underground social solidarity: rose, thorns and buds in the COVID-19 pandemic

underground social solidarity: rose, thorns and buds in the COVID-19 pandemic

Well, the world is certainly in a crazy time – one of the most enlightening tweets that I keep thinking about is:

In a longer article, Klein asks a crucial question: can social solidarity replicate faster than the virus?

So to encourage social solidarity in our dispersed global community of groundwater nerds, I suggested we share:

  1. A picture of our #StayAtHomeAndStaySafeView
  2. A song that is working for you right now, for our very own ‘pandemic playlist’ (ideally from an artist from our region)
  3. A rose, thorn and bud of our current situation where:
    • Rose = something that is working well or something positive;
    • Thorn = something that isn’t working or something negative;
    • Bud = an area of opportunity or idea yet to be explored.

In this post, we’ll be sharing our #StayAtHomeAndStaySafeView and roses/thorns/buds, but stay tuned for the release of our ‘pandemic playlist’ later in the week.

Social solidarity participators (and groundwater nerds).

Andy Baker (UNSW Sydney)

#StayAtHomeAndStaySafeView: Just grateful to be here, the view from the home office, day 4 of home-quarantine.

Rose: Successfully getting home this week from research sabbatical in Switzerland, on the last Emirates flight to Sydney, and thankful for everyone who made it possible. 

Thorn: The challenges facing family and friends who have decided to long-term self-isolate to protect family members

Bud: Time to explore existing datasets, and share them with colleagues; helping friends and neighbours with science home schooling

Mark Cuthbert  (Cardiff University)

#StayAtHomeAndStaySafeView: View from my home desk (not sure what the rubber duck is doing there…)

Rose: More creative home time with my family; chance to work on my garage skateboard mini-ramp.

Thorn: Concern about the global situation; worry for close family members with health issues; can’t get out surfing; research field/travel plans scuppered.

Bud: Increased (non-physical) contact and support between neighbours and friends I’ve lost touch with.

Grant Ferguson (University of Saskatchewan)

#StayAtHomeAndStaySafeView: My new officemate, who thinks that he should be on the other side of this door, regardless of which side he is on.

Rose: More time with my wife and daughter; solo runs; long distance collaborations and ­­friendships that didn’t skip a beat; sheepskin slippers as new work footwear

Thorn: Worrying about family far away, especially two sisters working in healthcare; trying to figure out how to transition an undergrad course to online delivery quickly. 

Bud: A chance to strip away all the noise of academia and think about what is really important and essential

Tom Gleeson (University of Victoria)

#StayAtHomeAndStaySafeView: View from my home office of chickens on top of a container with extra food!

Rose: Doubling down on my self-care practices like yoga and 7 minute workouts (that I have started to do with my son each morning); lots of gardening; group whatsapp with friends and family

Thorn: Fear for a friend that is in treatment for cancer; uncertainty about when school is going to start again. 

Bud: If I can be patient enough to actually (sort of) teach a five year old

Andreas Hartmann (University of Freiburg)

#StayAtHomeAndStaySafeView: Leaving our office desk for my partner, I mostly work from this comfortable corner. Most importantly, there are candles on the little table and liquor in the cupboard 🙂

Rose: After re-organizing, private life and work got more focussed on the essentials

Thorn: Online meetings do not make up for the daily social and scientific interactions with my team

Bud: Finding an increasing sense of appreciation for family and friends among everyone I am in contact with. While deadlines and project work moves stronger to the background.

Xander Huggins (University of Victoria/Global Institute for Water Security)

#StayAtHomeAndStaySafeView: Ok, so not my home office, but my oft-used canoe these days (to clear my mind extreme social distance)

Rose: Lucky to have got ‘stuck’ in a place where I can canoe and walk through the forest with my dog, instead of my apartment in the city – makes the situation all the more bearable! Sun staying up longer and more space for my thoughts “to surface”.

Thorn: Worrying about the health of my grandparents; summer research travel plans highly doubtful at this point; remote desktop lag!

Bud: Will making my work life and personal life more cohesive have untold benefits?

Min-Hui Lo (National Taiwan University)

#StayAtHomeAndStaySafeView: Outside of my office.

Rose: Glad that most of the people follow the rule of quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Thorn: Will we have enough medical treatment preparation for such kind of event? 

Bud: All the meetings are canceled. EGU, JPGU, AOGS, … will AGU still be this year in SF?

Di Long (Tsinghua University)

#StayAtHomeAndStaySafeView: Performing preliminary defense for my first Ph.D. student (top) and spring coming to my apartment in Beijing, off campus (down)

Rose: More time with my almost three-year old son to play, do some simple drawing and count; walking around my campus and some parks to think about research and life

Thorn: Concerned about all the colleagues and friends from around the world, though situations here are getting much better now; health status might not be optimal due to less burning of calories; eyes tired due to staring at laptop at home. 

Bud: Opportunities to really think about what is good science and how science really benefits all the people as a community with a shared future.

Viviana Re (University of Pisa)

#StayAtHomeAndStaySafeView: The view from my kitchen (current office). I can’t wait to see the park full of of kids playing together again

Rose: The expression of affection from all the friends worldwide sending a nice word or a message of support; witnessing a lot of acts of kindness and generosity in such a difficult moment; using the time otherwise spent commuting to deepen my yoga and meditation practice. 

Thorn: Being worried for my family and friends and feeling anxious quite often; Finding hard to detach from work; had to cancel some working trips I was really looking forward to do

Bud: Practice gratitude for the small things that makes our life beautiful; learn to balance work and self-care

Jared van Rooyen (University of Stellenbosch)

#StayAtHomeAndStaySafeView: Work office with my partner 🙂

Rose: Time to do some woodworking in the Garage for new deck furniture

Thorn: Constant distractions (Not the worst thing). Also South Africa is in full lockdown and we can’t even walk our dogs or go for a jog 🙁

Bud: I have so much completed analysis that was on the backburner for processing and can now start playing with new models to see what we can unearth from the data 🙂

Sam Zipper (Kansas Geological Survey/University of Kansas)

#StayAtHomeAndStaySafeView: Wishing I had a bigger laptop! Lightweight and portable doesn’t do much good when there’s no bike commute…

Rose: Bike rides to the local ‘waterfall’ (a bridge overlooking a small hydroelectric dam) every day with my daughter

Thorn: Harder to separate work/non-work time when everything’s at home; family had to cancel their first trip to visit Kansas

Bud: With everyone going stir-crazy and spring in the air, lots of chance encounters and conversations with neighbors out walking (maintaining 6 ft distance of course!)

Groundwater—the world’s largest freshwater store— is a life-sustaining resource that supplies water to billions of people, plays a central part in irrigated agriculture and influences the health of many ecosystems. Water Underground is a groundwater nerd blog written by a global collective of hydrogeologic researchers for water resource professionals, academics and anyone interested in groundwater, research, teaching and supervision. The blog, started by Tom Gleeson and managed by Xander Huggins, is the first blog hosted on both the EGU blogs and the AGU blogosphere.

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