Updated: Apr 21, 2020
Dear ASPAC family,
If you are old enough to remember the Twilight Zone TV series, the worldwide VOVID-19 crisis seems to be like that. But we wake up and it is still there. It is real.
But you know what else is real and more constant? The unmistakable resilience of the human spirit to come up with solutions. While it is taking a longer time than most of the timelines of our anxieties, we know things will be better.
We also know, being science engagement organizations, that the "old normal" was what caused the pandemic in the deeper, larger sense. This virus had natural hosts in their habitats but immense habitat loss and the climate crisis had rendered us humans as an available host to this once "hidden virus". And there will be many more.
These were some of the questions that we posed for you and your friends across ASPAC to think about a few weeks ago:
How could we be better prepared the next time anything of this scale happens?
In what form/shape will we reopen with our audiences still trusting us or trusting us even more?
How could we be of better service to our audiences and each other in these times and when it happens again?
What kind of organizational changes in structure would be best to adapt to sudden changes like this which could be the new normal?
We want to urge you to use this time to actively engage in dialogues with your peers to also think about how we as science engagement organizations can help co-create a BETTER new normal?
We have avenues for these exchanges:
Our ASPAC FB page ( you can start discussions);
ASPAC Viral Times Googlesheet status (this has a column on what each of our members are doing now);
You can set up your own telecons and videocons with the friends you have met in ASPAC conferences before just to ask them how they are;
Email ( you can send an email to anyone you want including your own CEOs to start and exchange with and you can cc others you want to include which can start and grow in a thread).
"Nostalgia" was once a real illness in the 17th century and it was a deep yearning for home that it made people sick. Now, instead of "seeking home", many are "sick of home" being quarantined for so long. We now yearn for an embodied kinship with others and nature. We shall have that.
But until then, can make use of this time to figure out how to start making the world better than the world before viral times when we are all finally able to go out.
Stay safe and be a ray of sunshine to others since we don't get much of of it lately.