in certificate Leaf, immunologist Gustavo Miranda, 39, a researcher at the University of the South Pacific’s Institute of Biomedical Sciences, recounts how the pandemic changed the course of his career and how he reconciled his new jobs with his personal life.
My case is an unusual case. I’ve been in Europe for five years, doing PhD, post-doctoral and research work in England and Switzerland. In 2019, I got tired of living abroad and ended up going back to Brazil.
As soon as I arrived, I began to lead a giant development project Vaccines Against Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika. In February 2020, the study barely started and we had to adapt it completely to Covid.
My whole life was directed towards this, there was nothing else. I was hearing, “How can a 38-year-old lead such a big project?”
I had to put together a team and prove myself scientifically. Dealing with the egos of the academic world has bothered me a lot, especially psychologically.
At the same time, I took my pain and my mother to live with me for a while in São Paulo. They live in Bahia She is very attached to me.
But there came a time when they couldn’t stand here anymore, so I had to bring them back.
In the midst of all this, I also started making scientific connections. Being on many projects, doing research, participating in media programs, giving lectures, all this together makes me happy.
I’ve found that the moment I do this communication part, I can relax more.
People ask me if I don’t get nervous when I go in front of the camera and say, “I love it.”
The pandemic was a moment of self-discovery. Suddenly, the media stormed. People were looking for me for an interview, and I thought they were all pretty.
I want to connect, teach, teach and write all my life. The people closest to me tell me that I need to take care of myself more. When I was in Europe there came a time when I felt a little depressed and thought about going back to Brazil just to take care of myself more.
What happened was the opposite. Now my fiancée is bothering me. I try to take better care of my health and personal life, because one of the things that makes me feel good is being active.
I will pay attention to my fiancée, if I cannot bear it. She has a great influence on me. I’m tough at work, but as a person, I’m kind. The four people who influence me the most are my fiancée, my parents and my younger brother.
With the level of work we have in this field, it is hard to think about, but it is necessary to take a more humane look at our profession and the science itself. I try to discuss this in a lighter, more humane way, and take care of myself as much as I can.
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