I send an S.O.S. to the world, I hope that someone gets my message in a bottle.
(Sting – 1979)
Jump to a day
- Chronicles of Coronavirus
- 5th of April – Bicycle ride
- 4th of April – What would we bring on a desert island
- 3rd of April – A non zero sum game
- 2nd of April – A message from a friend
- 1st of April – April fools’
- 31st of March – A smart idea
- 30th of March – Inverting the trend, maybe
- 29th of March – A voice from the past
- 28th of March – Glimpses of hope
- 27th of March – Rolling sleeves up
- 26th of March – The winner takes it all
- 25th of March – Predicting the future
- 24th of March – Meanwhile, In a far distant place
- 23rd of March – #social_distancing
- 22nd of March – Stay out of my place
Chronicles of Coronavirus
As more and more countries implement social distancing policies to try to contain the Coronavirus epidemics, some news websites estimate that today, more than a billion people are at home. Since this unwanted guest made his way into our houses, we are forced to rediscover life in a confined space. Today I start my chronicles from confinement. It is a way to defy boredom, reach out to the outside world and share what happens in this part of the world. These are difficult days, but we will overcome difficulties and who knows, maybe learn something from all this.
Sunday, 22nd of March
Today, the government announced that employment pass holders will not be allowed to enter the country, unless if they work in the transport or medical sectors. I will not be able to travel abroad until further notice.
Monday, 23rd of March
I am still working from home this week. Today the gym in my condo has been closed down until further notice because we have three cases of Coronavirus. I know that these are first-world problems but with less daily exercise, it will be harder to keep my mind cool.
Today, while I was walking to go to my German class, I bumped into this guy, who was sticking plastic bands on the floor, outside a popular fast-food restaurant.
Singapore is a process-driven place, and today the government has issued new regulations on social distancing.
Japan is also very process-driven, but one entity is even scarier than Coronavirus: the boss. Today I had a conference call with our Tokyo office. No one works from home there, as employees are afraid to be perceived as lazy if they remain at their place instead of going to the office.
After today, my German class moves online. The teaching institution cannot respect the new rules and grant one meter of empty space between two students.
I went on FlightRadar 24 website and captured a snapshot of air traffic over France. The difference between today and a normal day is impressive.
Update from Italy: after weeks where new Coronavirus cases in Italy increased day-in day-out, numbers published today show that yesterday, they decreased substantially. It is very early to understand if the trend is changing, but it is important that this happened.
Tuesday, 24th of March
Update from Italy: yesterday again, the number of new cases was smaller than the day before. This is the second day in a row: it never happened since the beginning of the Coronavirus spread. Major social distancing measures were adopted on the 9th of March, so the hypothesis that virus spread is slowing down as an effect of such measures is on the table at the moment. There are still many unknowns on this virus: I read an interview with an expert in epidemics, explaining that 40% of infected people show no symptoms. If the containment phase is missed as it was in Europe, strict social distancing is the only way to curb Coronavirus. I cross fingers and hope Italy progress continues tomorrow.
Wednesday, 25th of March
Michael Levitt, a Nobel laureate and Stanford biophysicist, recently formulated the hypothesis that increase rate of new cases is the most reliable indicator of Coronavirus propagation. By tracking the moment when the increase rate slowed down and projecting the number of deaths and recoveries from that moment on, he predicted that the total number of Coronavirus in China would end up around 80,000, with about 3,250 deaths. This forecast turned out to be remarkably accurate: As of March 16, China had counted a total of 80,298 cases and 3,245 deaths.
Update from Italy: yesterday the number of new cases was higher than the day before and this came after two days of decreasing trend.
I had a phone call with a co-worker living in Bangalore, India. Last weekend, the government called Indians for a social distancing test: the population was asked to stay at home. According to my co-worker, few people respected the guidelines and authorities decided to lock down the whole country: borders are closed, people cannot move from one state to another, all bars and restaurants are closed, as well as all shops. Only available option for grocery shopping is home delivery, but the delays are huge.
My Italian food importer informed me by email today that they are facing difficulties because of COVID-19 issues. All goods coming from Italy have to transit through an intermediate location before being shipped to Singapore and for this reason, the price of Burrata and Mozzarella will spike. Luckily I inquired about the availability of Grana Padano, that does not need to be shipped weekly and can be stored locally for a few months. Grana is still available, I ordered three kilos that should allow me to survive the crisis 😉
Thursday, 26th of March
Thirteen days ago I sent to my parents in Paris a pack containing surgical and N95 masks, but they have not received it, yet. The masks are worth maybe 20 Euros but in times like these, they are seen as more precious than gold and may never reach their destination.
