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Returning from a Year of Isolation in Antarctica (rd.com)
124 points by op03 4 days ago | hide | favorite | 94 comments

This was the part that surprised me the most:

"Viruses do not live in Antarctica. When I was in the harsh and bitter cold, I was perfectly healthy. When I returned back home, I picked up every virus in Australia. I was totally unprepared for the way my immune system reacted."

I didn't know that our immune system could change so much so fast.

The author is incorrect, or at least misleading. People get colds in Antarctica quite often or they certainly used to:


Though bear in mind the obvious - people get infected when they allow in outsiders like contractors, wintering staff arriving, tourists, etc. Over winter when you're in isolation there's nowhere for viruses to come from and the infection rate drops. Remote stations would probably also proactively get people to isolate so the whole crew doesn't come down with the lurgy at once.

It's not that your immune system is better, you just have a much smaller social network. Wintering staff are generally in good health anyway (the medical is extensive) which probably helps a bit. You also get a mandatory flu jab (this is not normal in my country unless you're old).

Once you get back into the general population, you pick up all the seasonal colds that you missed.

Edit: also check those references!

An outbreak of common cold at an Antarctic Base after seventeen weeks of complete isolation.

(from the abstract they never found the culprit - perhaps it got frozen onto a surface and then thawed later?)

The colds that would crop up after a month always surprised me during my deployments. Where did it come from? We haven't had contact with anyone outside our group of like 40-50 people.

I remember always feeling suddenly overwhelmed by people. You spend a few months with only a couple dozen people. Then you end up in NZ or Chile and fly back stateside. Suddenly there are thousands of people around.

Dang, I suddenly miss all my Antarctic peeps.

During our current isolation I've had probably 3 bouts of colds, that seems no less than normal (and one that I thought was a cold and now think might be a midlife tree pollen aversion). That surprised me - like where is it coming from!

I’ve had nothing since February, and I’d usually get something over such a long period

Absolutely. I moved to Vietnam from San Francisco. Spent 4 years there. Got reliably food sick off and on solid for a year and then it eventually just stopped. I could eat anything and not get sick. Hardly got any 'colds' while I was there.

Came back to the US end of January (terrible timing considering the way things are going) and ended up getting sick with flu (not covid thankfully) and lots of digestive issues again. Now, heading into July... I haven't gotten sick again (likely from the isolation) and the digestive issues went away.

Our bodies are complex beings.

Wait! Are we becoming less immune with this isolation :o

I saw it speculated that one of the reasons children are more resistant to COVID-19 is that they have strong immune systems due to the constant challenge of new viruses they are exposed to at school. But now they aren't at school.

Eh... children are always more physically robust. For diseases... it's very specific to the disease. Some diseases are particularly nasty to children. Some are particularly harmless to children. That's not a pattern you expect to see if the immune system is measured along a one-dimensional scale of "strength".

Not a doctor but my suspicion is..probably not unless your isolation resembles a bubble. We still go to the store, eat the food, etc. You have basic immunity at-large but not to the local variations that you catch them when you travel. The local variations evolve without you when you go to antarctica for a while.

The more serious infections (cold, flu, covid) aren't a "gradual" immunity thing, they're individual strains that pack a hard punch in comparison to everything else. In part because we don't see anything super close to them on a regular basis.

Thankfully I would expect all of this isolation to soften next year's flu season quite a bit.

Yes. :o

Even worse, people aren't getting their flu shots (and other elective things) because they don't want to risk going to the doctors.

So when we get out of this covid jail... get ready for some interesting charts from the CDC.

Do you still trust the CDC? One unfortunate side effect of the pandemic is that my trust in the CDC went from absolute to non-existent. They’ve shown themselves willing to bend to politics instead of siding with science.

Well, I blame this administration generally seeking appointments that will bend the knee over science.

Plenty of prior administrations appointment science-bound officials that held the line.

> One unfortunate side effect of the pandemic is that my trust in the CDC went from absolute to non-existent.

Why is that effect unfortunate?


What do CDC have to do with the efficacy of vaccines?


What doubt? The momentary mismanagement of one nation's disease control unit means you'll ignore the globally-realized benefits of the greatest life-saving achievement of modern medicine?

Sounds a bit like you were searching for an excuse for a conclusion you arrived at already for other reasons.

All due respect to vaccines, and the comment you're responding to is absolutely idiotic, they're only accounting for a small fraction of longevity and mortality improvements over the past 200 years.

