Like many people all around the world in the past few weeks, our team have moved out of the office and into our homes as New Zealand enters a four-week shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The global repercussions of this outbreak will be felt for a long time to come, in almost ever aspect of our lives, changing how we work, teach and travel, and with major planetary-scale economic changes ahead. While many of us have had to change our lifestyles, or had events or travel plans disrupted, there are those amongst us that have been much more directly affected by COVID-19 though illness or loss of life. Our thoughts are with these latter groups of people at this trying time.
As most of our current projects are working on existing data sets, we are largely able to continue with business as usual. Aside from juggling around a few project deadlines, and delaying any travel, we have been fortunate and not too badly affected. While there are many negatives to our shared situation, there are also a few positives and future opportunities. One of which is making better use of video conferencing and remote online teaching. While the technologies have existed for a number of years, face-to-face meetings and courses have always been preferable. Given that air travel is likely to be severely curtailed for many months (at least), web-based communication methods are sure to become much more integrated into our daily lives. In response to this, we are bringing forward our plans for developing some online courses and will provide more details with our next update.
Until then, stay safe.