Note: It would be weird to publish Internal Memos occasionally but not share one from the front lines. So this is 7th Internal Memo is in fact our #5 Update from our internal document that tracks Covid-19 aka Corona Virus updates. How we’re tracking information, planning for it and adjusting our operations. While there are some trade secrets in these, I am leaning towards opening the document to all as no one had Pandemic in their 2020 plans and we can all help one another minimizing the spread of the virus.

Update #5: March 13 2020

Sent by Ashkan Karbasfrooshan

Hi everyone,

Hope you are having a nice weekend. I would not usually disturb anyone on any weekend particularly this one, but as France (what a difference two weeks make: from banning gatherings of 5000 people to shutting down non-essential commercial stores), Spain and other countries seek to avoid Italy’s fate and minimize needless outdoor excursions, I wanted to summarize and highlight the key objective around the world which is to “flatten the curve” of people who would eventually need medical services because the health system simply isn’t going to be handle the forthcoming strain, and that means to reduce large-scale gatherings, i.e. 100+ people), meaning if you were thinking to attend a movie screening, it may be best to avoid that (source) even though I suspect movie theaters will be closing fairly soon:

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Of course, most of us aren’t going to the movies, so where to draw the line? If you’re wondering what you should or should not do, here are two good articles on social distancing.

To conclude, I believe a colleague had a fair and valid question during the All-Hands on Friday AM regarding why some (less than half) of the team were coming in to work and I think that was answered reasonably well, but I did want to share the following bit of science, which basically supports the finding that even if someone is infected with Covid (again, if you have symptoms, don’t come to work, this isn’t Tim Hortons where they’re asking for a doctor’s note; especially since some/much/most of the transmissions seem to be coming from people without symptoms), the odds of transmission to someone else is statistically tiny in smaller groups (especially if you wash hands, don’t touch your face, sanitize commonly-touched surface, keep distance from one another etc):

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That said, while the risk to younger individuals is lower, the risk to transmit Covid to older individuals is what policy-makers are trying to avoid. In South Korea, testing is higher across ages than in Italy, and it appears that younger individuals’ carelessness is putting them – and society – at higher risk.

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But, while the near term risk to younger individuals to succumb to Covid is lower, the long term risks are high.

To conclude: these are serious times, but great threats create great outcomes if we step up to the challenge. This is an evolving dynamic, but so long as we’re all in it together, we will get through it. And we will.

The world is undergoing considerable challenges and unlike many who are for sure going to be losing their employment and sadly, lives, we have it relatively well, and with the right outlook, perspective and work ethic, will persevere and come out stronger.

Tomorrow/Sunday, I intend to send one (1) email on tips from Working From Home for those starting to do so.