Niteo COVID-19 response

Published on 2020/03/12

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Last updated on 2020/03/23

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by Nejc Zupan

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This was supposed to be an internal memo sent to my fellow coworkers, but I decided to publish it here on our blog, to encourage other businesses to take similar actions. So here it goes.

The situation with COVID-19 is deteriorating incredibly fast, on a global scale. WHO just declared it a pandemic. Additionally, there’s an alarming amount of horrible cases in <40 age range so we need to stop thinking about this as an old persons’ disease.

As of this writing, some countries are worse off than others, but it seems most are on the same trajectory.

If the trend continues, a number of countries will see their health systems collapse under the surge of COVID-19 patients.

What can we do? The main thing we can and should do is slow the rate of transmission, to allow our health systems to cope with influx of patients. To spread patients out over enough time, to “flatten the curve”.

A fantastic set of DO‘s and DO NOT‘s is compiled at www.flattenthecurve.com.

Additionally, here are a few Niteo specifics:

  • Work from home. Refrain from going to coworking places or coffee shops.
  • All business travel is restricted, including but not limited to: conferences, meetups and lunch meetings.
  • All non-essential exposure to crowds is restricted, including but not limited to: gym classes, dinners with friends, birthday parties, cinemas & theaters, weddings, funerals.
  • Overtime is highly discouraged. It increases stress and stress hurts your immune system. We have no customer deadlines to catch, only goals we’ve set ourselves. It’s fine if we fail to meet some goals in the next month or two.
  • Sleep an hour extra every day.
  • Use your Productivity Allowance to grab a blender and get into a habit of preparing vegetable smoothies. The goal is it not to make them taste good (they won’t) but to get a baseline of nutrients in, every single day.
  • If you live in a place where you can easily get to a park or a forest, do it. Go for regular walks, runs or bike rides in nature and sunlight. A large meta analysis in British Medical Journal, looked at over 11.000 people, showed that there’s significant association between low vitamin D levels and being more prone to developing respiratory infections.

These rules apply for at least the next 30 days. Niteans pride ourselves on being responsible adults. Now is the time we show it. The rules might seem harsh, but we have the luxury of working remotely and staying completely isolated. It’s humane we do it, as others might not have the same luxury.

Are you are a business owner or a manager? Please consider joining the club and taking similar actions *today*. At the number of cases/population that we see in most Western countries, Wuhan was already in lockdown. Every day counts.

UPDATE: Two addition measures to address the Covid-19 crisis:

  1. We have committed to not laying off any Niteans in 2020. We might decrease salaries if our balance starts taking a hit, but we will keep the team whole.
  2. We are dedicating our GPU servers used on the Kafkai project to help with Covid-19 drug discovery by donating CPU/GPU computing to Folding@Home and Rosetta@Home projects.