The bulk of advances predate either development of widespread vaccination (largely 1930s - 1960s), or antibiotics (1940s), to say nothing of organ transplants (1950s-), cancer treatments (roughly same), imaging (1900s-), and advanced laproscopic surgeries (1970s-).

Basic sanitation (sewerage & solid waste), water purification, food safety, vector control (mosquitos), physical safety (falls, streets/transport, machinery), environment (soot, lead, asbestos, poisons), habits (smoke, drink, drugs), childbirth & childcare, sex ed, nutrition, and simple basic access to medical care count for far more.


Context: http://economicspsychologypolicy.blogspot.com/2011/03/conque...

I'm not disputing that vaccines are a powerful and beneficial tool, but that "the greatest life-saving achievement of modern medicine" is not in fact vaccination, but basic (and often quite pedestrian) public health measures.

This has been Laurie Garrett's thesis since at least the mid-1990s. And yes, she's also a strong vaccine advocate:



You are free to consider mycomment idiotic.

However, I will decide on yearly flu shots and others based on my own analysis, as clearly government sources have other things in mind that my best interest.

For example, I will wait 6 to 12 month after a covid vaccine is available to check postmarket studies.

A counter example is papillomavirus and shingles (vzw) vaccines, that I have decided to get, even if it's not recommended for me.

That's a really bad over compensation in the other direction.

Supposing there's a reliable CDC left after this is all said and done. Might get dismantled from within as a scapegoat.

Its not a scapegoat -- the CDC is extremely well-funded and has a singular mission -- and is doing a quantifiably terrible job. They downplayed the North America risk the first two months of 2020, utterly botched testing but still refused to allow private lab testing until the White House intervened, and they literally lied to the public about the efficacy of masks. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/03/us/cdc-coronavirus.html

The CDC is part of the executive branch and ultimately has no authority to go against the president's wishes or do anything he doesn't want. Just recently, they said they're not pushing for mandatory mask regulations to not embarrass the president. An agency like this, with no power to do what is right, is completely useless. Still, while I don't trust them one bit now, they don't deserve to be blamed for something they are not in control of. Proper blame lies with the leadership of the executive branch, the white house and ultimately the president. That's where the buck stops and no amount of wishing on their part will ever change that.

This seems to be a big problem with USA in general - political appointees in fields where objective truth is vital.

Having a legal system that can't arrest, charge, prosecute anyone because politics says not to means you don't have rule of law. If someone is recorded saying they committed sex offences then they should get a police interview regardless of their job.

Having a disease control department that can't give scientific advice because a political appointee won't like it; might as well close that department, it's no longer useful. Or, you could address the root issue.

This video [1] made me sad at the time because I could see it coming. The downplay of the severity along with the usage of masks doesn't age well.

I was coming from Vietnam and early on the govt. wasn't taking it seriously enough and had some major outbreaks. But they immediately got it under control. Contact tracing, testing, lockdowns, spraying, masks, hand washing, propaganda... and look... it worked. Zero deaths, zero new cases in 90+ days now. The whole country is open within its borders and people are safely interacting without any worries.

So, while I think the CDC is doing an ok job... at the end of the day, they totally missed the tidal wave coming at them.

[1] https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/02/17/nih-di...

In their defence, this happened in most countries in Europe as well. Not sure if incompetence or hubris to be honest (though the mask wearing should be criminal, and imo, is one of the reasons some people refuse to wear them now, based on those comments 3/4 months ago they weren't effective)

So when we get out of this covid jail

At the current rate I am wondering if we get out, not when, lol

We will. Thank God its not Ebola and while COVID has high rate of infection it kills small % of sick relatively speaking. Eventually we will build up hoard immunity, but left alone it could easily take until end of next year and it reminds Russia rullette. Sad that CDC and President didn’t standup to the task but I wasn’t suprised. Then there is VP who singlehandy is responsible for the largest outbreak of HIV in USA. So it could be worse. Inagine something as deadly as Ebola that spreads as easily as COVID. These folks who are proud to excercise their freedom because US Constitution doesnt force them to wear masks, wouldn’t have any Constitution left to enjoy at all.

> wouldn’t have any Constitution left to enjoy at all.

Pun intended?

I moved to SF a few years ago now I’m allergic to the trees back in Slovenia. Never had allergies before in my life.

Allergies often come on with age... so it may just be that.

