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COVID work from home – week 12 – 25 May – 31 May

Thursday – sunny and warm again. Trump threatening “action” against social media companies by Executive Order. New cases of COVID in WA are mainly in under 40s. That’s worrying. Potential mutation?

Wednesday – after a week of gloom – the sun is out again – and warming up. Hopefully local social distancing and masks prevail. 100k US deaths from Covid – that’s over a 90 day period. That’s 3-4 plane crashes per day. The scale of deaths is just not comprehended. 50% of US people would not take a vaccine.

Tuesday – back to work. Cummings fallout continues in the UK. Hydroxychloroquine trials are dropped. WHO warns of second peak. Second COVID birthday in the family.

Monday – Memorial Day in the US. The start of summer. A holiday. For week 12 – it’s another day at home. Too many reports of folk out and not distancing or wearing masks. I suspect a combination of tribal politics, fatigue and “it only gets old people”. New case rate in Washington State is relatively flat (~250 per day), and death rate is slowly going down (single digit trend). I think early action had a massive effect.

Local and global coverage for future reference.

The Seattle Times BBC The Guardian
25 May here here here
26 May here here here
27 May here here here
28 May here here here
29 May here here here
30 May here here here
31 May here here here

COVID work from home – week 11 – 18 May – 24 May

Weekend – a long weekend. Dominic Cummings row is slowly coming to the boil in the UK. BBC summary search optimisation: as the root. Horrible.

Saturday data from The Seattle Times

Friday – plenty of discussion about Washington State unemployment and how it’s been hit by online fraud. Identity theft and reuse of PII seem to be the cause. Good results from a project at work – “six months of work done in two weeks”. Churches “essential” says Trump, pandering to the base.

Thursday – another day of triple booked meetings. Urg. Work now realise that meetings are sucking every morsel of productive time out of the day. It’s like Microsoft again. Looking to reduce meeting load for the team. Daily standup and get to work.

Wednesday – 16 hours back to back on calls. Some work, some for 5th LD Dems. Online voting went really well. Cloudflare fronting a huge Azure E20s_v3 (160GB RAM, 20 vCPU) and zero issues.

Tuesday – continued linear growth of the number of cases around the globe. Second peaks appearing in the US. Lockdown isn’t consistent. Counting of deaths in the US is being fudged for political reasons. US trailing 7 day trend is down – but it’s mainly bubbling out the New York cases, remove that data and it’s up, up, up. 22k/day new cases.


Monday – Week 11. Really? Week 11? This week looks busy – AP exams for the eldest, big project trying to go live at work, building a voting mechanism for the local Dems. News continues to look positive (careful reopening of parts of WA State), negligent (widespread, willful ignoring of masks) and terrifying (Russia and Brazil cases)

Local and global coverage for future reference.

The Seattle Times BBC The Guardian
18 May here here here
19 May here here here
20 May here here here
21 May here here here
22 May here here here
23 May here here here
24 May here here here

COVID work from home – week 10 – 11 May – 17 May

Weekend – first time out without the kids in 10 weeks. Socially distanced barbecue in the mountains. Brazil and Russia cases are growing quickly. UK daily deaths dropping.

Seattle Times continues with great local coverage; The Guardian summaries are another good archive (note: Google/Bing for site includes to find the majority of hits; BBC urls are really unfindable if you miss them).

Friday – echoing the experience in WA state – care homes, nursing homes and similar are a real hotspot for infection. “Warp Speed” for vaccine.

Thursday – 36M unemployed in the US, quarter of workforce on benefits, this winter could be “bleakest ever”.

Global case count is still increasing.

Wednesday – Coronavirus may never go away say WHO.

Tuesday Russia coronavirus cases explode. Brazil 881 deaths today. Fauci says US not under control.

Tuesday data from The Seattle Times:

Monday – Week 10. UK lockdown guidance

Local and global coverage for future reference.

The Seattle Times BBC The Guardian
11 May here here here
12 May here here here
13 May here here here
14 May here here here
15 May here here here
16 May here here here
17 May here here here

Wifi and edge upgrade – Ubiquiti

Last year I noted that the ASUS Access Points were pretty much end of life. A pair of RT-AC66U and RT-AC68U had been providing pretty solid wifi coverage for trusted, untrusted and guest devices for around seven years. Sporadic updates from ASUS; more frequent updates from RMerlinDev – but a clear sunsetting of seven year old hardware.

I had been eying multiple vendors over the last year or so – with an eye to replace both the trusted, untrusted and guest wifi with a consolidated set of hardware. In addition the edge firewall/IDS/IPS running IPfire was due for a replacement. Everything gets old.

I settled on Ubiquiti and their Unifi range. A couple of Unifi-AP-HD Access Points and a Unifi Security Gateway Pro  should last a while. Future proofing – with an eye on end-to-end IP6 and fibre to the home – both should easily handle the additional complexity.

I built the Unifi Controller on a dedicated Ubuntu 20.04 server. That was a pain. Notes: MongoDB versions, JRE versions – and installation of the deb package. All too painful.

COVID work from home – week 9 – 4 May – 10 May

Weekend – it’s been weeks since I tracked the WA coronavirus numbers – mainly because there are great websites tracking the data, secondarily because the data reporting and metrics were so broken in early/mid-April.

