Unforeseen Impacts of COVID-19

I’ve been thinking about all the secondary impacts that we may see from this new time we find ourselves in. Already, some are coming to light.

Video Conferencing – Zoom made a good business decision to give away time on its platform, but it has had privacy consequences for them. However, they have also positioned themselves as the household name for video conferencing especially with a younger set of people as they have been the choice for teachers and education since the price is right.

To go along with this video conferencing topic could we see more acceptance of the working from home or remote working arrangement? I know that it differs from leader to leader, as to if they are accepting of this arrangement or not. It also differs from person to person. Some like to go into the office, some just like the flexibility and some don’t want to go in at all. Of course, there are people who will take advantage of this newfound flexibility, but that happens everywhere for everything.

Air pollution – With traffic declining so much there has been a noticeable difference in the air quality. We have seen many pictures of this already on social media.

Does air pollution really matter to society? Will things change now that we know if we stop driving we will see a measurable and visible clearing of the skies? Will electric vehicles gain popularity even faster than they have been?

Indoor fitness – This one is especially close to my heart as I am an avid Zwifter. Zwift has seen a huge explosion in signups. Even only a fraction of these new members continues it will mean great gains for this business. Not to mention the potentially better recognition of esports since so many events, including the Olympics, has been pushed back. All these athletes need to stay in shape, so they are turning to online alternatives.

Food – It’s been difficult to buy certain things at the grocery stores and services like Instracart and Amazon Fresh are having difficulty keeping up with the demand to deliver food to those who can afford not to venture out. Which is another topic entirely, the divide as it’s called is very visible in those getting sick and those able to stay at home and get deliveries.

We have been trying new products that don’t normally appear in the grocery isles at our go-to markets, because now everything that Amazon has is available. Some of those reviews of new food are appearing here.

Will people turn towards vegan foods more? From what we currently understand this outbreak occurred from a food market where dead animals where kept in unsanitary conditions. An article on VegNews stated that there is renewed interest in egg alternatives now.

There are many more here and I may add to this post as time goes on. Stay healthy out there!

Climate Apocalypse

What If We Stopped Pretending? The New Yorker By Jonathan Franzen
September 8, 2019

I just finished reading What If We Stopped Pretending? by Jonathan Frazen in the September 8, 2019 issue of The New Yorker. I think you should read it too.

Today, the scientific evidence verges on irrefutable. If you’re younger than sixty, you have a good chance of witnessing the radical destabilization of life on earth—massive crop failures, apocalyptic fires, imploding economies, epic flooding, hundreds of millions of refugees fleeing regions made uninhabitable by extreme heat or permanent drought. If you’re under thirty, you’re all but guaranteed to witness it.

Psychologically, this denial makes sense. Despite the outrageous fact that I’ll soon be dead forever, I live in the present, not the future. Given a choice between an alarming abstraction (death) and the reassuring evidence of my senses (breakfast!), my mind prefers to focus on the latter. 

To fail to conserve a finite resource when conservation measures are available, to needlessly add carbon to the atmosphere when we know very well what carbon is doing to it, is simply wrong.

Jonathan Frazen

Eating out for Large People

In this interesting article from the New York Times, the author tells us how restaurants are changing the way they serve large customers. They are late to the game really as the ever-growing waistlines of Americans has been an issue for decades now. But it is worse than ever now.

About 40 percent of Americans over age 20 were classified as obese in a 2017 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the article, there is an app available, in certain test markets, only that is like Yelp but for big people. They can describe what it is like to eat at a restaurant for other large people.

This for me is yet another way that people outside of my core group are a mystery to me. I find it difficult to understand what they are going through. Which is why I am glad that the article also mentions a book by Roxane Gay called Hunger. In which the plus size model Ms. Gay depicts what it is like to be a large person.

Another book mentioned in the article also grabbed interest. This one is by Tommy Tomlinson, a former columnist for The Charlotte Observer, The Elephant in the Room: One Fat Man’s Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America.

Lots of great information and two books mentioned.  This is why reading the New York Times can be dangerous to my book budget.  It is one of the last great newspapers with really great writers.