As the deadly Coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the world, it is becoming confident that it will affect every life aspect, even the study of what lies beyond our planet.
The new Coronavirus spread, which leads to a critical respiratory disease named COVID-19, is prompting countries around the globe to take aggressive procedures to slow its spread and transmission. Most of the measures taken a focus on lessening local and long-distance travel and maintaining social distance, including classes and conferences. Social distancing and remote working are all the frenzy and astronomers, meanwhile backing such measures for their established public health advantages, still, come to terms with what the situation depicts for their career.
Meg Urry, a Yale University astronomer, confirmed to Space.com that all of the changes appear to come with a horde of emails flooding inbox. She confirms that it is like a big onslaught, and feels like she got nothing done in the past week due to so much coming at them. She added that during a time when they need information, they get deluged with information, and it gets hard to process and hard to be useful too.
Cancellations of conferences
One of the initial impacts of the spreading Coronavirus was an extravaganza of abandonment from the organizers of the meeting, starting in early March. The initial astronomy-related cancellation was the American Physical Society that scheduled to summon in Denver on March 2.
Since then, other conferences have trailed, including the April meeting of the same organization in Washington, D.C, and Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) set to commence in Texas on March 16. The American Astronomical Society (AAS) reported on Friday, March 13, that it was examining converting its meeting in June into a digital conference.
Megan Donahue, who is AAS president and Michigan State University astronomer, told Space.com that she would instead decide early than late since it minimizes the attendees’ cost and complexities. Besides, she confirmed that it is much easier for them to focus on that by redirecting their resources to looking at a virtual conference.
For Donahue, it was crucial that the AAS’ verdict of taking into account what feasible right at the moment and as well as when summer comes. She stated that they need to ensure that they set goals for them to meet as opposed to what they could spend much of effort.