclusion, future potential policymaking frameworks are discussed that could provide further guidance in stipulating epidemic prevention and control policies, particularly in relation to parking regulations during the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Environment: Impacts of a Global Pandemic)
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Article
Psychological and Physical Changes Caused by COVID-19 Pandemic in Elementary and Junior High School Teachers: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7568; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137568 - 21 Jun 2022
Viewed by 875
Abstract
This study aimed to determine psychological and physical differences in elementary and junior high school teachers during COVID-19. This questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 427 teachers in Tokyo, Japan (between 15 and 30 October 2020). The questionnaire explored school type (elementary and [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine psychological and physical differences in elementary and junior high school teachers during COVID-19. This questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 427 teachers in Tokyo, Japan (between 15 and 30 October 2020). The questionnaire explored school type (elementary and middle schools), sex, age, and COVID-19 changes (psychological changes, physical changes, impact on work, and infection control issues perceived to be stressed). Post hoc tests for I cannot concentrate on work at all, found a significant difference for no change–improved and male teacher in elementary school female teacher in junior high school (p = 0.03). Regarding stress situation due to implementation of COVID-19 infection control, there were significant differences for disinfection work by teachers between male teachers in elementary school female teachers in junior high school (p = 0.04) and female teachers in elementary school female teachers in junior high school (p = 0.03). COVID-19 produced differences in psychological and physical changes between male and female teachers in elementary and junior high schools. Some experienced psychological and physical stress, whereas others showed improvement. Given that teachers’ mental health also affects students’ educational quality, it is important to understand and improve teachers’ psychological and physical circumstances and stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Environment: Impacts of a Global Pandemic)
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Article
The Control of Metabolic CO2 in Public Transport as a Strategy to Reduce the Transmission of Respiratory Infectious Diseases
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(11), 6605; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116605 - 28 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1240
Abstract
The global acceptance of the SARS-CoV-2 airborne transmission led to prevention measures based on quality control and air renewal. Among them, carbon dioxide (CO2) measurement has positioned itself as a cost-efficiency, reliable, and straightforward method to assess indoor air renewal indirectly. [...] Read more.
The global acceptance of the SARS-CoV-2 airborne transmission led to prevention measures based on quality control and air renewal. Among them, carbon dioxide (CO2) measurement has positioned itself as a cost-efficiency, reliable, and straightforward method to assess indoor air renewal indirectly. Through the control of CO2, it is possible to implement and validate the effectiveness of prevention measures to reduce the risk of contagion of respiratory diseases by aerosols. Thanks to the method scalability, CO2 measurement has become the gold standard for diagnosing air quality in shared spaces. Even though collective transport is considered one of the environments with the highest rate of COVID-19 propagation, little research has been done where the air inside vehicles is analyzed. This work explores the generation and accumulation of metabolic CO2 in a tramway (Zaragoza, Spain) operation. Importantly, we propose to use the indicator ppm/person as a basis for comparing environments under different conditions. Our study concludes with an experimental evaluation of the benefit of modifying some parameters of the Heating–Ventilation–Air conditioning (HVAC) system. The study of the particle retention efficiency of the implemented filters shows a poor air cleaning performance that, at present, can be counteracted by opening windows. Seeking a post-pandemic scenario, it will be crucial to seek strategies to improve air quality in public transport to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Environment: Impacts of a Global Pandemic)
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Article
Environmental Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Experience of Bogotá, 2020
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(10), 6350; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19106350 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 1321
Abstract
During the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, several environmental factors have influenced activities and protection policy measures in cities. This has had a major effect on climate change and global environmental catastrophe. In many countries, the strategy of closing various activities such as [...] Read more.
During the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, several environmental factors have influenced activities and protection policy measures in cities. This has had a major effect on climate change and global environmental catastrophe. In many countries, the strategy of closing various activities such as tourism and industrial production stopped normal life, transportation, etc. This closure has a positive impact on the environment. However, the massive use of masks and personal protection could significantly increase pollution worldwide. The impact on the environment needs to be calculated to have information for public health actions. In this study, we present a first overview of the potential impacts of COVID-19 on some environmental matrices in Bogotá, Colombia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Environment: Impacts of a Global Pandemic)
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Article
Ethnopharmacology for Skin Diseases and Cosmetics during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Lithuania
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 4054; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074054 - 29 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1118
Abstract
The documentation of ethnopharmaceutical knowledge has always been important for the preservation of countries’ cultural, social, and economic identity. The COVID-19 pandemic with the collapse of healthcare, which has left the individual health to self-care, has also forced us to look back at [...] Read more.
