I’m sure you’ve been seeing a lot of maps lately – sad ones – but this map is a happy map. A VERY HAPPY map! Instead of disease statistics, each pin on this map is the birthplace or current location of a person who graciously donated their time and energy to translate Covid-19 infographics I made into other languages so that they could help inform people around the world. They range from high school students all the way through to Professors and hail from 5 continents and I am so incredibly grateful and humbled by these amazing women and men!

You can learn more about them in the figures, (and in the credits at the bottom of this post) and find (and share) their translations here: https://bit.ly/covid19bbresources

People like them (and so many other people stepping up around the world in different ways) really give me hope for humanity and have helped me feel a sense of connection and purpose in these physically isolating times. This whole “social distancing” thing we’re doing (avoiding gatherings, keeping 6-ft distance, staying home unless absolutely necessary) is really important for helping slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). This helps keep our healthcare systems from getting overwhelmed and it buys scientists time to work on developing vaccines and treatments. So it’s super important – but it can feel isolating… until you realize that we’re all in this together! Across the world, people are holed up in their homes – and they’re doing what they can to help!

I was feeling pretty hopeless at the start of this pandemic, and I even avoided posting about it for a while – mainly because I was terrified of providing false information, but also because it was too anxiety-producing. But family and friends kept asking me about it and I realized that it must be way more anxiety-producing to hear all the scientific mumbo-jumbo of test & treatment terminology without understanding what’s really going on. And, being privileged to have an extensive education in biochemistry, I decided to try to help.

I drafted up a post on how the PCR tests work and put out a call on Twitter for peer-reviewers – they helped me polish things up and it resulted (to my incredible shock) in a wildly popular post. That first wave of volunteers included my colleague, Katie Meze, who asked if she could translate the infographics into Slovenian to share with her friends and family. Um… YES PLEASE! 

I told Dr. Alexandra Newton, president-elect of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (@theIUBMB) and she was thrilled and put out a call for more volunteer translators. And we got them. A LOT of them. I’m still working on finishing them up, so some of the people you see here don’t have their translations posted yet – sorry – I’m trying my best but it’s a lot of work.

I currently have translations in 17 languages live on my website, and will continue to add them as more are done. This interactive map I made highlights the truly global nature of this project – click on the pins to learn more about the translators.

Massive massive massive thanks to… (handles are Instagram handles)

  • Natalia Ríos Colombo @natirioscolombo for the Spanish translation
  • Tania Hübscher @tania_h92 and Ascandari AbdulAziz ascan_officiel for the French translations.
  • Nefeli Boni-Kazantzidou for the Greek translation
  • Benito Schmidt for the German translation
  • Joana Pereira for the Portuguese translation
  • María Celeste Gaurón @celegauron and Mattias Braams @mattiasbraams for the Dutch translation
  • Katie Meze @katiemeze for the Slovenian translation
  • Emre Abdullahoglu @emreabdd for the Turkish translation
  • Andrej Doko for @andrejdoko for the Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian translation
  • Federica Fiorentino @friederike_fritzi94 , Chiara DiPonzio @chiarenvonponzien, Serena Tucci, and Micol Bonetti @bonettmi for the Italian translations
  • Jessica Kabigting @filipina.inscientia for the Tagalog translation
  • NIE Yan(聶焱) for the Simplified Chinese translation
  • W. Kurniawan [Abie님] & Septia Nurmala @septiaanrml for the Indonesian translations
  • Agnieszka Kloch for the Polish translation
  • Sophie Pursti @sophiepursti for the Norwegian translation
  • Sharmili Jagtap for the Marathi translation
  • Nada Elmoussa @nadaelmoussa for the Arabic translation
  • Dayana Hristova @dayanahri for the Bulgarian translation
  • Marta-Szilvia Meszaros @szzzilvia for the Romanian translation
  • Jovana Stojceska @jovana_stojceska for the Macedonian translation
  • Mahsa Heidari @_biochemtech_ for the Farsi translation
  • Sergi López-Torres @sergiloptor for the Catalan translation

Additionally, huge thanks to the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (@theIUBMB). Now, more than ever, as we face an international (and biochemistry-related) crisis, I am incredibly grateful to be able to serve as Student Ambassador for the IUBMB, whose president-elect Dr. Alexandra Newton has helped me recruit translators and share the translated versions around the world. This post was just one in my series of weekly “Bri*fings from the Bench”

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