You’re Not Going Back to Normal Office Life for a Long, Long Time

From VICE:

And even if an employer does everything right, a COVID-19 outbreak at the office will remain a distinct possibility. Considering what it will take to get everyone back to the offices—what with the masks, the empty offices, the staggering, the uncertainty, and the overarching anxiety—perhaps the question isn’t when the WFH-ers will return to work again, but when they’ll head back home.

Reading this article makes it abundantly clear that it’s going to be a while before folks who are able to work remotely should even think about going back to the office. I’ve started to mentally prepare myself for many, many more months working from my house. Taking the bus to work, riding an elevator up 23 floors to go work in close proximity to tons of other team members, bouncing between meetings all day sounds like a recipe for spread of the virus. Even if my office opened up today, I doubt I’d be very interested in going back until there’s good treatment options or a cure.

I’ll be honest though – the remote work part has actually been pretty good for me so I’m not super excited about going back anyway. I’m certainly tired of being so isolated, but I’ve always been a homebody and introvert, so this only feels a little abnormal to me. The general slower pace has been really good for me though.

Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting

From Julio Vincent Gambuto:

Until then, get ready, my friends. What is about to be unleashed on American society will be the greatest campaign ever created to get you to feel normal again. It will come from brands, it will come from government, it will even come from each other, and it will come from the left and from the right. We will do anything, spend anything, believe anything, just so we can take away how horribly uncomfortable all of this feels. And on top of that, just to turn the screw that much more, will be the one effort that’s even greater: the all-out blitz to make you believe you never saw what you saw.

I’ve already started seeing some content like this on the web and on TV. I, like everyone else, want to get back to “normal”, whatever that is. However, I do hope we try to be a slightly better version of ourselves as well and not try to paper over it with frenzied consumer spending.

Google and Apple launching coronavirus contact-tracing system for iOS and Android

From The Verge:

Apple and Google will introduce a pair of iOS and Android APIs in mid-May and make sure these health authorities’ apps can implement them. During this phase, users will still have to download an app to participate in contact-tracing, which could limit adoption. But in the months after the API is complete, the companies will work on building tracing functionality into the underlying operating system, as an option immediately available to everyone with an iOS or Android phone.

This is super interesting. Contact tracing and testing are the 2 best bets to getting us back to a sense of normal. Glad to see the big guys are getting along and building tools that can make contact tracing easier. I love that it’s so privacy focused as well. The article goes on to point out some of the flaws in a system like this that could produce a lot of false positives or not provide the level of the risk involved:

The method still has potential weaknesses. In crowded areas, it could flag people in adjacent rooms who aren’t actually sharing space with the user, making people worry unnecessarily. It may also not capture the nuance of how long someone was exposed — working next to an infected person all day, for example, will expose you to a much greater viral load than walking by them on the street. And it depends on people having apps in the short term and up-to-date smartphones in the long term, which could mean it’s less effective in areas with lower connectivity.

Still, I’m heartened by the fact that the tech industry seems to be showing their promise during this pandemic.

Working from home

I’ve been working from home for the past 2 weeks now, with at least 2-3 to go. I say at least because that’s the official line as of now, but we all know that it’s going to be longer than that if you’re lucky enough to work for a company that allows for it. I […]

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