How COVID-19 and Long COVID Changed Individuals and Communities 2.0

A special issue of COVID (ISSN 2673-8112).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 4890

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Education, Languages, Interculture, Literatures and Psychology, University of Florence, 50121 Florence, Italy
Interests: well-being; social psychology; social media addiction; reputation dynamics; robotic psychology; technology adoption; health behaviors
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Scienze della Salute, Università degli Studi di Firenze, 50121 Firenze, Italy
Interests: health literacy; primary health care; food and nutrition sustainability; healthcare for frail social groups (especially for older people)
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Social and Political Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
Interests: public sector communication; public sector organizations’ changes; digital and social media processes
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are thrilled to announce the second edition of our Special Issue, embarking on a comprehensive exploration of the four-year transformative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our primary focus remains on elucidating how this extended period has influenced the perspectives, knowledge, and conduct of individuals, communities, and institutions in response to the virus, the ailment, and pivotal interventions like vaccines.

Over the past two years, COVID-19 vaccines have claimed the global spotlight in public discourse, amplifying awareness and expertise in health matters. This heightened understanding has, at times, given rise to polarized and extreme viewpoints, occasionally manifesting as conspiracy theories. Presently, we confront a fresh challenge: a significant global reduction in booster dose rates.

In this ever-evolving scenario, the essential role of health institutions and public sector organizations in fostering public trust and managing information dissemination is of paramount importance, particularly within the digital realm.

As we navigate the intricate interplay between individuals, communities, institutions, and the virus itself, our Special Issue continues to provide a dynamic platform for academic exploration and insightful contributions. We warmly invite you to participate in this vital endeavor, contributing your expertise to the ongoing examination of the multifaceted responses to the enduring COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Chiara Lorini
Dr. Mirko Duradoni
Dr. Andrea Guazzini
Dr. Guglielmo Bonaccorsi
Dr. Letizia Materassi
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. COVID is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 1000 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

  • individual and social attitudes and awareness toward COVID-19
  • literacy (scientific, medical, vaccine, health)
  • vaccine hesitancy
  • compliance with screening and mitigation rules
  • pandemic community resilience
  • multifaceted responses to the enduring COVID-19 pandemic