This seems to have happened with me... But I didn't realize it was common!

All the old winter-overs in McMurdo Station hated when the flights started coming in for the summer season, especially that early WinFly in September with all those “damn GERMS”. Kind of funny the population is so isolated that everyone is immune to the local viruses for a little bit.

I had a tendency for allergies for most of my life, until we got our daughter who increased our overall level of dirtiness acceptance and brought in new viruses every other week when she was little.

Suddenly my allergies dropped. I made a test and I had no positive marker.

This went on for a couple of years.

This has changed since the lockdown. I am sneezing again all the time and wake up with sore throats, in the way it was typical. Even stronger than before.

The immune system needs work to do.

My dad spent much of 1958-1965 in Antarctica, overwintering at places like Halley Bay, and including a period as scientific leader at Scott Base (for which he was awarded the Polar Medal). That was in the days when overwintering meant no supply ships or aeroplanes or any contact with the outside world beyond radio contact for 7-8 months. Anyway, there are a few things he mentioned about leaving Antarctica that aren't mentioned in the original article:

- the smells: "In the cold atmosphere of Antarctica your sense of smell has become acute and now, wafting in through the door of the aircraft, is the smell of tarmac on the runway, green grass, hundreds of flowers and dozens of different scents ... for the first time ever you can smell your Antarctic clothing. The heat has brought out a hundred different smells, seals, huskies, penguins, kerosene and many more."

- the flies and other insects

- and perhaps one of his main and lasting experiences, the spirit of international co-operation brought about by the "common problem of survival in Antarctica"

On that last point, the last 2 sentences in his book were "The nations of the world can just as easily work on a common problem outside the Antarctic as in it. Let us hope this understanding by common knowledge and experience will not fail us now."

I had hoped the current pandemic would help people realise that we are all in this together on the same planet, that it is better for everyone to work together rather than to fight.

Is his book available for purchase anywhere? Sounds fascinating.

Thanks. It is available at https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1704809576/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_... . It wasn't actually published in his lifetime. In fact, I only discovered the manuscript last year, and decided to self-publish primarily for the benefit of surviving relatives. I have a post about the whole process on my personal site if you're interested in that as well.

I found alot of the bulletpoints insightful and most seem to be related to covid-19 lockdowns but a few stood out:

>Life felt like it was suddenly zooming by (after leaving Antarctica)

I feel like right now in quarantine time is just flying by, I don't know really why this is, maybe its the fact that both me and my wife are extremely busy with our jobs while raising a toddler and no daycare makes every day seem the same/very busy with the weekend having little demarcation from the work week. Maybe if we weren't working and just sitting around this would be different. But it seems almost the opposite from what was mentioned.

Yeah that's interesting, I feel the same way. It absolutely blows my mind that it's about to be July. I feel like I've actually been _more_ busy being at home every day!

It’s the toddler. Times FLY when you have the hard responsibilities of a toddler.

It's interesting to read her experience but I can't get past a few things.

> Because I was leading the expedition, I couldn’t have any physical contact with anyone else—zero. There were no handshakes, no flirting, and no hugs.

No handshakes? This behavior is so far outside the norm it's hard to believe her experience is in any way relevant to the general populace when it likely reflects her bizarrely anti-social approach to leadership. Apparently she gives lectures on leadership now? That is terrifying.

Also, as an avid alpinist, this is absolutely not the kind of person you want to be in a dangerous environment with, let alone be subordinate to. She refused to touch people and had apparently only seen the snow once before arriving in Antarctica.

Maybe she didn’t shake hands for the same reason we no longer shake hands, to avoid catching or spreading disease. I often forget that shaking hands is no longer socially acceptable, but fortunately with two people, one of us always remembers in time.

The very next sentences:

"I couldn’t afford for a simple gesture of empathy, such as a hug or a placed hand on the shoulder, to be misinterpreted as a sign of romantic interest. It went against my natural desire not to comfort someone who was distraught with a big hug, but it’s what I had to do to maintain professional boundaries."

I read that. Restrictions on sexual relationships given an uneven power dynamic are common, but an inability to shake someone's hand or put a hand on a shoulder? That's not maintaining professional boundaries, it's paranoia.

It is also a standard that she is clearly imposing on herself, which is what makes it so bizarre. She wasn't just conforming to some overbearing rule of the organization, she thought this was a necessary component of effective leadership. Which makes me question her judgement in general.

