Lockdown Drives Coronavirus Home #47

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Deepnews Digest #47

Lockdown Drives Coronavirus Home

Previous Deepnews Digests on coronavirus have looked at the disruptions to life, as well as the economic impacts of the pandemic. This edition looks at something more personal, the fact that millions of workers have now turned their homes into their offices. As large parts of the world get used to a new normal for the coming weeks, articles from all over the globe explore what it means to live under lockdown.


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Deepnews is trying to help sort through good and bad information on coronavirus as much as we can, with many of our weekly Distill newsletters now highlighting important pieces on what is happening. To follow everything related to coronavirus, take a look around our website. On it you can see all our newsletters on the disease, as well as information about how we have cut the prices for our Distills during the crisis.


Story Source
Vox

The days fill with work and WhatsApp chats. A little exercise. Streaming shows, reading books. Friends talk more on video, a thing they rarely used to do since everyone would see each other at the bar.


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Times of Israel

Nili Keinan, 77, a retired nonprofit administrator from Tel Aviv, hasn’t left her apartment for the past few days, except to take out the trash. “This isn’t normal for me.” she said. “Most days, I go to the pensioners’ club. We have exercise classes and lectures. I am part of a group that plays bridge. Now I am stuck at home for who knows how long? There’s no one who can tell us when this will be over.


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The Star (Malaysia)

Many Malaysians don’t seem to get it. We are to stay at home, period. Instead, the movement control order has led to many of us hitting the highways to balik kampung.


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The Conversation

The UK has become the latest country to close schools in a bid to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus. This is a game changer for families, displacing children from friends, learning and their school community. To help them through what could be months of isolation and potentially lockdown, we need to consider how this new world looks and feels to them.


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Bloomberg

China’s return to the office offers lessons for Americans and Europeans now sheltering in place.


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The Economist ($)

Children usually rejoice in a break from school, assuming it will be a chance to slack off. Not Ryu, a nine-year-old in Tokyo. As the new coronavirus spread across Japan, schools throughout the country closed on March 2nd. His parents have enforced a strict schedule every day. It includes Japanese, science and physical education. He does mathematics on his abacus every morning. On weekdays he is allowed to play in a park for 90 minutes. “I wish I could take him to the park more, but we have limited time as we work from home,” frets his mother, Fujimaki Natsuko.


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UC Berkeley

While health leaders and policymakers race to limit the spread of COVID-19, the emerging crisis is having a dramatic impact on millions of healthy Americans — in restaurants, offices, taxicabs, classrooms and other places where they work. Just yesterday, six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area issued a shelter-in-place order, effectively closing all non-essential enterprises. In the Bay Area and beyond, employees are being assigned to work remotely, using technology to stay connected to their work and co-workers.


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The coronavirus impacts more than just those who are able to transfer their work home. Here Berkeley writes about the wide-ranging effects on everything from white-collar jobs to service sector work.

Spiked Online

Responding to the outbreak of coronavirus, health secretary Matt Hancock appealed to the nation to remember the Blitz Spirit and our grandparents: ‘Despite the pounding every night, the rationing, the loss of life, they pulled together in one gigantic national effort.’ He is not the first British politician to have invoked the Blitz Spirit, and more than likely he will not be the last.


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Space.com

People around the world are currently isolating themselves or in a formal quarantine to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. But for decades, astronauts have been quarantined to ensure that they were virus-free and ready to fly (or, in the case of Apollo, to make sure they didn’t bring home any “moon bugs.”)


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New Statesman

Some of the most vital workers during a pandemic are also, due to a lack of support, the most vulnerable.


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National Law Review

We are being asked with increasing frequency by companies whether, in the context of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdowns, their business counts as an “essential service”. This note gives a little background to what we see of governments’ approaches to this question so far, and suggests an approach companies and organisations can use to navigate this issue.


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Irish Times

Arresting the spread of Covid-19 is behind the current surge in home-working, but it has many other benefits, both for individuals and the communities in which they live


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The increased working from home has many people talking about what work will look like after all this is over. Here Ciara O’Brien reports, including thoughts about how it can bring jobs to forgotten communities.

Washington Post

The millions of employees and students being asked to work and study from home this month are rediscovering one of the more consistently maddening kinds of modern technology: video conferencing software.