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 320 KiB  
Article
Belief in Conspiracy Theories about COVID-19 Vaccines among Brazilians: A National Cross-Sectional Study
by Emerson Lucas Silva Camargo, Caíque Jordan Nunes Ribeiro, Guilherme Reis de Santana Santos, Valdemar Silva Almeida, Herica Emilia Félix de Carvalho, Guilherme Schneider, Leticia Genova Vieira, André Luiz Silva Alvim, Fabiana Guerra Pimenta, Liliane Moretti Carneiro, Odinéa Maria Amorim Batista, Anderson Reis de Sousa, Álvaro Francisco Lopes de Sousa and Carla Aparecida Arena Ventura
COVID 2024, 4(4), 518-530; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid4040035 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 758
Abstract
Background: Vaccine hesitancy is a complex challenge that demands a comprehensive approach, one that not only acknowledges legitimate concerns within communities but also actively confronts misinformation. In this context, this study aimed to investigate the prevalence of belief in conspiracy theories about COVID-19 [...] Read more.
Background: Vaccine hesitancy is a complex challenge that demands a comprehensive approach, one that not only acknowledges legitimate concerns within communities but also actively confronts misinformation. In this context, this study aimed to investigate the prevalence of belief in conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines among Brazilians, seeking to understand the factors associated with this behavior. Method: Utilizing a national online survey conducted between May and August 2020, with a sample of 4247 participants, we conducted multivariate analysis to identify the independent determinants of this adherence, calculating adjusted prevalence ratios (APRs) and their 95% confidence intervals. Results: It was revealed that 27.7% of participants believed in at least one conspiracy theory. Factors associated with a higher level of adherence included agreement with at least one piece of COVID-19 misinformation on social media (APR: 3.65; 95% CI: 3.07–4.34), lack of difficulty accessing leisure activities during the pandemic (APR: 3.11; 95% CI: 1.85–5.24), age 50 years or older (APR: 1.70; 95% CI: 1.49–1.94), absence of difficulty accessing protective measures (APR: 1.47; 95% CI: 1.26–1.72), use of face masks (APR: 1.62; 95% CI: 1.33–1.97), non-use of at least one traditional media source for information (APR: 1.47; 95% CI: 1.26–1.72), female gender (APR: 1.41; 95% CI: 1.25–1.60), and age between 30 and 49 years (APR: 1.35; 95% CI: 1.19–1.52). Conclusions: Our findings highlight that it is crucial to recognize that vaccine hesitancy is not merely an isolated phenomenon but often rooted in a complex interplay of social, cultural, psychological, and political factors. There is a need for multifaceted strategies to combat vaccine hesitancy, effectively address conspiracy theories, and consider the various factors associated with their prevalence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How COVID-19 and Long COVID Changed Individuals and Communities 2.0)
18 pages, 533 KiB  
Article
Peritraumatic Distress among Chinese Canadians during the Early Lockdown Stage of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Sociodemographic and Pandemic-Related Predictors
by Alexandra Katsiris, Kesaan Kandasamy and Lixia Yang
COVID 2024, 4(3), 391-408; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid4030026 - 13 Mar 2024
Viewed by 730
Abstract
The current study investigates the peritraumatic distress of Chinese residents living in Canada and identifies the associated sociodemographic and pandemic-related predictors during the initial phases of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic lockdown (i.e., from April 2020 to June 2020). A final sample [...] Read more.
The current study investigates the peritraumatic distress of Chinese residents living in Canada and identifies the associated sociodemographic and pandemic-related predictors during the initial phases of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic lockdown (i.e., from April 2020 to June 2020). A final sample of 457 valid participants aged 18 or older completed an online survey in which peritraumatic distress was assessed with the COVID-19 Peritraumatic Distress Index (CPDI). The results showed 32.76% of the sample was in the mild to moderate range (i.e., 28–51) and 5.03% in the severe range (i.e., 52 to higher) for peritraumatic distress. The hierarchical regression models on the continuous CPDI score identified life satisfaction as a consistent protector for the CPDI (absolute values of βs = −1.21 to −0.49, ps < 0.001). After controlling for life satisfaction, the following sociodemographic risk factors were identified: being middle-aged, being employed (relative to retired people/students), living in Ontario (rather than elsewhere), and a poor health status. Furthermore, the following pandemic-related risk factors were identified: a higher self-contraction worry, more of a COVID-19 information authenticity concern, a higher future infection rate prediction, and a higher personal health hygiene appraisal. The results of our study shed light on cognitive, experiential, behavioural, and sociodemographic factors associated with peritraumatic distress for Chinese residents living in Canada during the early outbreak stage of the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How COVID-19 and Long COVID Changed Individuals and Communities 2.0)
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13 pages, 1375 KiB  
Article
Evaluating Teachers’ Workplace Climate and Anxiety Response during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Information Seeking Platforms
by Medina Srem-Sai, Frank Quansah, Edmond Kwesi Agormedah, John Elvis Hagan, Jr. and Thomas Schack
COVID 2024, 4(3), 378-390; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid4030025 - 13 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1005
Abstract
