The COVID-19 Pandemic: Research Topics
Pandemics in human history always result in incalculable and sometimes unprecedented problems that would require great thinkers to offer solutions. Researchers are positive opportunists who do not compromise in their efforts to continually investigate the “what”, the “when”, the “who” and the “how” of every situation to relieve humanity. In the current outbreak, researchers from various disciplines must think about how to offer a new lens of understanding the outbreak and, more importantly, offer urgent solutions to the associated challenges that threaten the survival of human structures.
Since the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, academics in the field of health and related sciences have begun to investigate the etiology, epidemiology, pathophysiology, histopathology, clinical evaluation / treatment / management, and diagnosis of COVID-19. A survey of academic work in this field shows great contributions from Asian researchers, especially from China, where the outbreak began. These hardworking researchers never gave up their efforts to medically research what needs to be done to combat the virus. These notable researchers continued to follow this path even in dangerous working conditions that resulted in the loss of some. They have truly shown and demonstrated what researchers must do all the time in the constant search for solutions to ease the pain of their peers, even in times of pandemic. However, his colleagues in other countries must do more. Medical scientists need to investigate the genome sequence of the new coronavirus in different regions of the world. Interestingly, other academics in the medical field are busily researching this phenomenon to inform knowledge about the coronavirus, suggesting preventive measures, and most importantly, finding a medical cure and vaccine to fully combat it. For example, as medical scientists search through the lens of orthodox medicine, herbal practitioners are experimenting with ways to use herbal extracts to produce drugs that can boost the immune system and / or provide a strong immune buffer to fight coronavirus. . These efforts are commendable. More work needs to be done to find more efficient means of testing COVID-19 patients, conducting contact tracing, and coronavirus precautionary / preventive measures.
Researchers in the engineering field, particularly computer and mechanical engineering, are devising technologies to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In some countries, digital technologies such as drones and robocops have been designed and used, in short, the manual application of locks. Likewise, mobile technologies are being designed such as the development of new applications for tracking the contacts of COVID-19 patients as well as those who have had contact with them. For example, MIT researchers are developing an artificial intelligence-based system to complement manual contact tracing performed by public health personnel that relies on short-range Bluetooth signals from smartphones. In South Africa, ambulances equipped with automated test equipment and laboratory services designed as a result of diligent research efforts are being used to test and track people with COVID-19 even in remote, hard-to-reach areas. In Ghana, the Ministry of Health recently launched the COVID-19 app to track people infected or who have had contact with carriers of the COVID-19 virus. These technologies developed as a result of rigorous studies by some mechanical engineers, as well as hardware and software engineers, are being implemented to help in the fight against COVID-19. Still more technological tools are required to combat the coronavirus and dedicated researchers in the engineering field are constantly on the table investigating these potentials.
Agricultural researchers have a great research task in store for them. The blockade has resulted in a high record of post-harvest losses in the countries. What are efficient ways to mitigate post-harvest losses during periods of pandemic and lockdowns? How can farmers use online marketing strategies and platforms to connect with customers to sponsor their products and prevent them from incurring large financial losses? What can the Ministry of Food and Agriculture do to help these poor farmers manage the crisis of the confinements? What are some of the efficient ways that food manufacturing companies can transform perishable agricultural products into non-perishable products? These are excellent topics that deserve to be investigated by farmers during this pandemic outbreak. Unfortunately, studies have not yet been conducted in these areas.
The hospitality and tourism management sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many scheduled excursions and tourist activities have been canceled due to travel bans and closures. It is estimated that the tourism sector worldwide will lose high income worth close to two billion dollars. This is the time when tourism and hotel management researchers could consider virtual means of commercializing tourist sites through intensified research on smart tourism and e-tourism. Not much attention has been paid to this growing field of tourism, especially in developing countries. This pandemic period should be the time when researchers in this field find ways to increase public awareness of smart tourism and e-tourism.
Academics from the social sciences and humanities, such as sociologists, anthropologists, and bodybuilders, are tasked with researching the sociological impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, such as ways to deal with social anxiety as a result of the pandemic. Also, an assessment of the economic impacts of COVID-19 on business activities, the need to undertake e-commerce, e-marketing, e-banking and other electronic ways of conducting business are important topics to be explored. Social and cultural anthropologists should analyze the cultural and social perceptions of different people in world regions on the coronavirus and recommend the application of culturally relevant interventions to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, psychologists and psychiatrists should suggest ways to address post-traumatic disorders resulting from quarantine, as well as the stigmatization and discrimination of COVID-19 patients and their families.
Furthermore, this is the time for educational technologists to come up with proactive ways to carry out instruction online through various forms of learning management systems, smart tutoring systems, and social media platforms. Artists must creatively produce cartoons and other forms of posters in electronic formats to be promoted online in the fight against myths and misinformation surrounding the treatment of COVID-19 and the need to eliminate all forms of stigmatization and discrimination against people who are tested. for COVID-19. Of course, this is the time when researchers from all fields of study must collaborate to investigate pluralistic means of fighting the global COVID-19 pandemic.