Day 242: Experimenting in the time of a pandemic
Another day forward in our new normal. I’ve left the house exactly once in the last two weeks and while it’s nice not having to commute to school, I do miss living in a world without the constant fear of catching the virus. What day is it? Who knows, it doesn’t matter anymore. I do have some things coming up though, so let’s talk about experimenting in the age of COVID-19.
As a researcher, I live in a publish or perish world. The only thing scarier than this virus, is having our research put on hold. This problem has been driving both of my PI’s nuts. They are working to find ways around the pandemic so that we can continue to do experiments. My Co-PI in particular has experiments that are in the middle of being done that would be great to finish so we could publish the papers that would come from this data.
That means one of two things, try to determine the minimum people we need for all the experiments that give us the statistical power we need and see if we can do more experiments. Or two, we can try to break up the data in such a way that we only use the data that already has the statistical power we need for certain conditions and run with that data.
It looks like we are going to attempt the former and not the latter. In this case, I am going out of the house next week and to the hospital I do my research at to see if we can figure out how to rangle people into the experiment with the new limitations we were given from the hospital itself. We are basically forced to experiment on people already working in the hospital, so we have a limited pool and some of them have already been a part of the experiment.
There is also one small wrinkle in all this, they may not let me in. There has been some confusion about what my access is and the administrators have not made it clear if I am allowed to be at the hospital or not. That is part of the reason I’m going in next week, to see if I am allowed to be there or not! This will be fun.
In any case, stay safe, don’t touch your face, and wash your hands!