Analytical 41: Crisis

3 April, 2020


The Coronavirus, COVID19, SARS-CoV-2, is the biggest global crisis many generations have faced. Through our increasingly enforced social distancing and isolation, I’ve witnessed something unexpected that’s not what you think.

Transcript available
[Music] Everything can be improved, iterated and refined and if you don't think that's true, maybe you haven't analysed it enough. Calculated choices carefully considered, absolutely analytical. Analytical is part of the Engineered Network. To support our shows, including this one, head over to our Patreon page and for other great shows visit today. Crisis. I hope everyone is doing okay today. How are you? Is your family okay? I nearly didn't want to record this episode. I figured either everyone else is recording something about it, something probably wrong or slightly incorrect. Maybe they're just looking looking for downloads, clicks, views. So why should I do it? Why do that? I don't want to be that. But I do want to touch on the crisis that we are collectively, it seems, in at this point. And I'm referring, of course, to SARS-CoV-2, also referred to as COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, sometimes also referred to as N-COV, N being for novel or new. Of course, there are a lot of coronaviruses and many actually just cause the common cold. It's just that this particular one has a bit of a nasty sting to it. With the mortality rates being a bit on the high side, especially for those with pre-existing medical conditions and the elderly, most countries around the world are locking themselves down, including mine. I've been working from home at the time of recording this for about two and a half weeks. I've only left the house other than for taking a walk around the neighborhood waving to the dogs barking at me, the odd person in their yard, twice in that time other than those other walk around the block. And the two times I went out once was for shopping, the other was to the doctor's surgery because I had a stabbing pain in the left-hand side of my chest in my lung and if I did cough, it would hurt quite a lot. So they wouldn't let me in to see a general practitioner, a GP, because if you have a fever, and I didn't, a runny nose, which I didn't, a cough, I didn't really have a cough, but if you had trouble breathing, which I did because it hurt, then they wanted you to be pre-screened for COVID-19 and wouldn't let you in to see a GP. It's That's because everyone is paranoid. It's next level paranoia. It's insane. So, they gave me a mask. I went down to the makeshift COVID-19 pre-screening area and waited in line for nearly two hours. The nurse pre-screened me. I got in to see a GP. Surprise, surprise, no COVID-19, but a suspected rib fracture or cartilage damage. They sent me through for a CT scan, finally allowing me into the general practice. I got the CT scan. They were so unconcerned with the results, they prescribed an anti-inflammatory, sent me on my way. Now, I'm not pretending that my country is even remotely close to as far advanced in this that other countries have gone already. No way, not even remotely close. But listening to some of the people in that respiratory clinic where they were assessing us. Some people, they could barely finish a sentence on a single breath. It was just a tiny bit scary. Now, when I was young, as a child, I had pneumonia and I actually, I distinctly remember that feeling of being unable to take a breath and having to concentrate on your breathing just so that you could speak. Now, where I live currently, we have five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in my area. The schools have all been closed now. My wife has lost a job at the swimming pool because it shut last week as well. So we're all at home. We're not going anywhere in a hurry. At least I can do my job working from home. I'm one of the lucky ones in that respect for sure. So that's my little story so far at least. But it's really not that interesting. I've been thinking about the state that we find our world in right now. I look out the window, I listen. There's hardly any airplanes flying overhead, there's a lot fewer trains, a lot less cars, a lot less people rustling around the place, a lot less noise. It's kind of bizarre actually, but it's also kind of beautiful in a way. So I was thinking that as a a species now, maybe for the first time in over three generations, we truly share a common threat, a common enemy, a common fear all around the world at the same time pretty much. And unlike the Spanish flu over a hundred years ago, today we have significantly more advanced medical technology, ventilators, ready access to soap. Sounds silly, but it's true. Fresh water. But now we also have the ability to video chat with each other. Anyone, anywhere, anytime, or audio if you're not photogenic. That's fine. We are better placed to beat this, to survive this, than we've ever been before in our history. I have faith. have hope. We will be fine. But something else I noticed too, looking around, when everyone is in this same position, when you speak to people, they're just genuine. The bullsh*t drops away. No one cares if the coffee that you just drank was too hot and it burnt your if someone cut in front of you on the road, assuming you're still driving, if you have a sore foot, because none of that actually matters. In fact, it never really did matter. It just takes a crisis for people to put the bullsh*t to one side and just be genuine because we're all vulnerable. We're all at risk to varying degrees. So I guess my point is, instead of being scared or down about the state of things, oddly and surprisingly to me more than anyone, I've actually felt strangely more positive and almost happy about some of the beautiful aspects of humanity since this started happening. I've seen people talking to their neighbors from a respectful distance, checking in. You know, sometimes for the first time they've spoken to their neighbors. Images coming out of Italy in apartment buildings, people singing, playing music from their balconies. That's beautiful. Frontline nurses and doctors are getting every last bit of support and encouragement because they deserve every single bit of it. This is our time to show what we can do when we're confronted by something like this at this scale. It's our time to shine. So wherever you are, whenever you are in this pandemic as you listen to this, I hope that this can be something to consider. And whilst I can't actually really fix anything specifically, I hope that this voice maybe can help prop somebody up even if it's only for a little while during this crisis. Hang in there because we will see the end of this and we will be okay. If you would like, I've opened up the Engineering Network Slack group. There'll be a link in the show notes for anyone who wants to join in. Have a chat, check in to see how you're doing. I'd read the outro about now. But I think I might just leave it there. Take care of yourselves. [BLANK_AUDIO]
Duration 8 minutes and 43 seconds Direct Download

Show Notes

Links of potential interest:

Episode Gold Producer: 'r'.
Episode Silver Producers: John Whitlow, Joseph Antonio, Kevin Koch and Oliver Steel.
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John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

Described as the David Attenborough of disasters, and a Dreamy Narrator with Great Pipes by the Podfather Adam Curry.

You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.