Pandemic over ? - The new normal
It has become quite evident Covid-19 is something that we are going to have to learn to live with. Lockdown measures are being lifted and we are all encouraged to go outside with caution. It leaves this feeling like it's all over while the uncertainty of a second wave still looms.
When I started documenting news reports and covid-19 information a key paper that impacted life in the UK was the data modelling if lockdown didn't happen in the UK. The modelling has begun again with scientists across the globe trying to answer questions while we wait for the much anticipated vaccine.
In a recent article published by nature they explore several possibilities on what our future would look like. Scientists have modelled data on different scenarios, with the worst case being yearly outbreaks and best case a later appearance in a few years. The "Data" clearly shows that covid is here for a little while.
I don't say this to be negative, whether covid-19 disappears by the end of the year. It will still weigh heavy and have already made it's mark. There have been many deaths and hence millions of families affected, jobs have been lost, companies dissolved and finally survivors that have no idea what long term damage they may face.
So what will our new normal be?
In an everyday sense, it will heavily depend on the country you are in. It will involve a culture shift in everything that we do which has already shown itself in the way we work as a whole.
A recent BBC article highlights the changes in working life. A move away from the city and normalising staying at home. For heavily office based work, the article made sense but for lab work and anything that relies on human interaction, the transition will be much harder.
Science as a whole needs to re-evaluate the structures that are in place. This has been a time where people are faced directly with the work of scientists. It's now up to the science community with the attention on us to shift how data is collected and communicated as the pandemic has put a light through the many gaping holes present in academia.
While I had previously thought organisations were willing and open to change, recent discourse leaves me hesitant. An article by Research Professional news perfectly summarises the tensions. It’s inspiring to see Black academics call out organisations but you would think, this type of oversight wouldn't be made. Time will tell if black academics are finally given the respect they deserve in academia. It’s not enough just being a part of the team when there are many capable people to lead such important research into Black Covid-19 patients.
I also spoke about this in an IGTV video on how science has failed communities. This isn’t something new. For science to fail, it doesn’t have to be medical negligence but the current events of lack of accountability stand as well.
As an aspiring scientist,I hope to see a REAL shift in the research community. It's not an individuals burden to bear to constantly advocate for fairness. I can only pursue academia in a way that makes sense to me.
As an almost post grad, I am nervous about the job market.I'll go into detail in a follow up blog post talking about the different avenues I am exploring. In the meantime check out Alternative careers in science guest blog post
As a human I am just tired and honestly miss my friends and family. I miss normal interaction… Whatever the new normal is I am ready to adjust because anything is better than being at home for months.