#StayTheFuckHome: A Movement to Stop the COVID-19 Pandemic

StayTheFuckHome is a website advocating that if governments are failing to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, that citizens do their part.

If that’s not convincing enough, here’s a previously-unshared on Metafilter plea from an anonymous doctor in western Europe: now stop killing people.

posted by larrybob (235 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite

My community is having a rapidly growing outbreak right now. There is zero reason I couldn’t work from home. All I do is sit on a computer all day. Talked to my boss about working from home yesterday. He says he doesn’t “think it will come to that”.
posted by Brain Sturgeon at 9:48 AM on March 12 [44 favorites]
This is certainly one good way to flatten the curve.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:57 AM on March 12 [14 favorites]
Regarding the Schengen Zone travel ban: It seems to me all a nefarious person would have to do is fly to the UK, then the US, and then tell people they flew into the UK from somewhere outside the Schengen Zone. Am I wrong?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion ’94 at 9:59 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]
Currently trying to figure out how to convince my church to close. Any suggestions welcome.

My work at least had a meeting today that was like “half of you work remotely tomorrow so we can see if anything explodes.”
posted by selfnoise at 10:00 AM on March 12 [3 favorites]

I’m heading home in a bit and not leaving again for awhile. Though I have one final class in person tonight and no announced way to take the quiz before each class alternatively… sigh…
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:02 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]
I was just in a No Frills (discount Canadian grocery store) and the place was a madhouse. Every cashier on at noon on a week day and crazy long lines of people with full carts. I immediately turned around and walked 20 blocks to the non discount grocery store which was less busy but only had 1 package of toilet paper left and it had 60 — yes, 60! — rolls in it. I had no choice but to purchase it even though I’m a single person.

This is after going on Amazon to try and get toilet paper and seeing it could take “up to 4 weeks” to ship.
posted by dobbs at 10:03 AM on March 12 [13 favorites]

#StayTheFuckHome

way ahead of you on this
posted by thelonius at 10:03 AM on March 12 [24 favorites]

Our office switched entirely to laptops the last 2 years so that everyone had the option to work-from-home. They made it mandatory as of this week. I’m glad they’re being pro-active about this. I have a lot of beef about my employers and how things are run but in this I can appreciate the fact that we can continue to work and earn money while still being relatively safe at home.
posted by Fizz at 10:04 AM on March 12 [14 favorites]
My employer (one of the big banks) was already on a 50% work from home project but it was just announced that we’re going to 100% as of tomorrow.
posted by cirhosis at 10:06 AM on March 12 [6 favorites]
This is after going on Amazon to try and get toilet paper and seeing it could take “up to 4 weeks” to ship

that’s right, they said ship
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion ’94 at 10:06 AM on March 12 [7 favorites]

I live in Washington.

I’ve been saying for a month that this will be a massive epidemic that will kill untold thousands in America because every facet of our economic, political, and social lives are built to prevent us from doing the right thing in this situation.

We don’t have universal healthcare, people will avoid getting treatment because they can’t afford it. We don’t have basic sick leave, let alone a basic income, people will lose their jobs and possibly their homes in the middle of a fucking pandemic. The fact that a moratorium on rents and mortgages hasn’t been considered is criminal.

People WILL go to work while sick, because people already do.

People will do what they’ve been conditioned to do, which is go to work sick and break the law for their employers. You can bet your ass that even when stuff is supposed to be covered there will be some hospitals and insurances will still charging people for it, you can be sure that scared low-level employees will still be turning people away for the sake of their CEO’s bottom line.

The business world in America is ONLY concerned about economic impacts and NOT AT ALL concerned about the loss of human life, and that is why we undoubtedly will have a bigger crisis than China did.

Not to mention the fact that since everything is privatized, there is no central system for organizing basically anything, meaning, like I said, people are more likely to trust the word of their boss first, because it means getting fired otherwise, than listening to science or government telling them otherwise.

Sorry folks, stay inside, wash your hands, and order a bidet. We are flat out fucked. My mother is smart enough to have been updating her last will and testament.

And everything that I’m talking about doesn’t even address Trumps insanity in making this worse. I’m literally talking about straight up, old-fashioned America. This would be happening like this is Trump was President or not, Trump has just turbocharged it with his sad excuse of trying to cover up a tanking world economy. The economy has always been more important to the rich than the lives of the workers they employ.

Proof in the pudding is the Republican Senate blocking an emergency paid sick leave bill. The thing is, we still didn’t have paid sick leave beforehand so rushing to give it to us now is still half-ass bullshit that should have been considered fifty fucking years ago.

The irony is that it is most dangerous for the elderly, who have traditionally been the voting bloc that has prevented things like paid sick leave from happening.

EDIT: Don’t get me started on how my credit union is trying to give me fucking LOANS to “help you through this crisis.” Shock Doctrine, never let a good crisis go to waste when you can make money. I honestly think if a bank or credit union does this, they should get criminal fines for abusing a crisis.
posted by deadaluspark at 10:07 AM on March 12 [109 favorites]

This is the sixth active metafilter COVID-19 post I have open on my phone, not counting a metatalk and an askme.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:08 AM on March 12 [17 favorites]
As a chronically ill person I already do most of this. My university just suspended in-person classes and moved everything online. I’ve been stocking up slowly, I’m going to go out today and pick up a few last things, then after my dental appointment tomorrow I’m so ready to be hole up at home for weeks. I have sympathy for the people who don’t usually live like this, and who don’t have a partner/family to keep them company. But damn, I’m really feeling those posts that are like “you could have been giving disabled people accommodations all this time?”

Relatedly, disabled people have lots of good tips on how to handle being home all the time–I’m gonna see what I can scrape together for a FPP, maybe.
posted by brook horse at 10:10 AM on March 12 [69 favorites]

Every cashier on at noon on a week day and crazy long lines of people with full carts.

I’ve been topping off my iron rations for about a week. I have a few more things I’d like to buy to throw in the freezer, and maybe a few more chocolate bars or other treats to relieve the beans and rice diet. So far, I’ve done fine going off peak hours and just buying extra things on top of normal shopping; I hope I can still get away with that strategy for a little longer. But I suspect that a wave of people who have dismissed preparation as “panic buying” are now, ironically, rushing to the stores.
posted by thelonius at 10:12 AM on March 12 [5 favorites]

Thankfully a lifetime of computer gaming and learning to cope with all my friends living halfway across the country from me for various jobs has lead to me being actually quite prepared to be “home quarantined” while also having a quite vibrant social life.

Get a headset, get teamspeak/discord/skype/riot.im/whatever you want to use or your friends want to use.

Sync up movies and watch them online together or play online games together. You’ll be glad you did.
posted by deadaluspark at 10:13 AM on March 12 [10 favorites]

My boss’s boss’s boss’ boss’ boss’ boss is working from home for the next two weeks. Seems to be cancelling his appointments.

Hope he’s an early riser though. Our work VPN is notoriously under-provisioned and usually maxes out before 7am local.
posted by bonehead at 10:13 AM on March 12 [11 favorites]

My college is being slow to cancel anything, starting with classes and extending to RECRUITMENT VISIT DAYS that bring together families from all over the state, including CNA students who are in clinicals and will be traveling to state sports tournaments all week and then Grandma’s house on the weekend.

It’s making the blood of this son of an actual epidemiologist fucking BOIL.
posted by Caxton1476 at 10:16 AM on March 12 [9 favorites]

Get a headset, get teamspeak/discord/skype/riot.im/whatever you want to use or your friends want to use.

Make a Discord server for your friend group! Throw a few different topic-based channels, anyone who wants a “party room” (a room that’s specifically ‘yours’ so you can throw your random special interest shit in there and not feel like you’re bothering people) gets one. Use the server to talk about your day, give updates, share interesting links. Have voice chat get-togethers. You can do this with just a smartphone.
posted by brook horse at 10:17 AM on March 12 [14 favorites]

We’ve been living this for the past two weeks. Kids are out of school and parents are working from home. My kids’ small private school is staying open (public schools closed as of today) and I was shocked to hear most parents are still sending their kids today. It seems tremendously irresponsible.

A weird side effect of not leaving the house is that you don’t know if anyone else is leaving the house. I’m reading the Seattle Times and it sounds like people are somewhat getting with the social distancing program, but I’d have no way to verify that myself.
posted by potrzebie at 10:19 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]

I just emailed the sponsor of a trail race I run every spring, that attracts like 200-300 runners plus support, and that skews old-ish, to see if they have a plan and to urge them to think of the the safety of the vulnerable ppl in everyone’s network. Before I started going to lots of races I thought of runners, esp trail runners, as pretty left-leaning, but anymore I’m starting to think of them as libertarians with lungs.
posted by toodleydoodley at 10:19 AM on March 12 [7 favorites]
My work just sent out an email telling us that no one would be working from home right now (unsurprising), but it also included this line:

If you feel well enough to come in but might have some symptoms of a cold, consider whether you want to visit other meetings.

Sigh.
posted by geegollygosh at 10:19 AM on March 12 [5 favorites]

Discord is wonderful. ++
posted by bonehead at 10:20 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]
My work at least had a meeting today that was like “half of you work remotely tomorrow so we can see if anything explodes.”

Yeah, we just added something like 75k+ people worldwide to our existing WFH infrastructure, and I’ve heard internally that it took a “Berlin Airlift” level of effort to make it happen.

We have the expertise/infrastructure/money to make it happen, but I feel for smaller companies that have a bunch of IT staff working themselves to the bone to figure out how to make it work.
posted by sideshow at 10:31 AM on March 12 [6 favorites]

Wow, wenestvedt, hadn’t realized that nobody has posted FlattenTheCurve.com here yet or I would have included it in my FPP.
posted by larrybob at 10:32 AM on March 12 [10 favorites]
Currently trying to figure out how to convince my church to close. Any suggestions welcome.

Check your denomination’s national webpages. Mine (UU) has put up very helpful advice for doing church during pandemics (well they are based in Boston so they are seeing it firsthand).

At our board meeting, we also discussed plans for services during quarantine (basically livestreaming over Facebook, a service run by just 4-5 people on a Sunday), and we already record/upload services to YouTube. We have also been told to use Zoom for sunday classes if we like.

I don’t think they’d mind if your congregation copied some of their advice/suggestions.
posted by emjaybee at 10:32 AM on March 12 [3 favorites]

My university also just doubled our spring break time to give us time to figure out how the hell to teach online after spring break. I am trying to grade midterms from home after having spent a significant amount of time in lab yesterday walking my students through what is likely to happen, what they should expect, what various worst-case scenarios might be (e.g.: being locked out of their homes for unknown periods of time, thanks for that precedent, Harvard) and what I think is likely to happen. They are varying levels of scared, confused, and worried. We spent a lot of time talking about the protests out in Dayton and how to keep themselves safe.

I have joined the grad student advisory council of a society that organizes a major international conference in late June every year, and I’m watching the behind the scenes discussion as my society tries to decide whether to cancel the conference completely, try to move forward with a modified meeting or delay it, and if it is to be canceled how to defray the six-figure cost of canceling it and breaking our agreements with the venues. I suspect it will be cancelled; meetings and conferences are being cancelled left and right because no one wants to spread the virus.

Fuck! It’s hard, because any possible thing we can do is expensive. I am comparatively easy to isolate right now–I’ve been working from home two or three days a week anyway and only really coming to campus to teach–but focusing on my work is also really difficult with COVID-19 everywhere. I want to communicate and check in with people and joke and laugh, even virtually, and talk about how we transition to working with our students during this time. It is very difficult to focus.

My partner and I are working out protocols with our housemates re: social distancing, including plans for what happens if the whole house gets put on quarantine. It’s exhausting.
posted by sciatrix at 10:33 AM on March 12 [13 favorites]

My church newsletter didn’t even mention the virus or how they’ll be handling communion.
My workplace isn’t addressing closure and WFM options ’til next Wednesday, which seems like an impossible ways away
posted by Biblio at 10:33 AM on March 12
Hope he’s an early riser though. Our work VPN is notoriously under-provisioned and usually maxes out before 7am local.

Once this passes, there is going to a lot of work rebuilding remote infrastructure to work correctly and a “come to Jesus” moment that remote working isn’t always bad.
posted by jmauro at 10:35 AM on March 12 [11 favorites]

I’ve been pretty encouraged by my office’s response. Today and tomorrow, all employees are required to work from home so we can test our ability to function. We’re going to be back to ‘normal’ on Monday, but we’re meeting about the pandemic every day and are ready to send everyone who can be remote away from the office if we have more cases in our state.
posted by Room 101 at 10:39 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]
I mean, if your communion is not dispensed in a very sanitary way, you need to not take or offer it. I think it is entirely called for to make a big loud fuss about this to your church.

My old church had deacon’s wives hand-make the unleavened bread and then pour the grape juice from jugs into disposable plastic cups; I’d say the first would be a no, the second maybe ok depending on sanitary measures. Honestly not sure if communion wafers/bread can be done in a germ-safe way, guess it depends on where you source it/if it’s wrapped.

