Promise & Problems. In the last few days the good news seems to have picked up a bit. Headlines suggest that people who smoke seem to do better than people that don't. Another headline reports that 80% of the risk can be eliminated if everyone wears masks all the time. That's good news except that one idiot can wreck it for everyone else. There was the story on the news about a new technique for distributing vaccines in volume where they use plastic instead of glass. I suspect that these stories of hope will become more common. At the same time the economic news is showing cracks in an otherwise confident stock market. The Boeing CEO virtually forecast an airline bankruptcy and Federal Reserve members increasingly confident that we won't see a V-shaped bounce back. Would that V-shape be possible if we all wore masks?
Cost. We've spent $2.3 trillion on the virus so far with more spending bills proposed. That works out to about $7K cost on a per capita basis.
Working from Home. Today is Day 63 and marks the end of week 8 in quarantine. About a month back I suggested to my colleagues that I didn't think we could return to the office until September. I'm no longer sure about September. The office, like many, is an open floor plan with few dividers. The conference rooms could hold two people if social distancing was the requirement. The air conditioning is controlled by the building so we have no control really of the air that we breathe. The hallways and restrooms make distancing difficult and I don't know how I can be productive all day wearing a mask. Yes, this period in our history won't last forever, but it won't end quickly either. At the same time I'm just as productive from home if not more so. There is no commute which averages about an hour and twenty minutes a day. We skip the stress, the fuel, the bridge tolls and the wear and tear on the car. Last night a newscast asked, Will This Change Office Work Forever? It might. Have we missed much? Sure, we've missed some by working remotely. Collaboration, persuasion and articulation are all best done in person, but then there is what we are doing for our planet and the quality of our lives. Son Kevin's life has changed even more dramatically. Instead of commuting by car he has spent the last four years commuting by plane, living in hotels and his company clearly values the dynamic of face-to-face work. He claims to have not missed a beat during the last 8 weeks and I suspect his new normal will look different as well. I don't see myself returning to the office. I see a future of working from home. I'm sure this vision will evolve and that as I sit here at the end of week 8, I wonder how my perspective will change after week 16 or week 24. And so today, I spent my commute time writing this post. Time to get to work.
Experts Succumb. There was a news story last night that's stuck with me. A doctor that specializes in infectious diseases for his entire career months ago was teaching us how to protect ourselves. He was interviewed from his hospital bed having contracted Covid19. He wasn't positive how he caught it. He remembered no failure in his careful and methodical defenses. He washed hands, sterilized surfaces and was comfortable wearing a mask. He surmised that he caught it on a crowded flight despite wearing a mask, despite wiping down his area, despite being a professional at avoiding disease. At one point in the story he made a passing comment that his eyes weren't covered and that was apparently a weak point in his defenses. That should be enough to freak anyone out.
Idiots. There are lots of dumb people in this world. I saw a post from someone in my family complaining that the lockdown orders are likely to be extended through July in the Los Angeles area. The post suggested it was time for a road trip to find a community without stringent lockdown orders. Well that's a good solution. Why is this so hard for people to understand. Let's review: Wearing masks is to protect others. Saving lives is to keep from overwhelming our health care system. Breathing each other's air is likely the way this spreads. The trajectory was a million plus deaths and it's only with these efforts that we've held it to around hundred thousand deaths. Stay home. Stay apart. Think long term. Stop being selfish.
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