COVID-19 (aka Corona Virus): Armory’s Guidance

The facts:

Some informed opinions:

Recommendations from an ICU doctor at Cornell (click “watch on Vimeo”):
  • Includes this very promising chart on how COVID-19 was projected to spread within China vs. actual after containment measures were put into place:

Things for you to consider:

  • It’s likely that your personal mortality risk from COVID-19 is well under 1% (For example, for age 40-49 it’s 0.4% from the table above). Therefore, it’s likely you’ll need to be more worried about giving it to someone else (an elderly family member, for example, whose mortality risk is 14.8% if above 80) than getting it yourself.
  • NOTE: Humans are very bad at judging risk. For example: “the yearly increase in our risk of dying in a shark attack is the same as the risk that many of us are willing to take in our commute to work and back each day. And it is nearly a hundred times less than the risk of drowning when you go swimming.” Yet we commute to work and go for swims without even thinking about it, yet the thought of a shark attack is terrifying. “Interestingly, kangaroos (approximately 0.1 micromorts) pose a risk of death that is similar to that posed by sharks.” So a lot of this may be about managing uninformed opinions and fear of others outside of Armory. Full article
  • It’s likely that the biggest impact will not be on your health, but rather, on how this impacts our daily lives and routines. Examples:
  • Needing to take time off work to care for a sick elderly family member
  • Conferences being canceled / poorly attended
  • Schools being canceled for extended periods
  • Manufacturing delays (esp for items coming from China)
  • Travel restrictions
  • Medicine unavailability
  • This may take months or even years to play out.
  • This may be more of a “new normal” that people need to manage for some period of time (just like there’s an expected flu season every winter — in fact, “So far, the new coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19, has led to more than 75,000 illnesses and 2,000 deaths, primarily in mainland China. But that's nothing compared with the flu, also called influenza. In the U.S. alone, the flu has already caused an estimated 26 million illnesses, 250,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”)
  • It’s likely that a vaccine will take 12-18 months to fast-track
  • Ensure you have a good plan in place to have another tribal cover for you in case you have to take time off work (likely to care for older relatives)
  • 👋 Wash your hands!!! This is likely the #1 best thing you can do to keep from spreading anything in the office! (and 95% of us do it incorrectly!)

What we’re doing about it:

  • Armory already has a liberal WFH & sick leave policy. If you’re not feeling super great and unsure if you might be getting sick, please WFH.
  • If you know you’re sick, please take time off to focus on improving your health!
  • Armory is already investing in creating a strong remote tribal experience. We’re going to treat this as an opportunity to invest even more in that, by:
  • Beefing up the audio experience for remote tribals and HQ (this is already underway)
  • Doing more remote onsites for candidates that don’t want to travel to HQ (to show that we are sensitive to the candidate experience, i.e., not asking them to fly on planes)
  • We are making MERSA disposable wipes available in HQ for you to wipe surfaces down; we’re buying travel-size hand sanitizers for you, and OK to use your BOC $$$s to buy wipes, masks and related items for your home (if you buy masks: make sure you buy N95 respirator masks, as Corona is 0.1 microns; other masks won’t help)
  • We are going to have Obduliah clean workstations with a disinfectant nightly
  • Do not travel to regions that are listed as “Alert Level 2” or higher in this CDC list