2020 was a year we all will remember.
The coronavirus pandemic hit, shutting down the world.
So many deaths. So much confusion.
At home together, many people thought “What can I do?”
As a Science Communicator I wanted to help. Understanding the facts helped me feel better about what was happening.
By knowing how the virus worked, spread, and could be destroyed helped me feel more calm. I wanted to share that with others.
I created materials to share and help educate everyone.
Understanding the Coronavirus
In March 2020, soon after the coronavirus and COVID-19 was officially announced as a world pandemic I released my first video animation. I surveyed the types of videos being produced and filled in gaps about the basic virus biology that I thought were missing. I included some elements as to why the rules and regulations were being implemented.
Based on this first video, I was asked to write an article for Science Talk about how I created the video.
While they were more interested in a story about scientific content creation, I saw it as another opportunity to help share the information.
The article also gives some insight into my creative process.
Creating SciComm Media in the Time of Coronavirus May 26, 2020
Initial Pandemic Responses
Early April 2020, I participated in a story slam where 10 people shared their early pandemic experiences. While this was a live event, I compiled their stories to share with the world. Looking back now one year later (April 2021), the fear and uncertainty shines through each person’s perspective.
Coronavirus Among Us
by Dr Shira D Gordon April 3, 2020
Destroying the Coronavirus
Destroying the coronavirus can happen by everyone. I wanted people to understand the biology behind why the listed methods worked. I explained cleaners, medicines, antibodies and vaccines.
During the summer when this content was published, people were getting used to the new normal. But I wanted to ensure they understood why these practices were so important.
I expanded the infographic information by writing it as an 1,200 word article for Lifeology.
Destroying Coronavirus June 26, 2020
However, I felt turning the material into a video would be more accessible. So I updated the content further (as the understanding of this virus is continually being updated) and created a video about Destroying the Coronavirus.
I included references and the importance of the spread of the virus through respiratory particles and outside vs inside.
With vaccine approval came vaccine hesitancy.
Understandably, the general public did not know the science behind why the vaccines were safe and not rushed,
how vaccines worked, and why they should take them.
I interviewed a coronavirus researcher, Dr Andrea Pruijssers, who played a role in the Moderna vaccine. She tested phase 1 samples and her results were on Dr Fauci’s desk the same day.
We discussed vaccines, the science behind them, and who should get a vaccine.
“I was on the fence about getting the vaccine, until I watched this video. Thank you so much for creating it!”
A Daffodil Blooms in Spring
2020 Pandemic Reflections
An Interview with a Coronavirus Researcher
How did all of this research happen in a year?
Being good friends with Dr Pruijssers, I knew her year was filled with 12 hour days and no free weekends, for months.
She has pretty amazing stories that I thought should be shared.
I interviewed her so people could understand her story, the vaccine and drug development from a personal point of view.
Dr Pruijssers discusses how she did the research sharing the joys and frustrations.
She answers tough questions, honestly. Andrea shares what she was feeling throughout 2020.
Watch the trailer and the full 40 min interview.
“Seeing a person behind the science who was doing the Moderna vaccine research, rather than big pharma, made them seem more reliable.”
Title: “A Daffodil Blooms in Spring”
The title has several meanings.
The coronavirus reached pandemic status in Spring 2020.
But around that same time Andrea’s work with the antiviral drug Remdesivir was showing promising effects to help sick patients.
Andrea is a Master Gardener–who loves flowers, like daffodils.
Daffodils are large exports from The Netherlands, where Andrea is from originally.
Andrea’s husband wrote the song: Spring is Just Around the Corner: www.MaxKhameleon.com
Specialized Coronavirus Work
In Winter 2021, I wrote the script and storyboard for an animation about monoclonal antibody treatment to help sick patients.
I brainstormed with the animators to make a great video.
Within the first 1.5 months since being released, it has received >7K views.
In Fall 2020, I was a consultant with an engineering team to create an infographic explaining research about the airflow of viruses and possible ways to clean the air on public busses.