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It's just that uncertainty that eats away at people: Antarctic expeditioners' lived experiences of COVID-19


Nash, M and Leane, E and Norris, K, It's just that uncertainty that eats away at people: Antarctic expeditioners' lived experiences of COVID-19, PLOS ONE, 17, (11) Article e0277676. ISSN 1932-6203 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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© 2022 Nash et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License (

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0277676


With Antarctic expeditioners popularly portrayed in the media during the pandemic as both heroic stalwarts better equipped than any other people to deal with the rigours of isolation and, paradoxically, the only people untouched by the virus, it was all too easy to ignore the actual experiences of those working in the continent. Drawing on the experiences of expeditioners in the Australian Antarctic Program from 2019-21, this article provides a counter to popular media perspective by exploring how COVID-19 protocols – including quarantine and social distancing – affected expeditioners’ individual well-being and their experiences of the social environment. We argue that Antarctic life during COVID-19 has not been as detached from the rest of the world nor as heroic as the popular media has suggested, but nonetheless provides important insights for survival in isolated, confined, and extreme environments (ICE) and non-ICE environments at a time of pandemic.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Antarctica, COVID-19, isolated, confined and extreme environments, organisational culture, pandemic
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Environmental sociology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Nash, M (Associate Professor Meredith Nash)
UTAS Author:Leane, E (Professor Elizabeth Leane)
UTAS Author:Norris, K (Professor Kimberley Norris)
ID Code:154209
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:English
Deposited On:2022-11-10
Last Modified:2023-01-17

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