Ask some women in leadership positions what they think about this. You’ll probably be surprised at how many agree with her.

I wouldn't be surprised. But who is going to put up with that kind of aloof and standoffish behavior? You're probably going to come across like a monarch that doesn't want to come into contact with the common folk.

As a female seafarer (26 years at sea), I know exactly where she's coming from. Never mind touching, the times I've sat and talked about anything other than work (non-sexual, just friendly) have invariably resulted in at least one or two crew members either taking it as an invitation to harass me or assault me, or caused friction with the rest of the crew.

In my experience, I can be friendly, but I have to stay distant for safety (mine) and discipline (the whole crew).

This is interesting, were you the captain for many of those years? I could totally understand a crew member being antisocial, but it seems like the crew would resent a leader who acted this aloof even if they were doing it for the reasons you mention. It just seems very different than the usual distance that hierarchy creates.

I've only done a few casual sailing trips where everyone got nude as soon as we were out of sight of land and it was so cramped you'd have to be a contortionist not to touch anyone. A tanker ship or something would be vastly different, but it still seems like there would be plenty of situations, e,g, rough weather, where you need you need to be willing to touch other people. I doubt you'd get on a crab fishing vessel if other crew members refused to touch you.

No, I worked my way up from deckhand to chief mate on deep sea cargo ships. Got my master's ticket in January (finally).

The crew don't generally resent it - I'm friendly and approachable, just distant. I shut them down when they ask personal questions, but I listen if they want to talk about their problems. In a public area. With the door open. The rest of the time, I study, work, eat and sleep. It helps that I'm usually on 00:00-0600 & 12:00-18:00 watches, so I'm working during two meals and sleeping during the third.

Where there's a practical reason for physical contact, of course I touch people. Apart from anything else, I'm often the medical officer, but there's a difference between, "Help me with this mooring line," and, "I'm having a bad day, can I have a hug?" Even if I really could do with a hug.

And the types guys who do get in a huff about it? They're invariably the same personality types that make that rule necessary.

Thanks for sharing, I can easily believe that. On a side note, how does a seafarer end up on hackernews? (I know nothing about your profession).

Lol. Fair question. I got lost online one day and ended up here. I like the relative civility and thoughtfulness of the discussions, so I usually lurk.

I'm also the default on-board IT support/education person, and I learn a lot here that helps me with that. I managed to get several computer-security-related changes pushed through a few ships back based on hackernews references.

Thanks for posting! Mixing in perspectives like yours contributes a lot to this being an interesting forum. Any pointers for techie types who are interested in marine work?

A bit tangential: do you know of an open, or just inexpensive to use for brief periods, source of AIS data from satellites? I'm keeping an eye out for a boat (Evohe) returning, it would be great to have a few days of warning before they show up.

There's a growing demand in marine tech development and marine autonomous surface ships (MASS), which I've been following with interest. They generally need seafarers with an understanding of tech, and techies with an understanding of the sea.

If you're interested in going to sea, it depends on your background. If you want to work in the deck department, the simplest sector to get into is yachting; if you've got an electronics background (electrician/electrical engineer), you can often get a reduction in the sea-time requirement to become an electro-technical officer (ETO). Since there's a severe shortage of ETOs at the moment, that would be the best option. If you just want to get to sea ASAP, cruise ships always need IT folk to keep things running (well, not during the pandemic, but in normal times), and I volunteer with Mercy Ships (mercyships.org) who also always need IT folk (and electricians, plumbers, cooks, etc.), even during the pandemic.

You can track AIS near base stations on https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-12.0/cent...

If Evohe is a voluntary observing ship for the met bureau (many merchant ship are), you can track them deep-sea on https://sailwx.info/shiptrack/shiplocations.phtml based on their last report (6-hourly reports). I hope that helps.

Just curious, what do you do for a living? Have you ever done professional work where your life is on the line constantly?

I'm an academic who has never been to Antarctica.

But I've done at least one mountaineering expedition (recreational not professional) every year for the past 30 years, where our lives would have been on the line if we had incompetent people with us, even taking precautions there have still been a handful of questionable moments over the years. I've only done 3 long-haul type expeditions that were 4+ months. I also worked as a guide for 2 years back in my 20s on much less technical trips, but those were always the most dangerous because you have people you don't know who have varying skill levels and experience.

In my experience (other than the guide work) we never had a de facto leader unless one member was vastly more experienced in general or had more previous experience with a given region or specific route.

