This short research note describes and summarizes several recent peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed studies on the concept of flattening-the-curve (FTC) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This note also highlights contradictory findings of these studies in terms of the effect of FTC on the total number of infections (the final epidemic size), and poses a research problem for future studies.
Humans are increasingly being challenged with numerous forms of man-made and natural emergency situations. Emergencies cannot be prevented, but they can be better managed. The successful management of emergency situations requires proper planning, guided response, and well-coordinated efforts across the emergency management life cycle. Literature suggests that emergency management efforts benefit from well-integrated knowledge-based emergency management information systems (EMIS). This study presents a systematic review of papers pertaining to the application of knowledge-driven systems in support of emergency management that have been published in the last two decades. Our review presents two major findings. First, only limited work has been done in three EMIS-knowledge management system (KMS) subdomains: (i) definition, (ii) use, and (iii) methods. Second, only limited research has been done in embedding roles in KM systems. We highlight role alignment to the 12 fundamental roles, as called for by Turoff et al. (2004), in the context of creating dynamic systems in aid of emergency management efforts. We believe that these two findings warrant the attention of the research community.
Even as the pandemic rages on across the globe, the notion of shutting down higher education has never been an option; instead, finding ways to circumvent it has led to a greater reliance on online technology delivery of courses and programs. Although this is not meant as a complete substitute, critics argue that online education has widened the 'diploma disease' crisis. They argued that this would lead to serious long-term problems which may become irreversible. This comparative study was conducted using an 'empirical survey' with 120 students from each group (before and during COVID-19, giving a total of 240 samples/students) to conduct an in-depth study of the academic and job-ready performance of graduates. Findings show that pre-pandemic students did poorly academically compared to during-pandemic counterparts. On the other hand, pre-pandemic graduates achieved better job-readiness scores which included both aptitude and practicum. Moreover, both groups achieved well in terms of academic performance compared to their job-readiness scores. This leads to the question: is it the role of HE to value the concept of sustainable production or to produce certificates/qualifications? Apparently, the HE system has used COVID-19 as an excuse to extend the "diploma disease crisis", a situation that must be addressed by devising a proper policy framework.