The past two months have really been a roller coaster ride. Having all the labs shut down felt very surreal, and not something I accounted for while planning the final year of my PhD. Luckily, I have been allowed to come into the lab every morning to keep long-term studies with iPSCs ongoing, but coming into a completely deserted building every morning has felt strange nonetheless. It did provide me with a good routine though, something I really struggled with at home at the start of the shutdown.
Though strange, for me the first few weeks were actually pretty nice; I had lots of data which needed analyzing and articles that needed to be written, so a forced break from lab-work and more time for writing was pretty dreamy. I also bought a keyboard and an extra monitor which really boosted my productivity. What I found most difficult was that the work of my two students was now completely put on hold, which they really need in order to write their thesis and complete their degrees.
For one of them we managed to rearrange her project to a more data-analysis focused project, though for the other it’s still rather problematic. All in all, I think the whole group, with great support from the department, has been doing an excellent job adapting to this new situation. We have shifted our focus to projects we can still work on from home and even started new projects, like this website.
However, though having back-to-back skype meetings every day is slowly starting to feel normal, personally I can’t wait to go back to work and see everyone in real life again.