News about the COVID-19 outbreak has been coming fast and furious over the last weeks. There’s been a lot to process — some fatalities, hundreds sickened across the world and many changes to everyday life.
People are working from home, keeping their distance from others, and not being able to go out and have dinner or go see a movie or go out for shopping. All this, government officials in most countries say, is to try to lessen the spread of the new coronavirus.
This is a challenging time in many ways, a time when it is easy to think and fear for others. Starting from last month, I dropped off food and spoke to my parents and family remotely and ensure that they are fine and safe.
Starting from the mid of March, I’ve spent far more time in my home than anywhere else. My meeting schedule hasn’t changed—still more blocks on my calendar, but I’m talking across a screen and a webcam instead of the meeting table. The content of those meetings, however, is more intense, more urgent than ever. A global pandemic tends to do that. In the troughs between waves of Zoom meetings and conference calls, I think about the coronavirus outbreak in personal terms.
I am grateful to everyone who is directly working on this virus, and it motivates me to ensure we as a Society do what we can to help right now through supporting, funding and showcasing research as well as harnessing peoples experiences, skills, and expertise to learn from and apply to future crises. At this time, we must ensure we do our bit to prevent future pandemics from having such a firm grip on so many peoples’ lives.