I have not been inside a restaurant for a million years. Well, not exactly true, but it feels like that. The risk of contagion in confined spaces is too great to allow people to dine indoors so, where feasible, businesses have been providing outdoor services. That’s OK when the sun is shining (and unusually for Ireland it has been sunny recently) but outdoor dining is not strong in the culture of a people whose primary topic of conversation is the imminent rain.
However, the problems with indoor dining when it comes to Covid are not due to the rain-resistant roof, but more to do with the proximity of other diners and the reduced flow of air to take contaminants out [click title to read more…]
It looks like we’re polishing off the main course served to us by 2020. I summarised the first 6 months of this calamity back in June, at which point the coronavirus infections had passed 7 million globally. It is now more than ten times that number! According to Johns Hopkins University 75 million people have been infected and over 1.5 million people have lost their lives. (2020-12-19) Countries across the world are either in, or going into lockdowns of varying severity.
Despite these shocking numbers, we have some good news. There are now several vaccines – two of which have been approved in the US, EU approval only a matter of days away, two others rolling out in Russia and [click title to read more…]
In my neck of the woods new rules were introduced from midnight that ban family gatherings, social events, allow only one visitor to our home and require us to stay within our county (radius 20km) with few exceptions. This is the middle of five levels of restrictions designed to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes CoViD-19, which spilled into the domain of humans sometime around the end of last year. About 30 million worldwide have contracted the virus, two-thirds of those have recovered (to varying degrees) and about 1 million have died.
A viable vaccine might be developed in the next 9 months (based on the many mid-2021 estimates), so this could be the half-way point. We [click title to read more…]
We’re just around the half-way point of this year, and looking back it’s clearly been nothing short of truly awful. Three months ago, at the “first quarter” mark, I was offering a practitioner’s perspective on working from home (WFH). In the past few days some businesses have started to reopen, though the advice remains to WFH if you can, with very good reason as these depressing numbers will explain:
Over seven million infections confirmed (two million of whom are in the USA).
Over 400,000 dead, a quarter in the USA.
USA, Ireland and the Netherlands have the same per-capita death toll (~0.035%, or 350 per million).
UK toll is 620 per million, Italy 560, France 440.
It’s natural to be a little lost when a familiar context is completely altered, as has happened to millions (!) of people around the world in the past few months as a result of this truly awful pandemic. Three weeks since the WHO’s declaration, there appears to be an abundance of “experts” offering advice on how to “work from home”.
I’m not a WFH expert, merely a practitioner with decades of experience and while this may seem like an opportunity for many people around the world to show just what can be achieved by a WFH workforce, it’s really not.
For one thing, in almost all cases there was no proper planning. A workforce that suddenly has to work [click title to read more…]