The COVID-19 disease affected the school workplace climate for teachers and led to psychological consequences. However, it is not clear how the workplace climate affected the anxiety levels of teachers. This study assessed the connection between workplace climate and COVID-19-related anxiety among senior [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 disease affected the school workplace climate for teachers and led to psychological consequences. However, it is not clear how the workplace climate affected the anxiety levels of teachers. This study assessed the connection between workplace climate and COVID-19-related anxiety among senior high school (SHS) teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study further examined the moderating role of professional and social media platform use on the relationship between workplace climate and COVID-19-related anxiety among teachers. Through a cross-sectional survey design, 395 high school teachers were conveniently sampled from various schools in the Central Region of Ghana. A questionnaire was used to survey participants, and the obtained data were analysed using descriptive statistics as well as simple linear regression and moderation analyses with Hayes’ PROCESS. This study revealed a negative association between workplace climate and anxiety. The relationship between workplace climate and anxiety was contingent on social media use but not professional platform use. Therefore, the consumption of unscrutinised COVID-19-related information on social media heightened fear and anxiety among teachers, even in the midst of a safe workplace environment. An effective strategy against teachers’ COVID-19-related anxiety required the provision of accurate science-driven information about the virus. School counselling psychologists, school welfare officers, and school health coordinators are encouraged to collaborate towards designed interventions that promote a safe working environment and the mental health of teachers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How COVID-19 and Long COVID Changed Individuals and Communities 2.0)
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0 pages, 1276 KiB  
Article
Pro-Vaccination Flu and COVID-19 Messages: Evidence of Congenial Targeted and Spillover Effects
by James Price Dillard and Lijiang Shen
COVID 2024, 4(3), 363-377; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid4030024 - 11 Mar 2024
Viewed by 681
Abstract
Given the plentitude of messages in the public arena that promote vaccination against different diseases or raise the possibility of vaccine mandates, we asked whether message effects in one disease domain might spill over into other domains. Our experiment exposed individuals (N [...] Read more.
Given the plentitude of messages in the public arena that promote vaccination against different diseases or raise the possibility of vaccine mandates, we asked whether message effects in one disease domain might spill over into other domains. Our experiment exposed individuals (N = 1755) recruited from an opt-in online panel (Qualtrics) on influenza or COVID-19 pro-vaccination messages then measured intentions to vaccinate for each disease and intentions to support a vaccine mandate for each disease. Messages that targeted flu (vs. COVID-19) exhibited stronger effects on intentions to vaccinate for corresponding (vs. noncorresponding) disease. We observed positive spillover from intention to vaccinate against one disease to intention to vaccinate against the other disease, as well as from vaccination intention type to support for corresponding and noncorresponding vaccine mandates. Although pro-vaccination flu and COVID-19 messages have multiple effects, those effects are congenial. The results adjudicate differences in spillover theory and suggest synergistic effects between pro-vaccination campaigns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How COVID-19 and Long COVID Changed Individuals and Communities 2.0)
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19 pages, 1107 KiB  
Article
The Effects of a Collegiate Recovery Community Psychotherapy Program Incorporating Equine Interaction during the COVID-19 Pandemic on Young Adults with Substance Abuse Disorder
by Katie Holtcamp, Molly C. Nicodemus, Tommy Phillips, David Christiansen, Brian J. Rude, Peter L. Ryan and Karen Galarneau
COVID 2024, 4(2), 151-169; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid4020013 - 25 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 742
Abstract
While psychotherapy incorporating equine interaction (PIE) has proven to be a viable therapeutic intervention, it is not a common mental health service found on college campuses. Nevertheless, with the rise of mental health challenges on campuses after the COVID-19 pandemic, a need for [...] Read more.
While psychotherapy incorporating equine interaction (PIE) has proven to be a viable therapeutic intervention, it is not a common mental health service found on college campuses. Nevertheless, with the rise of mental health challenges on campuses after the COVID-19 pandemic, a need for effective therapeutic solutions is warranted. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the effect of a collegiate recovery community (CRC) PIE program for substance abuse disorder (SUD) compared to that of traditional cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and to determine whether physiological synchronization occurs between the human and horse during the therapy process. College-aged adults were recruited during the COVID-19 pandemic for two types of short-term SUD therapeutic interventions, CRC-PIE and CBT. Both groups completed a self-reporting survey assessing emotional safety. Vital signs measurements for human and horse participants within the CRC-PIE were collected prior to and after the first and last therapeutic sessions. Results concluded that although emotional safety did not improve significantly for PIE participants by the last therapy session (p = 0.85), emotional safety scores were significantly different between therapy types, with lower post-therapy scores for PIE (p = 0.04). As for physiological measures for PIE participants, respiratory rates (Human: p = 0.01; Horse: p = 0.01) and pain rating scores (Human: p = 0.03; Horse: p = 0.01) significantly decreased post-therapy and a strong positive correlation (R = 0.73, R2 = 0.53) associated with vital signs was observed between humans and horses. This human–horse physiological synchronization during the therapeutic intervention suggests that the horse may be a viable tool within campus CRC programs for the development of therapeutic alliances within the therapy process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How COVID-19 and Long COVID Changed Individuals and Communities 2.0)
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