Never before has public health been so front and center across our planet. Preparing for and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic is the very definition of public health practice. Here at the University of California Irvine Program in Public Health, we have been actively involved in campus preparedness and response since January, 2020. We have surveyed several thousand students to help us understand how to best address student health practices as well as stress and anxiety. We received rapid COVID-19 funding to work in communities to understand the best way to communicate about COVID-19 including how to work with communities to understand a virus that has so many unknowns. We have worked with Orange County Health Care Agency to support population level models to anticipate hospital use, understand mortality excess and understand the impact of the social distancing behaviors on slowing disease spread. We are out in the community estimating the prevalence of COVID-19 among residents in the county, first responders and health care workers. But more work is needed. Every day our researchers are working to provide evidence-based information about the virus. Through this research and our close partnerships with public health officials at the local, state and national level we continue to keep our communities healthy, especially during this evolving pandemic.
Leveraging Twitter Data for Real-Time Public Health Response to Coronavirus: Identifying affective desensitization, loneliness and depression, and trust in message source and content