At the start of the year, I wrote about how we can change the world. We’ve got a lot of opportunity to do that with the impact of coronavirus. Even before I got put on a task force to come up with innovative solutions for my employer, I’ve been digesting the articles and research probably as much as you are.
Yesterday, the Commonwealth Club hosted the former FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg to discuss solutions to the Covid-19 crisis and beyond, which you can listen to here. One fact that she gave, which completely blew my mind, is that the first incidence of Covid-19 in the United States and South Korea were discovered at the same time! Here are the stats for those countries as of today.
- Cases: 244,678
- Deaths: 5,911
- Cases: 9,976
- Deaths: 169
She said a critical solution would be to appoint a Covid-19 Czar (like we did with Ebola) or authority to consistently govern the country, instead of the inconsistency we are seeing today across our different states, hospital administrations, and the strain on our supply-chain.
I feel so lucky to live in California where our governor Gavin Newsom put the state on shelter-in-place and the mayor of San Francisco London Breed declared a state of emergency. Plus they did this early on.
I’m not a blind rule follower; I do it because I read the research and to me, it’s common sense. Even before the shelter-in-place order, I adamantly refused to be in physical contact with my elderly parents. Several friends would tell me I was being overly-protective. And even now, it still boggles my mind how friends freely chat and still meetup. These are all smart people. But I guess they dismiss science? I try to breathe and tell myself I can only control what I can control.
Recently, Governor Newsom issued an executive order allowing retired doctors and nurses to return to work, and allowing medical and nursing students to start work immediately. I wish I qualified, I would gladly serve. 25,000 Californians registered within 12 hours of the announcement. Wow!
Five years ago, a friend from business school, pivoted from being an executive in the entertainment industry to a life of service. He is currently an ER nurse in Baltimore and shared the following:
“I am not a fan of social media. I do not believe it is a net positive thing for humanity. But as your nurse I am reaching out to beg you all to stay home, maintain social distancing at all times, do not hug, shake hands or touch anyone outside of your home. Wash your hands and sanitize constantly. If you are not doing every one of these things, you are * directly * causing the soon to be hundreds of thousands or even millions of deaths around the world. Please put the heaviest social pressure you can on everybody around you to do the same. It doesn’t matter if you have symptoms – many if not most people with COVID-19 are symptom free. That’s what makes this virus so sinister – because they pass it to vulnerable people.
“This is a defining moment for all of humanity. Unless we take extreme measures now, there will be unimaginable levels of human suffering in the coming weeks.”
I do not see anyone in-person outside of my household. We FaceTime with my parents. I do several Zoom and FaceTime happy hours. I get provisions from the local Farmers Market on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and we have made the occasional grocery store run. We do takeout or delivery once a week at the most. This is strange since we are a family who normally eats out all the time. We’ve managed to make do with the food from our massive grocery runs. Plus, Dean and I are very simple eaters – nothing fancy.
Working from home and homeschooling has been a big pain in the ass. Distance learning doesn’t really work for a kindergartener as you need to be hands-on. I did cave and buy Franco an iPad which he is loving. I will share the apps I downloaded for him in the resource section below. I’m most productive when he’s asleep, which means I end up working from 9pm to midnight. Sigh.
We do try to get outside as much as we can. We go for a walk right before lunch, then late afternoon. Dean will go for a run, then I will take a solo walk before dinner. We have cheated the shelter-in-place by hiking, but I’ve limited that to weekdays when fewer people are around.
We also have our own, used N95 masks (It’s a California thing because of the wildfires) which we wear when we’re grocery shopping.
I’m lucky to have a job and to have an employer that has been very transparent about the Covid-19 situation with daily communications on what the company is doing to take care of employees and customers.
We are landlords and I reached out to our tenants to let them know that we’re here for them if they have any issues or concerns. We have had the most amazing tenants and we truly care about their well-being. We also reached out to our former nanny in San Francisco who is in her eighties to check in on her.
A company I angel invested in described the steps being taken to keep the company alive:
- Reduction in force
- Shift from full-time to part-time
- Wages reduced by 70%, even higher for the founders
- No ad spending
My heart breaks for small businesses and really everyone who is negatively impacted by Covid-19.
I have seen GoFundMe campaigns for restaurants, Venmo accounts for teachers, and emails soliciting donations. One that I have donated to is World Central Kitchen. For Covid-19, they are supporting small local restaurants to help sustain our first responders. Win-win! Outside of this current pandemic, they provide meals during natural disasters like the earthquake in Haiti.
Here are some resources I’ve relied on for Covid-19 news and distance learning, which are tailored for a kindergartener.
Trying to Live My Best Life
Despite the circumstances, I’m trying to live my best life. Honestly, I can’t wait to hug all of my loved ones. Franco and I take turns dreaming of where we will go on vacation (Indian Springs Calistoga, Carmel Valley Ranch, Disneyland, Disneyworld, the Philippines).
I’m sleeping less, but I’m eating better. Sadly, See’s Candies announced they were shutting down a day prior to my 3 pound delivery was scheduled. Tears.
I’ve done a couple cleanses. I’m a big fan of this local one.
And below is a clip of me singing. This is a first! I’ve also started playing the piano again.
Wishing you all so much love and laughter during this challenging time. Be well, stay safe.