We’ve been sent a letter from our university president. As of Wednesday, 18 March, everything is shutdown. How’s this for a thorough expulsion?
As I communicated this weekend, I expect all employees to work from home by no later than Wednesday, March 18. This is not optional for faculty and staff at all levels of the organization systemwide, and I expect supervisors to honor this decision.
Not optional. This isn’t a choice for a lot of faculty who maintain live animal labs. Or the greenhouse. Or anything that requires regular maintenance.
A little further, it links to more details for us slaves to other organisms.
Each lab should develop a list of essential operations to continue ongoing experiments and research that would suffer a major impact if temporarily discontinued, such as loss of years of effort, data, or loss of a major investment. Work that maintains essential equipment and safe standby mode in labs or maintains essential samples and animal populations also meets the criteria for essential operations.
Other laboratory research is to be discontinued. The only expansion of research that is allowable during this time is research related to the COVID-19 virus.
Examples of essential operations for projects unrelated to COVID-19 include (but are not limited to): 1) maintaining liquid nitrogen levels in storage tanks, 2) maintaining ongoing animal experiments where stopping the experiment would compromise the project, 3) feeding and caring for animals, 4) maintaining critical cell cultures, and 5) processing specimens for those clinical trials that will remain open during this period.
So I’m supposed to continue all research? If I go in to throw flies at spiders, I can’t even spend an hour or two on the microscope? I really work solo most of the school year, and have a few students — if I’m lucky — in the summer.
So right now I have no family, no students, I have to do all my teaching through a computer screen, and everything is frozen outside so I can’t go spider hunting, and now they tell me I can’t even work alone in my lab? I’m just to be trapped inside my big empty house with an evil cat all day, every day? I might snap. Mary will eventually come home to a gibbering madman. Well, more gibbering and more mad than usual.
Hmm. I could bring the spider cages home, and an incubator, and at least my dissecting scope. Then Mary could come home to less gibbering, but a house full of spiders and lab gear instead.
Sacrifices. We all must make sacrifices.
Aww, heck. If Idris Elba has been diagnosed and is staying home, I have to buck up and hang on here, too.
This morning I tested positive for Covid 19. I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus. Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how I’m doing 👊🏾👊🏾 No panic. pic.twitter.com/Lg7HVMZglZ
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) March 16, 2020
I haven’t been tested, and can’t be — we still have too few testing kits.
On the other hand, does Idris Elba have a colony of spiders he has to take care of? I think not.