I would urge those of you not hearing from your churches to call them and insist they take precautions. Most churches have lots of elderly members, and many who are medically fragile, and they owe those folks to take measures.
posted by emjaybee at 10:40 AM on March 12 [7 favorites]

Reading through the lines from what I remember of my Catholic upbringing, I’m pretty sure that Jesus would not have wanted anybody to die as a result of taking communion [and, yes, it’s that serious].
posted by schmod at 10:43 AM on March 12 [11 favorites]
Fuck fucking fuck fuck: Pandemic edition. For all your MeTa communal screaming needs!
posted by sciatrix at 10:44 AM on March 12 [4 favorites]
Churches should bless large containers of hand sanitizer, and integrate that into services.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:47 AM on March 12 [15 favorites]
I would love to #staythefuckhome but I’m a freelancer and I don’t get paid unless I physically show up to physically create things in person with a team of real people. My work can’t be done remotely, I don’t have an employer to appeal to, and my rent can’t be paid with hashtags.

Guess what yall, there are a shit load of people like me. I’m not some low paid service or gig app worker, I have a real career, but it still requires me to show up in person to do things with my (sanitized) hands. And I hate to tell you, but a lot of people on the client side of my work spend their days planning things for people like me to do. Wonder how long it will before employers realize “Well we’re not bringing in any freelance teams any time soon, so why do we need all these project managers etc.”

Looking at the balance in my savings account, and at the jobs on my calendar being canceled, It’s pretty obvious to me a large portions of Americans are going to be very fucked very soon and it’s not going to be limited to your Uber driver. Small businesses in this country are going to go under in mass.
posted by bradbane at 10:48 AM on March 12 [62 favorites]

Yeah, we just added something like 75k+ people worldwide to our existing WFH infrastructure, and I’ve heard internally that it took a “Berlin Airlift” level of effort to make it happen.

We have the expertise/infrastructure/money to make it happen, but I feel for smaller companies that have a bunch of IT staff working themselves to the bone to figure out how to make it work.

My understanding is that a real limitation for my employer is that we only have a certain number of remote software licenses, not to mention only limited internal IT support. I’m sure that’s only one of a cluster of issues. I would really like to be working from home now, but the infrastructure issues are real and generally can’t be solved overnight if your organization has limited resources.
posted by praemunire at 10:50 AM on March 12 [3 favorites]

Re: churches

Half of the cases in the entire nation of South Korea, 2418 people, are being linked back to a single patient, Patient 31, who attended the Shincheonji Church of Jesus twice, including once after showing symptoms and being advised to be tested for coronavirus.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:52 AM on March 12 [31 favorites]

We’re just gearing up for this. My wife was told to begin working from home yesterday, and I was told today the company is instituting a “liberal work from home policy.” We have some complications (labs and closed spaces) that make completely working from home infeasible, but the thinking is that the fewer people physically in the office the better. We’re still allowing “essential” domestic travel, but my trip next week was cancelled after discussing it with the program manager.

We had chorus rehearsal this week, but it was lightly attended and a ton of people dropped out of the season. The next day, we were told that rehearsals are suspended indefinitely and they may just cancel everything outright. That’s going to be tough for a small community group, since they already have a bunch of sunk costs. They’re going to offer some amount of dues refunds if they do cancel, but I’m just going to let them keep the full amount if it happens.

We still haven’t tried to buy toilet paper yet, but we are running low so I think we’re just going to try to grab a month’s supply of paper products this weekend if any are still available for sale.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:54 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]

Churches should bless large containers of hand sanitizer, and integrate that into services.

This is my >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer, which is given for you. In the name of the WHO, the CDC, and 20 seconds of hand washing, amen.
posted by allegedly at 10:55 AM on March 12 [35 favorites]

I feel for smaller companies that have a bunch of IT staff working themselves to the bone to figure out how to make it work.

Our single IT infrastructure guy is working around the clock to fix things to handle the load. Our office was already 80-90% remote, but as of about an hour ago we’re not allowed in the building until “things calm down again”. I feel for him, and I’m glad I work with a bunch of good people who are actively pulling things off his plate as much as possible to give him room to breathe.
posted by okayokayigive at 10:55 AM on March 12 [6 favorites]

I work remotely (from Seattle) for a tech company based in Atlanta. This morning, the Atlanta headquarters announced that it is going remote-only starting on Monday. (They had already stopped all business travel, and canceled some planned conferences.) Kudos to them, especially since they are doing this before things are visibly very bad in Atlanta.

I know for a lot of people this is going to be a major hardship, but for companies like ours who can make the shift more easily than most (especially since we already have the infrastructure for remote workers like me), it makes a ton of sense to just do it. Looking at what’s happening in China, Italy, and even here in Seattle… you’re almost certainly going to see enforced social distancing everywhere eventually. Might as well start it early if you can, because that’s when it will make the biggest difference.
posted by mbrubeck at 10:56 AM on March 12 [5 favorites]

Guess what yall, there are a shit load of people like me. I’m not some low paid service or gig app worker, I have a real career, but it still requires me to show up in person to do things with my (sanitized) hands.

Ignoring the quip about a “real career”, as a service worker in an industry that requires me to show up to get paid, hotels, and no money in my bank account, I’m right there with you, but would also add that even were some of us in the service industry lucky enough to avoid getting sick or have paid time off, we might still be screwed as our industries themselves are already starting to take huge hits from people not going out. The hotel I work at has already lost thousands of dollars from cancellations due to virus concerns and that’s not going to be uncommon. Many businesses themselves won’t have the resources to survive a long drought and those jobs we have just might not be there for long even if we ourselves do everything right. That’s not an argument for people to go out, just a grim reality check for some of us.
posted by gusottertrout at 11:00 AM on March 12 [44 favorites]

We just got an update from the Bishop saying not to use the communion cup.
posted by Biblio at 11:05 AM on March 12 [4 favorites]
Mass gatherings banned in Oregon under governor’s order (AP)

All gatherings of more than 250 people are banned statewide in Oregon for four weeks to try to stop the spread of the new coronavirus under an order issued by Gov. Kate Brown, who said “it’s time for us all to do what we can to slow its spread.”

A gathering is defined as any event in a space in which a minimum of three feet (one meter) cannot be maintained, the order issued late Wednesday specified. […] Officials assume that thousands of Oregonians will get the new coronavirus. The governor of neighboring Washington state has predicted cases numbering in the tens of thousands there.

Brown, who was to speak at a news conference Thursday morning in Portland, said all non-essential school-associated gatherings and group activities should be canceled — such as group parent meetings, field trips, and competitions.

She also recommended businesses implement an increased physical space between employees, limit travel, and stagger work schedules where possible. “Nobody is immune to this virus, it can touch everyone,” she said in a statement.

posted by katra at 11:07 AM on March 12 [4 favorites]

MLB to Suspend All Operations Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

“Man, I really wish those cheating Astros would just get suspended next season.”

*monkey’s paw curls*
posted by Rhaomi at 11:08 AM on March 12 [69 favorites]

I am stress eating; seems like as good as anything else as a viable response after the basics are met.
posted by mightshould at 11:09 AM on March 12 [10 favorites]
I’m not hourly but I’m feeling nervous-to-pessimistic about job stability. During the last recession the company I now work for shed a ton of staff with very little notice. If things slow generally I expect the same will happen again.

For hourly people in hospitality and travel based industries especially, I think that is already hitting.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:09 AM on March 12 [3 favorites]

Your god(s) will understand, (supposing they exist.)

Snarky asshole quips like that aren’t going to help convince church-goers they should stay home.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:11 AM on March 12 [28 favorites]

Meanwhile, my roomie who is a grocery cashier is going to work shortly. We’re all collectively hoping that she and her coworkers are spared as much as possible, and not only for their own paychecks. Their employer (HEB, for you Texans) has a fairly well-deserved reputation for being decent to its service workers, but they’re also going to be huge points of contact and stress as folks go nuts with the disaster planning.

Most service workers don’t get any PTO for sick leave; they just… miss shifts. A friend of mine who works at the Royal Mail keeps dryly commenting that they’re fine catching the virus or not, but that if they get banned from working for several weeks and they survive they’re really fucked, so they’d prefer to just die if that’s what the options are.

Meanwhile over here in the States, Pelosi and the Dems keep trying to pass paid sick leave bills, and the GOP keeps shutting them down and looking increasingly desperate for reasons to ignore them. HURRAH.
posted by sciatrix at 11:12 AM on March 12 [14 favorites]

The Latest: UK could have up to 10,000 total virus cases (AP)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called the coronavirus pandemic “the worst public health crisis for a generation” and said “many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time.”

Johnson called Thursday for Britons to unite behind efforts to slow the spread of the epidemic, saying “the most dangerous period is not now but some weeks away.” Britain has 590 confirmed cases of the virus and 10 deaths, but Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, said the actual number of infected people could be up to 10,000.

Johnson said from now on anyone with a fever or persistent cough — symptoms of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus — should stay at home for a week.

posted by katra at 11:14 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]

The NHL has paused as well.
posted by cmfletcher at 11:17 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]
Part of the exhortations to stay home is that they are aimed at people who can stay home, to protect the people who cannot stay home.

Doctors, Nurses, delivery folks, day care providers, grocery clerks, the list is long. Those are all real careers. People who live paycheck to paycheck also cannot stay home in our current economy, because everything that resembled a social safety net is gone.

Nobody is saying “do not earn a living.” The message instead is “don’t be gallivanting around town, triple cheek kissing every 6th cousin and long lost kindergarten classmate you meet.”

And this is hard, because not going to movie theaters means that folks who work there may lose their jobs or at best be furloughed. Ditto airlines, restaurants, bars, florists, etc.
posted by bilabial at 11:19 AM on March 12 [39 favorites]

A lot of universities including my own have now cancelled classes or moved online but still have no clear top-down guidance on when/if staff are allowed to work from home as able. In the absence of senior administration making this decision, I feel like the least we can do is have most office workers stay home so that, for the custodial staff etc who are still reporting in person, there are as few people on campus as possible to spread among each other (and make their heavier cleaning load easier.)

I’ve also read that public transit is not itself a horrible vector for healthy folks, but again – if you can avoid it, you can break your own link of spreading it further..
posted by nakedmolerats at 11:22 AM on March 12 [8 favorites]

Ignoring the quip about a “real career”, as a service worker in an industry that requires me to show up to get paid, hotels, and no money in my bank account, I’m right there with you

Ah I meant it in jest, I would never seriously call my job a “real” one :). I’m tired of hearing the people on the news and the radio talk about “low wage gig workers”. The media seems to think there are two kinds of workers in this country: office people, and the app workers who bring them lunch. But we are all vulnerable here and I think the lack of cushion for small businesses is going to hurt more than anything. These large companies may be able to send their workers home temporarily, but they also depend on lots of contractors, freelancers, service workers, and small suppliers to keep their companies running. What happens when those service providers go out of business?

The tech companies have the cash to float them through it, but I don’t think that’s necessarily true of their caterers, cleaners, freelancers, and all the other people who make the world go round.
posted by bradbane at 11:22 AM on March 12 [5 favorites]

I think this is going to massively exacerbate the rich/poor divide. When the pandemic passes and all the WFH-ers get back to their commutes, they’re going to find that the cities built around them – restaurants, cafes, hotels – will be gone.
posted by meowzilla at 11:23 AM on March 12 [14 favorites]
I’m in the Bay Area, working for a very very large computer / phone / watch maker that does not, historically, have much of a work from home culture. At the end of last week, we were told that we had the option of working from home Friday; over the weekend, that option was extended through this week.Today, we were told that, for the foreseeable future, while WFH was still ‘optional’, anyone coming to the office would have to answer a serious of questions about their health before being allowed in the building. I’ll be spending this weekend setting up a real WFH work area rather than plopping myself and my laptop in the recliner in the living room.

A friend told me on Monday that her job had been told they’d be on WFH until at least April.
posted by hanov3r at 11:23 AM on March 12 [5 favorites]

I am staying the fuck home from my lobbying job. Five or so of my state’s legislators went to one of those dipshit right-wing conferences and they had to scrub down our legislative chambers and also our worst Congressman (who went to the same dipshit conference) self-quarantined, but not until after stopping for tacos.
posted by Cookiebastard at 11:25 AM on March 12 [16 favorites]
I think we need a companion website, letyourstaffstaythefuckhome.com.

I get that many jobs simply cannot be done remotely. That is all the more reason why those of us who can have a moral responsibility to allow our employees to work from home if at all possible. That reduces the number of people that are around, interacting and potentially spreading infection.

It drives me up the fucking wall when lazy managers refuse to allow home working for their teams because, like newborns, they don’t have enough object permanence to deal mentally with things out of their direct line of sight.

If I hear “how will I make sure they’re working if they’re at home?” from one more person, they’re going against the wall once the lockdown is over.
posted by atrazine at 11:26 AM on March 12 [35 favorites]

What strikes me is the shift in messaging and talking points. Up to a few days ago, people and even institutions were still emphasizing/insinuating some vague prediction around the idea that “only the vulnerable are at greatest risk”, and I wonder where those voices are now.

Also interesting to observe the US schools setting an example, days before government agency announcements, and then everything else following them in the days after.
posted by polymodus at 11:26 AM on March 12 [3 favorites]

If y’all haven’t read “A Song for a New Day” by Sarah Pinsker…. now you know what to do with all your spare time.
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:27 AM on March 12 [3 favorites]
I was just told that I’m working from home for the next month. They split our team so half work out of the office and half from home so the whole team wont get sick at once. No one in my office has been diagnosed with COVID-19, they’re doing it as a precautionary measure. I will still be going to bars and restaurants (unless I get sick) because I’ll need to get out of the house.
posted by Kris10_b at 11:31 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]
I work with high school students, and my work can’t be done remotely (not my main job, at least. My tutoring can be done via Skype). Some of the private schools here in Chicago have pretty much shut everything down, but all of CPS is open for business, so that means I work with 15-year-old disease vectors all day.

