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CowLife McGill under quarantine: Working from home and staying positive

Thank you to all the essential workers!


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, members of our lab have transitioned to working from home. Some of us have returned to our hometowns and home countries, while others remain in Montreal. We are grateful to have the opportunity to continue our work from the safety of our homes, as we move forward on a variety of projects. We keep in mind all the essential workers, both within and outside the dairy industry, who continue working to provide food and necessary services. These hardworking members of our communities continue to inspire and motivate us as we work towards our goal of conducting research and gaining knowledge that will contribute to the development of updated recommendations and advancements within the industry.

How we are working from home:


Although we cannot be physically present in the lab to collaborate amongst each other, we continue to hold weekly lab meetings and smaller group meetings for collaboration via Zoom and Microsoft Teams. We are also fortunate at this time to get to welcome a new member, Simran Prasad, to our lab! While at home, many of us are taking this time to work on our literature reviews. Several of us are also beginning to organize and analyze data from projects whose data collection phases were completed before the pandemic. Finally, a few of us are preparing for our upcoming projects, including a study that will look at caregiver interactions as a form of social enrichment for non-human primates and a study that will look at how different frequencies of outdoor access impacts the locomotor ability of dairy cattle.





Staying positive:


While we all have all had to adapt to working from home and to no longer having face-to-face interactions, we have found ways to stay positive. Some members of our lab help keep up morale by sharing amusing cartoons in the lab’s group message. Although many of us struggle with the difference in daily routines and distractions while doing our work at home, we have developed methods such as making daily to-do lists, organizing schedules for each week, and maintaining communication with each other to keep focused. We have also turned to activities such as walking outdoors, exercising, spending time with family, reading, giving other members of our households unfortunate haircuts, and listening to our favorite playlists to keep our spirits up. With our support of each other and the admiration we have for those still hard at work in the dairy industry and in our communities, we remain motivated to learn new tricks and to adapt to the current circumstances so that we can continue in our efforts to provide new tools and information for the people who never stopped working hard to feed us.



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McGill University, Quebec, Canada