March 31, 2020
Underground social solidarity: rose, thorns and buds in the COVID-19 pandemic
Posted by Tom Gleeson
By Tom Gleeson
Well, the world is certainly in a crazy time – one of the most enlightening tweets that I keep thinking about is:
In a longer article, Klein asks a crucial question: can social solidarity replicate faster than the virus?
So to encourage social solidarity in our dispersed global community of groundwater nerds, I suggested we share:
- A picture of our #StayAtHomeAndStaySafeView
- A song that is working for you right now, for our very own ‘pandemic playlist’ (ideally from an artist from our region)
- A rose, thorn and bud of our current situation where:
Rose = something that is working well or something positive;
Thorn = something that isn’t working or something negative;
Bud = an area of opportunity or idea yet to be explored.
In this post, we’ll be sharing our #StayAtHomeAndStaySafeView and roses/thorns/buds, but stay tuned for the release of our ‘pandemic playlist’ later in the week.
Andy Baker (UNSW Sydney)
Rose: Successfully getting home this week from research sabbatical in Switzerland, on the last Emirates flight to Sydney, and thankful for everyone who made it possible.
Thorn: The challenges facing family and friends who have decided to long-term self-isolate to protect family members
Bud: Time to explore existing datasets, and share them with colleagues; helping friends and neighbours with science home schooling
Mark Cuthbert (Cardiff University)
Rose: More creative home time with my family; chance to work on my garage skateboard mini-ramp.
Thorn: Concern about the global situation; worry for close family members with health issues; can’t get out surfing; research field/travel plans scuppered.
Bud: Increased (non-physical) contact and support between neighbours and friends I’ve lost touch with.
Grant Ferguson (University of Saskatchewan)
Rose: More time with my wife and daughter; solo runs; long distance collaborations and friendships that didn’t skip a beat; sheepskin slippers as new work footwear
Thorn: Worrying about family far away, especially two sisters working in healthcare; trying to figure out how to transition an undergrad course to online delivery quickly.
Bud: A chance to strip away all the noise of academia and think about what is really important and essential
Tom Gleeson (University of Victoria)
Rose: Doubling down on my self-care practices like yoga and 7 minute workouts (that I have started to do with my son each morning); lots of gardening; group whatsapp with friends and family
Thorn: Fear for a friend that is in treatment for cancer; uncertainty about when school is going to start again.
Bud: If I can be patient enough to actually (sort of) teach a five year old
Andreas Hartmann (University of Freiburg)
Rose: After re-organizing, private life and work got more focussed on the essentials
Thorn: Online meetings do not make up for the daily social and scientific interactions with my team
Bud: Finding an increasing sense of appreciation for family and friends among everyone I am in contact with. While deadlines and project work moves stronger to the background.
Xander Huggins (University of Victoria/Global Institute for Water Security)
Rose: Lucky to have got ‘stuck’ in a place where I can canoe and walk through the forest with my dog, instead of my apartment in the city – makes the situation all the more bearable! Sun staying up longer and more space for my thoughts “to surface”.
Thorn: Worrying about the health of my grandparents; summer research travel plans highly doubtful at this point; remote desktop lag!
Bud: Will making my work life and personal life more cohesive have untold benefits?
Min-Hui Lo (National Taiwan University)
Rose: Glad that most of the people follow the rule of quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19
Thorn: Will we have enough medical treatment preparation for such kind of event?
Bud: All the meetings are canceled. EGU, JPGU, AOGS, … will AGU still be this year in SF?
Di Long (Tsinghua University)
Rose: More time with my almost three-year old son to play, do some simple drawing and count; walking around my campus and some parks to think about research and life
Thorn: Concerned about all the colleagues and friends from around the world, though situations here are getting much better now; health status might not be optimal due to less burning of calories; eyes tired due to staring at laptop at home.
Bud: Opportunities to really think about what is good science and how science really benefits all the people as a community with a shared future.
Viviana Re (University of Pisa)
Rose: The expression of affection from all the friends worldwide sending a nice word or a message of support; witnessing a lot of acts of kindness and generosity in such a difficult moment; using the time otherwise spent commuting to deepen my yoga and meditation practice.
Thorn: Being worried for my family and friends and feeling anxious quite often; Finding hard to detach from work; had to cancel some working trips I was really looking forward to do
Bud: Practice gratitude for the small things that makes our life beautiful; learn to balance work and self-care
Jared van Rooyen (University of Stellenbosch)
Rose: Time to do some woodworking in the Garage for new deck furniture
Thorn: Constant distractions (Not the worst thing). Also South Africa is in full lockdown and we can’t even walk our dogs or go for a jog 🙁
Bud: I have so much completed analysis that was on the backburner for processing and can now start playing with new models to see what we can unearth from the data 🙂
Sam Zipper (Kansas Geological Survey/University of Kansas)
Rose: Bike rides to the local ‘waterfall’ (a bridge overlooking a small hydroelectric dam) every day with my daughter
Thorn: Harder to separate work/non-work time when everything’s at home; family had to cancel their first trip to visit Kansas
Bud: With everyone going stir-crazy and spring in the air, lots of chance encounters and conversations with neighbors out walking (maintaining 6 ft distance of course!)
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