Brace for Impact

Suraj Talreja
July 13, 2020
4 min read

Let me cut to the chase, the coronavirus pandemic is real. And don’t just take my word for it. @LizSpecht of The Good Food Institute runs a quick back of the envelope calculation to try estimate the potential magnitude of impact. 

In summary, we can expect that we’ll continue to see a doubling of cases every 6 days - this is a typical doubling time across several epidemiological studies. We land at ~2-6 billion infected by sometime in July of this year. 

Importantly, even if she is wrong – even very wrong – about core assumptions like percentage of severe cases or current case numbers, it only changes the timeline by days or weeks. This is how exponential growth in an immunologically naïve population works. 

Read the entire thread here.

What can I do?

  • Stay home
    With no well-studied treatment and a viable vaccine insight, the only effective way to keep the coronavirus pandemic at bay is to give the virus less chances of spreading.

    Here’s a set of loose guidelines for people to take action that can actually make a difference. We found this thread on getting home isolation right specifically helpful.

What are you doing?

  • Communicating
    Most of us have been inundated with statistics and precautions around the coronavirus pandemic. While it may seem redundant to add noise to the signal. I think it is important for us to communicate our measures and encourage action in a socially responsible fashion. How we communicate with family, colleagues and customers will reflect our culture and build reputation.

    We’ve designed our version of it, on this artwork. If this resonates with you, please feel free to download and share it. Furthermore our design team will customise it with your logo, bandwidth permitting.

  • Working from home
    At Reportcard, we’ve set out extremely simple guidelines on working from home. You can read them here. It almost seems unethical to not move to remote, right now.

Sounds fair, but what about the business impact?

It is extremely likely that most of us will see a drop in business activity. Sequoia’s note to its portfolio of founders & CEO clearly indicates that it is prudent to prepare for the worst. While these are undoubtedly challenging times and it may take considerable time before the virus is contained. We can try alleviate the business impact by defining a new normal:

Replacing in-person with video calls

Tools to consider for synchronous communication:

  • Tandem (collaborating in real-time - free for the next few months)
  • Zoom (video chatting)

And for asynchronous communication:

I’d recommend reusing internal tools for external requirements. However, specific to online teaching and recording classes:

It’s worthwhile to consider recording classes and making them available to students who may not be able to connect to live video calls. Youtube allows you to upload unlisted videos - videos that can be viewed by people who have the video link. It will not appear in public places, such as search results, your channel, or subscriber feeds.

Additionally, @Suhail has put together this slow, steady but sure thread on surviving the pandemic induced recession. 

Lastly, I cannot emphasize enough the need to be kind - the abnormal kind- right now. Be kind and patient with your customers while they try and adjust to online meetings. At Reportcard, we are extending our trial period from 14 days to 30 days with free setup sessions and have integrated with every major online teaching tool. Be kind to your colleagues - please encourage them to work from home and be flexible while they adjust their schedules. Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Stay safe and stay at home.

Other useful links:

PS. I’ve never felt more productive. The last time I was working in pajamas and in close proximity to my refrigerator, I became a qualified chartered accountant. 

PPS. Please reach out if we can be of any help, and take care of each other.

👋Waving from >2m away.

Suraj Talreja

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