March 19 - Updates on COVID-19
TODAY'S CAMPUS UPDATES
UCI Libraries during spring quarter
The UCI Libraries will offer study spaces by appointment beginning March 29. Throughout the spring quarter, limited seating will be available to current UC students, faculty and staff in the Multimedia Resources Center and the Libraries Gateway Study Center. Students can reserve specific study seats, including some private rooms and computer workstations, for three-hour blocks in the morning and afternoon. Printing will also be available. The buildings will close midday to allow for extra cleaning.
New campus cases*
No student residents or campus employees tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.
Friday fun fact
Controlling costs: Regardless of income, the net cost of attendance after financial aid for California resident students has remained stable or declined since 2010-11.
COVID-19: A year in reflections
The UC community shares their stories of a year of hardship, courage and resilience.
GENERAL COVID-19 NEWS
This section curates noteworthy coronavirus news, trends and opinions. No endorsement by UCI is implied. Note: Some news sites require subscriptions to read articles. The UCI Libraries offer free subscriptions to The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and OC Register for students, faculty and staff.
Elementary school students don’t need to be kept 6 feet apart, says CDC
In a major policy revision, federal health officials on Friday relaxed the 6-foot distancing rule for elementary school students, saying they need only remain 3 feet apart in classrooms as long as everyone is wearing a mask. The 3-foot rule also now applies to students in middle schools and high schools, as long as community transmission is not high.
Cost to vaccinate Californians rises amid change to Blue Shield oversight
The expected cost of administering COVID-19 vaccines in California grew nearly fourfold from two months ago to $1.3 billion, a price tag made public Thursday as the state centralizes the delivery of doses under a program run by Blue Shield of California.
California ranks among worst in the U.S. on vaccine equity, CDC says
California is ranked among the five worst states – along with Kansas, Maryland, Idaho and New Hampshire – in distributing shots to the communities that have seen the worst infection rates during the pandemic. The data can be found in a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzing the equitability of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
U.S. clears 100M shots since Jan. 20
On Friday, the U.S. cleared President Joe Biden’s goal of injecting 100 million coronavirus shots, more than a month before his target date of his 100th day in office. With the nation now administering about 2.5 million shots per day, Biden, who promised to set a new goal for vaccinations next week, teased the possibility of setting a 200 million dose goal by his 100th day in office.
AMC says 98% of its theaters will be open today
AMC said that more than 40 of its locations in California are reopening beginning today. Fifty-two of the state’s 54 locations are slated to resume operations by Monday, as part of the entertainment industry’s gradual road to recovery.
TALES FROM THE LOCKDOWN
Poetry inspired by the pandemic
Fer de la Cruz, a Ph.D. student in the department of Spanish and Portuguese, shares how COVID-related poetry helped him come to terms with “the new normal,” and how it led to the publishing of a full-length book.
I received my acceptance letter from UCI one year ago, in March. My native Yucatan, Mexico, declared lockdown on St. Patrick’s Day, and the language institute where I was academic coordinator closed its doors permanently.
Shortly after, I joined a group of mostly Spanish-speaking poets who organized a series of one hundred daily readings on Zoom. We called ourselves Poetas sin fronteras. Chema Paz, an academic and poet from Galicia, Spain, proposed a topic for one of the readings: poems in support of doctors and medical staff. Following his suggestion, I wrote my first COVID-related poem on April 10, and kept on writing.
Poetry proved effective in chronicling the sudden stop of normality, and everything that came with it: anxiety, quiet streets, a curfew, the whisper of tree branches blown by a cleaner breeze, an imminent hurricane season, and the seeming ubiquity of death, but also a growing sense of community. I aimed for a biblical number forty and, on May 13, published Covidario veinte-veinte: 20 + 20 poemas desde la cuarentena, through Ablucionistas Editorial. It turned out to be the first full-length book of COVID-related poems by a single author in Mexico, and possibly in the whole continent. The book’s formal presentation was organized on Zoom by FILEY, Yucatan’s international book fair, a few days before my arrival in Irvine.
HOPE, INSPIRATION, LAUGHTER
Amid the heartbreaking loss of life and economic hardship wrought by the coronavirus, we recognize the need for stories of kindness, hope, courage and humor.
‘Frozen’ parody about life after the vaccine
The Holderness Family performs a special rendition of Frozen’s “For the First Time in Forever.”
With support from UCI Student Affairs, student Karishma Muthukumar, who is UCI’s Dalai Lama scholar and a Barnes & Noble College Scholar, led a campuswide call for letters of support to UCI students. The initiative was part of The All-truism project, and more letters can be found on Instagram. All-truism (“we can all be true”) is a new project supported by the Barnes & Noble Scholarship that aims to create connections through community, compassion and the creative arts.
If you have a shoutout, or if you’d like to share what you’ve been up to during the pandemic, send photos and/or words about your activities, workstation, volunteering, etc., to email@example.com or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.
* Potential workplace exposure: UCI provides this notification of a potential workplace COVID-19 exposure. Employees and subcontractors who were in these locations on the dates listed may have been exposed to the coronavirus. You may be entitled to various benefits under applicable federal and state laws and University-specific policies and agreements. The full notification is available on the UCI Forward site. If you have been identified as a close contact to a COVID-19 case, the UCI Contact Tracing Program will contact you and provide additional direction.