Coronavirus response goes mainstream, no longer just about cancelled tech conferences

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Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,511   +122
Staff member

Twitter has become the latest tech giant to force its employees to work from home in the wake of the coronavirus, the outbreak that graduated to pandemic status earlier this week.

Jennifer Christie, Twitter’s HR chief, said in a recent blog update that Twitter is moving beyond its guidance of strongly encouraging work from home (issued on March 2) to informing staffers that they must work from home.

Christie said the microblogging platform will continue to pay contractors and hourly workers that are not able to perform their responsibilities from home while the work-from-home guidance is in effect. Twitter will also reimburse employees for expenses that come as a result of setting up their home offices as well as additional childcare costs incurred when their normal daycare closes due to the coronavirus.

“We understand this is an unprecedented step, but these are unprecedented times,” Christie said.

Twitter’s response is par for the course but Christie is right – these are unprecedented times, indeed.

One of the first stories I wrote about the coronavirus was how it had the potential to demonstrate to tech event organizers and attendees that big trade shows are no longer relevant or necessary. That was exactly one month ago today but it might as well have been years ago considering how much has happened between then and now.

Tech conferences continue to drop off the calendar en masse, the latest casualties including Google I/O and E3. Cities are banning gatherings involving crowds of 1,000 or more. Companies large and small are forcing employees to work from home, some for the first time ever in their professional careers. Cruise lines are suspending operations. Schools are sending students home and having them submit classwork online.

Sports are also feeling the crunch. Most major college conferences have canceled their conference basketball tournaments. The NCAA has banned fans from attending March Madness games. MLS suspended its season for 30 days. Even the NBA suspended its regular season after a player tested positive for the virus.

It’s dizzying, really, and nearly impossible to keep up with as cancellations and suspensions pour in at a constant clip. Worse yet, some believe this is only the beginning and that things could get far worse before we turn the corner.

We saw a similar level of panic set in among some with Y2K although admittedly, that was a totally different scenario. How this will all play out in the long term is still up in the air but it’s a fascinating case study on a number of levels, if nothing else.

Masthead credit: Coronavirus by Angelina Bambina. NBA arena by Ezra Shaw, Getty Images.

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cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,467   +5,844
I seriously hope this teaches us a lesson, in keeping open borders during potential epidemics. I do get the feeling over half of our population must fall victim, before it effectively initiates change. In simplest form, we invited this virus as well as many others.

For all you saying it only kills the elderly and week. Your day is coming. And when it does, I hope you remember your current stand point. So insensitive until it hits home.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 3,297   +3,113
I seriously hope this teaches us a lesson, in keeping open borders during potential epidemics. I do get the feeling over half of our population must fall victim, before it effectively initiates change. In simplest form, we invited this virus as well as many others.

For all you saying it only kills the elderly and week. Your day is coming. And when it does, I hope you remember your current stand point. So insensitive until it hits home.

Try having a closed border policy with a country that owns your debt and manufactures the majority of your stuff.

 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 2,986   +1,176
This thing ain't playin.
I've been staying inside and away from people as much as possible.
 
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cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,467   +5,844
Try having a closed border policy with a country that owns your debt and manufactures the majority of your stuff.
Moving merchandise is not usually the problem. Closing the borders for travelers would go along way. I wasn't meaning completely closed, I was meaning keeping them completely open. There is such a thing as shades of grey. I'm not sure why you made it so black and white.
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,378   +2,912
Try having a closed border policy with a country that owns your debt and manufactures the majority of your stuff.
Oh dear, we won't be able to get cheap garbage anymore while they try to collect our fake money.

Only reason China buys American debt is that it stimulates the world economy while also furthering their political agenda.
 
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p51d007

Posts: 2,482   +1,751
Got this from the web. Yes, the Chinese Coronavirus is a more potent strain, but, it is STILL the same family of virus's. Coronaviruses were first discovered in the 1960s. The earliest ones discovered were infectious bronchitis virus in chickens and two viruses from the nasal cavities of human patients with the common cold that were subsequently named human coronavirus 229E and human coronavirus OC43. Other members of this family have since been identified, including SARS-CoV in 2003, HCoV NL63 in 2004, HKU1 in 2005, MERS-CoV in 2012, and SARS-CoV-2 (formerly known as 2019-nCoV) in 2019. Most of these have involved serious respiratory tract infections.
 