It’s a matter of “when,” not “if,” for me. Not looking forward to it.
posted by tzikeh at 11:34 AM on March 12 [3 favorites]

I was just in a No Frills (discount Canadian grocery store) and the place was a madhouse. Every cashier on at noon on a week day and crazy long lines of people with full carts. I immediately turned around and walked 20 blocks to the non discount grocery store which was less busy but only had 1 package of toilet paper left and it had 60 — yes, 60! — rolls in it.

Yeah, the No Frills near us was basically out of toilet paper the other day. The thing is, Canada has a large domestic softwood pulp supply and our toilet paper is manufactured domestically — it’s one of the last things we’d run out of. Panic buying is distorting the demand end of the supply chain for things like this.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:37 AM on March 12 [7 favorites]

Home, Job, School, Bank, Gas Station, Doctor, Grocery Store, and Family are the only things that are going to be tough to work around. What am I missing?
posted by Beholder at 11:38 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]
I work in higher-ed IT in New England. Our classes just went online (but not labs ) for the next few weeks, but I suspect we won’t be back in classrooms until summer or autumn.

Staff are still going to report, but again I suspect that won’t last for most of us. Like a blizzard, some people will be “essential personnel” as long as the place is in business.

With regard to remote access systems, many of them are only limited by license codes issued by the vendor after you pay more: the hardware is up to the task already. And many vendors are offering free, time-limited license increases.

Rhode Island School of Design went online and they are clearing out their dorms. I feel bad for the students whose studio art courses are being converted to, like, art history lectures: they lose valuable experience, but the Seniors also won’t be able to hold their individual Gallery Shows.

And I also feel bad for the counter staff at my local cafe: with all the colleges leaving downtown Providence, their customer base will be shrunk catastrophically overnight. The owner is a truly good shit, and I expect he will take care of his workers, but I might have to spend a little extra there in the weeks ahead to make up for someone who’s not in town any more. And I can’t single-handedly support every business I like!
posted by wenestvedt at 11:39 AM on March 12 [6 favorites]

From the take your small amusements where you can find them dept: I initially parsed Cookiebastard’s comment above as

and they had to scrub down our legislative chambers and also our worst Congressman
posted by little cow make small moo at 11:45 AM on March 12 [20 favorites]

Cookiebastard, any way you can lobby from home to get them to cancel the goddamn Gatornationals?
posted by Don Pepino at 11:46 AM on March 12
It drives me up the fucking wall when lazy managers refuse to allow home working for their teams because, like newborns, they don’t have enough object permanence to deal mentally with things out of their direct line of sight.

That’s one thing that I’ve been really pleased with regarding how the company is handling things. From the president on down, the message has consistently been to treat the employees like adults. No justification required for working from home, deciding not to travel, or anything else. There’s been a level of thoughtfulness and concern for the rank and file that I haven’t seen elsewhere.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:47 AM on March 12 [10 favorites]

What does History teach us:
During the 1918 influenza pandemic, for example, fewer people died in cities that closed churches and schools early on. Cities like St. Louis, which closed movie theaters and canceled sporting events when only a few people had the flu, were able to reduce the spread of disease by around half. Philadelphia, which decided to hold a parade at the start of the outbreak, saw the number of cases skyrocket. – The Verge
posted by theora55 at 11:48 AM on March 12 [20 favorites]
It drives me up the fucking wall when lazy managers refuse to allow home working for their teams because, like newborns, they don’t have enough object permanence to deal mentally with things out of their direct line of sight.

Your comment is deeply insulting to newborns.
posted by medusa at 11:49 AM on March 12 [29 favorites]

If I hear “how will I make sure they’re working if they’re at home?” from one more person, they’re going against the wall once the lockdown is over.

I’ve been thinking of expanding the freelance services I offer. I currently have availability, drop me a DM if you would like to discuss this project.
posted by bradbane at 11:49 AM on March 12 [4 favorites]

For what it’s worth – my employer (large global consulting firm) typically has anywhere from 5k-10k people traveling on any given day domestically in the US and probably in the low hundreds internationally on any day – we’ve just gone to a “work from home and only travel if approved as critical by senior company leaders and no international travel”. That’ll impact hundreds of client projects inflight. Most of my corporate clients have moved to a “no travel” posture for all their employees and consultants and are doing as much work from home as possible. The impact of this is going to be very significant – but people I’ve interacted with are taking this seriously.

But yeah boy do I feel sorry for the lunch places and other businesses that support onsite employees as this hits.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 11:50 AM on March 12 [4 favorites]

I work at an animal shelter in Seattle and while we’re closed to the public for an indeterminate period of time starting this week, there’s still dogs that need caring for.

It’s above my pay grade, as I’m just a kennel attendant, but I worry what will happen if (when?) one of us starts showing symptoms. I have no idea if there’s a plan in place for how to care for the animals if all the caregivers are quarantined.

One thing I know, I wish that the back office people would go the heck home. They don’t need to be here and their presence just puts us all at greater risk.
posted by Laura Palmer’s Cold Dead Kiss at 11:52 AM on March 12 [16 favorites]

stayinghome.club – list of tech/tech-adjacent companies which are doing WFH, as well as cancelled events

If you can work remotely and your company won’t let you, maybe this will help you make your case…
posted by airmail at 11:53 AM on March 12 [6 favorites]

Also interesting to observe the US schools setting an example, …

The school at which I work and the schools several of my academic friends work at have gone to online-only for the students, but the staff still have to come in, in some cases even the faculty who are leading said online classes and who could do so perfectly well from home.
posted by telophase at 12:02 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]

Guardian: “Governor Gavin Newsom is recommending that everyone cancel or postpone all gatherings of 250 people or more until at least the end of March to slow the spread of coronavirus.

His recommendation Wednesday night followed San Francisco and Santa Clara County fully banning all gatherings of 1,000 or more.

Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) Changing our actions now will save lives in the days and weeks to come.

To protect the public health, CA has issued an updated policy —

Gatherings with 250+ people should be rescheduled or canceled at least through the end of March.

MORE: https://t.co/u5A2WbHBO3
March 12, 2020

The state recommendation also called for venues that do not allow social distancing of six feet per person to cancel or postpone events.

Guardian: New York state poised to ban large gatherings

New York governor Andrew Cuomo is about to ban large events.

Jesse McKinley (@jessemckinley) BREAKING: @NYGovCuomo announced closing of large public gethering of 500 or more in NYC because of #coronavirus fears March 12, 2020

posted by katra at 12:02 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]

If I hear “how will I make sure they’re working if they’re at home?” from one more person, they’re going against the wall once the lockdown is over.

It’s a question that says more about the person asking it than anyone they might be asking it about. If you’re afraid that your employees won’t do any work unless they’re in your direct line of sight you are a shitty manager that is bad at hiring and worse at managing.

Is that what you’re saying, hypothetical manager asking me this? That you’re bad at hiring and bad at managing people? Or should we just trust that this group of grown-ass professionals will act like grown-ass professionals and do their jobs because they’re grown-ups?

Yeah, though so.
posted by VTX at 12:02 PM on March 12 [17 favorites]

The school at which I work and the schools several of my academic friends work at have gone to online-only for the students, but the staff still have to come in, in some cases even the faculty who are leading said online classes and who could do so perfectly well from home.

Yup, I work at university, too, that is not letting people who can work from home work from home. Universities only seem to do what other universities do. Hopefully Harvard or somewhere else prestigious, will lead by example soon, as they did with sending students home.
posted by Brain Sturgeon at 12:08 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]

Guardian: “Kate Connolly, the Guardian’s Berlin correspondent, has sent a summary of developments in Germany, where the number of people with coronavirus has risen to 2,527. […]

Prof Lars Schaade, the vice president of the Robert Koch Institute, the leading government advice body for public health, said that the virus was spreading “very fast” in Germany. He said virologists would be closely observing developments over the next days and weeks, looking for any indication as to when the virus might start to “level off”. He warned that young people and those in good health were at risk of not taking the illness seriously.

They don’t belong to the risk group. But globally there have been cases of young people whose illnesses have developed into something more serious.

Younger people also had to show solidarity towards older members of society, he said, by curbing their activities so as not to contribute to the spread of the virus.

Germany’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who has cancelled almost all of his non-urgent appointments, appealed to Germans to help each other, and show solidarity particularly towards the elderly and sick by not undertaking any necessary journeys or activities. He said:

We need to change our daily lives, not gradually, but immediately. This is all about gaining time, so that the hospitals are not overwhelmed and there’s more chance to develop a vaccination.

posted by katra at 12:10 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]

selfnoise: “Currently trying to figure out how to convince my church to close. Any suggestions welcome.”

“The Church’s Role in a Pandemic,” Tiffany Firebaugh, Sojourner’s, 12 March 2020

“Community Without Communing: Resources for Virtual Church,” Sandi Villarreal, Id.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:12 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]

For what it’s worth – my employer (large global consulting firm) typically has anywhere from 5k-10k people traveling on any given day domestically in the US and probably in the low hundreds internationally on any day – we’ve just gone to a “work from home and only travel if approved as critical by senior company leaders and no international travel”.

I work for a large USG agency with mind-boggling numbers of travelers, not to mention thousands of employees worldwide (who I feel for, I couldn’t imagine being an American living overseas right now). I received the same guidance this week: no official travel AT ALL, unless it’s a critical life-safety issue and approved by senior leadership. Also travelers are being told to expect a two-week self-quarantine if they leave the US. Personal travel obviously can’t be stopped, but is highly discouraged. For an agency with so many people constantly moving around, it was kind of nice to see that they’re taking this somewhat seriously.

Remote work is being phased in this week, everyone is being assigned 1-2 days/week. Full-time would obviously be better but at least it reduces the number of people in the building (and considering the amount of pushback management has given to remote workers in the past, I’m surprised we’re getting anything at all).
posted by photo guy at 12:13 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]

Universities only seem to do what other universities do.

University of Maryland is rapidly battening down the hatches – my unit is on mandatory telework as of tomorrow, with no indication of when that might change. I’m getting invites for meetings that are typically face-to-face that have now been shifted to Zoom that are more than a month out, and travel has pretty much been canceled system-wide, or will be very shortly. The residential campuses (e.g. College Park) seem to be moving more and more quickly toward closing or canceling everything that can’t happen online.

And the preschool my partner works for just announced they’re closing until at least 4/1.

Feels like we are now well and truly in the thick of it, or will be by the end of the week.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:13 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]

Many churches don’t have a lot of central authority, but one does. And, as far as I can tell, the direction from the Catholic church, despite the Vatican being in one of the disease hotspots, has not been stellar. Some googling has turned up dioceses recommending that people who are sick not attend mass and only ushers handle collection baskets, but there has not, AFIK, been much guidance from Rome. Correct me if I’m wrong! The impact in Latin America (about which I’ve heard little, frankly) could be significant.
posted by sjswitzer at 12:19 PM on March 12
Feels like we are now well and truly in the thick of it, or will be by the end of the week.

I’ve had a lot of changes today that weren’t on the radar as of dinnertime last night. Things are moving fast. Or rather, attitudes are moving fast.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:26 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]

I said this in another thread but it seems appropriate here:

Considering the utter shitshow we are all (including your boss) about to witness …Ain’t nobody getting fired for having stayed home to try to prevent it.

#STAYTHEFUCKHOME
posted by sexyrobot at 12:27 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]

Previously, the messaging was that “older adults” included people over the age of 60. Here was the message that went out on texts from the city this morning:

Notify NYC: New Yorkers over 50 or those with chronic health conditions should take extra precautions: avoid crowds and work from home if possible.
posted by blue suede stockings at 12:34 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]

I think “if you have a choice, choose to stay the fuck home” might be easier to hear, since there are really so many people who don’t have a choice.

I wish we could get some sort of emergency hazard pay for people working in grocery stores and similarly necessary but at risk jobs could be compensated in some small way.
posted by skewed at 12:35 PM on March 12 [21 favorites]

A training/court hearing I was supposed to go to tonight was canceled. The place I volunteer at is shuttered until April 2. Just last night I was still planning to go to the movies tomorrow and that is off the table now. I was supposed to go visit my mother Saturday and go out to dinner and 90% chance that is not happening.

The shift in attitudes in just 24 hours has been remarkable. I hope this bends the curve.
posted by Automocar at 12:36 PM on March 12 [8 favorites]

And this is hard, because not going to movie theaters means that folks who work there may lose their jobs or at best be furloughed. Ditto airlines, restaurants, bars, florists, etc..

In related news:

Broadway Shuts Down Due to Coronavirus: “New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Broadway theaters, which make up NYC’s largest tourist industry, will close at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday night (March 12) through April 12.”

Live Nation Planning to Pause All Tours Due to Coronavirus: “Tours affected include Billie Eilish, Jason Aldean, Zac Brown Band, Cher, Kiss, Post Malone, Tool, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Chris Stapleton and many others.”

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Postponed Over Coronavirus: “The May 2nd event at Cleveland’s Public Hall is on hold for now. “
posted by soundguy99 at 12:37 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]

Ain’t nobody getting fired for having stayed home to try to prevent it.

