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UW-Madison ‘COVID crisis: Looking forward’ experts, new website

June 10, 2021

What’s next in the COVID-19 crisis? University of Wisconsin–Madison experts are available to discuss forward-looking research, tips, and the latest trends related to the pandemic as we enter a summer of change. Our media-ready, nationally recognized faculty and staff are examining health outcomes, the future of learning, changes to business, kids and vaccines, pandemic dogs and much more. For experts, resources, and more, visit our new COVID-19 Crisis: Looking Forward website at

Retail therapy and COVID optimism

While people stocked up on toilet paper and cleaning essentials during the height of the pandemic, now shoppers are pivoting to items such as cosmetics and colorful clothing. Nancy Wong, an expert on consumer decisions and luxury marketing, can discuss this shift to spending money on products that speak to optimism and being together.


Re-imagining the post-pandemic workplace

Working from home was a huge adjustment for many. But now, employees and employers are rethinking the workplace. Jirs Meuris, an expert on human resource practices, can discuss.

“Preferences have changed for remote work,” Meuris says. “To understand the consequences of that, we have to look at both sides — the employees and the employers.”


Is it time to wean kids off screens?

Heather Kirkorian, an expert on the impact of screen media on young children and an associate professor of human development and family studies, is available for interviews about how parents and caregivers can re-think how much screen time is appropriate for children with the approach of summer and the ebbing of the pandemic in the United States.

“To manage screen time, families should establish clear and consistent expectations about when, where, how, and with whom screens can be used. A good family media plan will focus on educational content, healthy social connections, and lots of conversation about what kids are doing on screens.”


Forecasting the next pandemic

Epidemiologist Tony Goldberg is available to discuss how the study of emerging pathogens has changed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID taught me that pandemics are like stock market crashes,” says Goldberg. “You know they’re going to happen, but you can’t predict when or how bad they’ll be.  Coming up with better ways to forecast these seemingly random events is the next frontier in biology and computer science, in my opinion.”


Will your memory bounce back after the pandemic?

Haley Vlach is an associate professor of educational psychology and an expert in memory development. Vlach says the pandemic was a challenge for short-term and long term memory retrieval, but says, given the opportunity, our brains and memory development capacity should bounce back as we resume our lives after the pandemic.


More experts can be found on the UW–Madison Experts page.