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How has your life changed under COVID-19 (student edition)? – Vol II.

I had a few more responses to my questionnaire, so here is another rendition of how this pandemic is affecting fellow students. For those who want to read Vol I. the link is right here.

Student number 4:

What degree are you currently completing?

Ph. D.

How many months/years are you (with your degree)?

Three years, two months.

What do you work on?

The mammalian immune response to respiratory viruses.

What was your life like prior to lab shutdown?

I split my time between two laboratories, and did work at both institutions as required. Over the last few months I had been working at the Peter Doherty Institute almost exclusively and I would be the first to admit I took it pretty easy in my work hours!

What is life like now, post shutdown?

How are you managing your degree?

I am currently working from home with no access to the laboratory. I have a few experiments remaining, though am currently finishing up writing manuscripts for my first two chapters with what data I have.

What is a typical day like?

I’ve been waking up after nine fairly frequently, and working on a Remote Desktop to edit figures and write. We have a daily lab Zoom meeting at 4:30 where we discuss what we have done or achieved.

What are your biggest concerns in a time like this?

Motivation to work. While I’m concerned as to when I will be able to complete experiments, I am worried that what could be months of working at home could lead to complacency. While I’ve never been the most fastidious with my work hours the ability to slack off generally without consequence is not good for my work ethic!

How are you managing your mental/physical health?

My mental health has waxed and waned; I’m an introvert so the alone time suits me, but the inability to indulge in many of my hobbies means that I am prone to bouts of depression. Exercising has been a struggle as I often relied on group exercise classes and organised team sports. As such me and my partner have tried to maintain daily boxing sessions, and I also try to exercise in my backyard when I can/when I’m procrastinating!

What are some some things you are looking forward to doing (post-shutdown)?

Watching and going to the football, and attending live music events! All my hobbies are shut down! That and going to the beach without feeling like a criminal.

Any other comments?

More people need to get creative with their Zoom profile pictures.

FYI Mine is currently my Blog profile icon.

Student number 5:

What degree are you currently completing?

Ph. D.

How many months/years are you (with your degree)?

8 weeks to submission!!

What do you work on?

I am trying to understand how the bacterial pathogen Legionella pneumophila causes disease (pneumonia).

What was your life like prior to lab shutdown?

Super busy trying to finish off experiments for my thesis and writing it.

What is life like now, post shutdown?

How are you managing your degree?

I am actually quite lucky as I managed to finish off experiments before the shutdown. The shutdown also gives me the ability to fully focus on my thesis, since I can no longer do anything else. Past me would never have thought this, but during the shutdown, the thesis writing proves to be something that keeps me sane as otherwise I might start making problems/dramas for myself/others.

What is a typical day like?

Wake up, exercise, eat, shower, write, eat, write, nap, write, cook, eat, write, Netflix/call friends and family/social media/etc, sleep. And the weekly Zoom meeting with my supervisor.

What are your biggest concerns in a time like this?

My family overseas. The healthcare in my home country is not as good as Australia 😦

How are you managing your mental/physical health?

Stay in touch with people, keep a good relationship with my housemate (thankfully she’s really nice!), exercise, try to meditate once in a while, practice gratitude.

What are some some things you are looking forward to doing (post-shutdown)?

Korean BBQ, going home to see family.

***

Thank you to these additional students for agreeing to feature on this blog! I will be posting more responses as they come. 🙂

Please let me know if you would like feature as well.

Categories: General Ph D posts

Tagged as:

ABugsLife

A former wet-lab based Bacteriology Ph. D student residing in Australia. Now working part time at a secret location as a Communications and Data Officer. 👀 🦠 🧫 🧬

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