Sunday, March 22, 2020

Colorado Startup Life: Weeks 79 and 80

Wow! has the wold changed in the last two weeks?! If you haven't seen the 2011 movie Contagion, go watch it, because we're heading in that direction, albeit with a virus that is fortunately only 10% as deadly as the one in the movie (3% vs 30%).

Week 79, March 8th to 14th, was pretty good. We basically shipped our fourth product to a customer. Our products are expensive and complex, so the fact that we've shipped four is pretty good. Although, the highlight of the week was taking Wednesday off to climb Mt. Antero with the woman who will be known as A1. She's a nurse and so has a crazy schedule, so we were the only two people at all on Mt. Antero Wednesday the 18th. We made the summit, and it was a very good 13 hour mountain day.

Friday the 13th was basically my last day in the office for some time. This whole Covid-19 thing has upended the world, as it should. 90% of my company is working from home now, we need a few people to build products and a few people to test them, otherwise, everyone else is at home.

Week 80, March 15th to 21st, my first week working fully from home was an adventure. For starters, I'm still working on developing a routine. Instead of wake up, get dressed, head to work, maybe via Starbucks, and then eat breakfast at work and get into the day, suddenly, there's no 7:30 AM morning meeting to try to make it to the office to hear. Starbucks seems like a risk (even though I went twice this week, and bought some stock). Our formal office hours are 9-4... and typically I'm in the office well before 9, although, when working from home by myself, in a pandemic, it's easy to read all of the European updates from overnight, and not get into my work computer until 9. On the other hand, one day I did have the work computer open at 6 AM because I couldn't sleep, and work is a great distraction from the ever rising death count. I'm getting better at working from home. Honestly, it wasn't an unproductive week. I didn't get as much done as maybe my average week, but I have definitely had less productive weeks. In short, I'm still figuring it out.

In big news, I ran, hiked and backcountry skied 41 miles this week! That's my biggest week in a long time. Plus it was fairly consistent. Being shut in all day makes me so look forward to getting out and running. It's a risk, running through a tunnel with low airflow or within four feet of another person, and I'm very aware that going on a run might be how I catch Covid-19.

I'll try saying this more, but to be clear, I'm trying hard to be optimistic about any aspect of this pandemic I can. Why? Because it's bad. This will definitely kill more Americans than September 11th, and most likely kill more than the resulting wars did too. We're at 414 deaths as I write this but by the end of this week I would be surprised if it's less than 2,000.When I think of at risk groups, people with lung issues, general health issues, etc. I am 99% sure that I will know someone that dies from this. Who will that person be? I don't know. I think of the last five churches I attended in Clinton, Sheboygan Falls, Dubuque, Independence, and now Longmont, and there are so many people that have health issues. I only touched four door handles this week (yes the whole seven days) other than my own door and car, Starbucks twice, and two at Fedex. I'm not taking this thing as no big deal. I like to think I have a healthy level of paranoia. Boulder County where I live has 37 confirmed cases, up from 11 on Friday. Many more people will die, because we aren't really testing everyone to know who is carrying it. And ultimately that's why I'm staying home so much. I don't want to be an "innocent" carrier of this thing to the many at risk people I know. Considering my pulmonary embolism in 2018, who knows, this thing could kill me. If that happens don't let my sister spend more than 20% of the money she gets on a new car.

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