18/03/2020

# Wednesday is the new Friday!

We may have cancelled our trip away but I'm still taking the time off work so that we can all be together as a family and celebrate my wife's birthday.

Our youngest daughter is also coming home from uni at the beginning of next week. The university switched to online learning so she can do that from anywhere and we figured it was better for her to come home (she was due back at Easter anyway) rather than in her student accommodation.

Who knows what the position will be by the time I'm supposed to go back on Tuesday.

# Seeing the news that Jared Leto emerged from a twelve day silent meditation "into a different world. One that's been changed forever" got me thinking.

Firstly, the reporting has been overzealous. For example, the article linked says that he had "just learned about the coronavirus after being isolated in the desert for almost two weeks". I don't believe that for a second. This is something that's been with us for more than 12 days, it's not new, it's not something from a zombie movie that lays waste to the world seemingly overnight.

The latest developments - the isolations, the travel bans, the border closures - have all come about very quickly so it is understandable that Leto would be unaware of these and indeed seem to be emerging into a different world.

But changed forever? I'm not so sure.

Once given the all clear will people's behaviour be altered? Will society and governments approach things differently? We live in an age of short-termism where people can't see past their next paycheck and governments the next election. When this is all over will the world return to the excess of before?

I suppose a lot of it depends on how long this all lasts and whether we will get waves of infection after periods of social distancing come to an end. The likes of China and South Korea are looking to get back on their feet now that the risk seems to be reducing but reports that up to 95% of people in certain areas are still susceptible to the virus means that it could all happen again. There have already been small clusters of new infections in South Korea.

What's curious is that the talk of getting back to normal is not consistent. China has, so far, apparently recorded 3241 deaths but in the UK they're saying it will be a good result if deaths are kept below 20,000. That's a massive disparity.

Hopefully we won't get anywhere near that figure and the steps being taken to mitigate and suppress the virus will do their job.

# In an unexpected turn of events I'll actually be working from home next week. We have been told to split our team between on-site and WFH, and because I have the longest journey and my wife is on the at-risk list for different health issues it made sense for me to be the one to not come to the office.

# In other news, the server has finally let me update the cron jobs for the daily emails. I've pushed the timings back so we'll see if it works properly overnight.

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COLOPHON
Colin Walker Colin Walker colin@colinwalker.blog