In 2020, the entire world was put on hold by the COVID-19 pandemic. To mitigate a deadly surge of the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, social distancing and home self-containment orders were issued by federal, state and local governments. In Orange County, it was no different, leading UCI to face the greatest crisis in its history. In the span of a few short months, UCI suspended nearly all on-campus activities, while UCI Health ramped up clinical operations, preparing for a glut of COVID-19 patients. The task of mobilizing UCI – a multibillion-dollar organization equivalent to a midsized city of 50,000 – was massive, requiring quick and decisive leadership and teamwork and straining the campus’s logistical and financial infrastructure.

As the novel coronavirus spread across the globe and overwhelmed healthcare systems, UCI scientists and researchers quickly rose to the challenge of investigating and combating the mysterious and sudden pandemic.

Now, as the pandemic continues into a second year with promising outcomes in sight, the Anteater community thanks and recognizes the thousands of caregivers at UCI Health and the research teams at the Susan & Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences, as well as the volunteers and front-line workers from all over the campus who worked tirelessly and collaboratively to save lives and guide us out of this crisis. Our renewed hope for the future is a reminder that these efforts have paid off.