Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
A mantra to live by in the age of COVID-19
Matthew Hallam | | Opinion
Focusing on the positives is often easier said than done – especially during a pandemic. But I wanted to use this editorial as an opportunity to encourage us all (myself included) to do so.
A prime example: most people will recognize the immortalized lyrics from the legendary Monty Python in the title. The same song was played at my grandad’s funeral. Does it upset me? A little. But it also fills me with hope. As my grandad would have wanted, it forces me to reflect on the joy we shared with one another – and the joy of life itself.
It’s been a long year. Much of the world entered lockdown or other restrictions in early 2020. Some of us have lost loved ones. Many have suffered in other ways. All of us are missing friends and family.
But there are reasons to be positive. The first: vaccines have landed! Designing these miracles of medicine in response to a threat has never happened so quickly – that’s a reason to smile! And, here in the UK, we are already seeing hospitalizations drop (another frown deterrent!). Accordingly, this issue celebrates pharmaceutical feats, from the first instance of subcellular drug quantitation to Davy Guillarme’s own forays in the field.
Reason two: movement towards equity in science and beyond. In our field, coalitions have formed to support groups traditionally disadvantaged in the sciences. The Coalition of Black Mass Spectrometrists is a great example – as is the Females in Mass Spectrometry community.
Groups like these are a driving force for positive change and equity – something we can all smile about! They also champion a message aligned with the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day: “Choose to Challenge.” We’re marking the occasion (and the wider Women’s History Month) by shouting about the historical successes of women in analytical chemistry and the need for female representation and role models.
And a third reason? Normality is returning! The “new normal” will soon be the “no thank you,” and we will be able to celebrate with the people we love most. If my grandad’s passing taught me anything, it’s how important those moments are. Until then, I hope our publication can at least put a smile on your face.
And remember: always look on the bright side of life (da-dum, da-da da-da da-dum)!