Now I understand that this is what virus do: take away things from you and sometimes even worse. But why you cannot take everything at once? Why I have to endure the pain of losing all the things that filled my life little by little? I understand that you are greedy, my dear Coronavirus and I am OK to give you all my pass-times. Can you just take them all in one shot?
This is the list of new restrictions, effective from tonight, 26th of March.
Update from Italy: yesterday, 25th of March, number of new cases decreased again in comparison to the previous day. My feeling is that a downtrend will be confirmed soon and then accelerate. As explained yesterday, the decrease of number of new cases is probably the most important indicator of Coronavirus propagation.
Friday, 27th of March
Update from Italy: on 26th of March, increase of daily cases spiked up again, contradicting the optimistic update I posted yesterday. I will illustrate current situation with the chart below.
The blue line represents the daily increment of new cases. The orange line is the average of daily increments of new cases over the last seven days.
A simple way of looking at the chart is as follows: the more the orange line is heading upwards, the faster Coronavirus spread is progressing. In the current situation, every day that the blue line points downwards, the slope of the orange line becomes less steep, until the moment it will finally invert, which is when the virus spread really starts to slow down. When the blue line crosses below the orange, it is a good sign: in the finance industry, this situation is typically seen as an early indication of a trend inversion.
The green circle highlights the promising lapse of time between the 23rd and the 25th of March. Yesterday, the blue line crossed above the orange one. My interpretation of the curve is that, although Coronavirus spread is still increasing, it seems to slow down a little. These early indications will have to be confirmed in the days to come.
I decided to make a donation to EMERGENCY, a medical NGO that is working side by side with Italian authorities and healthcare organization to ease the pain in Lombardia, the region most affected by Coronavirus.
I think EMERGENCY is doing the right strategic moves by:
- Relying on their core skills and past experience
- Focusing on the systemic approach by helping building the most urgent infrastructure in the most affected areas
- Taking actions to protect health of doctors and nurses, who are in the front line of operations
- Easing the pain of that part of population that struggle getting support by other organizations such as self-quarantined elder people, migrants, homeless et cetera
If like me, you believe EMERGENCY is making the right moves, help them making a difference by donating.
These are the details of EMERGENCY action to respond to Coronavirus ( from their website):
EMERGENCY will give the authorities all the help it can to manage the coronavirus outbreak.
We will put our expertise in treating patients in the midst of epidemics, honed in Sierra Leone in the Ebola outbreak of 2014 and 2015, at the disposal of the health authorities. On Friday 6 March, we spoke to the authorities of Lombardy region and offered them our help in managing the Coronavirus danger. We are keeping in contact with other authorities to see whether we can give them a hand at this difficult time.
Our medical and logistics team is working with Azienda Regionale Emergenza Urgenza (AREU) and the medical corps of the Alpini mountain troops to set up a new field hospital purely for treating patients affected by COVID-19. The hospital will be built at Fiera di Bergamo, the town’s exhibition and trade fair centre, and should be fully operational by next week.
We are collaborating on the design for the new facility, offering our experience in managing epidemics, thanks to our work on Ebola in Sierra Leone in 2014 and 2015, where we protected staff from contagion. EMERGENCY’s team of approximately 20 people will consist of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, and logisticians, who will run the intensive and sub-intensive care wards.
‘We have reorganized the areas and patient flows to reduce the chance of contagion as much as possible. Every detail at the facility is essential to containing the disease. It’s crucial to separate every area, clearly define the places for dressing and undressing, and thoroughly plan any movement of people in advance. We’re offering the experience we gained in Sierra Leone during the Ebola epidemic, and to do that we’ve brought back some of our staff who were working abroad. We want to do our part at such a difficult time for Italy,’ says a spokesperson.
We have been contacted by various health authorities in different Italian regions. We are currently working with the Health Department at Brescia hospital to protect healthcare personnel and the hospital from contagion.
EMERGENCY has answered the municipal government of Milan’s call for support services for the city’s people, offering its full help to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. Using the government’s platform Milano Aiuta (Milan Helps), EMERGENCY has, as of Friday 13 March, been running a service delivering goods – food, medicine and other basic items – to people over 65, who have been ordered to quarantine themselves, and vulnerable people who cannot risk leaving their homes. EMERGENCY’s volunteers and Brigate di Solidarietà are supporting elderly people and those with chronic or immunosuppressive conditions, who are most at risk and have been advised to stay at home.
