Talking with different people I got a lot of questions about what it was like to travel during a worldwide pandemic. Here are my impressions from an international travel in time of Covid-19. Briefly, we have traveled about 12,555 km (7,800 miles), got seven negative Covid-19 test results, stayed in quarantine hotel for 10 days, took six planes and roundtrip 14-hours boat ride, experienced extreme weather with temperature as low as -27°C (-16°F), strong wind about 35 km/h (22 m/h), zero visibility due to wind-driven snow, and rough landing at crosswind in Atlanta. We even tested gender-oriented coats designed for polar regions by Russian company BASK.
On March 12th we were released from the quarantine hotel and after two Covid-19 tests we boarded a plane to the island of Spitsbergen in Svalbard archipelago, which is located between mainland Norway and the North Pole
The team cored active layer and permafrost from a few locations around Ny-Ålesund. Samples from five shallow and 3 deeper boreholes with the total length of about 10 meters were collected and transported to the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Our travel back home was shorter, just four days. Even it took a whole month of March to get field work done, I have a feeling that time in Svalbard flew by incredibly fast.