France, Italy, and Spain are on lockdown as governments and individuals in those countries try to slow the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19 and “flatten the curve” so that as the virus does spread, it does so slowly enough that it doesn’t overwhelm health care systems.

Over the past week or so, the United States has started to take similar measures — in a much more patchwork way. Because health care policy in the US is more decentralized than in many other places, we’re seeing actions vary from state to state, county to county, and city to city.

Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering (12:15PM March 16, 2020)

My family is hunkered down in Philadelphia for the long haul at this point — Philadelphia has yet to shut down as many local businesses as surrounding communities, but schools and libraries are closed, the governor has ordered lockdowns for several neighboring counties, and it generally seems like a good idea to leave the house as little as possible. (Update: Looks like most “non-essential” businesses in Philly will be shutting down starting tonight.)

I’ve been working from home for much of the past 14 years, so my day-to-day experience hasn’t actually changed very much other than the fact that my wife is working from home. But I can’t imagine how much more difficult things would be if we had children who were home from school at the moment, jobs that couldn’t be performed remotely, or internet access to stay connected to the world in the coming weeks and months as the impact of the pandemic and its effect on the economy and the lives of people around the world are felt.

But this is a tech blog. So let’s take a look at some recent tech headlines related to the way folks are adapting by moving their work and leisure activities online.

How has the coronavirus affected you? Have to cancel any travel plans? Stuck at home? Tired of getting emails letting you know how your bank/local stores/service providers are handling the crisis? Struggling to find toilet paper? What tech and/or strategies have you adopted to cope?

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5 replies on “Lilbits 383: Internet in the time of Coronavirus”

  1. Let’s see:

    – Cousins not visiting me from the UK next week.
    – Trip to the UK to celebrate my dad’s 90th birthday postponed indefinitely.
    – Every single venue I use in my social life is closed for the duration — golf courses, YMCA leagues, coffee shops, restaurants, and movie theaters, etc. Socializing is going to be tough.

    It’s a pain, but I’m one of the lucky ones in that I’m not going to be laid off, or out of work for weeks on end wondering where my next meal is coming from, so I can’t complain. Happy to stay at home to minimize the risks for those who have to be out there working and providing essential services.

    I have signed up for Netflix after a two year hiatus, so I have some shows to catch up on…

  2. That caps story is great. Those have always been pure profit taking.

    Impact-wise, I had a cruise cancelled. Coming out of it with 125% refund though so no great loss.
    Stay safe out there.

  3. In my side gig as a podcast producer, I’ve already had a few in-person recording sessions cancelled. So this week I’ll be spending some time playing with Zencastr, Squadcast, and other services designed for recording high-quality audio interviews over the internet. In the past I’ve had imperfect results with these sort of tools, but I’m determined not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

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