The service runs from 9 am to 1 pm, Monday to Saturday. It can be reached by calling 020202 and is completely free of charge. Every case is given a unique code and a level of priority. Calls are passed on by the Milan municipal government to Casa Emergency, EMERGENCY’s headquarters, where a work area has been formed to assign cases to volunteers spread around the city
Volunteers are currently moving in pairs and will wear a badge to identify themselves. All of them have received special training to minimise the risk of contagion to both themselves and the people they are supporting. Volunteers will not provide medical services of any kind.
Our support to migrants and homeless people
The work is managed by two teams from EMERGENCY, each made up of a nurse, a logistician, and a doctor in case of need. The point is to monitor the situation at the centres, see how the spaces are run when it comes to hygiene, safe distances and cleaning, and make sure the government’s instructions are being followed. After doing these checks, EMERGENCY points out any changes that need to be made to keep staff and patients healthy. We also train staff at the facilities on protocols and tutorials to follow to help them better manage the emergency.
It involves monitoring in shelters for homeless people and unaccompanied migrant children within the SIPROIMI (formerly SPRAR) system, including intermediary shelters and certain gypsy camps pointed out to us by Milan’s municipal government.
EMERGENCY will give basic training to Cooperativa Dar Casa, so it can let homeless people go into quarantine in its building on Via Carbonia, in the Quarto Oggiaro neighbourhood.
The project has begun in collaboration with Milan’s municipal government.
In times like these, the worse thing that can happen to a country is to have executive powers concentrated in the hands of few leaders ignorant enough to dismiss science.
Saturday, 28th of March
Update from Italy: the new cases trend continues to show promising signs. Below is the chart updated with yesterday numbers.
I explained yesterday how this chart should be interpreted. The green circle shows something we never observed before: today the average number of new cases over the last week for the first time shows a slight decrease: as you can see, the orange line is flat. Another important sign that the Coronavirus spread in Italy is not accelerating. As I already said in previous days, it is important to see what happens in the few days to come. It is reasonable to expect that the number of persons infected with Coronavirus in Italy should finally start decreasing 5-10 after the orange line shows a clear trend downwards.
Sunday, 29th of March
Albanians came by the thousands to Italy in first years of the Nineties. When Nave Vlora reached the shore in Bari with its load of men, women, kids, babies, those of us who saw it on TV or in real, all wondered how it could still stay afloat. In the following days, there were Albanians everywhere. They looked dirty and dangerous: that kind of dirty and dangerous look that comes with years of dictatorship, hunger, suffering, struggle for survival. It was a better Italy: I don’t remember anyone suggesting to sink ships from Albania, back then. We rolled up our sleeves, fed them and cleaned them up. Some of the people that arrived on Nave Vlora, and their families and kids, still live in Italy today.
Sometimes a brain that can focus longer than a Tweeter message and a good memory can help putting things in perspective.
Today, as Coronavirus spread rages in Italy and kills hundreds every day, Albanian prime minister gave a simple speech surrounded by 30 doctors and nurses ready to leave to go and join Italian doctors in the areas that are suffering the most.
“I know that someone here in Albania will find strange that 30 doctors and nurses of our small army dressed in white are leaving today for Italian front line. I know that 30 doctors and nurses are far from enough to invert the balance of power between the invisible enemy and the white army that is fighting against it on the front line on the other side of the Adriatic sea. But I know that down there, it is also our home, since Italy and our Italian brothers and sisters saved us, hosted us, adopted us, in their homes while Albania was burning with immense pain. We are fighting the same invisible enemy and our human and logistic resources are not unlimited. But today we cannot keep our forces idle, waiting for them to be called to action, while in Italy, war hospitals are treating Albanians wounded by the enemy, too and desperately need help. Today all borders are closed and very rich countries are turning their backs to others. Maybe it is really because we are neither rich, nor deprived of memory, but we cannot avoid to demonstrate to Italy that Albania and Albanians never abandon friends in danger. In this war, no-one will win alone and you, courageous members of a life-saving mission, are leaving for a war that is also ours. Italy must win and will win this war for us, for Europe and for the whole world.”
Dear Edi Rama, Albania Prime Minister, this is a very touching gesture. Thank you.
Monday, 30th of March
The level of government response continues to increase each day. Many five stars hotels have been requested to stop accepting booking and prepare to host citizens repatriated from other countries.