This simply isn’t true in America. There are many people who absolutely will be fired if they do not turn up for work.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 12:39 PM on March 12 [79 favorites]

There are many people who absolutely will be fired if they do not turn up for work

and the vast majority of them are living paycheck to paycheck, without any access to a social safety net bc this garbage country doesn’t have one.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:42 PM on March 12 [59 favorites]

At this point, it seems like there will be a significant body count associated with forbidding employees from working from home when the company can support it. I wonder if, when all of this is over, it will be looked at this way and some of the people who made those decisions will be held to account.
posted by treepour at 12:44 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]
This is also why I think it’s kind to stock up now and avoid stores for the next few weeks, because I can’t prevent cashiers from getting fired, but I can at least not go to their store and infect them while they are being forced to show up.
posted by nakedmolerats at 12:45 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]
true but at the same time it’s likely they’ll just be fired without cause when the stores have to close later on. it’s a horrible choice that these people have to make right now: stay home and try to stay safe, but lose their jobs; or go to work, maybe get sick, and then lose their jobs anyway later on either bc they’re sick and can’t come in, or bc the boss decides that shutting down will save money. no one working in a customer-facing job is going to have job security or sick/shutdown pay unless they have a union. maybe not even then.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:51 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]
I wonder if, when all of this is over, it will be looked at this way and some of the people who made those decisions will be held to account.

Thanks, I needed a good laugh.
posted by deadaluspark at 12:51 PM on March 12 [25 favorites]

anyway this country is a fucking nightmare and i think we should eat the people who are bad
posted by poffin boffin at 12:51 PM on March 12 [52 favorites]
In what I suppose is a sad bit of irony, given the complete failure of the US government to adequately prepare for such an event and that it will effect everyone in the country, now would be the perfect time for a general strike, but mass marches and picketing are not a healthy choice at moment.
posted by gusottertrout at 12:51 PM on March 12 [6 favorites]
anyway this country is a fucking nightmare and i think we should eat the people who are bad

This. is. not. social. distancing.
posted by deadaluspark at 12:52 PM on March 12 [91 favorites]

Fast and Furious 9 Release Pushed Back a Year Due To Coronavirus

Other delayed movie premieres include “A Quiet Place Part II” and “No Time To Die”, the upcoming James Bond release.
posted by hanov3r at 12:55 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]

I can do 99% of my job from home with a 0% hit to my productivity and a relative gain in my happiness and comfort levels. The same is probably true of most of our staff. We already have 4 remote employees on 3 continents. But somehow, company culture still resists WFH. On snow days or building emergencies for instance, WFH is entirely voluntary and we’re given paid leave anyway.

Our IT guy is apparently advocating for a WFH stress test, but our management is probably waiting for the issue to be forced.
posted by Foosnark at 12:56 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]

askme how long must we sous vide the bourgeoisie in order to eliminate all traces of viral contaminants
posted by poffin boffin at 12:57 PM on March 12 [60 favorites]
This simply isn’t true in America. There are many people who absolutely will be fired if they do not turn up for work.

I hate to burst your bubble, but there’s about to be a lot of other job openings. I fear for the grocers today.
posted by sexyrobot at 12:59 PM on March 12

Here in Sweden the education minister just gave a press conference explaining the decision to keep schools open, despite neighboring Norway and Denmark keeping kids at home. The justification was kids of nursing staff need a place to go during the day so their folks can do what needs to be done, and nobody wants to burden grandparents with taking care of potential disease transmitters. Seems legit, but still I have a hard time believing schools will be open next week. We’re planning on the whole family staying home for a couple weeks.
posted by St. Oops at 12:59 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]
Way up above

Regarding the Schengen Zone travel ban: It seems to me all a nefarious person would have to do is fly to the UK, then the US, and then tell people they flew into the UK from somewhere outside the Schengen Zone. Am I wrong?

I know flying Schengen to UK/Ireland means that my passport gets scanned/swiped in both airports, but I’m not sure if that’s just checking it’s a valid, non-stolen passport or whether the details get registered somewhere. Or if the ID card most Europeans can use within the EU(+EFTA+CH+UK(?)) is linked in someway to their passport.

If I were to try it, I’d go via Dublin/Shannon as they have pre-clearance so if it didn’t work at least I’d be in Ireland rather than stuck in immigration in a US airport somewhere.

This is one of the reasons that most European countries didn’t go about travel bans – they preferred to let people in, and then report any symptoms, rather than having them “sneaking” in and then delaying reporting for fear of being caught.
posted by scorbet at 1:01 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]

sous vide the bourgeoisie
That’s how you get prion disease.
posted by Don Pepino at 1:04 PM on March 12 [20 favorites]
the issue with closing public schools in the US, specifically here in nyc, is that there are a whole lot of kids in our schools who have nowhere else to get food or medical care otherwise. also something like 150k of them are homeless, and iirc some shelters still make you leave during the day.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:07 PM on March 12 [18 favorites]
All public schools closed in Ontario for 2 weeks after March break.
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:07 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]
If you are sous viding anything, hell if you know what sous viding is, you are the bourgeoise.
posted by Keith Talent at 1:10 PM on March 12 [29 favorites]
lol i only ever heard of it on metafilter
posted by poffin boffin at 1:13 PM on March 12 [23 favorites]
So a person in my place of work (works on a different floor but same building) was just diagnosed with COVID-19. We were told today to basically go the fuck home and stay there until someone tells us otherwise. Although they’ve not been at work since 3/2 and I didn’t have direct contact with them I am wondering what I should be doing. Obviously if I become ill I’ll self-quarantine but in the meantime I guess I’ll just go about my business but with a face mask and gloves when I’m public. I’m in the age and health group where I’ll be fine if I get sick, most likely, but I’ll feel awful if I lead to someone’s horrible death, even if I’ll never know that.
posted by Young Kullervo at 1:14 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]
sousin la vida loca
posted by lazaruslong at 1:16 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]
is that anything?
posted by lazaruslong at 1:17 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]
anyway this country is a fucking nightmare and i think we should eat the people who are bad

This. is. not. social. distancing.

Anyone interested in my new bbq sauce? It’s 60% alcohol, so it’s a sanitizer also.
posted by 445supermag at 1:21 PM on March 12 [24 favorites]

I feel like I’m in a thread with Jonathan Swift and he’s trying to make a Modest Proposal.

But yes, and Everclear-based BBQ would be good, thanks.
posted by deadaluspark at 1:27 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]

no one working in a customer-facing job is going to have job security or sick/shutdown pay unless they have a union

Our very own city now has mandatory sick leave for most employees and New York state has paid family leave to care for ill family members. I wonder if these will prove to have had any effect in slowing the spread, or whether they’re inadequate.
posted by praemunire at 1:29 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]

NCAA has cancelled March Madness and the other winter and spring NCAA championships
posted by inflatablekiwi at 1:32 PM on March 12 [6 favorites]
My university did an unclear 180 degree shift. They went from you have to discuss and make approved plans for online teaching one day to everything will go online starting in two days the next. Confusingly they immediately banned all special events and gatherings larger than 150 people, and the wording was so unclear no one knew if they had just canceled all of the large-class exams or not. In any case, everyone who can work from home is allowed and encouraged to, which is reassuring.

However, I’m an experimental scientist. I might need a theory project.
posted by lab.beetle at 1:38 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]

I hate to burst your bubble, but there’s about to be a lot of other job openings. I fear for the grocers today

I hate to burst your bubble, but indeed, jobs do open when individuals in precarious jobs are fired for not turning up.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 1:38 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]

So – they can’t afford to test every American and have to fight for a guarantee that we are covered, meanwhile they’ll QE the stock market for about 5 seconds with a 1.5 trillion cash injection (I saw 500m, then 1T, then 1.5T… 1.5 was last I saw from WaPo).

WHAT THE FUCK IF YOU JUST GUARANTEED EVERYONE GOT FUCKING PAID FOR THEIR SHIT – nope you can’t extract rent from people if you didn’t force them into economic subservience in dire straits.

I really really hope the news about Bolsonaro’s aide having COVID19 means Trump and team get it so hard.

I wish we all COULD afford to just do a mass strike.

I feel like we should just do it, but organizing a thing and carrying it out are so hard. It’s the “You have to convince people everyone else will do it” problem. As well as the “people aren’t all rich and able to fuck off however they like and bosses totally don’t care if you do”…

But hey guys “wash your hands, don’t touch your face” (yes, it’s good, but stop this asinine kindergarten shit and demand more from your leaders, corporate america).

My roomie has some immune issues and her friend has cancer and could go whenever (we doubt right this second, but she had planned to visit this weekend, and it makes it hard for her to do so).

I’m about this close to the nihilism meme where it says “nothing matters = all black/sad” and “nothing matters = cool kid with rainbows – hi five!”

like fuck all your society if you can’t even do the basics. we’ll DIY. (as I said before – I don’t think we can at this point though, we’re too uh… deluded in the “bootstraps” myth that we refuse to work together as a society).
posted by symbioid at 1:42 PM on March 12 [11 favorites]

1.5T is enough to eliminate all extant student debt in the US, isn’t it.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:44 PM on March 12 [14 favorites]
1.5T is enough to eliminate all extant student debt in the US, isn’t it.

Qasim Rashid for Congress @QasimRashid

Americans: We need $1.5T for:
SNAP for 700K Americans: $1.1B
End homelessness: $20B
Insulin for every diabetic: $40B
Universal Pre-K: $60B
Universal 4-yr-college: $70B
Cancel student debt: $1.4T

GOP: BuT HOw WiLl wE PAy fOr It

Billionaires: Market’s look bad
FED: HERE’S $1.5T!
11:59 AM · Mar 12, 2020·Twitter Web App
posted by Ahmad Khani at 1:47 PM on March 12 [48 favorites]

1.5T is enough to eliminate all extant student debt in the US, isn’t it.

Yeah but there are more important things, like making the money number not go down for literally 15 minutes.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:47 PM on March 12 [11 favorites]
Disneyland California is closing. I said it in another thread yesterday- but today seems even more like the “montage scene” in a disaster movie.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 1:49 PM on March 12 [19 favorites]
I hate to burst your bubble, but there’s about to be a lot of other job openings. I fear for the grocers today.

What the everloving hell are you talking about?

Because if you mean that there are going to be lots of job openings because people are DEAD, 1) that’s fucking morbid, 2) all evidence so far points to the people most likely to die being probably already out of the workforce and 3) if we get to the point where someone can be fired for not showing up to work when outwardly healthy and then waltz right into another job because lots of people are dead there won’t be jobs to waltz into BECAUSE THAT MANY DEATHS = MAD MAX!

Jesus Fucking Christ.
posted by soundguy99 at 1:49 PM on March 12 [21 favorites]

Damn. I gotta admit, I didn’t have Global Pandemic on my Trump Administration Shitshow Bingo card.

My office is 100% one of those “how do we know if you’re working if you’re not here?” places. We’ll see what happens next. I’m in the continuing education department of the building. The first floor is a family medicine clinic. I would really appreciate working from home for my not-at-all mission critical job.
posted by corvikate at 1:52 PM on March 12 [11 favorites]

A Slack message at work whose text was along the lines of “as a manufacturing company, we are continuing to operate per CDC recommendations” but whose subtext was “no, we’re not doing work-from-home for anyone even if it’s totally possible” got a bunch of the “muscle” emoji reactions, because apparently it’s not just tech workers in the Bay Area that are brainless, bootlicking boosters of The Company. It’s so embarrassing to be surrounded by this type of willful pigheadedness.
posted by invitapriore at 1:52 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]
If you feel sick, stay home (NYT)
Even if you have no underlying health conditions, be extra cautious and protect other people if you are not feeling well

If Chancellor Angela Merkel’s warning is accurate, two in three Germans may become infected. That might well be a prophecy for the rest of the world, as the number of confirmed cases continues to rise quickly.

However, the majority of those who contract the coronavirus do not become seriously ill. If you get coronavirus, it’s likely you’ll just feel as if you have the flu. But keeping a stiff upper lip will not only be foolhardy, but could also endanger those around you.

So if you have a fever and a dry cough, followed by fatigue and shortness of breath, stay home. Don’t go to work; don’t take your children to school; don’t go to the store; don’t ride public transportation.

If you can work from home, do. If your employer does not traditionally offer sick leave, remind them of the threat or send them the guidance plan for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you develop a high fever, shortness of breath or another, more serious symptom, call your doctor.

also, fyi The New York Times is providing free access on the global coronavirus crisis.
posted by katra at 1:55 PM on March 12 [10 favorites]

However, I’m an experimental scientist. I might need a theory project.

I feel like there’s going to be a LOT of that going around right now as experimental biologists who are being asked to minimize time on campus start going stir crazy, honestly. Especially those in younger labs who don’t have datasets sitting around to analyze yet.

Incidentally, we’ve been asked not to wear n95 masks when working with our rodents unless we’re animal resource center workers doing cage changes. Normally our IACUC is so strict about wearing masks and PPE with our guys that they’ve seriously attempted to suggest that we wear them in the field when we’re hiking a mile through mountains to check traplines, so this is a pretty big warning sign for n95 shortages.

*Since my lab’s colonies are lab-bred colonies of wild singing mice and prairie voles, they’re worried about some kind of weird zoonotic bouncing out to us. Or possibly hantavirus.
posted by sciatrix at 1:56 PM on March 12 [15 favorites]

got a bunch of the “muscle” emoji reactions,

I hate this timeline.
posted by soundguy99 at 1:56 PM on March 12 [13 favorites]

katra, thank you for your very detailed, informative posts.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 1:57 PM on March 12 [12 favorites]
Look for the helpers, as they say.

