I didn't think much of the COVID-19 virus when I first heard of it. It's another dangerous virus, but like SARS and MERS, it originated on the other side of the world from me and I didn't expect to see a large impact. These were epidemics and my heart goes out to those affected by them. I thought the current COVID-19 impact would be similar, but that's not correct.
The MVP Summit was cancelled by Microsoft this week, as have quite a few large events around the world. SQL Konferez is still taking place and SQL Bits is still scheduled to go on. I travel to the UK next week, and I'm not concerned, but I will be careful. I think avoiding large scale gatherings is a good idea, and certainly, I hope anyone feeling sick will avoid going out as much as possible, especially to places with a concentration of people. Many of us have events and commitments we hate to miss (exams, weddings, etc.), but if we're ill, this seems like the time to skip or reschedule something.
This epidemic, or pandemic, is going to affect lots of the world. Already travel is curtailed, some countries have banned large events, others are being cancelled. Whether necessary or not, these are the realities we are dealing with. I hope most employers adapt and adjust to this, limiting the chance of infection and exposure.
Cisco is offering Webex to customers and others to help limit contact with those that might be infected, as a way to prevent the spread. At Redgate, we are planning for disruptions and having teams practice working remotely while still getting work done. They are trying to run their stand-ups and other meetings from home. This is easier for some groups than others, but it's a skill most teams need to develop. We already ask people to remain home when ill, but in this case, we're just running our DR test early in the event that we need to ask most employees to work remotely.
I'm not a doctor or scientist, and I don't quite know what to make of all the information being spread online through social media. There are recommendations from the CDC, and most of the advice I've seen is similar. Wash your hands, disinfect common surfaces, and cover your mouth if you have any symptoms.
I hope and pray no more people die, but I also know that likely isn't reality. Take care of yourself and your family, and be smart in how to live and work in public. I hope the world gets control of this soon and we start to see a decline in cases, and I hope most of us find ways to help that come true.