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COVID-19: Science, Stories, and Resources

Member Perspectives

As people around the world are affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Biophysical Society is sharing stories from members about how their lives and research have been impacted.

    

Quarantine in Germany: The Mood Changes at Dusk

As people around the world are affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Biophysical Society is sharing stories from members about how their lives and research have been impacted.

Anna Moroni, University of Milan & BPS Council

From Lombardy to Germany

Back from the Annual Meeting, I found out that my University had already restricted access to the lab to postdocs and permanent staff only. PhD students and Master students were commanded to stay at home. We could work one person per room, avoiding personal contact. It lasted a week but at the end they closed down the labs and we had to stay at home. Meanwhile all of the Lombardy region was locked down. I decided to leave Italy on the spot. My family is scattered through Europe, my husband in Germany and my son in the UK,  and I did not want to remain isolated from them. Of course I felt guilty, but there was really very little that I could do alone at home in Milano and at that point anxiety was ramping quickly.  Lombardy, for still unclear reasons, is badly hit by the virus and the number of people dying, even among my acquaintances and my age group, is anomalously high. I am presently in quarantine in Germany with my husband. Our son is still in UK; his University is open for the moment, as UK Government is taking somewhat different decisions on how to face the emergency. 

With the beginning of the teaching semester, University of Milan adopted remote teaching. We are asked to record narrations for the Power Point presentation of the lectures and to be available online in a chat with students during the lecture times. From the response that I get from my lectures I have the impression that this is well accepted and that students are actively participating to this new form of teaching. 

For the rest, we read, we write papers and we have time to think about our projects, something that we are always looking for.  I have regular contacts by Skype with the lab members, and I try to keep leadership and assign goals to myself and to them.  But under the circumstances, it is difficult to keep some discipline in our days at home. Days look all the same, and I tend to lose myself on internet reading the news. The worst moment is 6 pm when the daily bulletin of the death toll comes from Italy with the terrible images and stories of what is going on in our hospitals. Yes, I understand exponential growth curves, and I can see that the rates are decreasing. Still, the mood changes at dusk.

 

Would you like to share your experience in this difficult and uncertain time? Email your perspective to [email protected]



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COVID-19: Science, Stories, and Resources

Header Image Credit: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS