I’m not a Doctor ..

.. I don’t even play one on TV.

I am a newsie though .. I have been paying a great deal of attention to stories about the ‘new normal’ with COVID-19.

We all know:

  • It is a highly-contagious virus.
  • Older adults are more at risk. I’ve heard over 50 and over 60 (I’m both), but I think the data is still pretty sparse.
  • Adults (young and old) are more at risk if they have secondary conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.
  • You can catch it and not know for days.
  • It can be contagious when asymptomatic .. that is, you can ‘shed’ virus even if you don’t have symptoms.

We’ve mostly taken some or all of these steps:

  • Washing our hands (it turns out Coronavirus just hates plain old soap .. nothing fancy).
  • Work from home (for those who can telework).
  • Schools are closed.
  • Necessary trips only (supermarket, doctor, etc.)
  • Reduced the number of gatherings (clubs and church).
  • Flown less.
  • Fewer events (note that many sports are canceled and movie theatres just closed today).
  • ‘Social Distancing’ .. enforcing a six-foot distance between people.

Even with this, some are estimating, that without enforced ‘social distancing’, we are a week behind where Italy is (as of today Italy has 2,503 against 31,506 .. that’s a horrifying 7.9%!) .. we’re not even close, but must take the proper steps. We must ‘flatten the curve‘ through safe tactics so 1) fewer of us will get ill, and 2) it will spread out (in time) the folks who get ill so we don’t overwhelm the healthcare system.

Steps The States have taken:

  • Closing restaurants and bars, save for take-out / delivery (even with wine / beer) .. NYC was the first, Washington State right behind them.
  • Shelter in Place‘ (an emergency tactic to find a safe place indoors) just took place in San Francisco and may take place in NYC.
  • Canceling political rallies, and even elections (Ohio and Georgia have both postponed their primaries).
  • Ramping state-based facilities to process the tests.

I feel like as of today (March 17), the US Federal Government has seriously gotten into the game, after weeks of, well, not to a greater degree. This is encouraging, especially as they’re taking into consideration cash flow for hourly workers and small businesses (rather than a foolish and useless payroll tax cut). The airline and hospitality bail-out will be expensive to be sure .. may need to raise taxes.

Happy about the Federal engagement .. although it needed to be early enough (it’s a bit late), quickly enough (ramping effective programs rapidly) and completely enough (addressing enough of the citizenry and business). I am hopeful.

Tests? We need those too, and the means to get them back in short order (see The States, above .. Bravo!).

Okay .. I’m caught up. Please stay tuned.

About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

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