Dear Readers


Picture courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

These are unprecedented times.

Across the globe, communities, cities, and countries are taking measures to scale down the dynamic social interactions that defined our modern world. Social distancing, self-isolation, and quarantine have become imperative.

Many research institutions in the United States have entered a shutdown, ceasing lab operations for all work except that which is directly related to SARS-CoV2, in an attempt to stymie the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 18th, The Rockefeller University joined this effort.

While the changes in our daily lives may be unsettling, we are strong as a community. We have already seen lab donations to supply our local hospitals with personal protective equipment, community volunteerism to provide support services to Rockefeller community members, and guidance from our university leadership.

No one struggles alone. We are all in this together. And we will persevere.

 –Natural Selections Editorial Board


Available Resources:

Rockefeller University COVID-19 Updates (contact:

March 15th University Communication

Occupational Health Services and psychiatrist Dr. Nisha Mehta-Naik (contact:; (212) 327-8414)

COVID-19 Support Request (contact:

Anyone who has recovered from the novel coronavirus infection can participate in a study conducted at Rockefeller to better understand ways to block coronavirus infection.


Struggling with social distancing? Here are some ideas to keep you stimulated, active, and engaged with your community:

  •         Stay engaged in science

o   Write a review article. Preparing a review article is a great way to get a lot of reading done and also gain ideas for next steps for a project.

o   Host a journal club. Use Zoom to connect with your lab and discuss up-to-date literature.

o   Focus on an old project. Do you have an old project that you collected data for, but it fell by the wayside? Reconsider writing up your data and determining if it is publishable.

o   Apply for funding. Consider applying for both governmental funding and smaller private grants.

o   Think about career plans. MyIDP is a great platform for scientists to determine their strengths and weaknesses and explore potential career choices.

o   Promote your scientific work. Update your LinkedIn and ResearchGate profiles. Tweet about your work. Make sure your CV is up to date.

  •         Stay active

o   Hold a remote fitness challenge. Encourage your family, friends, and colleagues to get 30 minutes of activity a day.

o   Work on your push-up game. Stay strong by working on those exercises that require minimal equipment—think push-ups, planks, wall-sits, squats, and crunches.

o   Take online yoga classes. There are many platforms online and you can join Rockefeller’s listserv by contacting You can also join Rockefeller’s yoga group on Facebook and get access to regular videos of yoga classes.

o   Go for a walk. If you are feeling healthy, it’s ok to get outside and take a walk. Just make sure to social distance–stay at least 6 feet from others and wash your hands regularly.

  •         Stay connected

o   Video chat with your friends and family. Now is the time to connect with your favorite people that you are normally too busy to sit down and have a long conversation with. Try cooking a meal or sitting down for a cup of tea together.

o   Pick up a new hobby. Now is the time to focus on your knitting, instrumental, and baking skills. YouTube has tutorials on everything!

o   Play games remotely. Steam is an online gaming platform that has a play with friends function.

o   Watch a movie together. Use the Netflix Party extension for Google Chrome to watch a movie with a friend. The extension will synchronize playback and includes a chat function while you watch.

o   Blog. Write about your experiences, your science, or anything else you care about and share it on the web.

And above all, give yourself a break. It’s normal to feel anxious, and stress can make it difficult to concentrate. Don’t expect to be as productive as you would be in the lab. Do what you can and leave the rest.