26 Mar 2020

MORNING: WAKE up at 7am. Listen to radio news full of government restrictions, disease numbers and tales of economic decline. Stop on the way to shower to wake up teenage daughter so she can get ready for school. Daughter tersely points out that her school has been closed for days.

7.20: Breakfast is tricky decision. Is the family closer to running out of milk and cereal, or bread? Realise that cat has only two food sachets left.

7.30: Email inbox consists almost entirely of companies explaining how they are coping with the pandemic. This includes every hotel and restaurant that ever took an online booking.

8.00: Head for supermarket to pick up extra cat food. Shelves resemble scene from zombie apocalypse. Purchase tub of ice cream on grounds that virus posesbigger threat to health than obesity does.

8.30: Attempt to read company’s disaster recovery policy. Hitherto had been more likely to pick up a newly discovered novel by Ayn Rand. Can’t make head nor tail of it. Beg daughter for help as she has actually heard of these apps. Think wistfully of the days when journalism involved a typewriter, carbon paper and the telephone directory.

8.50: Look at academic paper in the hope it will provide column idea. Give up when the abstract turns out to be too, er, abstract. Wish that vital books were not left...


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This content was originally published by The Economist: Business. Original publishers retain all rights. It appears here for a limited time before automated archiving. By The Economist: Business

Covid-19 – Johns Hopkins University

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