The world in 2020 is much different from what it was before the start of the year. COVID-19 has changed everything and affected millions of lives across the globe. Some could say humanity could’ve done more to prepare for such a fierce pandemic, but we didn’t and the result was quite devastating. If you have witnessed COVID-19, then you probably wished there was more that you can do. There is if you know where to start. Here’s how you can get yourself in the race for curing this pandemic.
Get a Bachelor’s Degree
The first thing that you need to do to find a cure for a virus is to get your bachelor’s degree. The problem with virology is it is not usually an option as a major in bachelor’s degrees. You need to have a strong background in biology, chemistry, and other sciences before you can specialize as a virologist. Expect to spend a lot of time in laboratories so you could be prepared for this complex discipline. You will study organic chemistry, cell biology, microbiology, inorganic chemistry, and much more, and you’ll need to major in one of those fields first before you can become a virologist.
Invest in Medical Training
Your degree aside, you also need to get relevant training on how to deal with viruses and pathogens. Such training is necessary because dealing with those elements requires certain expertise and an understanding of how they work so you could avoid infection. This is why you should invest in bloodborne pathogens training and any other relevant training that could help you become a virologist. To deal with a pathogen, you have to know the safety procedures, possible sources of contamination, infectious materials, and much more so you could effectively combat such viruses and pathogens.
Study for Post-Graduate Exams
You will need to take post-graduate courses and degrees so you could qualify for a career in virology. You need to understand what path you need to take so you could study for the relevant exams and make your way into virology. If you are going for a Ph.D. in virology, you should know it will take a few years, and the discipline is very heavily based on research. You will most likely need a doctorate to get to that level of virology research, though. For the first year of your Ph.D., you can expect courses such as cell biology, immunology, virology, genetics, and other relevant courses. As you advance in your Ph.D., the lab work will increase and research becomes the main focus.
Acquire Virology Skills
Working in the field of virology is not like many of the other medical disciplines. You need a special set of skills to succeed and get results in this field. You have to hone your analytical skills and develop an inquisitive view of things. Being a virologist means being able to process and interpret large sets of data from different tests and looking with a critical eye on the outcome of the results so you could come to a satisfactory conclusion. You also need to be able to work under pressure. Like with COVID-19, virologists are often thrust into the front lines of the battle, and things can get quite stressful. The pressure is immense and you need to prepare yourself for the possibility of such scenarios because as 2020 has shown, it’s always possible for a global pandemic to affect the entire world.
The thing about virology is, even after years of studying, exams, research, and training, you still have to keep learning. Virology is a field that keeps expanding and new data is always emerging. The rapidly changing results and data can lead to serious consequences, which is why you need to always stay on top of such updates. In other words, if you become a virologist, studying does not stop with your final exam. You have to remain constantly aware of new research and the latest discoveries in the field so you could contribute and adapt.
If you do all the right things, you might just be at the forefront of the battle against the next pandemic that will afflict the world. The world needs more bright people working on finding a cure for such deadly pathogens and viruses, and you can be one of those. All you need to do is study, undergo the necessary training, and work hard. Virology is a challenging field, yes, but it is also quite rewarding. Knowing you have helped find a cure for a virus as deadly as COVID-19 is enough reward for anyone out there.