What's your self-isolation tech plan?

Seems that perhaps the time is coming in the next few weeks where strongly or weakly-enforced self-isolation might be a good and prudent idea. What’s your tech plan?

I telework 95% of the time so as long as the internet is up, no problem with work continuity. I think small businesses and restaurants around here will suffer if people panic and stay away – that’s sad.

The major stores remain open and probably will in some respect, so delivery through Whole Foods and/or Instacart should be no problem for now.

Amazon is Amazon, so there’s that, unless the postal service stops delivering, which has not been mentioned.

Streaming is streaming. So there’s entertainment.

Physically, though I’m in a major city, the immediate area is not heavily populated so there’s plenty of exercise opportunity.

What I’m avoiding – mainly the news feeds and sites. Can’t do anything about the situation, so five minutes a day is enough to consume of the 24-hour dread that seems to preoccupy all media.

Tech wise, the upside is the population is better equipped to continue social and business interactions. That’s also a major downside for the unconnected millions in the U.S., and the other downside is that being connected doesn’t feed the economy much if people stay home for a long time.


It’s going to depend on what my university decides. Our students are on spring break this week. They will be coming back from all over the country/world for class on Monday. I’ve already picked out my outfit.


Also, we make use of Zoom and I’ve been using Google Classroom a lot. So I’ll probably be just fine at home. The kids will WFH via Disney+, I’d imagine.


Retired, so employment not an issue. As long as services don’t go down and stores stay open. Major threat here is that we are both 70+ but it won’t stop us from leaving the house – just no crowds, no cruises, no airplane travel. Keep in mind that the epicenter in China (Hubei province) has 58.5 million people and 3000 died, or about 1 in 20,000. You have about a 1 in 8000 chance of dying from Influenza each year in the US.


The mortality rate of COVID-19 is estimated to be an order of magnitude (or more) higher than seasonal flu, plus there are no vaccines or treatments as there are for the seasonal flu.

In this Twitter thread , Liz Specht runs the numbers on how quickly COVID-19 can spread. In that very plausible scenario, a COVID-19 vaccine in 12-18 months will be too little too late for many.

At the moment, all we can do is take precautions to help prevent the spread, as in this Vietnamese (ear worm) video, and:

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Retired so work connections not an issue. Forgoing public events like movies and concerts for at home entertainment. Following sanitation guidelines. Going to the grocery store when it’s not busy.

Since the virus seems to have less effect on younger patients, I wonder if they will become a primary infection vector. More likely to be in a job with no sick leave. I’m thinking food service, retail, various service jobs, etc.

I’m already working from home - so nothing to do but make sure we don’t run out of coffee. :slight_smile:

(Actually several trips have already been cancelled :frowning: so to avoid going stir crazy I’m going to have to walk each day in the beautiful South Oxfordshire countryside.) :slight_smile:


The government issued some restrictions (well more than some) so yesterday a went to the office to prepare some things for remote work, and from today I’m at home, working 90% as usual (email, phone) and conferencing (Skype and similar) instead of in person meetings.

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I have two children at home, and their school has closed. It’s been interesting setting up a home tech, distance-learning arrangement.

It’s been a case of rejiggering the network, setting up “classroom” space in each child’s room, and working through tech snafus with zoom and google classrooms.

Dumb stuff like parental controls making each set up harder than it might otherwise be was perhaps predictable, as different tech points-of-view collide … but I’ll say most problems have been solvable – that’s a roundabout way of saying thank you to this community (and others that predate it) where “we can fix it” is the normal way of looking at problems.

One wrinkle I didn’t predict, that might help others whose children’s schools are about to transition to distance learning: web cams are now hard to come by. The old Macbook Air we pressed into service for one child has a broken webcam – I concluded it was broken after the normal raft of strategies to fix it didn’t work (killing video processes in Terminal, resetting PRAM, resetting SMC, etc.)

At any rate we found a webcam in stock at a local store, already marked up a good 40%.

TL;DR: thanks to everyone here for the tech can-do spirit; if you need to set up distance learning, put everything into place and dry run it now.


I’ve heard from co-workers that need to shift into telework mode that headsets are in short supply. Personally haven’t shopped for one recently.


Girlfriend is downstairs now trying to work out alternative video hosts for her students, as parents have YouTube blocked.

I’m a psychoanalyst here in Brazil and started seeing patients exclusively online today.

It’s expected that we’ll have a peak of contamination in a week or two.

It’s been kind of strange to work from home, but that’s what we can do to help the public health service deal with the amount of patients.

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My department is shifting to doing all meetings and collaboration via Zoom and Slack. I have the same setup at home as at work (docked MBP with two external displayed and such) so I’m pretty much good to go.

I have to self-isolate for two weeks starting tomorrow, so I’m going to use the time and reduced number of meetings to get some long-standing projects worked on.

When all this handwashing began I was using a harsh soap that gave me a small rash on my left wrist. That means I have to wear my Apple Watch on my right wrist. That was weeks ago and I still haven’t gotten used to operating the Watch that way.

Completely unrelated: I’ve just learned I’ve been nominated for the Whiny Little Pandemic Complainer Award.