How I’ve dealt with Coronavirus in Seattle
March 20, 2020
This week I worked from my AirBnB since SPU closed down and the CDC is advising social distancing due to COVID-19. At first I wasn’t too concerned about the virus impacting my life, because I thought the media was blowing things out of proportion early on. But, after learning more about the effects of the virus, I am taking more careful precautions so that I do not get sick and more importantly, that I do not spread the virus to other people. So, I’ve just been trying to avoid large crowds and wash my hands, but also support the local restaurants since they are struggling a lot. But, I do feel safe here and I still want to stay until April 9th because I’m really enjoying living out here in Seattle and doing this research, even though Seattle has been getting hit hard. It’s really strange being out here on my own with my family back in Minnesota and Iowa. They are concerned about me being here but I’ve reassured them that I am being safe.
In terms of how the virus has affected my team’s research, things have been slowing down a little bit as expected. My team has been working very hard on meeting the deadline to finalize project abstracts that will be submitted to a research conference. I’ve been making a lot of progress with the two abstracts I’ve been working on, and I think that because most of what we do is online right now, the virus really hasn’t impacted us too much in how we are progressing through these projects. However, if the team was in the middle of conducting a study and coming in contact with actual participants, that would obviously be an issue right now. But, I was able to complete both my social anxiety abstract and my HRV abstract with Janelle this week. It took a long time especially with the revision process and trying to incorporate the feedback I received from Dr. Law. Me and Janelle finally figured out how to do the HRV analysis and be very consistent when we cleaned participants’ ECG files. We ran our statistical analysis as well and wrote our results section. Although we did not get the results we wanted, it was a preliminary analysis with a small number of participants (only 10), so hopefully when we add in more participant files, we will be able to get some interesting findings. Overall, I’m just really happy that we finished the two abstracts so that they will be ready for submission to the conference.
I’m also just really grateful for all of the support I’ve received from my team here and back home. Everyone is looking out for each other and we’re all checking in on each other to make sure people are feeling safe. It helps to have a nice online platform called Basecamp where my team can communicate with each other, and we’ve moved team meetings to Zoom calls, so we can check in on each other there and make sure everyone is alright. I will just say that it will be a weird transition heading back to Iowa, packing up my things, and then going to Minnesota for the summer and maybe even for a while. I mean at this point I’m still not sure what I plan on doing with my offer from SPU, but every day I think I get closer to making the right decision. I’m meeting with Dr. Law over Zoom this Wednesday, so I will be sure to talk things through with her some more about how I’m feeling. But overall, I’ve really grown a lot since I’ve been here and I’ve figured out a lot of things in terms of what I want to do with my future academic plans and career goals.
John is a psychology major and philosophy minor from Fridley, Minnesota.