UCI News

Los Angeles Times, Dec. 24, 2021
Should I stay or should I go? People agonize over holiday travel plan
As the pandemic continues, new variants will emerge, forcing people to balance the need for in-person contact with the risk of infection, said Bernadette Boden-Albala, [MPH, DrPH, and] the founding dean of the Program in Public Health at UC Irvine. … “We have to balance out family and friends and mental health. We’re all just going to have to be more careful engaging in those activities.” … In assessing their risk, travelers should consider factors including their health status, their mode of transportation and whether the people they’re visiting have preexisting conditions, Boden-Albala said. [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.]


Spectrum News 1, Dec. 27, 2021 (Video)
UCI team’s preemptive COVID vaccine candidate has promising results
UC Irvine professor of immunology Lbachir BenMohamed — who also is the director of the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology at the university’s Gavin Herbert Eye Institute — and his colleagues have been developing a preemptive vaccine for all coronaviruses with a multimillion-dollar grant from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Because coronaviruses can mutate, experts at UCI have been working to develop a vaccine that will attack the spike protein and additional proteins in SARS-CoV-2.


The Orange County Register, Dec. 31, 2021
Looking for a COVID-19 test in Orange County? Many others are too
“We’re seeing a shortage – it’s a national one, and it’s translating to the hospitals as well,” Dr. Shruti Gohil, associate medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention at UCI Medical Center, said of the more accurate, lab-based PCR tests. And for those who want to self-test at home, she said, “The big problem with (rapid) antigen tests right now is that you can’t get any.” … Now, with many people (whether vaccinated or not) getting together for holiday celebrations, there are “more opportunities for exposure,” Sanghyuk Shin, an [associate professor of nursing], who directs UC Irvine’s Infectious Disease Science Initiative said. “I think that’s one of the things that’s driving demand.” … David Souleles, MPH, who directs UC Irvine’s COVID-19 response team, called “the perfect storm of timing and holidays” has already taxed emergency departments and it’s straining the testing system. [Subscription required, campus-wide access provided by UCI Libraries. Sign-up here: https://guides.lib.uci.edu/news/ocregister]


Motley Fool, Jan. 3, 2022
Thinking of Changing Careers? Here’s Who’s Hiring Now – Experts Weigh In
Ian Willamson, Dean of the Paul Merage School of Business at University of California, Irvine [said], “While job openings are very high, overall employment in the USA is below pre-pandemic levels. There are several factors which are likely responsible for this gap. First, COVID-19 continues to have a major impact on workforce participation. … A second factor is a mismatch between the types of jobs available and the skills and preferences of employees. … There are also mismatches between workers’ preferences and the types of work environments provided by employers.”


The Washington Post, Dec. 29, 2021
‘An American Tradition’: Lessons from a year covering conspiracy theories
How, then, do people make sense of the flood of information they receive each day in the Internet era? In much the same way they always have: They rely fundamentally on trust, according to Cailin O’Connor, a philosopher [and professor] of [social] sciences at the University of California, Irvine. O’Connor, who uses mathematical models to study the spread of false beliefs, explained to me that people are likelier to believe new information from someone who is similar to them in terms of gender, race and political affiliation. This heuristic guides all sorts of decisions, such as the kinds of computer monitors people buy, what movies they watch and even who they vote for in elections. [Subscription required, campus-wide access provided by UCI Libraries. Sign-up here: https://guides.lib.uci.edu/news/post]


Previously “In the News”