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Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO/MADRID/BEIRUT — The night after Spain’s government ordered a nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of coronavirus, 30-year-old Marcos got up the nerve to ask the woman he’d been messaging on Tinder for three days to visit him at home.


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Harvard Business Review

The coronavirus pandemic is expected to fundamentally change the way many organizations operate for the foreseeable future. As governments and businesses around the world tell those with symptoms to self-quarantine and everyone else to practice social distancing, remote work is our new reality. How do corporate leaders, managers, and individual workers make this sudden shift? Tsedal Neeley, a professor at Harvard Business School, has spent two decades helping companies learn how to manage dispersed teams. In this edited Q&A, drawn from a recent HBR subscriber video call in which listeners were able to ask questions, she offers guidance on how to work productively at home, manage virtual meetings, and lead teams through this time of crisis.


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The Guardian

Authorities in countries around the world in lockdown over the coronavirus outbreak are warning young people to obey the rules on social distancing amid widespread reports of partying and gatherings.


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POLITICO

As soon as Konrad Iturbe started working from home, he ran into problems. Sitting in his shared apartment in a northern suburb of Barcelona, the 20-year-old app developer saw his internet speeds fall off a cliff soon after the country entered a two-week shutdown on Saturday because of the coronavirus pandemic.


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Clearance Jobs

If there is one thing the coronavirus pandemic has taught us, it’s that we truly live in one world. In a real way, we are looking at Europa and Asia for signs of what to expect in the United States. What would a forced quarantine look like? How do we maintain our dignity and morale during lockdowns? Will we spend our evenings by joining the neighbors in singing from balconies, as some Italians are doing? When does the recovery begin? And with that realization—it’s a big planet and oceans are meaningless barriers—comes a small but meaningful epiphany: if I’m part of it, anyway, why not take charge of my life and really join it?


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CNet

Amazon is used to huge spikes in demand: It ships millions of packages after Prime Day and during the holiday season. But the spread of the coronavirus, which has locked down cities and put everyone in a more isolated reality, has tested the company’s ability to meet its customers’ needs like never before.


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The Conversation

Fear and blame appear to be fast becoming Americans’ defining emotions around COVID-19. Headlines seem to offer either worst-case estimates or government leaders’ mutual accusations. Amid the bewildering figures and contradictory political narratives, it is important to recall that numbers and governments are abstractions – whereas people actually live with and through disease. By fixating on the former, we risk losing sight of the human dimensions of epidemic life.


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While Europeans, Americans and many others around the world are now facing quarantine, China first imposed a lockdown months ago. Here Belinda Kong, a professor at Bowdoin College, looks at the response to restrictions in Wuhan.

Tech Crunch

As COVID-19 forces much of America to work from home, the United States Congress — whose 535 members have an average age of 60 — is still operating from Capitol Hill. Why this population (deemed high-risk to the coronavirus) isn’t yet doing legislative business remotely comes down to process, tech and political will


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Gulf News

Just when Kashmir was beginning to limp its way out of a half-year communication blackout imposed by the Narendra Modi government, it is faced with another spell of lockdown.


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The Verge

On March 11th, the University of Southern California sent an email to its students, faculty, and staff. “Students who are leaving campus for Spring Recess may not return until at least Monday, April 13.” The university had previously planned to hold classes online through March 29th. But the new edict — that students were expected to vacate their housing — threw the campus into confusion.


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The New York Times

Alexander Rapaport, the executive director of the kosher Masbia Soup Kitchen Network, started worrying on March 5. It was four days until Purim, and Passover would begin April 8. How was he going to feed his walk-in clients if they were sick or under quarantine? Normally, New Yorkers — Jewish or otherwise — would come into one of Masbia’s three city locations to pick up or eat their food, but with the coronavirus looming, Mr. Rapaport decided to pack hundreds of boxes with low-weight packaged food that he could deliver door to door.


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Fast Company

By now we’ve all heard the term “flatten the curve.” The term describes the need to reduce rapid infection of the coronavirus, which would result in a large spike in infections overwhelming the healthcare sector. If we can flatten that spike, or curve, in infection rates and instead spread out the infections over a longer time period, that keeps the stress on our healthcare systems manageable and allows them to keep operating.


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