There’s a moratorium before the San Jose City Council (California Bay Area) to halt evicitions, and proposes financial aid for small businesses.
posted by fragmede at 1:58 PM on March 12 [12 favorites]

Was just told at a president’s council meeting that per the advice of our county and state depts of health, we have no cases in our home county at the moment, so “business as usual,” but go make plans in case.

We serve seven counties and get daily visitors from probably ten others.

My team, the one I lead, is doing on-site registrations for dual-enrolled students in 27 buildings in 25 districts.

I asked, can I decide that, for the good of the communities we serve and the staff I lead, we’ll just find a way to do that remotely for now? I was told I could. I replied thanks, that’ll give our school partners the message that the college is committed to using all resources available to mitigate the risk to their communities and our common students.

The state has 15 community colleges. Leaving such decisions to local control exposes health outcomes to factors like local budgets, local political and stakeholder agendas, local prejudices. The Dept of Ed needs to step up and provide leadership here and say, this is how, as a system, we prevent harm and serve our constituents. *That* is how you give credibility to the value of shared responsibility and action in a crisis.
posted by Caxton1476 at 1:58 PM on March 12 [9 favorites]

sous vide the bourgeoisie
That’s how you get prion disease.

Just don’t eat the brains!
(leave those for the zombies)
posted by Daily Alice at 1:59 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]

If you feel sick, stay home (NYT)

If your employer does not traditionally offer sick leave, remind them of the threat or send them the guidance plan for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you’ll get fired for staying home, annoy your boss so you get fired. The NYT doesn’t realize that it’s legal for people making under $85K/yr to read.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:06 PM on March 12 [12 favorites]

Crap, I put this in the wrong thread. Sorry, whoever had to delete it. (I am barely functional because of the high distraction levels. I have five billion tabs open and am refreshing everything and have basically turned into a lab pigeon over this.)

Lindsey Graham and Rick Scott are staying home:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/03/12/coronavirus-live-updates/
posted by Don Pepino at 2:07 PM on March 12 [6 favorites]

“remind them of the threat” can be interpreted in so many exciting ways
posted by poffin boffin at 2:07 PM on March 12 [21 favorites]
I work in public health and this quickly went from “uh, what’s our plan” to “you are working remotely starting next week” so yeah this is pretty surreal. I feel privileged to have a job that can be done remotely, lead by various clinicians and literal epidemiologists that take it seriously. I used to be a teller and can’t imagine what I’d do right now if I was still in that position.
posted by Freeze Peach at 2:08 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]
Also I’m feeling 150% UNmotivated frankly.
posted by symbioid at 2:11 PM on March 12
katra, thank you for your very detailed, informative posts.

Thank you, and many thanks to the mods for supporting us during this challenging time.

And if you like the posts, maybe check out the MeFi Wiki Disaster Planning & Recovery page, and particularly the Medical / Pandemic section, where construction continues as resources continue to surface in all of these threads. Thank you everybody!
posted by katra at 2:13 PM on March 12 [14 favorites]

Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now

Countries that act fast reduce the number of deaths at least by 10x.

Stay at home. Talk your employers into letting people stay at home. Vote for officials who will sponsor and pass legislation for paid sick leave.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:17 PM on March 12 [8 favorites]

I am directing the closure of all K-12 schools in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Schools must close by Tuesday, March 17th and stay closed through Friday, April 24. (@GovInslee)

This is going to change the game for a lot of employers who are still stubbornly refusing to enact a work from home policy; I expect more local governors will follow suit.
posted by missmobtown at 2:24 PM on March 12 [9 favorites]

I immediately turned around and walked 20 blocks to the non discount grocery store which was less busy but only had 1 package of toilet paper left and it had 60 — yes, 60! — rolls in it. I had no choice but to purchase it even though I’m a single person.

Honestly not encouraging price-gouging, but you’d probably make a lot of friends if you sell off the extra rolls at cost and/or for trade. (Of course, let’s see how “extra” those rolls will be in a few weeks…)

Every cashier on at noon on a week day and crazy long lines of people with full carts.

One of my friends works at Trader Joe’s at the register and she’s had to start hiding her bottle of Puracell after her last bottle was stolen by a customer. She’s seriously starting to wonder how long it’ll be before people really start turning on each other…
posted by gtrwolf at 2:25 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]

I was told this morning that the reasons why some universities are officially closing is that they have already had official coronavirus diagnoses there. The ones that haven’t closed yet haven’t had any official diagnoses forcing their hand yet.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:36 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]
Okay, now the university I work at is asking us to start moving all of our files to the cloud to start preparing for the possibility of working from home, although we are not authorized to yet. Seems like progress.
posted by Brain Sturgeon at 2:39 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]
I was told this morning that the reasons why some universities are officially closing is that they have already had official coronavirus diagnoses there. The ones that haven’t closed yet haven’t had any official diagnoses forcing their hand yet.

The university I work for has closed but has not had any cases. But it’s also home to one of the leading medical schools in the country, and I think the administration was getting some pretty solid advice on making that call as soon as possible.
posted by jedicus at 2:42 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]

I’m in the Bay Area, working for a very very large computer / phone / watch maker that does not, historically, have much of a work from home culture.

Sounds like we’re coworkers.

I think it’s been more of “magic happens when people run into each other in the hallway” rather than a “we need to see you at your desk to make sure you are actually working”. But, since I’ve been here (I came in 2014 via acquisition) the company has grown so much that half your coworkers are probably in Austin/London/Singapore/etc anyway. Which actually made this week a bit easier since almost everybody has previously had to AVCN into meetings with people in a different location, and doing the same thing from home is easy.
posted by sideshow at 2:44 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]

please do a bad job of putting your courses online.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 2:45 PM on March 12 [26 favorites]
I was told this morning that the reasons why some universities are officially closing is that they have already had official coronavirus diagnoses there. The ones that haven’t closed yet haven’t had any official diagnoses forcing their hand yet

Sorry, but this seems very . . . unsubstantiated rumor-y? There are now 5 confirmed cases in Ohio, all over 50 I believe, but universities here were working on closing before the 5th case was confirmed, and in areas where there are no confirmed cases.

I suspect it has more to do with timing – lots of schools are already on spring break, so if you close when students are already gone it’s easier logistically. Plus US colleges have had a rising number of students from overseas, so the chances of a young healthy kid catching C-19 at home/during travel but then not having serious/any symptoms because young & healthy seem good enough that keeping the kids from returning to school as much as possible sounds like the “better safe than sorry” option.
posted by soundguy99 at 2:51 PM on March 12 [6 favorites]

I work for a global networking company in Silicon Valley; our campus is closed to all non-essential staff. During the remote teleconference with the executives, the CEO mentioned that all contracted hourly workers (cafe staff, shuttle drivers, landscapers, etc.) will continue to get paid during the closure. Even though this is anecdotal evidence, it’s nice to know that there are some glimmers of humanity left in the corporate culture here.
posted by JDC8 at 2:51 PM on March 12 [13 favorites]
> skewed: I wish we could get some sort of emergency hazard pay for people working in grocery stores and similarly necessary but at risk jobs could be compensated in some small way.”
Definitely, this. Health care workers, the cafeteria staff at hospitals, anybody working at a place that must stay open.
posted by theora55 at 2:55 PM on March 12 [11 favorites]
Also in Bay Area, also work for tech company, also work entirely on a computer. My boss is in Colorado and my only actual coworker is working from home (because she was hospitalized for flu & pneumonia a couple of weeks ago) – but no, the office is not doing widespread WFH options yet. I’m a contractor; it’s important for me to be connected to the Local Office Culture, y’see.

please do a bad job of putting your courses online.
YES THIS PLEASE.

Even in online schools, there’s a huge technology issue – students who know how to learn in a classroom can’t always translate that skill to a webpage. We forget that kids have had 10+ years to learn how to learn in a classroom, and America has had 150-ish years to figure out how to teach in a classroom. We’ve all had a couple of decades of endlessly changing tech to figure out how to make that work remotely.

It works badly. I would love teachers and administrators to consider the shift to “online schooling for pandemic reasons” as a test-case for “let’s find out what doesn’t work” much more than “let’s make sure all these students are learning at the same rate as they were in the classroom.” Because they won’t be.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:56 PM on March 12 [16 favorites]

Really, stay home.

Florida cases doubled in the last 2 days to 35, consistent with the 2.8-3.5 day doubling time seen in China and Italy. The actual number is probably much higher given the government’s policy of limiting testing so Trump doesn’t look bad. From what I’ve read, based on the number of cases without contact to known, confirmed cases and epidemiological modeling, there could be actually 10-100x actual cases as compared to confirmed cases (link).

We decided to follow the CDC recommendations to stay home on Tuesday.

Went to the liquor store yesterday to stock up for a planned 6-8 week mostly home stay. The panic liquor buying hasn’t started yet locally. We got enough rice, beans, etc. to replenish our pantry early. (Here in coastal FL, we always have a few weeks of supplies for hurricane season.) We plan to limit our activities to gardening, playing music badly, walks in the (almost deserted) state park or beach, and surfing.

LPT: Consider what 6-8 weeks at home will be like; better stock up now yesterday.
posted by sudogeek at 2:58 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]

Talks on a sweeping aid package stumble on paid sick leave and, improbably, abortion.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, and Steven Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, spent Thursday negotiating privately over the contours of the measure, which would provide a substantial new paid sick leave program, enhanced unemployment insurance, free coronavirus testing and food assistance.

Many Republicans are opposed to the paid sick leave proposal, complaining that Democrats are using the coronavirus crisis to accomplish a long-held domestic priority that is exceedingly costly.

But another improbable sticking point has emerged: Republicans are trying to insert abortion restrictions into the emergency bill. The Republicans want to include the Hyde amendment, which would bar the use of federal funds for abortions, according to a person familiar with the deliberations. Republicans routinely push to include the language in legislation that governs the distribution of federal money.

posted by medusa at 2:58 PM on March 12 [8 favorites]

My university announced that it was going to mail students’ belongings back to them at university expense. I wonder what they’re going to do about all the drugs they’ll almost certainly find. Not to mention other contraband (we’re a tobacco free campus; weapons are prohibited; what if someone has a fish or something) and valuable or…sensitive…belongings. I don’t envy the students or the staff who have to carry out that plan.
posted by jedicus at 2:58 PM on March 12 [15 favorites]
It feels like the U.S. narrative has forgotten that manufacturing companies exist. Most of my employer’s staff need to be physically present to do their jobs; I’m fortunate to be a cubicle-dweller with more flexibility.
posted by superna at 3:00 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]
Sorry, but this seems very . . . unsubstantiated rumor-y.

Oh, it is. That was the explanation I was given as to “why are some UC’s closed and others aren’t?”
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:01 PM on March 12

WaPo: During a plague pandemic, Isaac Newton had to work from home. It became his ‘year of wonders.’

OK all you work-from-homers, you have your assignment.
We’ll be expecting some great new scientific theories from all of you when we reconvene in a few weeks.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:01 PM on March 12 [29 favorites]

since almost everybody has previously had to AVCN into meetings with people in a different location, and doing the same thing from home is easy

Zero Trust Information – “Google’s larger contribution, though, happened five years ago when the company led the move to zero trust networking for its internal applications, which has been adopted by most other tech companies in particular. While this wasn’t explicitly about working from home, it did make it a lot easier to pull off on short notice…”
posted by kliuless at 3:03 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]

But another improbable sticking point has emerged: Republicans are trying to insert abortion restrictions into the emergency bill. The Republicans want to include the Hyde amendment, which would bar the use of federal funds for abortions, according to a person familiar with the deliberations. Republicans routinely push to include the language in legislation that governs the distribution of federal money

And of course those motherfuckers are spinning it as “NANCY PELOSI IS TRYING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE DISASTER TO PUSH HER BABY-KILLING LIBERAL AGENDA!!1!”

(Source: Twitter – not gonna link but if you’ve got the stomach for it take quick look at any #Corvid-19 or similar hashtagged posts.)
posted by soundguy99 at 3:04 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]

Off topic, every time I get some email blast from someone about SALES or events coming up that I can go to, I am just boggling. Like, really? Maybe you should turn off your auto-send settings about that stuff right now?
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:06 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]
Rather than edit – the Right-wing Noise Machine is pushing the idea that Pelosi is ADDING some kind of “pro-choice” elements to an otherwise straightforward relief bill.
posted by soundguy99 at 3:06 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]
The “stop killing people” article in the post has a crucial point that needs to be shared more:

Fatality is the wrong yardstick. Catching the virus can mess up your life in many, many more ways than just straight-up killing you. “We are all young”—okay. “Even if we get the bug, we will survive”—fantastic. How about needing four months of physical therapy before you even feel human again. Or getting scar tissue in your lungs and having your activity level restricted for the rest of your life. Not to mention having every chance of catching another bug in hospital, while you’re being treated or waiting to get checked with an immune system distracted even by the false alarm of an ordinary flu. No travel for leisure or business is worth this risk.

posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:17 PM on March 12 [20 favorites]

“If you can work from home, do. If your employer does not traditionally offer sick leave, remind them of the threat or send them the guidance plan for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COUGH ALL OVER THEM!”

