While this situation is indeed ominous and of grave concern, it is also an opportunity to focus on the lessons learned.

I’m not talking about things like when the chips are down people will panic buy “toodoo” paper just because others are doing it. This is known in psychology as the cognitive bias called the “bandwagon effect” or “group think”.

I’m also not talking about the extreme level of distrust people have for those in authority that they would believe any narrative that supports their own view. Which is another cognitive bias called “confirmation bias”.

No, I’m talking about the fact that for all the complaints we make about traffic congestion, pollution etc. it appears that we like it so. What this pandemic situation has revealed is that there is a vast number of people that can actually work remotely.

Ask yourself and your employer, why in this day and technological age, do we all have to commute daily to an office? Is it that your employer doesn’t trust you or maybe they like to see your pretty face. That sounds like sexual harassment, call HR. Seriously though, this situation proves that physical presence in a building is really not necessary for a lot of jobs or businesses.

However, that’s a double edged sword. This situation caused a number of institutions to activate their business continuity plan (BCP). This is an organization’s response to a widespread disruption regardless of the source. So think earthquake, hurricane, fire, tornado, an angry Fay Ann Lyons. This plan is what you do after the immediate danger has subsided and for pandemics, what you do in response to infection or a nationwide shutdown.

If your company doesn’t have a BCP because of “normalcy bias”, which is a failure to plan for something that has never happened before, then tell them link meh and I could consult….for a fee. These days I’m willing to take payment in hand sanitizer.

Here is the kicker though, part of BCP is identifying the processes and roles that are critical and those that are not. While every role may be important not all are critical. The danger in a situation like this is an employer may discover that they don’t need your solitaire playing, Facebook trolling, movie watching tail at all.

Then there are the people lucky enough to be able to work remotely or even on a two week social distancing vacation but having issues with spending so much time with their spouse, kids or other loved ones. First all, it’s you choose them so it’s nobody else fault. Secondly, the vast majority of us will survive this. So maybe you should work on your personal relationships so that spending time together doesn’t feel like The Hunger Games.

Finally, to those complaining about having to go to work and not being able to social distance properly, I feel your pain as I’m also in office. My perspective is that I’m just happy to have a job because, if this thing is as prolonged as expected, a lot of people won’t.

Stay safe, wash your hands and KEEP YOUR TAIL HOME (if you can).


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