Showing posts from March 8, 2020

Coronavirus and important links

Map of Coronavirus cases from Johns Hopkins: PSA about Coronavirus: The number of cases line for Other Countries in the following graph echoes the Chinese line very well, but I hope that does not give people hope that we are near the inflection point. I think it just says that Iran, South Korea and Italy may  be at their inflection point. The US is not anywhere near their inflection point. It's going to get much worse for the next two weeks, at least. I suspect I'll be at home for the next month. Social distancing is key. I called a few people today to see how they are doing, and I have some more people to call throughout the week. A few others I need to email, and that's what I'll focus for the rest of the evening, since I cleaned my kitchen and my laundry is done.

Social distancing

Isolation for our own good. The office declared that we will be all sent home on Friday with the notion that we'll be working from home until April 1st, at least. The board cancelled the next two exams, and all committee meeting will be done online. We are welcomed to come back into the office IF we have no symptoms of ANY illness, AND the HR manager and the employee's manager both agree that the employee needs to work in the office. I cancelled a few lunches I planned with friends this weekend, and will call them instead. I have about a month's worth of food, and some extra toilet paper, and I even have a month's worth of coffee, some hand sanitizer and Lysol disinfectant wipes, however I don't have a month's worth of oat milk or seltzer water. I do have plenty of regular water from the tap and refillable Brita pitcher, plus my hurricane case of bottled water. I hope my friends have enough food and water to shelter in place for at least two weeks. The weath

Novel Coronavirus

I've been monitoring the dashboard at this link for a couple of weeks. The number of cases in China has long passed the inflection point and their number of cases per day are getting smaller and smaller. In the other cases outside of China, it looks like today we just might have started an inflection point - but that just might be for South Korea, Italy and Iran since they have the majority of outside China cases - or this is not the inflection point at all. I drew the red arrow showing where the slope started to change. But, if it really has hit the inflection point for South Korea, Italy and Iran, it doesn't mean the US has hit their inflection point yet. Wash your hands. Wash them again. If you have any illness that makes you cough or sneeze, do not go out in public. Before you eat anything, wash your hands. If you don't feel well, stay home. There is no need to overload hospitals and urgent care if you don't need medical attention. The only way to get through

Coronavirus and Flattening the Curve

We're all probably going to get it. For most, it'll be somewhere between a bad cold and the flu. But for some, it will mean death. Social distancing is the way we can flatten the curve and help our health system not be overloaded with critical cases. We're still in the flu season, so hospitals are full with people - that don't even have Coronavirus. Social distancing is key. If you don't have to go out, don't. Learn to enjoy what you have at home. Start a new hobby. Study for a database exam, or read a book, or watch some YouTube. This won't go away any time soon. It's just getting started for the rest of the world, though China seems to be past its inflection point. Hopefully we can get through ours without much trouble or death.

Indistractable Chapter 17

Chapter 17, Hack Back Meetings It's important to have a meeting agenda sent with the meeting invitation so other people can have an informed discussion on the topic and do necessary research beforehand. I know that I'm able to bring better solutions to a problem if I've had the chance to think about the problem before being asked my opinion in a meeting. Most people in my department attend without devices, but there are a growing number of folks who do bring their laptops and I wonder of their attention span, as it doesn't seem like they're taking notes, but they could be. I prefer to attend just with paper and a pen. Chapter Summary: Make it harder to call a meeting. To call a meeting, the organizer must circulate an agenda and briefing document. Meetings are for consensus building. With few exceptions, creative problem solving should occur before the meeting individually or in small groups. Be fully present. People use devices in meetings to escape mon

Indistractable Chapter 16

Chapter 16, Hack Back Group Chat There are a few rules suggested by Jason Fried, founder of Basecamp, a group chat tool. 1) Use it like a sauna. Stay awhile to get what you need, then get out. 2) Schedule it. There are too many ways for group chat to get your attention for things that are not necessary, like GIFs and jokes. 3) Be picky. Don't invite everyone, just people that will have pertinent information or questions for the topic you want to discuss. 4) Use it selectively. It's difficult to read and wait for someone's long answer (possibly sent in multiple messages) in a group of people who are saying other things. I'm rather pleased that my group very rarely uses group chat, and when they do, it's only to solve an immediate problem. This chapter is a good reminder in case a group dynamic changes and we start to use group chat more often. Chapter Summary: Real-time communication channels should be used sparingly. Time spent communicating should not

Indistractable Chapter 15

Chapter 15, Hack Back Email Most office workers get too many emails, and only a fraction of them are actionable. An often suggested tactic is to only open the email client once or twice per day at set times, and during the rest of the time, set the out of office responder to show you have received the email but won't be reading it until a set time during the day. Being in the infrastructure group, I get quite a few alerts that don't pertain to me, and I filter those out. By doing that, I make sure that the alerts that I get are something I can fix. I am not able to just open my email for a set time per day, as I am often called to respond or fix or create something as soon as possible, according to others. And if I ignore the message, I usually get a visit from the sender at my cubicle, ignoring my sign status. While I have been able to reduce my time spent with email by instituting many rules, I don't get the luxury of scheduling when I view or respond to them. Chapt