Since this seems to be on everyone’s mind, why don’t we start a thread to discuss the novel coronavirus and how it has been affecting our day-to-day lives?
- Have you somehow been affected by the outbreak so far?
- Have you decided to change or cancel any travel plans?
- Are you taking any measures to stay safe, plan for potential shortages, shutdowns etc?
- Are you concerned at all, or do you think that it’s a lot of fuss about nothing?
Personally I’ve had some minor inconveniences:
- We had some flights between Hong Kong and Vietnam cancelled, but got rerouted. Lost some time in Vietnam, but all good.
- Returning to Europe, my girlfriend developed something akin to a cold or flu, and were told to self-isolate until she got better (even though we didn’t travel to any risk areas). She was later tested for the virus, but to this date (8 days later) have not received her test results. This means she’s not allowed to leave the apartment (even though she’s now feeling fine), forcing us to cancel/postpone our onwards flight last Friday.
I’ve also made some observations that make me think most of (East & South East) Asia will come out better than large parts of Europe and the Americas .
First of all, in Asia it’s much much more common and socially acceptable (or rather expected) to wear a face when you’re sick , helping preventing the spread of these types of viruses to others. And while wearing a surgical mask isn’t going to do much to prevent yourself from getting the virus, if a large enough proportion of the population decide to wear one, that’s often enough to significantly limit the spread of the virus.
Case in point: In Hong Kong at least 80-90% of people were wearing masks in public, and compare the (much slower) growth of the virus there to what you currently see in Europe and the US and it’s obvious that something there is working. In Vietnam there were fewer people on the streets wearing masks, but the second someone stepped onto public transport they would put one on.
Since returning to Europe I’ve seen a total of 3 other people wearing a mask (all of them at airports). We were wearing masks ourselves during a layover in Copenhagen , and people were staring at us like we were crazy—and this was around the time the virus was starting to take off in Italy .
It seems in Europe people are more concerned about stockpiling food and toilet paper than actually stopping/slowing the spread of the virus.
On the bright side, it does seem like many companies here are willing to move to remote work to help stop the spread. It might be wishful thinking, but maybe it will make remote working more common and acceptable at more companies in the future? What do you think?
A good article about why it’s important to slow the spread: