So, week six since the US went insane, and not much has changed here. I will admit to liking working remotely enough to have asked my manager what chance he thinks there is of the Boss of Bosses okaying work from home two or three days a week. His answer is somewhere near zero – it has to do with the dynamics of a company that grew from a control freak founder and still largely has the mindset that bums on seats equals productivity.
I suspect that attitude is going to come under a fair amount of pressure with a number of businesses that mostly do intellectual work discovering that yes, they actually can have most of their workforce on a remote basis and work will still get done at more or less the same level of efficiency. An awful lot of managers who have issues trusting their employees are going to be somewhat discombobulated, what with the gates being wide open and the horses truly bolted.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have distractions here, of course. I’ve just finished some essential Roomba-surgery, replacing what is officially known as the side brush but which I’ve always called the spinny doovie, and replacing the filter and main brushes while I was at it since all of them desperately needed it (the bundle of replacement bits which included the desperately-needed screw for the spinny doovie may have had a little to do with the timing).
Earlier today, Midnight decided it was time for attention, now Mommy, so I spent quite a bit of time petting him with one hand while trying to get photos of his astonishing cuteness with the other. I did manage to get a couple of decent photos, one of which showed off his gold eyes rather well. Alas, the expanse of fluffy black tummy that he kept showing off as enticement didn’t make it into a photo, despite my efforts. One day…
At least today I didn’t have the Dread Kitty Westley disconnecting the work laptop every time he stretched. That was yesterday, and very annoying.
By comparison, Her Highness Princess Buttercup is a positive angel – of course she’s also not a kitten any more, and the boys are. They’ll be one year old in early June.
The other nice thing about the work from home thing is that I don’t have to dress for work. What this actually means is that I’m living in jeans and t-shirt instead of jeans and nice blouse, and that I can wear sheepskin slippers instead of the hiking boots I wear to work. Oh, and instead of tying my hair back, I either leave it loose or braid it. That means the Buttercup doesn’t get to steal my hair tie within a few minutes of me sitting down, although she has been known to unravel my braid because my hair is supposed to be a kitty toy and having it plaited up is not Proper.
Things outside the house are not so simple, sadly. The Husband was telling me one of his clerks is now on bereavement after her brother died. Of a heart attack misdiagnosed by an over-stressed medical team as the virus. The normal part of me is thinking the poor woman must be in shock, while the cynical part wonders if the man’s death is going to be reported as being caused by the virus. Technically it was – just in a rather indirect and unusual fashion.
Thing is, when so-called “probable” cases are being reported as actual (and despite this, the numbers are still in “flu season” territory, albeit bad flu season), and it’s damn near certain the thing was in the USA before the first official case, the number really aren’t worth spit. I’m now seeing reports of anything and everything else as potential symptoms, as well as self-administered test kits being made available – really? At this point, the data is about as reliable as casting an eyeball over a hospital ward and guessing.
As far as I can tell, the US medical authorities are being conscientious and over-reporting rather than risk missing possible cases. I rather doubt that’s the case in other parts of the world – some would be sticklers for accuracy, others would be tempted to minimize the numbers to make themselves look better, and still others lack the infrastructure or the will do report anything accurately.
Not to mention, the US has so many different arrangements that it falls into the lattermost category anyway. Each state has different criteria, and different ways of deciding whether or not a given death should be “credited” to the virus.
There are times when I wonder why I bother checking the news at all, knowing the… issues with the data being reported. Then I remember that the data in question is what my state is going to use to decide whether to “allow” us all to return to a normal life.
Yeah. Sod that for a game of soldiers.