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With the flu season and winter weather less than two months away, health officials around the world have raised concerns about the unpredictable ways these factors could worsen the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Not only could colder weather perpetuate the virus by increasing indoor congregation and naturally weakening the immune system, but identical viral symptoms seen in COVID-19 and influenza may cause confusion in diagnoses. Despite the negative effects of this novel combination, the increased awareness brought to respiratory illness and maintaining sanitation practices may reduce the impact of the coming flu season, as was seen in Australia this year.
Dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive prescription steroid used to treat various conditions, was one of the treatments used by President Donald Trump following his COVID-19 diagnosis and three-day stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in early October. According to White House physician Sean Conley, Trump received two episodes of transient dexamethasone drops in his oxygen saturation two days after his admittance to the hospital. The drug mimics natural anti-inflammatory hormones produced by the body and has previously been used to treat a number of autoimmune diseases.
The Commonwealth of Virginia is tied for second place amongst all 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of the state’s emergency preparedness, according to the newly released 2020 National Health Security Preparedness Index report.
As the world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, research teams worldwide are working towards making a successful vaccination for the disease. At the University, teams have left behind ongoing research efforts in order to bring their attention to the novel coronavirus instead. William Petri, professor of medicine and infectious disease expert, is leading a team that has moved from 25 years of amoebic dysentery vaccine research to vaccine trials in COVID-infected mice.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump criticized a study jointly funded by the University and the National Institutes of Health that analyzed the effectiveness of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine — calling the study a “Trump enemy statement” and claiming that researchers had only given the drug to patients who were old, near death or in “very bad shape.”
To many, COVID-19 is synonymous with stress — the fear of being exposed or exposing others, financial uncertainty or stress from reduced social engagement. With constant access to news and social media full of coronavirus-related posts, people are constantly delving deeper into information of the crisis.
In the past month, one number has circled around news feeds and public spaces over and over again — six. Around the world, citizens are being told to stay 6 feet apart, quickly becoming all too familiar with the practice of social distancing. Many aspects of everyday life have turned virtual, from education and work to ordering dinner and working out. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines social distancing as simply keeping space between yourself and others outside of home. The conditions to do this include remaining 6 feet apart, not gathering in groups and staying away from crowded places and mass gatherings.
Due to COVID-19 outpatient clinic closures and heightened hospital regulations, Nursing School Dean Pamela Cipriano and other nursing administration have decided to cancel all clinical experiences for undergraduate students. Faculty and administration are now relying on a model made over two years ago by leaders of the nursing school to increase digital interaction and innovative learning so students can continue to develop skills in a time of social distancing.
As Valentine’s Day draws near, love will be celebrated in countless different ways, looked at from all points of view and shared amongst family, friends, significant others, adults, elderly and children alike. Everyone looks at love in their own way, and scientists are no different. They, too, have their own, technical definitions of love, defined in their field’s terms. It can be seen as a reaction in the brain, the positive to negative attraction of particles or stemming from the social interactions between two people. Within an institution such as the University, these nuanced definitions are everywhere.
In the final year of the decade, Oxford Dictionary has announced the word of the year — climate emergency. According to NASA, the world has seen a global rise in temperature, sinking ice sheets, sea level rise and extreme weather events. As people become more aware of the effects of climate change, Willis Jenkins, the convener of Environmental Humanities at the University and co-director of Coastal Futures Conservatory, anticipates an increased urgency in the climate crisis conversation over the next decade.
The University established a Billing and Collection Practices Advisory Council Oct. 28 in response to a Washington Post article published Sept. 9, which exposed the University Health System for the extreme billing, money collection practices and lawsuits that were pushing lower- and middle-class patients over the financial edge. The advisory council’s next meeting is scheduled for late November.
The current number of individuals dying from opioid-use disorder, including opioid overdose deaths, exceeds the number of people who were dying with AIDS at the height of the HIV crisis. In response, the University has teamed up with four other Virginia universities to create the Virginia Higher Education Opioid Consortium, with the goal of providing university support to local health organizations working on the ground to fight the crisis. The four partnering institutions include George Mason University, Virginia Tech, Old Dominion University and Virginia State University.
Each year, thousands of University students occupy both on- and off-Grounds housing options. From morning K-cups to lunchtime to-go boxes and plastic water bottles to endless Amazon package deliveries, trash builds up quickly. When it comes to certain days like move-in and move-out, dumpsters are constantly reaching their maximum capacity. To keep the endless disposals of the University at bay, University staff such as Nina Morris, sustainability outreach and engagement manager, and Sonny Beale, recycling superintendent for the University Academic and Health Systems, work behind the scenes to keep the University environmentally focused. For off-Grounds residents, recycling options are not as available.
It has now been 21 years since University psychology professor Joseph Allen began studying the relationships of 184 13-year-olds. In a project supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Allen set off in 1998 to prove that peoples’ functionalities are not all pre-determined by genes.
It’s been four months since the 10-centimeter cubed satellite known as Libertas, designed by a team of U.Va. undergraduate aerospace engineering students, was rocketed to the International Space Station. After a few months in storage, the CubeSat was deployed into orbit July 3 to measure atmospheric drag for future space exploration missions.
As the 2018-2019 academic year comes to a close, fourth-year pre-med students Vikram Gupta and Grace Rovenolt are gearing up for their futures in medicine.
As the moon landing’s 50th anniversary approaches, an aerospace engineering team at the University has made their own history. Not only has the team developed the University’s first spacecraft, the feat was accomplished by undergraduate students. Three years of engineering collaboration between the University, Old Dominion University, Hampton University and Virginia Tech culminated in the launch of three CubeSats — or miniaturized satellites used for space research — to the International Space Station via the Antares Rocket. The resupply mission was launched April 17 from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility located on Virginia’s coast.
When fourth-year College student Grant Frazier decided to combine his passions of music and medicine, he began working with Madison House to bring music into the hospital setting. This idea led to the creation of Harmonies for Healing, a program which sends three student musicians to the University’s Transitional Care Hospital each day with hopes of improving the lives of both patients and medical staff.
After the NFL Combine, the employees of Biocore, a faculty-founded engineering research company, have been quite busy. Throughout 12 years of collaboration, Biocore — founded by University mechanical engineering professors Jeff Crandall and Richard Kent — has partnered with the University’s Center for Applied Biomechanics to improve the safety of football through equipment testing and experimenting with test dummies, head impact simulators and mouthguard sensors to track players’ movement on the field. This research has influenced the NFL, going so far as to change game rules to improve safety.
There are roughly 17,000 pages worth of Charlottesville property deeds sitting at the bottom of the Albemarle County Courthouse, and freelance journalist Jordy Yager plans on analyzing each and every one of them. In these deeds, which date back to the early 20th century, Yager has found racial wording that essentially prevented future homeowners from selling to people of color, creating a perpetual loop of segregated housing in the City.