Kelly Willenberg & Associates


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Given where we are within the quarantine and self-isolation with the pandemic, many of our colleagues are working from home, been furloughed, or even lost their job. In a recent Research Perch, I discussed being cognizant of how your research or compliance team may be feeling right now. With the ongoing issues of how sites are doing research, it does not amaze me what I hear from sites.

The S in SNAFU is the skepticism and sadness that people feel with current situation. Sites have new studies on hold and people are not working. Some people are skeptic about what is occurring and there is sadness that we may never get back to where we were. The N stands for being nervous about the future of clinical research. Where are we headed? One client told me she was having nightmares about the future. Little do we know about what is going to happen as we are in some uncharted territory at present. The A is the apprehension and anxiousness all of us are experiencing now. What is coming next is something I have heard from sites? As we work through the next few months, anxiousness may linger. The F in SNAFU is the utter frustration that people have while working at home. Some are not only working at home, but they are having to teach multiple age children, share computers, cook dinner and keep every one in the household safe. Children are fearful and parents are seeing that in acting out and sleep patterns being interrupted. The U boils down to the uncertainty in what is going to happen until a vaccine, treatment or better tracing occurs. When will we be able to travel safely again? The unease that people feel is real!

Consider all of this in your team’s ability to do work at this point. Remember gratitude and try and put yourself in their shoes if they have young children at home during zoom meetings. Your influence and effort shape the next leader. To paraphrase Lin Manuel Miranda in the musical Hamilton, are seeds in a garden that will grow well into the future. Right now nobody knows what that future looks like so lead with finesse!