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Maximizing Covid-19 ‘Alone Time’ and Pandemic Public Health Tracking: Maryland Smith Experts Available

University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business

Public Health Tracking in a Pandemic

Health information researcher and interim dean Ritu Agarwal at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business can expand on her comments below regarding ways public health officials can maximize information technology to effectively monitor and accurately inform the public in today’s level of public health crisis. 

“…Smartphone users may use one of several automatic temperature detectors available today or use home thermometers to record their temperatures. Apps then could capture other data relevant to determining risk – for example, age, recent travel history, and the presence of underlying conditions such as cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure. The data would be recorded voluntarily by citizens, engaging in citizen science to advance the cause of crisis management and scientific research…Crises like the one brought by the Covid-19 pandemic should remind us that the power of technology should not be used simply to discover nano-second arbitrage opportunities in financial markets.”

Agarwal also is founding director of Maryland Smith’s Center for Health Information and Decision Systems.

Upside of Alone Time

Consumer-behavior researcher and Professor of Marketing Rebecca Ratner can discuss different approaches – including that in the quote below -- to making pandemic-induced alone time enjoyable and fulfilling.

 “Explore what you love: “There is so much great content available virtually right now. Are you a big reader? Washington, D.C.-based bookstore Politics and Prose is webcasting book talks with authors…More of an animal enthusiast? You could spend hours watching live web cams of polar bears, birds and aquariums. And there’s much more. In a recent research paper, my coauthors and I find that you get more out of those kinds of leisure experiences when alone…People retain more information, for example, about the art they view when walking through a gallery solo. We find that in many cases, a companion will distract you, make you worry more about whether that other person is having a good time than the experience itself.”

Ratner previously discussed findings into the upside to overcoming phobia of going out alone to restaurants, movies, etc., via the likes of CBS This Morning and an L.A. Times op -ed.




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