Yesterday newspapers reported that a citizen has been stripped of his passport for failing to comply with mandatory stay at home notice.
We continue to maintain a high level of attention, following guidelines in terms of social gatherings and keeping a slightly bigger than normal food stock at home to overcome the consequences of panic hoarding.
Otherwise, the morale is high: we have been spared the pain that many other countries are enduring and I feel grateful for this. At the same time, I think it is important to comfort and relief the many dear people that live in Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland, and in general to be mindful that we have been lucky so far, but this can change anytime. We have to to be mentally prepared and ready to take the right actions should worse come to worst.
Today, for the first time my German class moves to online as an effect of measures rolled out by the government last week.
Update from Italy: as anticipated in previous days, the number of daily new cases have reached the inflection point, the curve inverted and started to decrease. This is a good news, although hundreds of persons still die every day. The number of people infected by Coronavirus in Italy is still increasing, but at a slower rate. Looking at the charts, I believe it is reasonable to think that it may start to decrease in 5-10 days from today.
From today, we will be looking at a different chart, shown below.
The red line in the chart is the moving average over one week of the daily decrease of total number of infected people. The decrease is caused by people healing or unfortunately dying.
The orange line is the moving average over one week of the daily increase of total number of infected people. It is the same orange line I described in past days and represents an average of new daily cases.
The green line is the difference between the orange line and the red line. When and if the orange line will meet the red line, the average increase of total cases will have equaled the average decrease. Eventually, the red line will cross above the orange line and the green line will enter negative territory; from that point on, the total number of persons infected by Coronavirus in Italy will start to decrease.
The main indicator that we need to look at in these days, is how steep the green line is headed downwards: the steeper, the better. Let’s cross fingers and hope to see a steep downward slope.
Tuesday, 31st of March
Asian countries are leveraging some of their best assets to fight against Coronavirus. In Hollywood movies, Asians are sometimes relegated to the stereotyped role of computer geniuses, but now technological creativity is playing an important role in efforts to curb the virus spread.
Recently, the TraceTogether application has been released on Apple store to make contact tracing more effective and ensure people that have been in contact with someone diagnosed with Coronavirus can effectively be identified and quarantined.
This application is technically elegant in the way it solves the problem of data privacy. It relies on Bluetooth signals exchanged by different devices to detect users of the application that came in contact within a typical signal propagation distance of about ten meters. If someone using the application is diagnosed with COVID-19, he or she can simply upload their data to the Ministry of Health, which will then be able to decrypt the information and begin contacting other application users who have been in close contact of the confirmed COVID-19 case.
The application does not collect location data and I believe this fact is essential to its success. In the past, governments – I am especially thinking of post 9/11 mass surveillance programs rolled out in USA – abused difficult times like this to intrude in people personal life and when this happens, often there is no way back.
As Mr Jason Bay, Senior Director of Government Digital Services at GovTech, who leads the team that developed the application explains:
“Instead of attempting to tackle the issue of contact tracing by answering the question of ‘where,’ we address contact tracing by answering the question of ‘who’,” explained Mr Bay, who led the team behind TraceTogether. “After all, you could argue that the virus doesn’t care where transmission happens; it’s only interested in whether there is a hospitable host in close contact.”
In a Facebook post on March 23, the Minister in charge of the Smart Nation Initiative said that the application will be open-sourced. This means that the software’s source code will be made freely available and may be redistributed and modified.
“We believe that making our code available to the world will enhance trust and collaboration in dealing with a global threat that does not respect boundaries, political systems or economies,” said the Minister.
Staying fit when you work from home is challenging. Since my gym has been shut down earlier this month, I intensified my home core routine. I have never done so many push-ups as in March 2020 😉
Update from Italy: March 2020 has maybe been the most dramatic year of Italy post World War II history. We have seen things we would have never imagined and Italian have been forced to reconsider how lucky they were before the virus came to jeopardize their life. Many countries have been looking attentively at the situation in Italy to try and learn how to fight this invisible enemy. The response has not been perfect, but my personal reading is that authorities did their best given the information in their possession.
Data on Coronavirus spread released yesterday, 30th of March are as follows.
As explained yesterday, the orange and red lines are two averages of seven days of data. The orange averages new Coronavirus cases, while the red represents cases decrease as people heal or unfortunately die. The green line is the difference of the two. The month of March ends with a very promising sign. The green line is now looking clearly downwards and this makes me hope that, in about 10 days from now, the number of persons infected with Coronavirus in Italy will start to decrease.
