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Smoke and moths

More haze… but today’s haze didn’t smell like smoke.

So apparently the haze overnight got so bad that Melbourne had the most polluted air in the world! Hooray?

I got stared at so badly this morning during my commute to the lab. Probably because I looked something like this.

I went for a short walk today to attend lab morning tea… I probably only walked 400 m total in the end, but by the time I got back, my throat and eyes felt so irritated. If you’re also suffering in the haze, I highly recommend obtaining a P2 mask, because the normal cloth ones are useless against bushfire smoke. I got one from a lab friend, and while my eyes still feel dusty (sounds ridiculous, but it’s the most accurate description), and I get a bit wheezy if I try to power walk outside (#ventolin), it’s definitely better than nothing. They’re available from hardware stores (just search ‘P2 face mask’), but there is a shortage in some places. I have asthma, so while there have been calls for people to refrain from purchasing them so that they get used by actual firefighters and volunteers, I figured I’d rather keep myself out of the emergency department by taking precautions.

But my word- people stare!! So many people look at you as if you’re contagious, even if the haze is literally all around us and it’s been all over the news. There have been people wearing face masks in Sydney since last year, and yet…

Still- better that than actually having a proper asthma attack (or having actual fires burning right nearby). I do wish people would at least make it less obvious when they do stare, though. Or maybe there was something else going on with my face and I didn’t realise?

My updated mask and logo.

On a different note, yesterday I successfully finished handing over moth duties to other lab people, which has given me a huge sense of relief. Hopefully the new responsible people don’t kill them all accidentally (I suspect there will be intentional killing in the future).

I’m not sure why (or how), but some of them got names. RIP little larvae (except Gary I went on to live out his days without getting infected, so he’s fine).

Additional experiments are ongoing, alongside the thesis writing. Morale is low, but I will continue to crawl along to the finish line.

It’ll be fun, they said…

Categories: Ph D posts

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A Ph. D graduate in Microbiology, residing in Victoria, Australia. Currently working in multiple locations but still in the STEM field. 👀 🦠 🧫 🧬

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