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      Relationships between Local Green Space and Human Mobility Patterns during COVID-19 for Maryland and California, USA

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      Sustainability
      MDPI AG

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          Abstract

          Human mobility is a significant factor for disease transmission. Little is known about how the environment influences mobility during a pandemic. The aim of this study was to investigate an effect of green space on mobility reductions during the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic in Maryland and California, USA. For 230 minor civil divisions (MCD) in Maryland and 341 census county divisions (CCD) in California, we obtained mobility data from Facebook Data for Good aggregating information of people using the Facebook app on their mobile phones with location history active. The users’ movement between two locations was used to calculate the number of users that traveled into an MCD (or CCD) for each day in the daytime hours between 11 March and 26 April 2020. Each MCD’s (CCD’s) vegetation level was estimated as the average Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) level for 1 January through 31 March 2020. We calculated the number of state and local parks, food retail establishments, and hospitals for each MCD (CCD). Results showed that the daily percent changes in the number of travels declined during the study period. This mobility reduction was significantly lower in Maryland MCDs with state parks (p-value = 0.045), in California CCDs with local-scale parks (p-value = 0.048). EVI showed no association with mobility in both states. This finding has implications for the potential impacts of green space on mobility under an outbreak. Future studies are needed to explore these findings and to investigate changes in health effects of green space during a pandemic.

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          Multidisciplinary research priorities for the COVID-19 pandemic: a call for action for mental health science

          Summary The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is having a profound effect on all aspects of society, including mental health and physical health. We explore the psychological, social, and neuroscientific effects of COVID-19 and set out the immediate priorities and longer-term strategies for mental health science research. These priorities were informed by surveys of the public and an expert panel convened by the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and the mental health research charity, MQ: Transforming Mental Health, in the first weeks of the pandemic in the UK in March, 2020. We urge UK research funding agencies to work with researchers, people with lived experience, and others to establish a high level coordination group to ensure that these research priorities are addressed, and to allow new ones to be identified over time. The need to maintain high-quality research standards is imperative. International collaboration and a global perspective will be beneficial. An immediate priority is collecting high-quality data on the mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic across the whole population and vulnerable groups, and on brain function, cognition, and mental health of patients with COVID-19. There is an urgent need for research to address how mental health consequences for vulnerable groups can be mitigated under pandemic conditions, and on the impact of repeated media consumption and health messaging around COVID-19. Discovery, evaluation, and refinement of mechanistically driven interventions to address the psychological, social, and neuroscientific aspects of the pandemic are required. Rising to this challenge will require integration across disciplines and sectors, and should be done together with people with lived experience. New funding will be required to meet these priorities, and it can be efficiently leveraged by the UK's world-leading infrastructure. This Position Paper provides a strategy that may be both adapted for, and integrated with, research efforts in other countries.
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            Mental Health and the Covid-19 Pandemic

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              The effect of human mobility and control measures on the COVID-19 epidemic in China

              The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak expanded rapidly throughout China. Major behavioral, clinical, and state interventions have been undertaken to mitigate the epidemic and prevent the persistence of the virus in human populations in China and worldwide. It remains unclear how these unprecedented interventions, including travel restrictions, affected COVID-19 spread in China. We use real-time mobility data from Wuhan and detailed case data including travel history to elucidate the role of case importation on transmission in cities across China and ascertain the impact of control measures. Early on, the spatial distribution of COVID-19 cases in China was explained well by human mobility data. Following the implementation of control measures, this correlation dropped and growth rates became negative in most locations, although shifts in the demographics of reported cases were still indicative of local chains of transmission outside Wuhan. This study shows that the drastic control measures implemented in China substantially mitigated the spread of COVID-19.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                SUSTDE
                Sustainability
                Sustainability
                MDPI AG
                2071-1050
                November 2020
                November 12 2020
                : 12
                : 22
                : 9401
                Article
                10.3390/su12229401
                3e1c3fc1-dadd-406e-96a3-21b237bf3923
                © 2020

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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