Date of Award


First Advisor

Dr. Jacquelyn Zera


Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the binding of SARS-CoV-2 to ACE-2 receptors. COVID-19 was first discovered in Wuhan, China in December of 2019 (CDC). By March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic. A COVID-19 infection can cause severe health consequences, including death. COVID-19 affects individuals of all ages. Individuals who are 60 years of age or older, and individuals with underlying medical conditions are considered vulnerable populations for severe consequences from COVID-19 infection (WHO). COVID-19 primarily spreads through physical contact. Respiratory droplets are produced from the nose and mouth when speaking, coughing, sneezing, and breathing, and therefore can be transmitted through close physical contact. COVID-19 can also be contracted through airborne transmission where small respiratory droplets remain within the air to be inhaled or deposited on mucous membranes. To limit the contraction of COVID-19, physical distancing recommendations have been implemented which led to the closure of non-essential businesses and public service facilities (4). In an effort to contain the virus, many states implemented stay at home orders as well. Alterations to the typical working, social, and domestic environment could possibly result in changes to diet, physical activity, and stress during the COVID-19 pandemic (2, 5, 13).