FTFY
posted by symbioid at 3:20 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]

I’m really fortunate to work for a compassionate company that began rolling out company-wide WFH early last week. We’ve now transitioned into WFH for the “foreseeable future,” which is ominous and interesting phrasing. Our IT department has imaged and delivered 500+ laptops in the last 7 days. Similar scenes are unfolding across peer companies. This is really a vast experiment into uncharted territory. I’ve primarily worked from home for the past 10 years or so and this was my first foray back into office life, so I’m almost sort of relieved, but most departments outside of engineering are looking at doing it live for the first time, which will be really interesting. This is going to stretch a lot of companies into shapes they may not bounce back from, for better or for worse.
posted by feloniousmonk at 3:25 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]
“remind them of the threat” can be interpreted in so many exciting ways

“Hey boss, I’m gonna be working from home for a while. Yeah. Yeah. No, poffin boffin said I could. Yeah, you can take it up with her if you want but I gotta say she seems pretty hungry right now.”
posted by nickmark at 3:38 PM on March 12 [32 favorites]

Since my lab’s colonies are lab-bred colonies of wild singing mice

…do you chuck scorpions into their cages, or do you just feed them with boring mice chow?
posted by tavella at 3:58 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]

I wish we could get some sort of emergency hazard pay for people working in grocery stores and similarly necessary but at risk jobs could be compensated in some small way.
posted by skewed at 12:35 PM on March 12 [8 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]

One of my friends works at Trader Joe’s at the register and she’s had to start hiding her bottle of Puracell after her last bottle was stolen by a customer. She’s seriously starting to wonder how long it’ll be before people really start turning on each other…
posted by gtrwolf at 2:25 PM on March 12 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]

Grocery worker here: Luckily I am not a cashier, though I do work in the meat department. We have been crazy for DAYS. It’s not just toilet paper (though we had to limit them to two per person after one man tried to buy 27 bundles at once); it’s not just canned goods. People are buying meats of all kinds to stuff their freezers full too. This is getting to be just as bad as when Superstorm Sandy was coming back in 2012 and lasting for days longer so far. I’m curious as to how any quarantine will work since even in natural disasters we are still expected to show up to work, and only full timers like me are entitled to three sick days A YEAR. We shouldn’t be expected to use up our vacation time if it’s the country that goes on a lock down.

Personally I’m just glad my kids are grown. If this had happened when I was a single mom and they were young, what the heck do you do? You HAVE to go to work – but the kids are home and there’s no grandparents to watch them for you… I fully agree with what’s been said upthread that there are NO safety nets in place for disasters like this, and businesses are only concerned with their bottom line.
posted by annieb at 3:58 PM on March 12 [8 favorites]

So I’m a fireman…AND a graduate student. I don’t have the option of working from home, and I’ve already had to get on my guys about wearing N95s (that we have left over from Ebola…remember that?) and gloves and washing hands and lysoling/bleaching the soles of our shoes and wiping down the truck after a call. I’m paranoid. Most of our year-round population is late middle age to geriatric and beyond, and these folks are in and out of the hospital all the damn time anyway. My boss (please don’t get me started) is continuing to take vacation time and FUCKING TRAVEL because he’s an idiot. I have a lot of Opinions™ about all of this, but I’m not really allowed to voice them and there has been ZERO leadership from the municipality’s governing structure. Or maybe there has and our boss hasn’t bothered to forward those emails to the command staff. I’m not kidding.

On the flip side, the UNC system is legit taking this seriously. I am an online student anyway (shift worker), and we’ve been on spring break this week. Spring break has been extended another week, and school is now (or will be shortly) online for everyone in the coming weeks. I think it is prudent to make these decisions now.

I had my annual physical today, and my GP, who is AWESOME, bumped elbows with me and we said “it’s comin!” and compared how we totally have personal stashes of N95s (I have done a lot of work on my house and work occasionally at a boatyard) and hand sanitizer. So the medical establishment, at least in this area with all of its tourists and ports and older population, is aware and moving forward. I’m in the middle of a few hiring processes, including one with the feds, so I’m a little extra squirrelly about the foreseeable future at the moment.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 4:03 PM on March 12 [13 favorites]

My band just cancelled our Saturday night show in a Quebec village on the Vermont border. I predict we will see live streaming replace live shows for a while. I wish we had the gear, the know-how and the bandwidth.
posted by Jode at 4:24 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]
No, poffin boffin said I could. Yeah, you can take it up with her if you want but I gotta say she seems pretty hungry right now.

honestly she said she’d have to fight either me or you and you’re not paying me enough for it to be me, so
posted by cortex at 4:33 PM on March 12 [9 favorites]

I don’t envy the students or the staff who have to carry out that plan.

I dunno ’bout you, but that job seems like a quick way to develop a truly epic stash.
posted by aramaic at 4:38 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]

My understanding is that COVID 19 has an incubation time of approximately two weeks. So, if everyone stayed home for two weeks (plus actual illness duration for those who develop it after beginning quarantine), it would die out — but obviously (in America at least) that’s not gonna happen.

So, is there any point to staying home for two weeks (or a month or whatever) if, whenever you emerge, it’s STILL going to be viable? Unless the whole country shuts down, I don’t see how it will help. You stay in, then x amount of time later you rejoin the outside world, and COVID 19 is still going strong… ???

(I’m not asking for myself — I have no choice but to go to work. I mean it as a genuine question.)
posted by tzikeh at 4:43 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]

tzikeh, the more the spread is limited earlier on, the more it flattens the curve and keeps health care from being overwhelmed. That’s the goal right now.
posted by medusa at 4:45 PM on March 12 [22 favorites]
I dunno ’bout you, but that job seems like a quick way to develop a truly epic stash.

Back a decade-plus ago when I volunteered as a Black Rock Ranger at Burning Man, I remember a couple of other Rangers who had been working Exodus (the slow process of getting 40,000+ people (at the time) off the playa via a 1-lane road) coming back to Ranger HQ carrying a box. Some enterprising Exodus worker had put it out at the exit gate with a sign “NEVADA IS A ZERO-TOLERANCE STATE”.

I remember them sorting through the contents. “Does anyone recognize this pill? No? Okay… Here’s some weed, but it looks suspiciously crystallized, anyone want it? No? Right. And this… this is something wrapped in foil labeled ‘STRONG’. Uh, no.” As I recall, it all got chucked into the middle of a huge bonfire with nobody standing downwind later that night.
posted by Lexica at 4:50 PM on March 12 [13 favorites]

I don’t envy the students or the staff who have to carry out that plan.

I dunno ’bout you, but that job seems like a quick way to develop a truly epic stash.

Off topic but amusing: the university I work at is now public/no longer officially run by the religious denomination that founded it, but part of the agreement to hand over the university to public control peacefully involved keeping a divinity school vaguely affiliated, and hosting the annual local convention of the denomination. This is a denomination that, in its more strict forms, forbids intoxicants, and so the annual convention is supposed to be dry. Guy who used to be my building’s head custodian said he’d always volunteer to clean the dorms after the convention, because you’d find so much hidden alcohol stash afterwards.


posted by eviemath at 4:50 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]

Yeah, I think we are genuinely going to have to be expected to not leave the house for at least a month, or worse. I can’t complain about the people stockpiling up because I think they have the right idea. I haven’t done it yet but feel like I should be doing it?

Just came from my second coronavirus meeting of the day. A few managers are going to attempt to see how well they can work from home in the next few days, but enough people don’t have laptops or VPNs or whatever so working from home to do all of the stuff we do isn’t too likely, they don’t think they will close the entire campus, so we’ll probably still need to work here every day. They may rotate some people out, have online meetings, and there was some vague discussion of trying to borrow another office’s window for in person services. I would also like to note that the last time they tried to have anyone work from home here was 2012. I pointed out that for a month when we were having memeable police issues they were publicly shut to the public and just had people running stuff back and forth behind a door, but no dice with that yet.

However, I’m lucky because I’m in a job where (a) my entire industry doesn’t just die because it involves in person sales of food or recreational stuff, (b) I don’t get paid to work in performing as my day job, (c) even if campus closes, I am 99% sure we will still get paid. So other than being more likely to catch it, I’m fairly fortunate.

Today I think I was doing therapy for my therapist, who is in New York right now because she had relatives die and is debating whether or not she should leave her 97-year-old mother. I think the conclusion I came to was that if you leave, you may never be able to come back and see her again.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:56 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]

One of my friends works at Trader Joe’s at the register and she’s had to start hiding her bottle of Puracell after her last bottle was stolen by a customer. She’s seriously starting to wonder how long it’ll be before people really start turning on each other…

About that: my cousin is a doctor. She had a bunch of masks and gloves stolen from her (locked) office. Her area of the country isn’t registering a bunch of COVID19 — yet — but it was such an insanely grim thing to hear.
posted by grandiloquiet at 5:05 PM on March 12 [6 favorites]
If this reporting by NPR is true, this is a terrifying revelation:

“In the case of Alex Azar, he did go to the President in January, he did push past resistance from the president’s political aides to warn the president the new coronavirus could be a major problem. There were aides around Trump, Kellyanne Conway had some skepticism at times, that this was something that needed to be a presidential priority.

But at the same time, Secretary Azar has not always given the president the worst case scenario of what could happen. My understanding is he [President Trump] did not push to do aggressive additional testing in recent weeks, and that’s partly because more testing might have led to more cases being discovered of coronavirus outbreak, and the president had made clear the lower the numbers on coronavirus, the better for the president, the better for his potential reelection this fall.”

posted by They sucked his brains out! at 5:05 PM on March 12 [10 favorites]

LPT: Consider what 6-8 weeks at home will be like; better stock up now yesterday.

I bought my supplies last week, and felt like a fool for doing it. Given the pace of closings today, I thought I should go to the supermarket for a top-up.

There was a fight to get in to the store. An actual fight. Not much of one, but still.

The mood in my city has changed FAST.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:13 PM on March 12 [6 favorites]

Here in WI, the grocery store was busier than it usually is at 3pm on a Thursday, but I didn’t have to wait in line to check out. Bread and toilet paper were looking a little bare but there was still a lot left, just not a ton of choice. But the governor had just announced the public health emergency earlier that morning; I suspect that once people got off work or had time to hear about it it got much worse.

Partner and I went to Trader Joe’s for the first time ever and gave ourselves permission to splurge and grab anything that looked tasty. If we’re gonna hole up here for weeks, might as well do it with good food. Trader Joe’s was actually busier than the regular grocery store, and the cashiers there said it was much busier today than normal.
posted by brook horse at 5:25 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]

anyway this country is a fucking nightmare and i think we should eat the people who are bad

This. is. not. social. distancing.

Social digesting. Can you sous vide in a wicker man?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 5:34 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]

the president had made clear the lower the numbers on coronavirus, the better for the president”

I mean, not that much of a revelation? Considering the numbnuts actually said on live TV during that CDC visit that he didn’t want that one cruise ship landing because the numbers would go up. Like they didn’t count as sick American citizens if they weren’t actually touching American soil or something.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:36 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]

I always have a good stock of food and essentials like TP, but I topped off my supplies a couple of weeks ago and also added some backups of the otc medicines I use, plus a big thing of disinfecting wipes. But most importantly I bought three party sized bags of mini candy bars. I will have chocolate, dammit!

But now what’s frustrating is I’m trying to get my regular shopping delivery, and on Monday they were so overloaded I got shifted to some third party delivery service, which left bags at my door (including frozen items!) and ran away without knocking, and worse, only left half my items. Then I ordered another delivery Tuesday for the missing items, and that one was flat out cancelled. I’ve got another scheduled Saturday and I’m hoping I actually get it.
posted by tavella at 5:37 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]

(Note that I’m not blaming the delivery person for avoiding face to face, I just would like to have been notified by more direct/prompt means than a text message. Fortunately the frozen stuff was defrosted but not warm.)
posted by tavella at 5:40 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]
I went grocery shopping today and PEOPLE WERE LOSING THEIR MINDS. There was no reason why the store should have been that busy at 3 p.m. on a Thursday usually. People were loading up carts like there was no tomorrow.

(I have already done a good job of gathering up stuff in the off chance I need to stay put for a week or two. I just needed … groceries.)

But also, I’m glad people were deciding it was time to be prepared. After all, about an hour or so later, the governor of Maryland just closed all the schools until March 27 & plenty of other fun things.

Most of us at my company work from home 2-3 days a week (some work from home all the time). There are very few things we can’t do from home, given a stable Internet connection and a VPN that’s not overloaded. I don’t know why they haven’t decided we should just all work from home for the next week (at the very least).

I’m not really that worried about being sick myself. I’m in fairly good health and all. I do worry about passing it onto other people in my life who are at higher risk so … mostly I just won’t see them or people they’re close to, like … my boyfriend. If I knew I didn’t have to go into an office (and the public-transit commute), I’d probably feel better about being around a few people.
posted by darksong at 5:45 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]

I’m with you, darksong. I was at the store around 2-3pm and there was no TP, cleaning wipes, bleach, or bottled water. My mom and I do our weekly grocery shop on Thursdays so I’ve been stocking up a little bit extra every week as things have gone on–picked up some extra cat food today. Saw some folks at the store wearing masks and stayed away from them.

(I am on immunosuppressants and have myasthenia gravis which can cause breathing issues. Neuro has said I am to go directly to the hospital at the merest hint of a fever but otherwise to social distance and wash my hands and do all the usual illness-prevention things that I normally do.)