Wednesday, 1st of April
There is a cause-effect relationship between decisions taken by the authorities throughout the world in these critical days and the final outcome of Coronavirus pandemic. If we look at the evolution of the situation under the angle of protection of human life, I stated yesterday my opinion that, although their response has not been perfect, Italian authorities did their best given the information in their possession: the harsh measures imposed in China were hard to enforce in a Western country, there were unknowns in the virus spreading mechanics and Italy was the first Western country to be severely hit.
After Italy, things are no longer the same and lessons learned there are being used in many parts of the world. Browsing through the internet, I am still puzzled by the situation in New York.
Quoting an article appeared on Channel News Asia on 29th of March, New York area has been the most seriously hit by COVID-19 in the United States, with more than 52,000 cases in New York state. The same article reports that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had not discussed the opportunity of a quarantine in New York during his recent meetings with Donald Trump. Then following statements given by Mr. Cuomo during a press conference are quoted:
“I don’t even know what that means (a quarantine), But I can tell you, I don’t even like the sound of it. Not even understanding what it is, I don’t like the sound of it.”
“I don’t know how that could be legally enforceable. And from a medical point of view, I don’t know what you would be accomplishing”.
Previously, Mr. Cuomo announced a statewide “stay at home” order on March 20, warning New York state’s 19 million residents that those who defy the expansive edict could face civil fines. “When I talk about the most drastic action we can take, this is the most drastic action we can take,” Cuomo said.
The restrictions took effect the night of March 22 and stipulate:
- All New Yorkers are ordered to work from home.
- Employees in essential jobs and government personnel can continue to work.
- Solitary walks and outdoor exercise is permitted but all team sports are banned.
- Residents are allowed to go to the grocery store and run errands.
- Restaurants and bars can still deliver to homes.
- All non-essential businesses statewide must close their premises.
- Liquor and wine stores are classified as essential so can stay open, as can pharmacies, grocery stores, and restaurants and bars offering takeout and delivery only.
- Mass transit and roadways are not affected.
It is interesting to compare situation in USA to what we are observing in Italy. This chart highlights the growth on new Coronavirus cases in United States of America in March. New York is by far the most impacted area.
As we can see, the blue line, representing daily increment of new COVID-19 cases, is quickly stepping away from the orange one, that represents average of number of new cases over the previous seven days. This simply means that COVID-19 spread in United States of America is accelerating and the pandemic looks out of control.
The same thing happened in Italy and Italian authorities rolled out severe lock-down policies across the whole country. As we speak, the measures seem to have played a key role in curbing the virus spread.
I found the list of measures that have been rolled out in the different states within United States of America. They seem light compared to the harsh restrictions that have been taken in Italy and I anticipate that they will likely be insufficient to slow down COVID-19 expansion.
If measures implemented in New York are effective, we should observe signs of new daily cases trend inversion around the 6th of April. If this does not happen, more restrictions will have to be considered. The situation calls for extreme actions and failing to take the right decisions in the name of protection of economic interests is a very risky bet.
Think of it from a different perspective: what if, after finally realizing that the virus spread is completely out of control, lock-down had to be finally enforced in New York and United States of America when there was no economic interest to protect anymore?
Thursday, 2nd of April
Tomorrow, my office will finally close until further notice. We received a communication saying that closure is planned until 30th of April but at this point in time, with the number of cases on the rise in this country and Coronavirus raging everywhere, no-one really know when we will re-open. Last time I went to the office it was on last Friday, and it looked like this.
It was unnatural to see all these empty chairs and the space was so silent. I was caught thinking that it is only when we lose them that we realize how much the interactions that happen in the office shape our everyday life.
For about one month until today, my company has adopted systematic temperature checks at the office twice a day. Also, the workforce was divided in two teams and only members of the same team were allowed to access the office at any given time. The idea was that if one of the teams was quarantined because one of its members tested positive, the other team could have continued coming the the office if needed. Members of different teams were not allowed to meet inside or outside of the office and this last restriction will remain in place even after the office has shut down. Last Friday, I found on my desk this message from Shirlynn, a friend who I am not allowed to meet.
The day I will meet Shirlynn again, it will probably mean that the office is open again and COVID-19 is starting to fade away.
Update from Italy: the battle against COVID-19 on Italian front line is far from over. Number of daily cases spiked up yesterday, and although the trend remains positive, the few days to come will be critical and country lock-down will remain in place until further notice. The virus spread is accelerating in other countries that seem to be replicating Italian curve with a few days of delay. Although observing daily trends is fundamental to understand what is happening, we will only know in a couple weeks from now which country will have managed to slow down or contain Coronavirus, if any.
