Coronavirus: reflections from the burrow

We do not know what is wrong with us: that is what is wrong with us.

                                                        José Ortega y Gasset, Spanish philosopher

Trying to see the silver lining of this cloud, one of its first positive effects is the temporary suppression of the blank page syndrome. So, here we go with some notes from Europe, after almost a week of confinement because of Coronavirus.
A couple of months ago no one could have remotely imagined this situation we are going through. That disease that had occurred far away was an endemic, distant, rare, Chinese problem. They even wanted to call it “Wuhan virus.” Surprisingly, there plaintive voices objecting to the cancellation of the Mobile World Congress 2020 in Barcelona. It was so right!

These days COVID-19 coronavirus has pushed us into a new “co-life” with our neighbors. In this region, people, in general, have fostered their drive relentlessly, and kept our spirits up by conducting activities from their balconies around the neighbourhood. They sing from their windows, organize a bingo from parapet to parapet, or offer a standing ovation to the medical staff who stand in the trenches.
It is also a time to come closer, stand by and stand up our family. As a family we can review why we are together, and our teamwork spirit. Our outdoor exercise time is divided between walking the dog and doing the shopping. And never in twos, because then it would be strolling, and therefore, citizen infringement because our rights are necessarily intervened.
Every community, every country, is forced to react quickly. On this occasion, the test was first taken by the northern hemisphere. The corners of the planet that are joining this infamous statistic must learn from what was well, and also, from costly mistakes. There must be one and agreed coordination in the social and political axes. However, there will be more than one willing to widen their social share and political prominence – minor sleaze behaviour of humankind that we must ignore.
We have been overwhelmed with media, which has never had such massive, varied, and fast information. It would seem as if humankind needed some saturation of this kind, every now and then, although the bar is getting higher each time. Eventually, we end up part of our day sorting true from fake information, which is essential, and which memes are worth forwarding…
Those of us who are privileged to be able to continue our work, we can also see how the social fabric is affected. Because we can keep producing with a keyboard and a webcam, while others are harvesting potatoes, distributing and selling them.
However, very many people will not be able to attend their jobs. This situation must also be considered. Particularly countries which had these helpful (fifteen?) days, with respect to the North.

Now, focusing back on our day-to-day business, we must evaluate the available options to work as a team, resorting to collaboration tools to interact at any time, and aseptically! In the second week of March, in Spain, the sale of laptops rocketed by 60% because of the health crisis caused by coronavirus. Why? Because working remotely, we can talk and see each other, share information, and write a document together. Virtual private networks put us to “work” in a manner never experienced before. To make this system work, we must be attentive to use well these tools and be an active part of organizations: share agendas, respect schedules, and above all, keep the flow of meetings and communication.

Eventually, all this will be over, leaving behind a very different world, and some of us might have weathered. May the cost be as small as possible, and that we learn more about ourselves from this experience, as a global collective.

Fernando López Bello  @fer_lopezbello

Computer Engineer, PMP
Big Data Specialist

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