Currently in suburban Maryland (Montgomery County)–my office is still open and my job isn’t one that can be done from home, but I told my boss that I’m going into hiding if I have to.
posted by sperose at 5:53 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]

Good news: My local wholesaler was unusually busy but not overrun, and I was able to pick up over $100 worth of tuna, pasta, rice, peanut butter, and a big tub of hand soap.

Okay news but maybe not?: No cases reported here in AL yet… although the Trumpy state government has done virtually no testing, so who knows what the real number is.

Bad news: Nobody I know here is taking it seriously, even after the stock market crash, Oval Office speech, and omni-cancellation of public events. For example, my mom runs a small paint-and-sip studio on the side (not even her primary income), and she’s not only not cancelling any bookings (which include children’s birthday parties and VA hospital classes), but is planning to continue visiting her mother upstate once a week like clockwork. And going to a wedding in Florida next month. Hopefully the rising panic causes everyone else to cancel on her, but I live in dread that one or both will contract a severe form of the virus for no good reason beyond stubbornness.

Among other things, I have a part-time customer-facing job and am seriously considering quitting or at least severely cutting back my scheduling for the time being.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:59 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]

I work for an agency of USDA in Maryland. We managers have spent most of this week writing pandemic plans, preparing non-teleworkers for WFH, and identifying critical laboratory/infrastructure tasks that must continue when we send people home (the cows need feeding and milking every day). We’ve all been directed to telework Monday for the purpose of stress-testing our WFH infrastructure. I’m anticipating that it will be a disaster, and I’m not really sure what can be done about out woefully inadequate network infrastructure after that happens. I don’t know what will happen, but I expect that they’re going to activate our pandemic plan later next week. It’s the right thing to do, but it feels weird given the Secretary’s long-standing antipathy towards telework. I’m very grateful that we’ll continue to be paid and I hope to catch up on some research, but it’s a real strange vibe here right now.
posted by wintermind at 6:15 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]
I got an email from my favorite local restaurant about how they’re using sanitation measures and also saying that their employees get sick leave. This place also hires a lot of people in recovery. I really want to support them, but I’m old and immunocompromised and can’t risk eating out. My roommate told me she’s heard that we should buy gift cards from businesses we want to support if we can’t go out, which I think is a great idea for those of us who can afford it. I know that if they go under, I’ll just lose my money, but I’m willing to take that risk.
posted by FencingGal at 6:16 PM on March 12 [17 favorites]
I’m in Austin which has no confirmed cases (as of yesterday, things change fast). I work at a less large tech company and all sites throughout the world were told to WFH if possible. And that it was expected to last at least through the end of March. I’ve heard of quite a few other companies doing the same.

Austin Independent School District is business as normal ATM, but my senior son says that the rumors say that changes very soon. Next week is spring break so it’s a natural point to end classes somehow.

HEB wasn’t too crazy at 3pm though.

The last 24 hours have been really crazy. I was texting a friend about how things felt before the bigger news yesterday (NBA/Tom Hank/Trump’s confused address/etc) about how it felt like a real liminal state. Turned out to be liminal as fuck.
posted by jclarkin at 6:24 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]

The Biden and Sanders campaigns close offices and tell staff to work from home (NYT)

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidential campaign told staff members to work from home, closed all its offices to the public and said it would begin holding smaller events and virtual fund-raisers, according to an internal campaign memo released Thursday.

Mr. Biden’s main rival in the Democratic primary, Senator Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, took similar precautions. Mr. Sanders’s campaign said that it had asked all staff members to work from home and that it would no longer hold large events or door-to-door canvasses, focusing on digital outreach instead.

Coronavirus closes Smithsonian museums, cancels some National Cherry Blossom Festival events (WaPo)

Cancellations hit Trump’s hotels and clubs amid coronavirus outbreak (WaPo)

The Trump Organization is still owned by President Trump but is run by his adult sons. The company did not respond to requests for comment about how it was addressing the coronavirus. […] Event cancellations have already begun to affect the company: a group of Texas bankers called off a March 22 reception at the Trump International Hotel Washington D.C. as part of coronavirus precautions. And a convention for the auto-repair industry now won’t be held at Trump’s Doral resort in Miami. […] At Mar-a-Lago, one person familiar with the club’s operations said that a multiday, lavish wedding had been postponed because of coronavirus fears, and a brunch had been called off.

[…] Several hours after the Brazilian official’s positive test was announced, there had been no guidance from the club about how to react, the person said. “I was there all weekend,” said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the club’s private operations. “Now, I’m concerned.”

But the club appeared to be allowing other events to proceed.

posted by katra at 6:26 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]

I guess some people have to figure out how to make a buck somehow….

I’m sure these shirts will go over well with your spouse that you are now stuck in the house with.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:35 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]

HEB wasn’t too crazy at 3pm though.

The Target on 51st this afternoon c. 630 was almost denuded of toilet paper and had no apparent hand sanitizer left, with big signs telling people not to buy too much and announcing limits on how many any single person could buy. I’m desperately hoping that by the time we run out of toilet paper in like, a week or so–we habitually buy ours at Costco–the rush on toilet paper and the stockpiling will have eased off a bit.

I’d report on my roomie’s HEB shift but a) she’s not home yet and b) she’s at one of the shabbier, lower-income ones, and folks there tend to be pretty good about supporting fellow community members and not going absolutely nuts on each other. So there’s that.
posted by sciatrix at 7:49 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]

Tech worker in Boston. Company I work for is going WFH for at least the next two weeks, starting Monday. I’ve already been WFH, starting today. Fuck companies who won’t let people work from home when their job could be done anywhere.

I plan to stay home, besides maybe taking a walk around the block every so often. Trying to take social distancing seriously.
posted by defenestration at 7:50 PM on March 12

My Seattle-based employer has long had a “don’t work from home policy.” They have the tech in place for it, mostly geared toward emergencies or travelers or the occasional work in the evening…but during office hours, you’re expected to be in the office. It was all about “collaboration” — we have a very high-touch culture, and people are encouraged to talk face to face with one another.

Then we had the bad fires in the summer of 2018, and one of our best people couldn’t work because she was trapped in her house because of her asthma. Under the radar our department started improving our work from home technique. It wasn’t sanctioned by management, but people averted their eyes, so to speak, and working from home when waiting for a repair-person or to be less disruptive when having to go to the doctor became pretty regular.

Then the coronavirus hit China, and our Chinese workers had to learn really quick to work remotely. It was good practice for our networking staff. Almost a week ago, we were encouraged to work from home as much as possible. The office isn’t closed…but if we can stay home, off the buses, away from downtown restaurants and coffee shops and stuff, we’d stay healthier. And it has been working pretty well.

Maybe this will change our culture a little bit. Maybe they’ll let us start working from home one or two days a week, once we can come back to the office.
posted by lhauser at 8:06 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]

We could #StayTheFuck home. We’re in north county San Diego. We’ve got multiple cases cropping up a bit north and south, but not yet in our immediate area. Everything is ramping down, though. My husband works in Orange County at a company with long distance commuters from both directions. They’re making preparations for employees to work from home.

Schools in our district aren’t closing, yet, and I am glued to the news wondering, when do I unilaterally decide: I’m taking my kid out, deal with it? At what point do I pull the trigger? What’s the critical mass? Maybe that’s another Ask.
posted by moira at 8:18 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]

The Canadian prime minister will be staying the fuck home, too. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, wife of Canadian Prime Minister, tests positive for coronavirus (CNN, March 12, 2020) “She is feeling well and has mild symptoms, and will remain in isolation for 14 days, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office. He is not being tested at this time.” Both Trudeaus will be in isolation for the next 14 days.

Justin Trudeau, on Twitter, 10:07 AM · Mar 12, 2020: I have some personal news to share today. Sophie recently returned from a speaking event in the UK, and last night she was experiencing mild flu-like symptoms. She‘s feeling better, but following the advice of our doctor she is self-isolating as we wait on COVID-19 test results… Out of an abundance of caution, I too will be self-isolating & self-monitoring until we get Sophie‘s results back. But I‘ll be busy working from home. Today, I‘ll be speaking with some world leaders and joining ministers for a Cabinet committee discussion on COVID-19.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:31 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]

But why would he NOT be tested at this time? Same deal with Trump/Pence, who were hanging with someone who had it? Wtf
posted by Windopaene at 8:35 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]
This weekend’s season-opening Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne has been cancelled. The news follows McLaren’s withdrawal from the race on Thursday, after one of their team members tested positive for the coronavirus.

They downplay the part about how they announced this news to the thousands and thousands of fans waiting amassed at the gates of Albert Park to get in to see the first Free Practice session of the 2020 season within minutes of the scheduled start time of FP1.
posted by some loser at 8:41 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]

Trump and Pence have been tested. They just can’t admit to it.
posted by great_radio at 8:42 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]
For those who may have missed it:

Congressional Representative Katie Porter convinced CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield to guarantee free COVID testing for every American, regardless of insurance or insurance status.

News reported here and here, as well as many other places.

Watch her get that commitment from him, in today’s congressional hearing on the government’s response to COVID 19, here (Twitter) and here (Rolling Stone).
posted by tzikeh at 8:43 PM on March 12 [12 favorites]

moira: when do I unilaterally decide: I’m taking my kid out, deal with it? At what point do I pull the trigger?

Yesterday.
posted by tzikeh at 8:46 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]

But why would he NOT be tested at this time? Same deal with Trump/Pence, who were hanging with someone who had it? Wtf

He’s already isolating so there’s not much point. There’s not really anything else to be done, unless symptoms become severe. I’d hope he gets tested before returning to face-to-face public life, though.
posted by rodlymight at 8:46 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]

All the music/performance venues in the Bay Area are basicallly shut down. I’m functionally unemployed until that changes. My homies who travel along with the music festival circuit are fucked. The bar and concessions staff, security, roadies, electricians, set and tent builders, we’re not the kinds who generally have insurance, or a lot of savings. The whole circuit shutting down is a fucking cataclysm in my circles.

I’m luckily married to someone who has a WFH-capable job with health insurance, so that’s something.

So, you’re going to be cooped up in your apartment for a long time and not get out much, but you want to say in shape without access to the gym. Luckily, that particular problem has been solved.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:47 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]

Congressional Representative Katie Porter convinced CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield to guarantee free COVID testing for every American, regardless of insurance or insurance status.

I love what Congresswoman Porter has done for average Americans, but how is this enforceable? They’d come up with some loophole, right?
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:47 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]

But why would he NOT be tested at this time?

Not a good use of resources, presumably. Or maybe he has been tested.

If he’s feeling fine and is isolated from direct contact with others, what does it matter? I’m not a massive fan of Trudeau, but I think he’s trying to get across the message that if you’re asymptomatic and isolated, you shouldn’t freak out and start screaming at health care workers to test you. Projecting a calm, reasonable approach to your spouse being infected is the right call as the elected leader of the country, IMHO.

As regards the toilet paper thing, the thing I’m finding really weird is people not understanding that (particularly) if they’re staying at home (assuming a bit of able-bodied manual dexterity that not everyone has) there are ways of cleaning the human undercarriage that don’t require obscene amounts of paper products, provided they have a reliable supply of running water and some soap.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:48 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]

But when you are the leader of a country, and your wife, who you are in isolation with has it…?

Just seems weird.
posted by Windopaene at 8:51 PM on March 12

Just seems weird.

When viewed in the context of being next door to a grown-ass man who is theoretically in charge of the largest nuclear weapons arsenal in the world, and who couldn’t handle the minor task of 10 minutes of reading a prepared statement late last night, not so much.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:56 PM on March 12 [14 favorites]

My work is a plant tissue culture nursery; the tissue has to be regularly passaged and we have way too much tissue for the amount of people already. If techs don’t show up, the stock dies. The techs are woefully paid, some living far away with most relying on transit (or unreliable cars).

On top of that, we have a whole bunch of orders big and small but all complex coming up – and since we just started, we’ve only fulfilled our first order.

Since we’re in a regulated industry, someone with security clearance has to be present during operations. There’s only two of us on site (I know, I know), one other person with clearance left recently, and the rest of the clearance holders are c-suite/ director types.

Someone swiped our reserves of face masks early on, there is absolutely none to be purchased except at profiteering prices. We ran out and borrowed against goodwill from a friendly lab, but those are running out fast. We’re considering getting a bunch of, albeit less effective, cloth surgical masks and washing and autoclaving them after every use.

At least we have lots of isopropanol. Hopefully VWR can keep supplying us with it.

Bong and glass users around here are terribly distraught that 99% iso can’t be had for money or petty crime at retail stores (iso + kosher salt is used for cleaning resin/ buildup in glassware for smoking Cannabis).
posted by porpoise at 9:03 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]

We got an email today from the corporate office that said all corporate locations (we have franchises as well) must be fully prepared by end of day tomorrow to work remotely. There’s only 4 of us in this branch, and one is almost never in the office, so we aren’t bad off there. But I’m already set up and ready to work from home and I am not complaining about that. Pantry is stocked, we have plenty of toilet paper and paper towels from a Costco trip from before the outbreak… can’t say everything is perfect but we’re not in bad shape. Now I just wish my wife could work from home… impossible though with her line of work.
posted by azpenguin at 9:04 PM on March 12
I’m worried this whole thing will be like so many IT / systems problems:
when prevention works, average schmucks see it as a sign that prevention was an overreaction. (facepalm)

Like… IT does their job preparing for Y2K and then nothing breaks and then the users are all like “Why were you worried? Not like the banks fell over at midnight… jeez, you nerds are always so paranoid.”