That's obviously different than being in a research station with a large group of people for a year. But I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable leading an expedition to Antarctica if I had only seen snow once before as was apparently the case with the author of this article. Also, on real expeditions (not just living in a research station) you are constantly touching other members of your group, it's absolutely necessary and there's no way around it.

I realize there are going to be differences between a research station gig and even a moderately technical alpine route, but this woman's approach just seems unreasonable.

I can understand how an Antarctic station might look on the surface like a mountaineering trip, but in my experience (a less serious climber than yourself, have deployed to the Ice for the US program on both sides of the logistics/science line) there's actually not much in common between the two, I guess outside of the small field camps which are almost(?) always summer-only affairs and usually run by mountain guides.

There's a great book, Big Dead Place, which is the best window in to the USAP culture that I've come across. It's a bit dated, but I can assure you that the crazy sorts of things in that book still happen - it's shocking/beautiful that it works at all.

Ah okay, I guess I didn't realize how different they were. Thanks for the info! I'll be sure to check out that book, it sounds fascinating.

I really don't think you can compare recreational experiences to professional experiences here. I see that you've done some cool stuff, but it really isn't the same as you can't always choose your team mates for a variety of reasons, which is why women have to take extreme care.

I dont shake hands with colleges and have literally zero physical contact with them and they have zero physical contact with each other. I found the one person who did various physical contacts uncomfortable to be around.

(Your username parses ambiguously: An Album Cover or Anal Bum Cover. I swear I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I can't unsee it now. I'm sorry.)

Yeah, that's intentional. It's a reference to an old comedy sketch.

oooooooh riiiiiiight, "Suck it Trebek!" :-)

Sorry for the noise.

The handshake, in particular, is something I would now like to be permanently removed from our culture, even though the transition would be painful.

When the next pandemic comes - and it shall come - we must be better prepared.

> This behavior is so far outside the norm

Bud, it’s an isolated team in Antarctica. That’s pretty far outside the norm. It is extremely likely that no touching was a requirement of her employer.

"Because I was leading the expedition, I couldn’t have any physical contact with anyone else — zero"

Wait, what? I would love to get more details about that because that sentence (no matter the rest of the paragraph) makes it sound way too much World War I kind of cold leadership with no rational reason.

On the noise aspect of her isolation I think it's quite more nuanced than that IMHO. I've been to Antarctica too and I've been working alone from home for the last 5 years as well, and isolation during pandemics is nowhere similar to the isolation in Antarctica. The silence there is beautiful, not frightening. They are just different beasts and even the noise from the street outside is enough to break the monotony but not actually going out hurts more. I think she tried her best to be empathic but 1 year in the ice is much harsher, kudos to her.

Everything about living on the Ice is more intense; it often feels like the station and crew is the entire world. Romantic relationships are a perpetual source of tension and conflict, and little squabbles can grow to have truly outsize effects.

A silly example (from the US program several years ago) - we had summer-season emergency response drills be completely derailed because the leads of the two main groups were a couple and had squabbled the night before - one had their people simply not show up. Never mind that these two people's main roles were exactly to be in charge, one was completely unqualified for that role, discipline/replacement would be relatively easy for either, and everyone knew what was going on.

So, I can see why the rules would stipulate that the leader can't become romantically involved with a crew member over winter. But of course rules like that have no teeth, so it's really up to the integrity and ability of the leader.

> I can see why the rules would stipulate that the leader can't become romantically involved with a crew member over winter.

And i guess some people think a pat on the back is romance. ;) It seems easy to clear up any misunderstandings, but maybe it was because she was tempted?

This is not about whether the author thinks a pat on the back is romance, nor about her temptation.

Imagine a scenario like that emergency response drill, but where higher-ups took notice and decided to make a rule to prevent it from happening again. Since those higher-ups had authority over hiring both individuals, they're not likely to lay blame on the immature (to put it nicely) behaviour of the couple, but instead on the romantic relationship. How do they encode "station managers can't start dating crew members" in bureaucrat? So, a stupid rule gets added to the books, which doesn't really solve the problem, and upstanding managers have to pay attention to it forever more.

> makes it sound way too much World War I kind of cold leadership with no rational reason.

The sentence says "physical contact". You can be a warm, friendly and supportive leader without touching people.

She made it sound like a supportive side hug or a tap on the should over a difficult season in the south pole of the planet would be a no-no. Did I get it wrong? I am not a native speaker of English, for the record.