The documentation of ethnopharmaceutical knowledge has always been important for the preservation of countries’ cultural, social, and economic identity. The COVID-19 pandemic with the collapse of healthcare, which has left the individual health to self-care, has also forced us to look back at ethnopharmacology from a practical point of view. This is the first study in Lithuania, dedicated entirely to ethnopharmaceuticals used for skin diseases and cosmetics, and the first study to analyse ethnopharmacology as a Lithuanian phenomenon during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The main purpose of this study was to collect and evaluate ethnopharmaceutical knowledge regarding skin diseases and cosmetics in Šiauliai District, Lithuania during the COVID-19 pandemic from July 2020 to October 2021. This study surveyed 50 respondents; the survey was conducted using the deep interview method. The respondents mentioned 67 species of medicinal plants from 37 different families used for skin diseases (64.18%), cosmetics (13.44%) and cosmeceuticals (22.38%). Of the 67 plant species, 43 (64%) were not included in the European Medicines Agency monographs and only 14 species (21%) of all included species were used with European Medicines Agency approved medical indications for skin diseases. In terms of public health, the safety of “self-treatment” and recovery rituals for skin diseases are no less important than ethnopharmacological knowledge and its application, this being especially relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Environment: Impacts of a Global Pandemic)
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Article
COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown: An Excellent Opportunity to Study the Effects of Trawling Disturbance on Macrobenthic Fauna in the Shallow Waters of the Gulf of Gabès (Tunisia, Central Mediterranean Sea)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1282; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031282 - 24 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1843
Abstract
This study describes for the first time in the central Mediterranean Sea the effects of bottom trawling on macrobenthic fauna in tidal channels of the Kneiss Islands in the Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia. Following a BACI protocol, two control stations (protected by artificial [...] Read more.
This study describes for the first time in the central Mediterranean Sea the effects of bottom trawling on macrobenthic fauna in tidal channels of the Kneiss Islands in the Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia. Following a BACI protocol, two control stations (protected by artificial reefs) and two trawled stations (impacted stations) were sampled during a period with the absence of bottom trawling activity (the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown period from March to May 2020) and during a trawled period. Although bottom trawling had no impact on sediment composition, this anthropogenic activity reduced the concentration of dissolved oxygen and had a noticeable effect on water column turbidity. The absence of trawling led to a significant increase in biomass, number of species, and abundance of total macrofauna. This illustrated the negative effect of trawling activity in shallow waters and the high resilience of macrobenthic communities of the tidal ecosystem of the Kneiss Islands. In the future, it would be very important to control the use of this destructive fishing gear due to its negative impact on the marine habitat and macrofauna, which represents essential prey for fishes and birds living in this protected area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Environment: Impacts of a Global Pandemic)
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Article
Evidence of Air and Surface Contamination with SARS-CoV-2 in a Major Hospital in Portugal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010525 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1804
Abstract
As the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit Portugal, it forced the country to reintroduce lockdown measures due to hospitals reaching their full capacities. Under these circumstances, environmental contamination by SARS-CoV-2 in different areas of one of Portugal’s major Hospitals was assessed [...] Read more.
As the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit Portugal, it forced the country to reintroduce lockdown measures due to hospitals reaching their full capacities. Under these circumstances, environmental contamination by SARS-CoV-2 in different areas of one of Portugal’s major Hospitals was assessed between 21 January and 11 February 2021. Air samples (n = 44) were collected from eleven different areas of the Hospital (four COVID-19 and seven non-COVID-19 areas) using Coriolis® μ and Coriolis® Compact cyclone air sampling devices. Surface sampling was also performed (n = 17) on four areas (one COVID-19 and three non-COVID-19 areas). RNA extraction followed by a one-step RT-qPCR adapted for quantitative purposes were performed. Of the 44 air samples, two were positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA (6575 copies/m3 and 6662.5 copies/m3, respectively). Of the 17 surface samples, three were positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA (200.6 copies/cm2, 179.2 copies/cm2, and 201.7 copies/cm2, respectively). SARS-CoV-2 environmental contamination was found both in air and on surfaces in both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 areas. Moreover, our results suggest that longer collection sessions are needed to detect point contaminations. This reinforces the need to remain cautious at all times, not only when in close contact with infected individuals. Hand hygiene and other standard transmission-prevention guidelines should be continuously followed to avoid nosocomial COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Environment: Impacts of a Global Pandemic)
Article
How Does Gender Moderate Customer Intention of Shopping via Live-Streaming Apps during the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown Period?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13004; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413004 - 09 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3217
Abstract
Shopping through Live-Streaming Shopping Apps (LSSAs) as an emerging consumption phenomenon has increased dramatically in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown period. However, insufficient studies have focused on the psychological processes undergone in different customer demographics while shopping via LSSAs under pandemic [...] Read more.
