(COVID-19): Campus Health Updates
(COVID-19): Campus Health Updates
4/5/2020 - Daily COVID-19 Graduate Division Update
Hi Graduate Students and Post-Docs,
I hope you all took my Friday advice and had a bit of time off this weekend. You should make sure you are resting and recharging even on the best of times, but it is especially important now. As for me, I was forced to take a solid 24 hours away from screens due to massive eye strain Friday night. I’ve struggled with RSI for the better part of two decades-health hazard of being a computer programmer early in my career and then transcribing a lot of field interviews during grad school-but I have never had the kind of pain from computer use as Friday’s eye strain was. So, please take care of yourselves!
Here are some helpful hints for Eye Strain from the Mayo Clinic:
Adjust the lighting. When watching television, it may be easier on your eyes if you keep the room softly lit.
Take breaks. When doing close work, take occasional breaks and rest your eyes by looking away from the digital screen.
Limit screen time. This is especially important for children, who may not make the connection between extended viewing, eyestrain and the need to rest their eyes regularly.
Use artificial tears. Over-the-counter artificial tears can help prevent and relieve dry eyes. Use them even when your eyes feel fine to keep them well-lubricated and prevent a recurrence of symptoms.
Improve the air quality of your space. Some changes that may help prevent dry eyes include using a humidifier, adjusting the thermostat to reduce blowing air and avoiding smoke. If you smoke, consider quitting. Moving your chair to a different area may help reduce the amount of dry moving air on your eyes and face.
Choose the right eyewear for you. If you need glasses or contacts and work at a computer, consider investing in glasses or contact lenses designed specifically for computer work. Ask your optometrist about lens coatings and tints that might help too.
If you work at a desk and use a computer, these self-care steps can help take some of the strain off your eyes.
Blink often to refresh your eyes. Many people blink less than usual when working at a computer, which can contribute to dry eyes. Blinking produces tears that moisten and refresh your eyes. Try to make it a habit to blink more often when looking at a monitor.
Take eye breaks. Throughout the day, give your eyes a break by looking away from your monitor. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Check the lighting and reduce glare. Bright lighting and too much glare can strain your eyes and make it difficult to see objects on your monitor. The worst problems are generally from sources above or behind you, including fluorescent lighting and sunlight. Consider turning off some or all of the overhead lights.
Adjust your monitor. Position your monitor directly in front of you about an arm's length away so that the top of the screen is at or just below eye level. It helps to have a chair you can adjust too.
Use a document holder. If you need to refer to print material while you work on your computer, place it on a document holder. Some holders are designed to be placed between the keyboard and monitor; others are placed to the side. Find one that works for you. The goal is to reduce how much your eyes need to readjust and how often you turn your neck and head.
Adjust your screen settings. Enlarge the type for easier reading. And adjust the contrast and brightness to a level that's comfortable for you.
See https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/eyestrain/symptoms-causes/syc-20372397 for original source and more.
Dr. Roxanne Silver, leader of DECADE and so much more:
For those of you who don’t know, Dr. Roxanne Silver is a psychologist who specializes in trauma and crises. Her administrative role sits in Office of Inclusive Excellence, but her professor job is in Social Ecology. So, they have compiled some of her advice, media appearances, and so on here: https://socialecology.uci.edu/news/coping-coronavirus-0
She delivered a compelling message to public officials on a March 23 American Psychological Association webinar. Check it out!
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
From the CARE Center: This is the 19th annual month dedicated to raising public awareness about sexual assault and other types of sexual violence as well as educating our communities about ways to prevent these acts of violence. Throughout the month, UCI CARE will be hosting virtual events and sharing resources that aim to fulfill this crucial mission. Please join us throughout the month in our efforts to end these acts of violence within our campus community and support our community members who have been affected.
April 13-15 2020: Virtual Clotheslines Project
This online exhibit shows off t-shirts designed by survivors of violence and their families. Submit your design online at their website.
April 15, 2020: Virtual Take Back the Night
Normally a candlelight vigil, this virtual session will include keynote speakers, online campus resources, and a live speakout session.
April 23, 2020: Mencare: The Mask You Live In
Virtual collaborative movie watching with a discussion! Check it out at bit.ly/ucimencare
Zoom ID; 4210304-198
April 29, 2020: Denim Day
Denim Day hors survivors who have experienced victim blaming. Wear denim to show solidarity and tag in CARE at #UCIDenimDay.
And if you are wondering if all this virtual activism can actually help or work, check out #HashtagActivism: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/hashtagactivism
Come Visit GD:
Dean’s Virtual Office Hours: https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057.
Monday, April 6: 1pm – 1:30pm
Tuesday, April 7: 11am – 11:30am
Wednesday, April 8: 3pm – 3:30pm
Thursday, April 9: 8:30am – 9am
Friday, April 10: 3:30pm – 4pm
Monday, April 13: 2:30pm – 3pm
Tuesday, April 14: Noon – 12:30pm
Wednesday, April 15: 11:30am – Noon
Thursday, April 16: 9am – 9:30am
Friday, April 17: 3:00pm – 3:30pm
And now for a few moments of levity, as I was reminded by many of you last week that a lift laughter goes a long way right now. On my first day of grad school, a particularly grumpy professor told me to “throw away the tv,” because I would have no time for it in grad school. I’m not sure this is great advice--after all we all need a break--and some seriously trashy tv got me through some tough times. So, I give to you a compilation of sitcom writers describing what they would have written in their shows for a coronavirus episode… https://www.vulture.com/2020/04/if-i-wrote-a-coronavirus-episode.html?utm_source=pocket-newtab
I ran into an instagram post by Molly Stern (@mollyrstern), who is perhaps most famous for doing Reese Witherspoon’s makeup. She starts her day with these daily questions while distancing for COVID (emphasis hers):
What am I GRATEFUL for today?
Who am I CHECKING IN ON or CONNECTING WITH today?
What expectations of “normal” am I LETTING GO OF today?
How am I GETTING OUTSIDE today?
How am I MOVING MY BODY today?
What BEAUTY am I either creating, cultivating, or inviting in today?
I’ve asked myself these the last two mornings, and I am already finding myself more centered and calm. Perhaps these aren’t the right questions for YOU, but I encourage you to find the ones that do work for you. COVID isolation is a marathon and not a sprint, not unlike grad school, and I know you can do it. A little pause to reflect each morning might help you get there with a little less pain.
Wishing you all the peace, energy, and luck in the world as you roll into the second week for those on quarters and the second to last week for those of you on semesters.
As always, I hope to see you all soon.
On behalf of all of Graduate Division,
Kleist Professor of Informatics
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Dean of the Graduate Division