It's worth noting that this is a bit of an unusual, even unnatural situation - where you have people who have been in isolation from any relationships for almost a year, may have a natural desire for romantic relationships and it's part of her specific role and duty to ensure that this stays suppressed throughout the team until the expedition is over. In those circumstances a strict "no-touching" policy for the whole team (not just her) may be quite prudent. You need to ensure that even someone who after many months of loneliness desperately wants to notice and misinterpret something as a sign of romantic affection is unable to do so.

The reason is in the very next sentence.

>I couldn’t afford for a simple gesture of empathy, such as a hug or a placed hand on the shoulder, to be misinterpreted as a sign of romantic interest.

It's possible she was a little overcautious, but I certainly understand why she chose not to risk that someone might think either that she was attracted to them, or that she was involved with someone else.

Is it really overcautious? I'd imagine a group in extreme isolation to be far more sensitive and prone to misinterpretations than the same set of people working together while surrounded by thousands of others to meet and interact with during off hours.

That's what she writes in the article.

But the rest of the paragraph exactly explains it. She couldn't even hint at romantic interest because of the possible perceptions.

This happened 15 years ago, December 2004 to February 2005. The headline and editor's insertions about SARS-coronavirus-2 made it seem like she returned in the middle of the pandemic.


She says early in the copy text that she was in Antarctica in 2005. To me the article read like she was recounting her experiences and her return to civilisation as a mechanism to explore how others will come out of Covid lockdown, therefore the references to coronavirus did not seem out of place.

> After being in isolation, the noise in the outside world seemed louder. Noise will be huge after lockdown. I think about how New York City is a cacophony of sounds and now the streets are empty. Gosh, it took me about six months to get used to how noisy life is.

Noise pollution is a huge, mostly overlooked problem in urbanized areas and is often thought to exceed the recommendations for residential areas with little room for easy remediation or enforcement. Many of us remember the days before leaf blowers took over and flooded the natural morning landscape with 100 dB in all directions, in areas that are still limited to 50-60 dB. The impact on human and non-human health is well known.

>After I emerged from isolation in Antarctica, I wrote two best-selling books and became an international motivational speaker. Being in isolation as the leader, without anyone telling me what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong, meant I had to do a lot of self-reflection.

These two sentences don't go together very well.

A bit off topic, but the audio book "Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole" about the Dr who got cancer while serving at the base is quite an interesting ride. That book kept me wide awake on a long road trip a couple years ago and the couple people I lent it to had nothing but good things to say about it too.

Another slightly off topic remark, there is the famous case of this Russian doctor taking out his own appendix while stationed in antartica: https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32481442

Maybe it’s versus I’ve been reading up on the torture of solitary confinement, but “Leading 18 strangers around the clock for a full year” - is not what I would consider as isolation.

She does go on to qualify it further: “As the youngest and only second female expedition leader at Davis Station”, but it still feels like a huge stretch in my opinion to consider that a year of isolation. How many leaders has Davis Station even had?

It is small group of people isolated from rest of society. If you notice her points, none of them is about being alone and all of them are about being away from rest of us.

I read it as “isolated from civilization/city-life for 1 year”.

It’s been running about 55 years, so at least 30 leaders

Slightly off topic, she had a book out in February called "Respect Trumps Harmony", which said out loud in 2020 seems a possibly ambiguous title for what turns out to be a book about group dynamics rather than a glowing assessment of a certain President.

Interesting to see an article about Antarctica that doesn't mention the effects of global warming on the ice sheets. Kudos to the writer for keeping the story focused on the personal insights in cold, isolated world instead of the usual decrying (which is of course important but an off-topic to this story). So I do believe that the writer gained sheer amount of focus.

Ironically to your own distaste, you will have been the one who made this about global warming instead of just discussing the topic.

Why do some people have to always be looking for something to be offended or riled up about?

What makes people think this comment is in response to being riled up or being offended? I actually really liked the idea of the story being on one topic (as I said in my parent comment). I was appreciating the writer for that good job.

Why Kudos? Do you not believe in it's reality?

Did you not read the entire comment?

My life already looks like isolation all time here at canada after moving from India for masters program. So no big deal.

I'm not trying to be funny, but I'm sure the author is wishing that he started his year of isolation... a year later. Like, in March 2020. That would have been great timing.

Author was a female

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