So here we are, a week into what will, barring a miracle, almost certainly emerge as our new normal for the foreseeable future.
So far, so good: Everyone is coming together exceedingly well. Overcommunication is the rule, not the exception, at least for now. One of my teams (which is already overwhelmingly remote) had its most effective sprint yet, in part because the playing field was leveled by having everyone working from home. Another one of my teams will be having its team working agreeement meeting on Friday, complete with Hawaiian zoom backgrounds. Cheesy? Perhaps. But we could all use a little cheese right now.
The news around the spread of COVID-19, as expected, is getting worse and at a fast pace. With the testing logjam slowly breaking, we are learning more and more about the state of COVID-19 as it actually is, and it’s not pretty. As you consume updates on the spread of the novel coronavirus, remember that infections are still very much a lag measure at this stage, and as the United States is largely not testing asymptomatic people (unless you are on a NBA team), one must assume that the infected population is much, much larger than what the testing bears out. Bottom line: Stay home.
It’s hard to say how long this is going to go on, and as I am far from qualified from making predictions on this subject, I will largely abstain. However, I personally am prepared, and have prepared my wife, for me to be home well into May. It’s already a given that my father’s early April birthday will be celebrated over FaceTime. Before our office closed on Friday, I retrieved a few items from the office to help make a long-term work-from-home situation more comfortable:
- My mug collection (there are some great ones in there)
- My Thunderbolt dock and associated peripherals
- A non-butterfly keyboard :)
- My stress ball (perfect for dog time in the backyard)
It’s the little things that will make a big difference in this situation, I feel.
One thing that is clear from all of this: Our grocery workers, pharmacists, and farmers providing fresh produce and other goods during this crisis are doing an incredible public service. They are everyday heroes, walking amongst us, keeping good humor in what is a challenging situation for all of us. They deserve our respect and a healthy amount of hazard pay.
Hang in there, friends.