As an online platform, we have always practiced self-imposed distancing. Of course, when not working, we share the same risks, concerns, and readiness to get past this. For this reason, we are sharing our learnings, both positive and negative, of 'living virtually'.
Here are some things that you may find of benefit, regardless of your interest, burnout, or concern level.
As of today, the rate of confirmed cases is still rising, to varying degrees. The results vary by country, as the steps taken by governments and acted on my residents varies considerably. Here, we focus mostly on Australia and the USA, with additional lessons from around the world.
To make it easier to compare countries of different sizes, we look at cases per million. Since the USA has about 16 times the population, we would expect 16 times the cases and 16 times the deaths. Any variation to that proportions would indicate (not prove) that something is different is how effective the government AND people are dealing with the pandemic.
Countries like Singapore and Italy which adopted 'strict' quarantines that did 'flatten the curve' and save countless lives are decreasing their controls and 're-opening'. It remains to be seen if doing so results in a 'second wave' as China did in several early hit, severely controlled areas.
In the USA, the increase remains alarming, partly due to increased testing, partly due to late-onset or premature-lifting of proven-successful distancing. With 3,820 confirmed cases per million and Australia has only 285 confirmed cases per million, we can clearly see that the differences in response truly make a difference.
There are many sources, often with conflicting details. We like ncov19.live and covid2019stats.live, both with direct feeds from authoritative sources, rather than opinion and dubious or provably incorrect ones.
Naturally, there are economic and social impacts of global isolation, both short-term and long-term. As Maslow's Heirarchy of Human Needs established, we must secure physical survival, then safety before we can benefit from economics, social, and personal concerns. Based on this long-accepted scientifically-founded principle, we are focusing first and foremeost on physical safety before moving on to other valid concerns that have slightly lower impacts.
To paraphrase former colleague Robert Newton "dead people don't have much use for economics".
Currently, the greatest risks are around continued spread that outpaces our ability to adequately provide medical services and supplies to those who need it. That is proven to result in more deaths, especially among higher-risk people like older, immunity compromised, or indigent people who cannot get life-saving services.
The next greatest risk seems to be the response of individuals to controls that are medically-advised or government-mandated. Looking at the stark difference between the USA and Australia's facts clearly shows this. The Aussies may complain about it, but by and large complied with self-controlled measures, even before it became mandatory. In contrast, there has been no time where all US states were 'locked down' at the same time, much less for the 3 months that worked in Singapore, Australia, even Italy. Simply, exercising the freedom of choice to self-isolate or even mandated protections, is drawing the timeline out, and surpassing the existing capacity of medical services and staff.
We are not creating a political divide here, nor are we wanting to debate the documents and accepted facts, which clearly show a huge difference. We are only interested in understanding why they exist, so we can perhaps do better tomorrow that we did yesterday.
Of course there are pro and con to every change. Saving lives sounds great (and indeed is), but we also have to consider feeding, employing, housing, transporting, and social impacts of those who didn't die.
In just a matter of months, environmental conditions have improved, likely due to less transit, manufacturing, and mining. LA just advised they had the cleanest air in over 40 years. Similar benefits have been verified in Paris, London, Beijing, and New York. Simply, when we stop adding tons of hazardous chemicals every day into our air, water, and land...things CAN get better. Of course, when this is over, if we go back to exactly what we did before, that reprieve will be short-lived.
Other benefits in economic and society can also already be seen. There is little doubt that pandemic-triggered 'working from home' has proven it IS more sustainable, even profitable than losing worker time in transport and expensive space in centralized building. There is little doubt that the previously frowned-upon practice will largely remain 'the new normal' for many industries.
Clearly, physical work like construction, mining, and manufacturing have valid concerns, but most of those can adapt to distancing quite nicely. Farmers don't stand around with a dozen others, they work. Hard. The same is true of truckers, even mining and manufacturing, which are (for good or ill) moving the riskier work to robotics and remote-controlled equipment.
On the lighter side, we have made several collections of links to things that can help you use this time for your benefit. What you choose to gain or do is completely up to you. We simply provide some easy-to-sort and find options that are literally 'one click away'
We have collections for Personal • Family • Social • Professional • Faith • Global use.
Within each, we have categories of interests for you to choose from, like Education • Travel • Museums • Tips & Tricks • Crafts • Entertainment.