So as you probably know by now, there has been a disease going around ravaging the world, and it has generally stopped a lot of progress for most labs. Luckily for us, we have been able to somewhat avoid this problem–as our work just so happens to be in the far FAR reaches of Kenya. Our work in Homa Bay County, the fifth least populated county in in all of Kenya, has been somewhat of a safe haven for our researchers there.
Unfortunately, many of us have been either trapped in Nairobi (unable to leave the city), forced to evacuate, or stay in the foreign country they were in when COVID-19 hit. This has made research a little dicier, however, we have managed to deal with the problems through the use of modern technology! Between Zoom, WeTransfer, and WhatsApp group chats, we have been able to stay in touch, promote our ideas, and generate new ones. Our team is spread across three continents on four countries right now, so it is needless to say, many of us been focusing on data analysis rather than data collection!
I think it is really important to remember in these trying times that even though there is one pandemic sweeping the world, malaria has not gone away. A lot of people, especially in countries where malaria is not endemic seem to have forgotten that it kills 400,000 people per year. This is not to say that malaria is the only concern, of course, as COVID-19 will disproportionately affect countries in the global south much more than those in the global north, however, malaria also operates in this same vein.
Stay safe y’all,