Wearing a mask at RDU.

Wearing a mask at RDU.

I can’t believe it’s already September. For the most part, I remain in Carrboro with my roommate, only seeing a tiny social circle. I’m still on the sourdough bread making train and successfully grew a small handful of tomatoes on my back porch.

I took a break from my work in mid-July to visit my family in Massachusetts. Flying was not so bad – RDU was pretty empty and everyone wore masks. In Massachusetts, I was able to easily obtain a negative Covid rapid test (results in about 2 hours!) so that I was able to also visit some family in Connecticut. My mom, my sisters, and I drove down to see my cousin and her new baby (7 weeks!), her brother and his two babies (7 months and 3 years), their spouses, my aunt and uncle, and my grandmother. My family then drove up to Maine where we spent the week on Mount Desert Island, close to where my dad grew up. We spent the week hiking, biking, and swimming, perfect outdoor activities to stay apart from other people. Acadia National Park is amazing. In birding news, I saw some Common Eiders, three Bald Eagles, and a Black Guillemot in Maine.

My mom, my two sisters, and I on a bike ride on the Acadia National Park carriage trails.

My mom, my two sisters, and I on a bike ride on the Acadia National Park carriage trails.

My birthday cake! I celebrated 25 years with my family on August 6th.

My birthday cake! I celebrated 25 years with my family on August 6th.

With regards to my practicum, I am currently working on wrapping up the final stages of our project. I am currently drafting a write-up of my data analysis results and discussion in the form of a manuscript. As a refresher, my practicum is conducting a data analysis on a household survey in rural Western Uganda. The survey looked at bed net use and malaria status in children while collecting geographic factors. With Varun Goel from the geography department, we have looked at the relationship between geographic factors, bed net use, and malaria status. By showing that malaria is rare at high elevations, we can provide evidence for more effective distribution of malaria prevention efforts. By examining who owns bed nets, we can show that people in the most rural areas are underserved by bed net distribution through health centers.

Enjoying the slightly cooler weather on my front porch.

Enjoying the slightly cooler weather on my front porch.

Although I’ve encountered some delays along the way, it’s been incredibly rewarding to take an analysis from start to finish. I’ve always known that I was terrible at work-from-home, and this summer has been no exception. Starting up classes has been great for my productivity because I love having more routine. As the weather just begins to cool off, I’m also enjoying returning to my favorite cafes to enjoy their well-spaced outdoor seating.

I’m also  really enjoying my classes this semester. I’m taking One Health, mHealth, and Pandemics in addition to my concentration courses, Implementation Science for Global Health and Professional Development. It’s been really nice to have lots of opportunity to work on topics I’m really interested in.

Stay Safe,

Claire M. Côté