This Ain’t No Fooling Around

Understanding "exponential growth"; Cancel the campaigns?; How to go virtual conferencing; and much more.


I’m going to re-up on this quote, from Michael Leavitt, who was secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services from 2005 to 2009, under President George W. Bush, from an article he wrote a few days ago on FoxNews.com: “Anything said in advance of a pandemic seems alarmist. After a pandemic begins, anything one has said or done is inadequate.”

It’s officially a pandemic, says the director of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Mom, don’t read this next line but let’s all follow this advice if possible: #StayTheFuckHome. (It’s a self-quarantine manifesto. Spread it.)

In case you need a good explainer on how and why we need to “flatten the curve,” here’s a fresh one from Vox’s Eliza Barclay and Dylan Scott.

Ireland is going on lockdown, starting tonight, closing all schools, childcare facilities and urging the cancellation of all gatherings of more than 100 people. The US? Not so much.

Tech and the pandemic: The White House has asked big tech companies including Cisco, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft and Twitter to help it track the outbreak, spread accurate information and help Americans who are out of work, Tony Romm reports for The Washington Post.

Here at Civic Hall, we’ve decided to close our physical membership space as of tonight, and to stay closed for at least the next two weeks. Our team is shifting to working from home and we’re going to shift some of our in-person events and meetings to virtual settings.

The Coronavirus Tech Handbook continues to improve and now has a newsletter you can subscribe to.

Tech:NYC has started a daily newsletter focused on the impact of the coronavirus on the region. Subscribe here.

Charlie Warzel opines in the New York Times that we are living through a crisis of national leadership, but thanks to “long, informative Twitter threads,” he is seeing leadership emerge from health care experts and tech leaders like Anil Dash, who has told all the employees of his company Glitch to work from home.

Here’s a comprehensive list of tips, tools and examples for event organizers dealing with the challenges of cancellation and going virtual, from David Sminks of CMX Summit.

Here’s a great 8-minute video explanation of how exponential growth works, in relation to coronavirus. According to current trends, there will be 100 million infections in 64 days and 1 billion in 81 days, the video explains.

Thinking ahead: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Laurie Garrett, who knows more about pandemics than almost any journalist currently working, writes for Foreign Policy that it’s time to cancel the presidential campaign. “For the first time in the country’s history, the United States must contemplate canceling the Democratic and Republican national conventions and campaign rallies, and give serious consideration to arranging ways of organizing election day that don’t require in-person voting,” she argues.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is calling on Congress to put up $500 million to give Americans the option of voting by mail this November if 25 percent of states declared an emergency related to the coronavirus outbreak, Craig Timberg reports for The Washington Post.

Thinking way ahead: Check out The Guild of Future Architects.

End times: Thank you for taking our minds off of the virus for a minute, Sarah Palin. And stay safe, dear readers!

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