Boba & T-Cells

Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD
5 min readSep 13, 2020


Up2You is the best boba in San Diego — everyone knows this

Labor Day Monday was my first time going to my favorite recreational boba restaurant, Up2You, since Friday July 3rd. To be clear, I didn’t have a single bobum (or unit of boba) between Independence Day weekend & Labor Day weekend.

Something really smart #Up2you Cafe did was lower the music volume.
→ Lower volume means people didn’t talk as loudly within that 25% maximum occupancy space (see Choir singing study)
→ which means fewer aerosols were emitted
→ which lowers the risk of a #COViD outbreak
= Safe #boba =^.^=

Up2You is the best boba in San Diego — everyone knows this.

To quote Jang et al. (2020) comparison of pilates & yoga vs Zumba dance classes,, “Of note, instructor C taught Pilates and yoga for classes of 7–8 students in the same facility at the same time as instructor B, but none of her students tested positive for the virus. We hypothesize that the lower intensity of Pilates and yoga did not cause the same [COViD] transmission effects as those of the more intense [Zumba] fitness dance classes.

Thus, having patrons talk in a lower voice — thanks to the music being turned down — increases the safety of everyone dining at the boba restaurant.

As a social psychologist with an unyielding belief in the applied utility of science, it’s refreshing to see salons, tattoo parlors, boba restaurants & other places implementing creative, evidence-informed adjustments in the stagecraft of their business to keep customers & communities safe. Science shouldn’t exist solely as a theoretical enterprise with its tangible utility in everyday life unacknowledged. As John Dewey (1922) argued in Human Nature & Conduct: An Introduction to Social Psychology, social science findings should be applied to promote constructive individual & societal change.

Rather than being blown about by the winds of circumstance or the folly of fealty in adhering to guidelines/policies introduced in a pre-enlightenment era (let’s say Spring for COVID-19), we should strive for an evolution in how we approach our daily lives and (especially) workspaces during this pandemic driven by self-determinism inspired by new evidence. We must overcome our default intuition to proceed without updating our pre-enlightenment guidelines in light of new evidence (in a because they said so manner agnostic to logical consistency) and without considering creative solutions to safely redress the inequities exacerbated by initial policies (and the abysmal irony of those inequities growing during a summer focused on race and… inequities).

Indeed, If institutions don’t take [this] seriously, I think we’re going to prolong the effects of these disadvantages for certain populations.
Perhaps the difficulty in obtaining disaggregated data is related to a faux desire to consider tangible solutions to the inequities — aside from a black square, of course.

UCSD As A National Leader In Equity

For an example of institutional leadership on redressing inequities, look no further than the University of California at San Diego which recently announced an Exceptions For Private Office-Use For Research, Scholarship, & Creative Activity plan. Given that social distancing is one of the primary layers of protection against COVID19 (in addition to wearing a mask & washing your hands), working inside of your private, nonshared, virusfree office is ultimately going to be safer than working in one of the computer labs available on campus. In addition, the safety of working outside is going to vary by person. Women may perceive and/or be at more risk working outside than men, & some racial groups may perceive and/or be at more risk working outside than others.

Words = Our #BlackTritonsMatter :: Actions = Exceptions For Private Office-Use For Research, Scholarship, & Creative Activity

Moreover, the computer labs & outside spaces are open to all UCSD Tritons. Thus, one way to reduce density on campus (especially as thousands of students are returning in September for Fall Quarter) is to put people who have a private space into their private space. If social distancing is the desired goal, and everyone from professors, researchers, students, AND public visitors are allowed on campus (which has been the case since April), then just like restaurants limit indoor capacity by having some patrons sit outside, universities can limit on-campus density by having people with private/solo offices work in their private/solo offices.

Some people have compared this to how some suitcases have different external compartments for cosmetic products so that a loosely fastened bottle of nail polish isn’t forced to fit among the unstained clothes, and how some plates are made with sections/dividers to make sure the lasagna doesn’t slide into the cereal… or whatever you eat — I’m not judging.

Thus, this Exceptions process is a creative solution to inequities faced by some professors & researchers while simultaneously reinforcing social distancing.

COVID19 has created the grandest interdisciplinary research effort in years, as well as one of the swiftest basic-to-applied/ theory-to-practice performances in recent memory. Psychological theories & empirical research findings about human behavior have been applied to a range of contemporary problems — COVID19 should be no different.

And as much as I love 9.5 hours of boba, working in my private/virusfree/solo/nonshared office in the near future thanks to this Exceptions plan will be much safer.

Next time…

Uncanny aVatar

One ~XY Man’s~ Life In a ~X▲O◼ Woman’s~ Online Game World

I’m her

I’m the Persian woman

I’ve been playing my second favorite MMORPG game (Final Fantasy 14 on PS4) more often during this pandemic. For the record, my favorite online game is Elder Scrolls Online on XBox1, but FFXIV has hearkened my attention during COVID19. So here’s the thing…

I always play as a woman.
However, the reasons I play as a woman in online games (can take advantage of males trying to play hero for you, can deconstruct gender role beliefs rooted in hegemonic patriarchal systemic sexism & cis-temic heterosexism, it’s easier to make friends, everyone’s nicer/ more helpful, etc.) differ from the reasons I play as a woman in single-player games (more affectively immersive & profoundly richer interpersonal avatar-npc & avatar-narrative experience).

GamerGirl Defeats The N-Word

GamerGirl Defeats The N-Word

[Coming soon]



Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD

I'm passionate about making a tangible difference in the lives of others, & that's something I have the opportunity to do a professor & researcher.