OortCloud

Posts: 408   +262
Stop trying to turn this into an 'us and them' thing where you blame foreigners for your problems - it's a worldwide epidemic requiring worldwide cooperation not the usual ignorant petty jingoism and make america great again nonsense that seems to be becoming the norm.
 
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cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,467   +5,844
Stop trying to turn this into an 'us and them' thing where you blame foreigners for your problems - it's a worldwide epidemic requiring worldwide cooperation not the usual ignorant petty jingoism and make america great again nonsense that seems to be becoming the norm.
Fortunately for us this did not originate from the US. And it wasn't a world wide epidemic until it was spread world wide. And no I'm not using this as a "Make America Great Again" campaign. You took us there with your Anti-Trump BS.
 
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Puiu

Posts: 4,015   +2,530
Moving merchandise is not usually the problem. Closing the borders for travelers would go along way. I wasn't meaning completely closed, I was meaning keeping them completely open. There is such a thing as shades of grey. I'm not sure why you made it so black and white.
It's not about closing borders, it's about being smug and thinking: "it's not that bad, we can handle it" --> this was the downfall of Italy. The US seems to be taking the same approach.

And even with huge penalties (including heavy jail time) for citizens who went abroad, many just lie and ignore the quarantine. Romania will probably pass the 100 infected mark tomorrow and so damn many of the people found just straight up lied and ran around town infecting others. I'm now working from home.
 
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scavengerspc

Posts: 525   +365
TechSpot Elite
Fortunately for us this did not originate from the US. And it wasn't a world wide epidemic until it was spread world wide. And no I'm not using this as a "Make America Great Again" campaign. You took us there with your Anti-Trump BS.
Why assume he meant Drumph? The campaign slogan was used by Reagan in 1980. Just with "Lets". And honestly, nothing "Anti-Trump" is BS. He deserves it and earned it.
 
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CharmsD

Posts: 411   +254
Coronavirus response goes mainstream, no longer just about cancelled tech conferences

FUD.. fear, uncertainty, doubt. If Covid-19 doesn't kill us we can kill ourselves worrying about dying.

Panic harder...at least it's not an alien invasion.

I seriously hope this teaches us a lesson, in keeping open borders during potential epidemics. I do get the feeling over half of our population must fall victim, before it effectively initiates change. In simplest form, we invited this virus as well as many others.

For all you saying it only kills the elderly and week. Your day is coming. And when it does, I hope you remember your current stand point. So insensitive until it hits home.
The day is coming for everyone, so is night. There are ~30 ghosts behind every living person, dying is nothing new everyone does it and we'll all be dead a lot longer than we live.

Make the most of the time you get...got. :?)
 
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mattferg

Posts: 60   +31
I seriously hope this teaches us a lesson, in keeping open borders during potential epidemics. I do get the feeling over half of our population must fall victim, before it effectively initiates change. In simplest form, we invited this virus as well as many others.

For all you saying it only kills the elderly and week. Your day is coming. And when it does, I hope you remember your current stand point. So insensitive until it hits home.
You're kinda forgetting the part where every country in the world and all statistics shows it DOES predominantly only kill the elderly and already immuno-compromised... In China infection rates are slowing and 90% of those infected have recovered. Get out of here with your Trumpist conspiracy theory bollocks. No data supports you. The cancellations are to reduce burden on health services, NOT because it's significantly fatal or dangerous to the overall population.
 

mattferg

Posts: 60   +31
It's not about closing borders, it's about being smug and thinking: "it's not that bad, we can handle it" --> this was the downfall of Italy. The US seems to be taking the same approach.

And even with huge penalties (including heavy jail time) for citizens who went abroad, many just lie and ignore the quarantine. Romania will probably pass the 100 infected mark tomorrow and so damn many of the people found just straight up lied and ran around town infecting others. I'm now working from home.
Italy has the oldest population in Europe and has had massive cuts to healthcare in recent years. THIS is the issue.
 
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