We're a little crazy, about science!

Day 222: We’re still experimenting…?

Uncertainty

Yesterday we did science. It’s a weird feeling to be doing science when there is a pandemic going on, but I actually enjoyed it. There is something about being in a small(ish) windowless room and getting to tune out the rest of the world for a few hours. Yes, I said a few hours, experimenting takes time. Things are in flux though, even for me when I seem to have the most consistent schedule out of our lab.

I’m a PhD candidate, not a postdoc. I say this because I work in my Co-PI’s lab (at the hospital) very closely with his postdoc. We are not a small lab by any means, but it is one that is just starting. The lab has only been around for about a year now and this means that we are still in a hiring phase, bringing in new talent and basically ramping up. The coronavirus has put a damper on that one, which has lead to a series of problems for us.

First, our postdoc is the only postdoc in the lab and he is leaving. He’s gotten a job and is about to become a professor, congratulations to him! That makes me the senior lab member… gulp. Okay it’s not that bad, I can do most (key word: most) of the work just fine on my own. The issue comes from the hospital itself and my status with them.

Because I’m a student, I have a visitor status with the hospital. So I am permitted to be there as long as they allow… and I got an email saying that my invite has been revoked. This has thrown a bit of a wrench in our lab’s work and while it’s not a total washout, there is some uncertainty.

My Co-PI has reached out to let them know that I am, and I quote, “absolutely necessary to the lab.” It’s a good feeling, but it also means that until he gets word back we are discussing (and I’m only being semi serious about this) trying to get into the lab regardless. Because we are on coronavirus lockdown we get screened at the entrances, so I suspect I would be turned away. We don’t know and we may find out depending on a few things.

Namely we are still trying to figure out if we have people coming in for experiments. Things have been slow since we had to limit our pool of volunteers to people in the hospital. Yet, we’ve managed to have two experiments in the past week. One of them was using me, but still it we’ve been finding ways to make it work. In short, we don’t know what the next few weeks will be like for me. That makes me nervous becuase I don’t like the uncertainty. I’m an anxious person to begin with, this doesn’t help.

Since I won’t know anything until Monday at the earliest, I get to stew with this news for a bit. I’ve also got some other super stressful news involving a team member in the class I’m taking. You will get to hear about that tomorrow; basically I hate group work, truely.

But enough about us, what about you?

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