Well, it certainly has been a very long time since my last post. Like many of you, however, I find myself impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. My short story is that I stopped my commute to work at the California Academy of Sciences more than two weeks ago because, let’s just say that I would probably not fare too well if I became infected. Then on Thursday March 12th the decision was made to close the Academy to the public, we closed to most staff at 8 am on Monday, March 16th, and by that afternoon counties in the San Francisco Bay Area had announced shelter-in-place orders.
As countries across the globe move toward the circumstances in which China found itself by early January, and take more or less appropriate and necessary actions, the disruption to our lives and societies is unprecedented for many (NOW, however, is a great time to reflect on the hardships that have been inflicted globally in recent years on refugees and immigrants). Myself and many of my colleagues have spent hours (online) this week brainstorming ideas of how to help. We are scientists, and although some of us work on crises of various sorts, we are not all biomedical researchers or epidemiologists. Nevertheless, there has been a veritable explosion of virtual offerings intended to help the teachers, professors, kids and parents who are struggling to cope with cancelled classes, closed schools, and prematurely terminated school years. I think that I can contribute here in a small way. Over the next few weeks I will use this blog to roll out a primer that I’ve been working on. It is the basis for a book, but right now I would rather just give it away. I will discuss it in more detail in an upcoming post. In the meanwhile, however, here is a new video from the Academy highlighting some of our ongoing work. I hope that you enjoy it. And please everyone, be safe, be civic, be thankful for all the amazing health care workers around the world, and be anti-social.