5 Reads: Rushing to Reopen, Managing Newly Remote Workers, Why You Miss Your Casual Friends and More

The last two weeks has seen many states “reopen” after seeing little to no progress in terms of reducing the impact covid-19. In Texas, in fact, the day many stores and restaurants re-opened was preceded by a day with Texas’ highest death toll for a single day.

These were already incredibly uncertain times, and it feels like these ill advised first steps towards normalcy will only complicate things further. I hope that I’m wrong. But I can’t help but worry that once again, an absence of principled leadership and reliance on expertise will put all of us back in a protracted lock-down and in unnecessary danger.

I’d love to be wrong.

Below are five articles that have made me think over the last two weeks or so.

As always, consult the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and local sources (San Antonio) for the most up to date information and resources.

Fauci warns states rushing to reopen: ‘You’re making a really significant risk’

Allyson Chiu. The New York Times

Key Quote: ““If you follow the guidelines, there’s a continuity that’s safe, that’s prudent and that’s careful,” he said. But if governors rush to reopen when they aren’t ready, Fauci cautioned that the move would likely only set back the progress their states have made.” Read the rest here.

A Guide to Managing Your (Newly) Remote Workers

Barbara Z. Larson , Susan R. Vroman and Erin E. Makarius. Harvard Business Review

Key Quote: “Although it is always preferable to establish clear remote-work policies and training in advance, in times of crisis or other rapidly changing circumstances, this level of preparation may not be feasible. Fortunately, there are specific, research-based steps that managers can take without great effort to improve the engagement and productivity of remote employees, even when there is little time to prepare.” Read the rest here.

Here’s How You Can Change Lives in the Pandemic

Nicholas Kristof. The New York Times

Key Quote: “Readers keep asking in this age of Covid-19: How can I help? With so many people sick and dying and American unemployment at a level not reached since the Great Depression — and people in poor countries even worse off — readers want to address those needs.This column is an answer to those queries. I’ve picked five organizations that are responding brilliantly to the coronavirus and have sound plans to expand their work if they can raise the cash.” Read the rest here.

Taking care of yourself during the pandemic, from head to toe

Suzette Moyer. The Washington Post

Key Quote: “It’s been more than a month since many of us have been to work, the gym or the hairdressers. We’re still not sleeping well, our hands are dry from too much hand sanitizer, and our brains are foggy from reading too much about covid-19. Take a step back and pay attention to your mental and physical needs during this time. You’ll be glad you did.” Read the rest here.

Why You Miss Those Casual Friends So Much

Gillian Sandstrom and Ashley Whillans. Harvard Business Review

Key Quote: “Since weak-tie interactions aren’t happening spontaneously, we need to initiate them instead. However, we aren’t used to doing this, so it may feel a little awkward. In fact, even before Covid-19, it was not our natural inclination to reach out to weak ties. This is because we aren’t sure if the other person will be interested, and we worry that these conversations will be uncomfortable. Luckily, these fears are unfounded. When people are assigned to talk to weak ties and strangers, these conversations are more enjoyable and go more smoothly than people predict.” Read the rest here.

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