Adapting to the “new normal” of COVID-19

By March 28, 2020 April 3rd, 2020 COVID-19, In the News

Contributed by Joshua D. Grill, PhD, Director of UCI MIND

Dear friends,

I read with interest this morning a blog post from the Director of the National Institute on Aging, Dr. Richard Hodes. Dr. Hodes refers to a “new normal,” in what can only be described the age of COVID-19. At UCI MIND, we are admittedly struggling a bit to adjust to this new normal. Our professional way of life—doing studies with older volunteers and gathering large and small community audiences to share our learnings and recommendations—has been turned upside down, as I know have been your own lives.

While we face challenges as researchers, I’m sure they pale in comparison to the challenges faced by members of our community. I’m struck that COVID-19 could impact risk of dementia, perhaps through unrealized biological pathways, but more likely by the social isolation it brings to some older people living alone who now must also practice social distancing. We are eager to help any way we can at UCI MIND. We plan to stay active on social media and this blog. Our YouTube channel offers hours of educational content. We are considering ways to do more live on-line programming in the current restricted setting. It only takes 20 minutes to enroll in our C2C Registry, and we encourage you to share this opportunity with others in your personnel networks. We may be offering new opportunities for online research participation as this period of social distancing continues.

We are eager to hear from you with ideas of how we might better serve you, our community of volunteers, advocates, patients and caregivers. Please comment below or email us at research@mind.uci.edu.

Most importantly, stay safe. Follow the CDC and state and local guidelines. Do your part to help address the COVID-19 crisis. We will get thought this together, if not together.