UCI News

Desert Sun, March 23, 2021
Will late rains bring a wildflower super bloom to California deserts this year?
Jim Dice, reserve manager for UC Irvine’s Steele Burnand Research Center in Borrego Springs, agrees this year is bleak if you’re looking for rolling carpets of orange poppies or hot pink sand verbena. He recalls that about 30 years ago, “the March skies opened week after week, and by the end of the month into early April, we had carpets of wildflowers.” “So it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility, but it’s pretty unlikely,” said Dice. “Even in the worst years there are wildflowers, but there are not going to be any carpets like you see in what people call the super bloom years.”

Orange County Register, March 21, 2021
Coronavirus pandemic exposes stark differences in Orange County
Instead, the disease has become “a divisive force,” said Peter Ditto, a professor of psychology at UC Irvine who specializes in decision making and political polarization. “It’s been an interesting split,” Ditto said. “Rich from poor, ethnically and racially, and politically.” … “There’s been a trend over the last 20 years, at least, of politics increasingly insinuating itself into every nook and cranny of everyday life,” said UCI Professor Ditto, who grew up in San Clemente. [Subscription required, campus-wide access provided by UCI Libraries. Sign-up here: https://guides.lib.uci.edu/news/ocregister]

Los Angeles Times, March 23, 2021
Despite months of alarm, many O.C. Latinos are still unvaccinated
Bernadette Boden-Albala, a professor of public health and the founding dean of the Program in Public Health at UC Irvine said, “COVID-19 is the disease of disparity,” she said. “If anything, what we’ve learned from this horrible epidemic is there’s got to be a paradigm shift in public health — what it stands for and how to approach it so we don’t have health equity issues again.” [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.]

The Mercury News, March 23, 2021
‘Long COVID’ emerges in more than one-quarter of healthy people with modest initial illness
A spate of new studies about so-called “Long COVID” found that about one-quarter of people infected with the virus … suffer from persistent symptoms and impairment for months after recovery. … “They have all these symptoms that are almost appearing out of nowhere,” said Jessica Borelli,  associate professor in the Department of Psychological Science at UC Irvine. who was part of a research team that studied 1,407 people seen at University of California outpatient clinics. … More than two months after their infection, 27% of people experienced shortness of breath, chest pain, cough or abdominal pain, the team reported.

Spectrum News 1 (City News Service), March 23, 2021
UCI Professor: It’s Safe to Reopen Santa Ana Schools
“I think they’re ready to open the schools and hope they would,” said Dr. Dan Cooper, a UCI professor of pediatrics, who has worked with Orange County schools on COVID-19 issues throughout the pandemic. “Almost all of the data shows that schools can open safely if the schools follow all of the mitigation procedures,” Cooper said. “This is data coming in from all over the world.”

Previously “In the News”