Now it might be the same thing. “You said we had to cancel all this stuff and not travel and wash our hands all the time, and in the end only a couple thousand people died in the whole world, so why were you so paranoid? Grumble grumble doctors bad, etc.” I’m worried protection measures will be a [PR] victim of their own success, just like vaccines.

Maybe not, boy I hope not, but it’s definitely a concern. I hope it doesn’t play out like that though and that (if we can slow this thing) people see it’s because of these measures. I hope they see that avoiding an apocalypse doesn’t mean the fears were unfounded; it means that everyone’s efforts worked!

(‘course we gotta get there first…)

Interesting times we’re in, that’s for sure!
posted by -1 at 9:06 PM on March 12 [13 favorites]

sciatrix: I feel like there’s going to be a LOT of that going around right now as experimental biologists who are being asked to minimize time on campus start going stir crazy, honestly. Especially those in younger labs who don’t have datasets sitting around to analyze yet.

At our management meeting this afternoon, we decided to get the senior research leads to invent two week projects for our current crop of a dozen or so co-ops. They’re all normally lab staff, but we’d much rather have them home safe, doing even limited work and still justifiably earning a paycheque than either laid off or exposed to both public transit and their colleagues all day.

Stuff is moving quickly. The continuity plan was invoked this afternoon (which basically puts everyone on notice to be ready). I wouldn’t be surprised to see us go to essential emergency staff only next week.
posted by bonehead at 9:07 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]

Trump and Pence have been tested. They just can’t admit to it.

Reminds me of another unprepared president overwhelmed by crisis. In 2001 after the 9/11 attacks there was the anthrax terrorism. People had no idea if anthrax would be rampant around the country.

The press asked Bush if he had been tested. Bush refused to answer. He just repeated obstinately “I don’t have anthrax. I don’t have anthrax. I don’t have anthrax.”
posted by JackFlash at 9:25 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]

I had run out of both toilet paper and ADBAC wipes organically and I felt like such a huge arsehole being seen picking up the last two units off wipes the shelves on a recent grocery run.

Also didn’t help that they had pallets of Chef Boyardee on sale (with limits) – I’m nominally a gourmand, but after my first round of grad school, it’s kind of a comfort food for me.

Funny, though. Zero shortage of soap and detergents – both very effective in inactivating coronavirus.

Dropped by the (government run monopoly) liquor store and asked them to special order me a case of my favourite liquor, though. Didn’t sound like there was a supply problem (yet) – it’s not rare, but the production capacity pales against brands owned by Diego/ other extranationals.

Choosing not to stockpile cigarettes, maybe this ] might end up being my excuse to break the habit.

I’m cautious but definitely not paranoid but… I’ve seen people at gas stations generously consume hand sanitizer after pumping; I threw a fistful of nitrile gloves in my car’s glove compartment.

Glove up right hand, take out payment card, use gloved hand for interfaces, left hand to retrieve card (goes in pocket, put back into wallet after glove is removed), gloved hand to fuel, when done peel off and discard.
posted by porpoise at 9:27 PM on March 12 [6 favorites]

I had run out of both toilet paper and ADBAC wipes organically and I felt like such a huge arsehole being seen picking up the last two units off wipes the shelves on a recent grocery run.

You’re good. You’re not these assholes:

‘We’re hustlers’: Amid coronavirus fears, this couple has made more than $100,000 reselling Lysol wipes

Also didn’t help that they had pallets of Chef Boyardee on sale (with limits) – I’m nominally a gourmand, but after my first round of grad school, it’s kind of a comfort food for me.

Why not? YOLO!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:34 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]

Love the StayTheFuckHome hashtag. It’s about all of us, including our most vulnerable. I work at Trader Joes & was wearing gloves and frequently sanitizing them, especially after handling money. Obviously, I don’t sanitize them for myself but I touch food. A woman with Leukemia said she was glad I was doing that and only wanted to come to my line from now on. I think everyone should sanitize the fuck out of their hands after touching money; it’s filthy.

I had a friend from Santa Clara (one of the hot spots, unbeknownst to me) visit me and after being in my place for hours, tell me about his hacking cough and cold that went on for a month. Thanks bud. It’s probably just the flu, but seriously, wait a fuckin’ week or two out of consideration.

On the lapse of civility, one customer actually stole an item from someone else’s cart when they were looking away as we run out of items. The second woman said “Hey! Stay out of my cart” and the cart-thief said “You snooze, you lose”. This is the kind of thing I’m afraid of seeing at my supermarket; people losing it and fighting over things.

On the positive side, lots of customers have had an air of rising to the occasion and being extra nice to everyone and wishing me luck in the stress. Not all of us have lost our sense of humor. As I like to say about the hoarding, we’re out of toilet paper because everyone is shitting themselves.

I try to reassure people that it’s a matter of demand, not supply, that even though our shelves become bare, we still get new stock in twice a day. We’re trying to hold down the fort, give folks what they need, and keep calm.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 9:34 PM on March 12 [10 favorites]

well, this …this is how you get a revolution.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:36 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]
Liking the #staythefuckhome movement. Unpopular opinion: Not liking the new tendency to judge and shame others about whether their need/reason is urgent enough to go to work/take a trip/ go to a restaurant. I’ve seen some very unpleasant conversations which seemed like personal phobia masquerading as concern for public health and trending into hysteria.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. You don’t know the details of the choices people need to make. Acting like someone flying to visit their pregnant wife is the same as an asshole going: COOL! CHEAP FLIGHTS! LET’S PARTY! isn’t a good look either.

Many of us have been living with COVID for many months now. Best lesson I have taken out of it so far is to support each other.
posted by frumiousb at 9:49 PM on March 12 [9 favorites]

my corner store hasn’t run out of anything and everyone is perfectly calm about being there, and they looked at me a little weirdly when i asked if they were staying open. full of cops, though. didn’t like that.

no i will not tell you where it is, that toilet paper is mine
posted by poffin boffin at 9:49 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]

I’m a nurse in Vegas and so far we’ve been told that a) they won’t pay us if we end up quarantined b) no masks unless you haven’t had a flu shot and c) come to work no matter. So, I’m feeling optimistic 🙄
posted by yodelingisfun at 9:52 PM on March 12 [12 favorites]
I’m a nurse in Vegas and so far we’ve been told that a) they won’t pay us if we end up quarantined b) no masks unless you haven’t had a flu shot and c) come to work no matter. So, I’m feeling optimistic 🙄

Oh that’s just awful. And with the elderly and reckless combination in Vegas, it’s even worse. So sorry.
posted by frumiousb at 9:53 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]

my band’s tour just got cancelled. probably the right call. it was going to be our biggest tour ever though. 5k-8k venues. half of them sold out already! (my stupid band were just the openers on the 3 band tour package so i’m not taking credit for that)

i am super bummed, but i know it was the right call to do this. i don’t depend on my band for my main income though…i know that a lot of TM’s, and techs, and sound people, and stagehands, and drivers, and…..lots of people are being very hurt by this financially. and this is just one tour.

i know it goes against social distancing rules, but i think i gotta hit up all my small local music venues this weekend and overtip heavily.

it’s hard to know what to do .
posted by capnsue at 10:03 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]

…reselling Lysol wipes

The physical material of the wipe itself that Lysol uses is terrible. It’s, like, lint/ residue/ stuff phobic and just moves it around instead of absorbing it.

For my money, the physical material of the Chlorox brand wipes seem more “absorbent” and actually picks up visible material.

Don’t be fooled by the 99.99% KiLls VIRUSES!1!! on the label.

It’s got an asterix or two next to that claim; you need to leave full strength ADBAC on the surface, wet, for at least 10 minutes for the claims to work – and that’s on very “narrowly defined” surfaces.

Wipes are super convenient, but their antimicrobial properties are very highly over-hyped.

I prefer bleach (and 10% SDS [Sodium dodecyl sulfate] – hand soaps that say “No SLS” [Sodium laureth sulfate] or “No SDS” aren’t effective against coronavirus), having found respect for it (them) while spending a lot of time in a BSL3+ virus facility in grad school (second time around).

But I have ruined so much good clothing to being around bleach being used as a routine surface sanitizer in a plant tissue culture lab (usually while giving unexpected VIPs tours of the production areas – I’m sure some of the visitors have had “wtf, clothing” reactions after the next laundry/ dry-cleaning day).
posted by porpoise at 10:08 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]

oh update they looked at me weirdly bc there is blood on my face from the big zit i popped at my hairline
posted by poffin boffin at 10:09 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]
Such a crisis for performers and all the people employed by such things. Hope you will all make it. Socialism is looking pretty good right now…

Do what you can to support your world, and the people in your world. And wash your hands again.
posted by Windopaene at 10:13 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]

To the nurse in Vegas, your employers are straight up evil. Also, why would they want a sick nurse without a mask???
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 10:14 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]
MetaFilter: brainless, bootlicking boosters of The Company.

MetaFilter: It’s so embarrassing to be surrounded by this type of willful pigheadedness.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:24 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]

Lin-Manuel Miranda Offers A Free Unreleased Cut From ‘Hamilton’ To Soothe Fans In Turbulent Times (Deadline, March 12, 2020) “The Hamilton creator has issued a free cut from the Broadway smash musical called I Have This Friend. He tweeted it out this afternoon and linked to the SoundCloud service. The raw track features Miranda and Christopher Jackson in their roles as Alexander Hamilton and George Washington, singing with a simple background accompaniment of drum machine and keyboard.”
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:00 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]
There’s a lot of outrage about how screwed up and inhumane a lot of the US response to this crisis is – I think Americans should not forget that we are only a first world country in terms of economic development, and military strength. Culturally, we are much closer to the emerging third world nation of two centuries ago than most would care to admit. The big problem with that is a frontier mentality retards the development of a healthy, modern society when there is no more frontier.

Fight the good fight for necessary changes – just don’t lose sight of the fact that the benefits may only accrue to your descendants, and that you’re probably going to lose a lot of your battles.
posted by Calloused_Foot at 11:19 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]

> zero trust networking

Wow, that would be great. My large employer still uses VPN, which fortunately they’ve now provisioned adequately. I was wondering how this was going to work when it was soooo slow on Monday.

They love their physical plant so much that if you find an ethernet jack in one of their buildings, you have a lot of access. They’re finally turning on 802.1x authentication, but it’s only optional at this point.
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 11:21 PM on March 12

We’re officially going WFH starting next week, for those who can. Folks who work hands-on (e.g. manufacturing) are going to be staggered out in some fashion.
posted by Standard Orange at 11:28 PM on March 12
possibly handy!* 😛
We Tried And Ranked Every Single Trader Joe’s Frozen Meal
posted by kliuless at 1:11 AM on March 13
Here in Sweden the education minister just gave a press conference explaining the decision to keep schools open, despite neighboring Norway and Denmark keeping kids at home. The justification was kids of nursing staff need a place to go during the day so their folks can do what needs to be done, and nobody wants to burden grandparents with taking care of potential disease transmitters.

Well, in Norway daycare/schools are open for kids where both parents are in critical sectors. Radically reducing manning needed, of course.
posted by Harald74 at 2:31 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]

Here in Norway we’ve closed the country down for the duration. All schools, daycares etc are closed. Restaurants have to close if they can’t accommodate regulations which include space between patrons and increased cleaning schedules. I just got an SMS telling me that my youngest’s dentist appointment is cancelled. Most everyone from my work are at home telecommuting. But we’re software developers, so that’s not so difficult.

Everyone not able to work from home gets sick pay. Nobody sick has to pay for their treatment. But that’t just how we roll here in socialist hellhole Norway.
posted by Harald74 at 2:54 AM on March 13 [3 favorites]

My biggest immediate concern right now is keeping Dad’s Home School rolling. All my kids have iPads from school where they are assigned work and can turn it in, but the system is reeling from the increased demand. Hopefully it’s easy to deploy more resources.

I’ve already decided that Dad’s Home School has PE every single day. And Home Ec.

And the dog is very happy about the situation.
posted by Harald74 at 3:00 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]

From way up: Please do a bad job of putting your courses online
Right now at this minute I am having open office hours online. And yes, students are not prepared for online teaching. For one, they can’t access their library material and some of the required software.
I’m not prepared either. I am trying to figure out how to design new requirements for the course and how to organize our exam. To make things worse, our exam was supposed to be in Rome, on a study trip, with the students presenting their material there.
And as one of my friends and colleagues said Wednesday: email escalates everything. Advice given face to face in the classroom can work fine. The exact same advice can cause a panic attack and complaints when given by mail or in a class forum. Which leads to the next issue: every single one of my students are writing to me at my private mail, claiming that the uni mail and the forum doesn’t work. Neither I nor IT can see than they are right about this, but we can’t disprove it either. So there is a huge documentation problem as well (I’m saving the private mails and everyone is on track to a good result, so it won’t be an issue, but other years it could have been).
The positive thing is that I am in my PJs and following Metafilter while the students are incredibly slow to respond.
posted by mumimor at 3:14 AM on March 13

tinyurlis.gdv.gdv.htu.nuclck.ruulvis.netshrtco.detny.im