Shopping through Live-Streaming Shopping Apps (LSSAs) as an emerging consumption phenomenon has increased dramatically in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown period. However, insufficient studies have focused on the psychological processes undergone in different customer demographics while shopping via LSSAs under pandemic conditions. This study integrated the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology 2 with Flow Theory into a Stimulus-Organism-Response framework to investigate the psychological processes of different customer demographics during the COVID-19 lockdown period. A total of 374 validated data were analyzed by covariance-based structural equation modelling. The statistical results demonstrated by the proposed model showed a significant discrepancy between different gender groups, in which Flow, as a mediator, representing users’ engagement and immersion in shopping via LSSAs, was significantly moderated by gender where connection between stimulus components, hedonic motivation, trust and social influence and response component perceived value are concerned. This study contributed a theoretical development and a practical framework to the explanation of the mental processes of different customer demographics when using an innovative e-commerce technology. Furthermore, the results can support the relevant stakeholders in e-commerce in their comprehensive understanding of customers’ behavior, allowing better strategical and managerial development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Environment: Impacts of a Global Pandemic)
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Article
Facilitators and Reducers of Korean Travelers’ Avoidance/Hesitation Behaviors toward China in the Case of COVID-19
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(23), 12345; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312345 - 24 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 995
Abstract
Given that little is known about overseas travelers’ responses and behaviors toward China after the outbreak of COVID-19, this study aimed to uncover risk perception factors and investigate its role in Korean travelers’ avoidance/hesitation behaviors toward China as an international tourism destination in [...] Read more.
Given that little is known about overseas travelers’ responses and behaviors toward China after the outbreak of COVID-19, this study aimed to uncover risk perception factors and investigate its role in Korean travelers’ avoidance/hesitation behaviors toward China as an international tourism destination in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic. To explore the relationship with risk perception, anticipated emotion and avoidance/hesitation behavior, a quantitative method along with an online survey was employed. This focus was on Korean tourists who had traveled to China at least once. Findings revealed that risk perception and negative anticipated emotion are vital facilitators of avoidance/hesitation behaviors, and that positive anticipated emotion reduces such behaviors. The efficacy of a higher-order structure of risk perception, which encompasses six dimensions, was also demonstrated. In addition, destination attachment lowered the influence of risk perception on the formation of avoidance/hesitation behaviors. Overall, our results will help tourism researchers and practitioners understand what factors drive and reduce international travelers’ avoidance/hesitation behaviors toward China in the post-pandemic world. Implications for theory and practice are offered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Environment: Impacts of a Global Pandemic)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Review
A Review of COVID-19-Related Literature on Freight Transport: Impacts, Mitigation Strategies, Recovery Measures, and Future Research Directions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12287; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912287 - 27 Sep 2022
Viewed by 990
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruptions in the freight transport sector. The number of studies on the impact of COVID-19 on freight transport and possible mitigation strategies are growing. However, a systematic and comprehensive review highlighting the research themes, main findings, research [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruptions in the freight transport sector. The number of studies on the impact of COVID-19 on freight transport and possible mitigation strategies are growing. However, a systematic and comprehensive review highlighting the research themes, main findings, research methods, and future research directions of these studies remains scarce. Therefore, this study presents a mixed review comprising scientometric and systematic reviews to cover these research gaps. Results show that 68 studies have been published on this topic since the beginning of 2020 and that they cover three main themes: the impacts of COVID-19 on freight transport, mitigation strategies, and recovery during and after COVID-19. In addition, we describe the research methods, main findings, and possible research directions in each of them. Thus, the findings of our work present both theoretical and practical analyses of COVID-19-related research on freight transport and provide important future research directions in this domain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Environment: Impacts of a Global Pandemic)
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Review
The Atmospheric Environment Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Metrological Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(17), 11111; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191711111 - 05 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 820
Abstract
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the scientific community has been trying to clarify various problems, such as the mechanism of virus transmission, environmental impact, and socio-economic impact. The spread of COVID-19 in the atmospheric environment is variable and uncertain, potentially resulting in differences in [...] Read more.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the scientific community has been trying to clarify various problems, such as the mechanism of virus transmission, environmental impact, and socio-economic impact. The spread of COVID-19 in the atmospheric environment is variable and uncertain, potentially resulting in differences in air pollution. Many scholars are striving to explore the relationship between air quality, meteorological indicators, and COVID-19 to understand the interaction between COVID-19 and the atmospheric environment. In this study, we try to summarize COVID-19 studies related to the atmospheric environment by reviewing publications since January 2020. We used metrological methods to analyze many publications in Web of Science Core Collection. To clarify the current situation, hotspots, and development trends in the field. According to the study, COVID-19 research based on the atmospheric environment has attracted global attention. COVID-19 and air quality, meteorological factors affecting the spread of COVID-19, air pollution, and human health are the main topics. Environmental variables have a certain impact on the spread of SARS-CoV-2, and the prevalence of COVID-19 has improved the atmospheric environment to some extent. The findings of this study will aid scholars to understand the current situation in this field and provide guidance for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Environment: Impacts of a Global Pandemic)
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