The World is Burning...
The year, I submitted my annual PhD progress report with an entire single-spaced page titled:
"Special Circumstances: The 🗺️ is 🔥."
In it, I talk about housing insecurity at UBC, food issues at Green, severe stress and mental health struggles in the graduate student community at Green, forced physical separation from family because many of us can't go home, chronic illness, etc.
Mental Health Matters.
We shouldn't need to slap unicorn glitter on a bloody pandemic because the university wants to know how productive we are while fully aware that they are charging us tuition and full rent even though we have no access to our labs, libraries, common spaces, stoves, and ovens.
If you want to write a similar report, I would encourage you to. It's been cathartic. And I made it very clear I'm including this whole section in the report because it's for MY mental health to be honest but also to challenge the toxic narrative in academia about being productive little scholars.
If you decide to do it, I'd suggest taking your supervisor aside before you send the report so it's not sprung on them.