October to December 2020, end of year 3

Today is the 22nd of December, a day after the winter solstice. The end of another three months of social distancing and remote working – the last three months on my fellowship, officially over on the 31st of December. Ohhh I am going to miss it!

Let’s start this last diary with some personal ‘achievements’ (sort of) for this end of the year.

  1. We have kept safe
    despite rising numbers of covid-19 cases, unexpectedly crowded supermarkets, chance encounters with people without masks, and varied accidents waiting to happen
  2. We have managed to keep our mental health
    despite the lack of face to face social interaction – which we greatly miss-, a tiny home, the uncertainty over the future and the constant stress of trying to keep safe
  3. I have been able to keep swimming
    despite the water temperature dropping about one degree every other week or so, to eventually now 15 degrees – if this is a sign of getting old, I like it!

T eau: 15… meteo France

The year is closing around us with total chaos in the UK, and the threat of both hard brexit and a virus mutation. Despite the arrival of vaccines, there seem to be no end of this pandemic. It’s a fatigue.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/21/france-ban-uk-transport-surprise-says-grant-shapps-covid
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/22/worlds-media-ask-how-it-went-so-wrong-for-plague-island-britain-covid

What else happened over these three months?

The second wave.

The US election narrow escape. (Humour is our only hope).

The Brexit negotiations rollercoaster, where we lose our rights and freedoms and our European life as we knew it.

https://twitter.com/jonworth/status/1340748949880188934

And the climate crisis.

I’ll have to keep this a short diary or I get too upset.


Writing papers and other autumnal research achivities

The good news is that between early October and early December I submitted the last two papers from the studies done in Australia (well done me, all papers submitted before the end of the project). I also began a secondary analysis of the data from the cabinet study with researchers-friends from the UK, zooming every two weeks to slowly move it forward despite their heavy workload – we made it fun!

Highlights for this period are also two presentations I did in November for both studies, one at Leeds University Business School, and one at the University of Sussex.

And to close activities in mid-December, I started working on the final report to the EU, to be submitted in early 2021. We are almost there!


In the end this feels like a transition period. The plan for now is a move forward to teaching at Leeds remotely. I am going to take it all one step at a time.

Have a good end of 2020 everyone, stay safe and off Twitter for a week!

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