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UNC Community Members Share Stories of Coronavirus Impacts

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has altered life in almost every aspect across the globe. Social distancing, self-quarantine and flattening the curve are now common in conversations as the United States and other countries respond to contain the virus.

Here, we’ve collected articles about how the UNC community is working together to face the challenges of COVID-19 – from
faculty conducting important research and sharing expert insights, to alumni, students and staff helping others.

Custodial staff member cleaning handrail in campus commons

Killing the Coronavirus, One Disinfected Doorknob at a Time

Maintaining UNC’s buildings and grounds is a behind-the-scenes job, crucial for the smooth running of the university but often unnoticed until something goes awry. When COVID-19 hit, though, the quiet role of UNC’s Facilities staff became more crucial than ever — and they stepped up with aplomb.

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A look at certain counties in Colorado regarding COVID-19 earlier this year

Research Indicates Emergence of COVID-19 Spatial Patterns in Colorado

GIS tools were used to investigate the geography of COVID-19 pandemic across Colorado counties, and findings were was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Publish Health over the summer.

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Ashley Buchholz sewing masks

Seeing a Need: Freshman Uses Extra Time to Help Others

UNC freshman Ashley Buchholz had a little extra time on her hands after being laid off. She used that time to help others.

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Students showing up some sketches on a Zoom meeting

How an Art and Design Class Adapted to the New, Online Environment

Anna Ursyn, Ph.D., a professor of Digital Media and head of the Digital Media Area at UNC, shares her and her students’ experiences in adapting to the new, online learning environment as well as to life during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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UNC students working in health care 

Students Share Experiences in Battling Coronavirus

With the rapid spread of COVID-19, health care workers have seen major changes to their daily operations, while other organizations are aiming to increase health and diet awareness. 

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Stock image of researcher preparing vaccination

Study of Immune Response Could Lead to SARS-CoV-2 Treatment

UNC faculty researcher Ann Hawkinson, who studies virus-host interactions in animals and their immune response during infection, says a vaccine is not the only thing being developed in response to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

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Weld manufacturing plant

Pivoting to Fulfill Needs: Inside a Weld Manufacturing Plant

Packaging medical supplies has become the priority for UNC graduate and Mountain States Plastics owner Scot Gagnon as supplier’s race to meet healthcare demands. 

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Riding the Rollercoaster

As the stock market went through its acrobatic reactions to the Coronavirus, students in UNC’s SAFF Class took the volatile ride in stride – and gained real world experience in the midst of a financial crisis.

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Tyler Sherman and a screenshot of him defending his dissertation online

Seeing the Silver Lining

A recent Ph.D. student shares his thoughts about UNC and describes how he felt about defending his dissertation online.

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Making a low-cost pizza with simple supplies

Food Supplies: Tips for Keeping Your Kitchen Stocked

UNC’s culinary experts help you make good food with limited supplies.

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3D-printed face shield parts with Chelsie Romulo

Faculty Member Using 3D Printer to Make Face Shield Parts for Hospitals

With a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers who are battling the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, UNC’s Chelsie Romulo is contributing to the effort to fill the gap.


waste-sanitation worker poses for the camera

Photos: Life in Greeley During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Woody Myers, UNC’s staff photographer, has captured the new way of life for families in and around Greeley during the Colorado stay-at-home order made due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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Drop, cover, hold on graphic

Mindfulness in an Earthquake

How an earthquake teaches mindfulness lessons, and how mindfulness can help us cope with the change and uncertainty of a pandemic is discussed by UNC Professor Mike Kimball.


hands typing on keyboard with lock icons

Cybersecurity in the Age of Coronavirus 

The pandemic hasn’t stymied bad actors from attempting to infiltrate software and operating systems. A UNC expert on cybersecurity says the more things change the more they stay the same when it comes to defending against malicious attacks.




UNC faculty member recording his online classes

Keeping Your Voice Healthy in a Video-Call Age

In response to the new virtual environment, UNC assistant professor of Acting and Performance, Rebecca Rich, offers a set of tips aimed at keeping your voice in top shape.


GIS mapping by Jieun Lee

GIS Mapping Visualizes Real-Time Data on Coronavirus

A number of organizations are producing interactive maps to help people visualize real-time data on coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, and to help track those cases to show the bigger picture of the pandemic.



financial market graphic

Pandemics, Like Earthquakes, Hard to Predict

The way pathogens evolve make it inevitable that a variation such as the SARS-CoV-2 strain of coronavirus will lead to pandemics, says Gregory DeKrey. 


Rick Adams teaching students in his class

UNC Researcher Questions Theory of Bats Spreading Coronavirus

Bats are one of the most fascinating and misunderstood animals on Earth, yet they tend to be chosen as the reservoir for many diseases, such as COVID-19, which may far be from the truth.


Toilet paper being made at manufacturing plant

How Supply Chains Are Being Impact by Coronavirus

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has uncovered numerous flaws in supply chains, according to Mike Loughrin, an adjunct professor in the online Master of Business Administration program at UNC.


Soldiers from Fort Riley, Kansas, ill with Spanish flu at a hospital ward at Camp Funston

History of Pandemics: A Thumbnail Sketch

While the past century presents a number of examples, the influenza outbreak of 1918 may most closely resemble what our world is now experiencing with the current global pandemic. History Professor Fritz Fischer shares a portion of his classroom lesson here.



Game based learning

Making a Game of It

Your kids’ schools are closed, and you’re working from home. Looking for some ideas to help all of you stay sane? Here’s how to engage your kids in something they love.



Student on a cell phone

Students: How to Stay Sane and Grow Your Personal Brand on Social Media

Marketing Professor Denny McCorkle has some suggestions for how students can stay connected without getting drawn into the negative social media.


Empty retail shelves

Coronavirus Panic buying Follows Marketing Theories

Daniel Brannon, an assistant professor at UNC, discussing the coronavirus and its influence on consumer behavior and marketing theories.


Finacial Market Graphics

Slowing Spread of Coronavirus Will Help Rebound Financial Markets

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is creating a different set of challenges for financial markets, and making future events incalculable, according to Joe French, a professor of Finance at UNC.



For additional information about the University's response to COVID-19, visit the Coronavirus Information Page.