A lot has already happened this year. SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) which can cause COVID-19 (COronaVIrus Disease 2019) has been making headlines shortly after it was first reported. The first cases were reported to WHO (World Health Organization) on 2019-12-31. The virus spread. It began as an epidemic in China . The world watched apprehensively. Reports surfaced of cases in other countries and the the apprehension grew. For many folk, it turned to fear when it was upgraded to a pandemic: WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020: "We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic."
We have seen increasing efforts to stem the spread of the disease. Efforts have run the gamut. Closing of borders. Cancellation of sporting events. Conferences cancelled. Churches and other places of worship also closed. Schools closed. Panic buying of household goods and supplies. Supply chain disruptions affecting manufacturers. Restaurant, bars, and other such establishments closed. Work-from-home policies established and enacted.
The changes have been many, widespread, and continuing.
Reading about all the ways that "other people" have been affected is one thing. It seems different, somehow, when it hits closer to home and affects us directly. With many of our usual social activities curtailed or cancelled, it is easy to begin isolating and lose perspective. SoylentNews arose from a troubled period (the SlashCott) and a community has formed from that challenging period.
How have you been affected? Have you been infected? Had a family member or friend who was? Helped neighbors who are struggling? Hunkering down and isolating? (In a basement is optional.) Are you suddenly working from home and finding it challenging to manage your time? Still working on site, but now have a faster commute due to all the other people staying home? Catching up on watching TV shows? Reading more SoylentNews? How has your life changed?
From a somewhat different perspective, how have others helped you to cope... and how have you been able to help others? One of the potential impacts of social distancing is isolation and depression. I count myself fortunate, indeed, to have served this site for over 6 years and for all the people I have gotten to know, here. For those who may not be aware, SoylentNews has its own IRC (Internet Relay Chat) server. Feel free to drop in to #Soylent and just say "Hi!"
Social distancing is permanent when you're dead. So, practice good hygiene and stay safe.
Previously (oldest first):
China Battles Coronavirus Outbreak: All the Latest Updates
2019-nCoV Coronavirus Story Roundup
Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Roundup
Coronavirus Roundup (Feb. 17)
Roundup of Stories about the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus and COVID-19 Disease
COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 - CoronaVirus) Roundup
CoronaVirus (SARS-CoV-2) Roundup 2020-03-12
Working from Home: Lessons Learned Over 20 Years
for one thing, no one really likes this (except HR and beancounters and managers). they only like it for cost and control reasons. not a good reason anymore.
I've been saying since OO started being 'a thing' that this will increase sickness, cold, flu since they removed the partitions (they helped a little; any help is welcomed at this point). they help with privacy and sound and give you a sense of your own space. I miss that! we all do.
we should take a unified stand and demand that desks be separated by much more distance and that the cube barriers be restored, once again, like they were 20 years ago (sigh).
I'm also considering changing jobs - been at my last job 2 years and it may be time to look for a change. one of the top criteria I will use is: how much employee privacy/safety do they offer? have they learned anything from this, or are they going to go back to business-as-usual?
I don't expect to see a unified stand from the tech community. afterall, we all think we are our own best negotiators (narrator: we are not) and refuse to band together to bargain for better working conditions. but this is a golden opportunity and we can make something of it if we're SMART.
it would be very hard for HR to deny the severity of this issue and its going to be with us for the next full year, at least. lets all try to raise the question with our bosses, ceos and HRs. the more we talk about it, the more some may see that its time to change back, again.
I'm going to tell every employer that I interview with, if you offer me 'desk safety', that will be worth more than a hiring bonus, at this point; and I'm "deadly" serious, too (I'm an older guy and I'm technically in the risk group, so this is real).
think about it, guys. the 'job creators' use anything they can - any world event that they can use to squeeze you more - its time we use this issue to get something that was taken from us years ago, quite unfairly. and, we want it back!
I never did get the Open Office craze. (for just a second there, I thought of OpenOffice.org, which was often abbreviated OOo)
Fortunately, for me, I've never had to be in one of these open space offices. For the first couple years, when I was hired as the fourth person in a small company, the other programmer and I shared a large office room that could hold four. After a couple years, we all had separate office rooms. With an actual door and window to the outside. I've had an office for 35 years. I can't imagine how someone would get anything done otherwise. It's one reason I like to come to the office and have never worked from home. It's brightly lit. Quiet. (nobody but myself and one other are in this building for the next couple weeks)