What we can expect in this next 2-week sprint in Los Angeles.
Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on Wed, March 5th for Los Angeles over one death from the Coronavirus and seven infected patients in LA County. The virus has now been reported in 12 counties in California and has sickened more than 50 people. Check out this great informative website a high school student in Seattle created as a real-time coronavirus data tracker.
1. Work shifts to remote working
Many of the high-tech companies based in California have asked their employees to minimize the spread of the virus and to telecommute instead. Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Twitter, and Facebook have made that jump. Some 76% of Amazon employees and 30% of Google employees work from home anyway in a typical work week. The decision by tech companies to shift thousands of workers to a telecommuting work schedule could lead other industries to follow suit. But we think there is a strong possibility that many of these employees will see the benefits and efficiency of working from home and may not go back. “We’ll never probably be the same,” Jennifer Christie, Twitter’s head of human resources, told BuzzFeed News of the company’s workplace practices. “People who were reticent to work remotely will find that they really thrive that way. Managers who didn’t think they could manage teams that were remote will have a different perspective. I do think we won’t go back.”
2. Travel plans halted
Amazon told all 798,000 employees to halt “non-essential travel” domestic and international, over coronavirus fears. “While it’s important to temper the hysteria and make it clear that the travel and tourism sector is not going to grind to a halt altogether, we must be realistic and acknowledge the fact that it will need to navigate choppy waters for some time to come,” says Nick Wyatt, head of R&A and Travel & Tourism at GlobalData, a leading data, and analytics company. “This is likely to get worse before it gets better again.” A personal friend of mine just canceled his upcoming 5-week Italy trip scheduled for next month because most of the towns in Italy were on coronavirus lockdown. Not a great travel experience to say the least.
3. Coronavirus anxiety prevails
Pandemic panic prevails even with the most solid-minded individuals. Free-floating anxiety thrives on uncertainty. And, as the coronavirus spreads, our unanswered questions can make us feel vulnerable or fearful. “Will it come to my community” or “Am I at risk?” The bigger issue is the more you stress, the more vulnerable you can become to viruses because stress can lower your immune system. Even some of my most solid personal friends have told me, “you really need to go out and buy lots of food and water to be able to withstand a two-week quarantine.” Really?
4. Handshake snubs and future etiquette
This week I attended a Women In Technology Hollywood (WITH) event at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles. I made an extra effort to NOT shake hands and successfully elbow bumped about 20 times with equally supporting responses. We were all nervous about shaking hands across the board but still sensitive to correct business etiquette. The feeling of hyper-awareness of exercising a degree of care and caution while not creating a potential diss was very prevalent. My strong hypothesis is that elbow bumps are absolutely ok. “Let’s stop shaking hands for a while. I prefer the traditional Southeast Asian hands-together namaste greeting, although the elbow bump is fun,” Dr. Tom Freidan, former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
5. Seriously clean hands
I have a confession. I’m not the best at flossing my teeth or washing my hands on a regular basis. Not sure how that happened. Maybe because I’ve worked remotely from home for over a decade and live comfortably with my own germs. But things have changed. I now repeat over and over again to myself: Wash Your Hands, Missy. The recommended 20-seconds is actually longer than my natural patience will allow. So I sing “Happy Birthday” twice and that keeps me in check.