Friday, 3rd of April
The Prime Minister will go on TV in one hour from now to announce more stringent social distancing measures. Most likely he will announce school closure and probably shopping malls will be closed, too. It is another of these moments where I am forced to evaluate what else I can let go without pain. If I can still go for a walk, a swim and I can still provide for my need for food, I am happy 😉 . Welcome into COVID-19 game, where the sum of what you get and what you lose is always negative.
And so it is. PM spoke earlier this afternoon and from next Tuesday on a new round of measures will become effective. Schools and offices will be closed, essential services such as transportation and grocery shops will remain open. Restaurants will be allowed to operate, but only for take away food. Doing physical activity such as running is still allowed but keeping a minimum distance of one meter from other people. Gatherings, on the other hand, are not allowed.
These measures are motivated by the rise of untraceable cases of COVID-19; they are effective until 30th of April but will be extended if need be. The government believes that if they fail to act now and effectively bring the number of infected people below a safe threshold, the virus will spread in an uncontrolled way and cause even more damage in the future.
At this stage, we can only hope that this will be enough. Dear Coronavirus, you win another round, but we are still determined to kick your ass one day.
Saturday 4th of April
As I reported yesterday, new measures will be implemented next Tuesday to slow down the Coronavirus outbreak. The key points are highlighted in the infographic on right below, while the one on the right lists services that are defined as essential and will continue to be granted.
Yesterday’s prime minister speech reached out to the majority of the population. Immediately after, people started debating on its implications and like in previous occasions, an enthusiastic toilet paper hoarding run ensued.
COVID-19 highlighted how countries react differently to a scary and massive threat, depending on cultural aspects, the leadership style of their rulers, their form of government. But if there is something that seems to be bringing humanity together in these hard days, regardless of any form of diversity, that one thing is the primal fear to die of starvation and without having been able to properly wipe ourselves.
Update from Italy: Coronavirus keeps slowing down. I previously forecasted that the number of infected people may have started to decrease around the 10th of April, but we will have to wait a little longer. Let’s look at the latest chart.
The green line, representing the average difference of new cases and closed cases, is still headed down. Its value today is around 2700 and in the last days it has been decreasing of around 250 units per day. I was expecting that the red line representing the average sum of deaths and healed patients, would increase faster as more and more people who tested positive in the previous days died or healed, but for some reason that does not seem to be happening. Given the latest dynamics depicted by the chart, Italy should reach the peak number of infected people in around 10-12 days.
5th of April
We were lucky today and we could go for a bicycle ride, before the town is shutdown.
I took those few pictures and, for those who are closed in, I want to reassure you, there is still a lot of beauty out there, and it will still be there once we go out.
Before Coronavirus intruded into our work place, I used a joke to define the often abused “digital transformation” buzzword. “It’s like teenagers and sex” – I used to say “everyone wants to do it, but no-one knows how. Although the concept of digital transformation encompasses a lot more than working from home, we have to admit that Coronavirus is redefining the corporate job in these hard days.
My company operates globally through a network of hundreds of physical offices. We use to say that we have an office in a bigger number of countries than those represented at United Nations. Some of our sites have a population of 4000-5000 employees, commuting from their homes to their work place every day.
When the first restrictive measures started to be enforced throughout the world, and in a matter of days, like many other companies, we shifted all our operations to our homes. Coronavirus has been a formidable digital transformation benchmark and we are today coming to fruition of years of effort spent to implement cloud technologies, cooperative working tools, video conferencing infrastructures. I did not fully grasp the amplitude of the transformation that happened in the past years, but I can see now how global companies that managed to stay at the edge of technology are today more robust, flexible and technologically resilient.
The last missing piece was the mindset shift towards an instinctive collaborative working attitude. Forced in our homes by Coronavirus, through the usage of intuitive technologies, we are building a new neuronal network made of remote co-workers that help us not only in our working tasks, but also to understand the complex reality of the outer world. Our personal messengers complete the network and connect us to our remote friends and families. Thanks to these networks, we are aware of the challenges awaiting for us in these difficult times inside and outside the work place.
We are forced to adapt every day as the wind of COVID-19 change blows with the force of an hurricane. Let’s do our best to steer our boats out of the storm, and keep in mind that the pessimist complains about the wind, the optimist expects it to change, the realist adjust the sails.