The Pandemic Stranded Them in the Worst Place: Antarctica – Futurism

Posted: April 11, 2020 at 7:17 pm

Homeward Bound

As the coronavirus pandemic made it difficult and ill-advised to travel, one group found itself trapped in a particularly inhospitable environment: Antarctica.

The members of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) staff were working at research stations when the pandemic hit. And while plans have been made to bring just about everyone stationed there home, BBC News reports, it was a harrowing endeavor to arrange travel in the midst of a global crisis.

Thecurrent plan is to get BAS workers on a ferry to the Falkland Islands, off the coast of South America, and then fly them home to the U.K. But the BAS is also commissioning a cruise ship, BBC News reports, to accommodate everyone until the ferry arrives and to help keep everyone separated.

The situation has been changing every day, BAS director Jane Francis told BBC News. You think youve got something in place to bring everyone home and then something happens.

Once everyone is home, the next problem is figuring out how to keep Antarctica coronavirus-free when scientists inevitably head back to continue their work.

Were working very hard to do that, Francis told BBC News. Were trying to make sure that anybody that goes to Antarctica is virus-free. So, theyve either not been anywhere where theres been the virus or theyve been in isolation. But that will be our challenge for the forthcoming season, I think.

READ MORE: Coronavirus complicates journeys home from Antarctica [BBC News]

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The Pandemic Stranded Them in the Worst Place: Antarctica - Futurism

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