To understand America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, researchers started with data from more than 200 years ago – at the American frontier.

Painstakingly, and with tremendous amounts of data processed by 97 advanced computers, Jingjing Li, Ting Xu, Natasha Zhang Foutz and Bo Bian went county-by-county to track levels of individualism – measured by the amount of time each locality spent on the American frontier from 1790 to 1890 – and correlate individualism to social distancing compliance and COVID-19-related crowdfunding.

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Sweden’s controversial decision not to lock down during COVID-19 produced more deaths and greater health care demand than seen in countries with earlier, more stringent interventions, a new analysis finds. But Sweden fared better than would be expected from its public health mandates alone, roughly similar to France, Italy and Spain – countries that imposed more stringent measures, but adopted them after the pandemic took hold there.

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Tyler Wilson faced the biggest decision of his professional career.

After more than three years in the minor leagues and then three-plus years shuttling between Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles and its Triple-A affiliate, the former University of Virginia pitcher had two options.

As a free agent, Wilson could sign with any of the 30 major league teams. Or the Lynchburg native – who had an 8-10 career record with the Orioles – could go a less-conventional route and sign with the LG Twins of the Korean Baseball Organization in Seoul.

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A student-led campaign and candlelight vigil in 1991 resulted in the University of Virginia establishing the Sexual Assault Education Office at its Women’s Center. Before the year was over, Claire Kaplan came to lead that office – and stayed for nearly three decades.

She retired at the end of June, after growing UVA’s programs and contributing to the movement to abate gender-based violence, nationally and internationally.

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Career paths sometimes turn suddenly, in places where we least expect.

For 1995 University of Virginia School of Law graduate Karla Smith, a judge on the Montgomery County, Maryland, Circuit Court, it happened on a long bus ride to Canada in 1994.

She was riding from her family home in Rockville, Maryland, to a family reunion in Toronto, where several of her ancestors had fled on the Underground Railroad. During the journey, her cousin, a prosecutor in Montgomery County, suggested that Smith intern in the state’s attorney’s office for her second-year summer.

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As someone with an affinity for space and all things that fly, University of Virginia aerospace engineering student Charlie Osborne had his eye on the Cessna 150 that was quickly approaching the New Jersey beach where he was working as a lifeguard last Saturday.

When the advertising banner being towed by the small airplane suddenly fell off the back, he wondered if something was amiss.

“I thought that was kind of strange,” Osborne said. “Then the plane kept getting lower and lower and I knew something was definitely going wrong.”

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It turns out that one of the safest activities you can partake in during a global pandemic is … tennis.

As people around the world adapt to new and everchanging circumstances brought on by the coronavirus, the sport has been at, or near, the top of various lists and rankings of low-risk activities in which people of all ages can participate.

With this in mind, UVA Today caught up with University of Virginia men’s and women’s head coaches Andres Pedroso and Sara O’Leary – both of whom have young children – to learn more.

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Imagine you run a small neighborhood health clinic that provides free medical care to more than 2,600 uninsured and underinsured members of your community.

Then imagine a global pandemic strikes, rendering your work both more important and more complex than ever.

Then, to top it off, imagine you lose your clinic’s lease to operate in the facility it has called home for decades, in the middle of said pandemic.

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For the near future, we will be transacting almost all of our business through clear plastic barriers. On Grounds, they have been cut in the University of Virginia’s sign shop.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, people on Grounds need to keep separate, and part of that is erecting clear plastic shields to protect employees and students from spreading the virus. The University’s sign shop has been cutting plastic sheets since March for deployment around Grounds to use as safety shields.

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In an effort to create a demo tape for their new American history-based radio show, University of Virginia history professors Brian Balogh, Ed Ayers and Peter Onuf found themselves taking live phone calls at a Norfolk radio station in 2005.

Answering people’s questions about history had sounded like a great idea – until they actually started doing it.

At some point during the program, a caller asked the hosts whether the College of William & Mary’s endowment had been established with booty from pirates.

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Exercise can slow or prevent the development of macular degeneration and may benefit other common causes of vision loss, such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, new research suggests.

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The University of Virginia has begun its search for a new vice president and chief student affairs officer, who will lead more than 200 student affairs professionals as they support students across the University, from enrollment through graduation.

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Doctors can examine COVID-19 patients’ blood to identify those at greatest risk of severe illness and to pinpoint those most likely to need a ventilator, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine suggests. 

The discovery could lead to new treatments to prevent deadly “cytokine storms” seen in severe cases of COVID-19. It also may help explain why diabetes contributes to worse outcomes in patients with the coronavirus.

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Over the past month, as states began to reopen their economies, COVID-19 infection rates began increasing. With 2.4 million cases diagnosed in the United States so far, last week, 32 states reported an increase in new cases of the COVID-19 virus over the previous week. Some states slowed or reversed reopening plans in the face of the increases, with Texas closing bars and scaling restaurants back to 50% capacity.

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Anxiety provoked by the COVID-19 pandemic is causing people to adopt a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms – including “stress eating,” when people eat in response to feelings or emotions.

Melanie Brede is a registered dietician in the University of Virginia’s Department of Student Health. She’s been treating a lot of patients who have been stress eating since the country began quarantining in March, and spoke with UVA Today about the phenomenon, why it happens and what people can do to get healthier.

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Matthew Diasio is a scientist with a passion for communicating science.

After recently finishing his Ph.D. in materials science at the University of Virginia School of Engineering, Diasio is working this summer as a science reporter with the Raleigh (North Carolina) News & Observer on an AAAS Mass Media Fellowship.

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For television viewers, it seemed like University of Virginia Darden School of Business alumnus David Scharfman’s dreams were coming true when three billionaires each offered to pump hundreds of thousands of dollars – and stardust – into his business.

But on ABC’s popular reality TV-meets-venture capital program “Shark Tank,” the Just the Cheese founder refused deals from Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary and Lori Greiner – all esteemed entrepreneurs.

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A University of Virginia professor is part of a group of academics urging Congress to increase the number of bankruptcy judges available to handle the ongoing financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, amid other recommendations.

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Every week, while sports media members are hard at work filling out their Top 25 ballots, University of Virginia football head coach Bronco Mendenhall pores over his own rankings.

At the top of his poll you won’t find the Hoos, Clemson University, the University of Alabama or any of the top college teams.

Instead, you’ll find “Good to Great, “The Power of Full Engagement” and “How Will You Measure Your Life?”

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Neha Awasthi thought she was all set for the summer.

The rising third-year civil and environmental engineering student from Aldie was looking forward to a summer internship at a transportation planning and engineering firm. The 10-week program was set to begin in late May and run through early August.

But when COVID-19 hit, Awasthi’s plans – like those of many students at the University of Virginia and around the world – were dashed.

Enter UVA’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

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