The puzzle of AMR

Author: Carolyne Horner

Publication Date: 06 January 2022

Over the festive season, I got to thinking of the similarities between the traditional Christmas jigsaw and our efforts to solve the AMR (antimicrobial resistance) crisis. You may think that I need to get out more (and you’d be right!) but here are my reflections (and final masterpiece!).

The AMR crisis is like a jigsaw puzzle because both require:

  1. Thinking outside the box (literally!): you have to get the necessary pieces of the puzzle out of the box before you can make a start.
  2. Commitment: completing a jigsaw takes time, effort, and concentration.
  3. Patience: you can’t rush the completion of a jigsaw, piece-by-piece the whole picture will come together.
  4. Teamwork: as with many other things in life, working with others helps, especially when you hit a tricky patch.
  5. Observation: rotation of pieces in a different orientation may help to fit pieces together in ways that you couldn’t see before.
  6. Gentle persuasion: forcing pieces together in frustration won’t work and you may end up sabotaging progress.
  7. All the pieces to be present: if one piece is missing, the puzzle remains incomplete and the task forever unfinished.
  8. Reflection: when you feel like it’s all too much and that you are never going to finish the wretched thing, reflect on how much of the puzzle you have put together and how much further forward you are compared with when you started.

My take home message: don’t give up on the AMR puzzle. Your contribution, no matter how small, is vital to the bigger picture.

Image 1: Day 1 (10 December 2021)
Image 2: Tah-dah! (02 January 2022)