Here’s the current (9 May) numbers from The Seattle Times. Curve of reported cases peaked in early April, about 10 days later for the reported death rate. The baseline is still quite high. I hope the weekend (sunny, warm, lifted restrictions, Mothers’ Day) doesn’t lead to an explosion of new cases in 2 weeks time.

Friday – 75th anniversary of VE Day, muted celebrations in UK. Coronavirus positive tests in White House staff.

Thursday – WA State is slowly opening back up. Traffic is increasing. Almost 15% unemployment rate in the US. Truly staggering.

Wednesday – another long day. Work, calls, lunch, calls, dinner, running Zoom call for the local Dems. Looks like online meetings are going to be a thing throughout the summer at least.

Tuesday – 250k deaths globally. US is arguing around models, lockdown and what next. French re-testing shows a positive COVID-19 test in late December.

Monday – I added the weeks. This is Week 9 of working from home, social distancing and isolation.

The daily routine is pretty similar for the work week; get up, coffee, breakfast, talk to the kids. They do school work (Teams, writing, exam prep) and I work in my office. I run a daily team stand up at 0930 daily which is informal scrum-like: what did you do last, what are you doing today, what do you need help on. Communications is a tad scattered with email, Skype for Business (yes, old), Slack and TFS/ADO comments. I’ve been trying to do informal “tune of the day” in a non-work, social Slack channel for about 8 weeks. Friday afternoon is voluntary team Happy Hour, turn up in Slack with video and a beverage.

I’ve noted that the informal drive-by questions have all turned into 30 minute calls. It’s back-to-back calls most days – so there’s some discipline needed to block out time.

Local and global coverage for future reference.

The Seattle Times BBC The Guardian
4 May here here here
5 May here here here
6 May here here here
7 May here here here
8 May here here here
9 May here here here
10 May here here here

COVID work from home – week 8 – 27 April – 3 May

Weekend – 65k dead in the US. With lockdowns being relaxed this is sure to climb again soon.

Friday – more discussion of return to work. Looks like at least half will be “home” and half “office” with strict cohort segregation. This is probably until at least vaccine or herd immunity.

Thursday – blood draw negative. Well – at least I know.

Wednesday – blood draw for the coronavirus antibodies test.


Tuesday – Quick teleconsult with the Doctor to discuss a coronavirus antibodies test. Short version: it’s new, unknown accuracy, no idea if there is immunity from previous exposure. I had coronavirus-like symptoms in early January; we decided it was worth the test. WA State plans limited opening of State Parks and other recreation. Still looking at continued work from home.

Monday – ten hours on the phone. WFH has turned every ad-hoc conversation into a 30 minute call. :\

Reports of COVID related illnesses affecting kids in the UK.

The Guardian and Tom Tom data shows how traffic has decreased. Seattle is dramatic.


Local and global coverage for future reference.

Seattle Times BBC Guardian
27 April here here here
28 April here here here
29 April here here here
30 April here here here
1 May here here here
2 May here here here
3 May here here here

COVID work from home – week 7 – 20 April – 26 April

Weekend – baking, “Fifty Shades of Grain” project. Confusion, angst, anger over relaxation/return to work. 20k deaths in hospitals in the UK.

Friday – drinking/injecting Lysol fallout still ongoing. Off to buy 50lb of bread flour from the mill.

Thursday – well – that might be the end of regular BBC daily rolling summaries. I just can’t find a daily link. WA State Emergency Management had to issue this (a little tongue in cheek)


Wednesday – up early, check emails, new morning ritual is to find the BBC latest news link and post it to the table below. It’s a pain to find retrospectively.

Good chat with the kids about “flatten the curve” and calculus (who doesn’t like some more maths during home-school?) – area under the curve stays constant. Same number of cases; hopefully the peak is lower so there are less deaths. Second wave is going to be brutal.

18k deaths in UK hospitals; at some point the non-hospital deaths are going to be tallied. That will be a sizable number.

Continued discussion about “back to work” and what that might look like. I think cohorts, optional wfh will be the new norm.

Tuesday – 2.5 million global cases, 171k deaths. Trump puts immigration ban in place for 60 days, Green Card holders included. Plenty of fact checking going on.

Monday – it’s nearly May. That means working from home for most of March and all of April.

Negative oil prices (based on future contracts and the need to move crude). I half-joked that negative oil pricing was a story prompt for post-apocalyptic fiction. The Economist had an article several years ago that Russia needed oil >$80 to be viable. June forward looks stable at $20-$25/barrel.

Anti-lockdown protests look like some astroturfing.

No updates from me regarding the WA DOH data – it’s been really challenging – and I’ve found more success with other sources.

Seattle Times has a good summary (read the text)

Local and global coverage for future reference.

Seattle Times BBC Guardian
20 April here here here
21 April here here here
22 April here here here
23 April here here here
24 April here here here
25 April here here here
26 April here here here

COVID work from home – week 6 – 13 April – 19 April

Weekend – good reporting from The Seattle Times  and ProPublica around the Seattle Sounders game in early March that I decided not to attend. Coronavirus spiking in Yakima and other Eastern WA locations.


Friday – the week went quickly. I didn’t write daily notes. Sixth week of working from home. Lots of graphs plotting the rate of new cases around the globe – this peak seems to be over in many locations. Much discussion at work about what return to work could look like. My best guess is to reduce density there’s going to need to be at least A/B cohorts; and keep them together (i.e A is Mon/Tue, B is Wed/Thu, Fri work from home) so you don’t cross contaminate groups.

BBC News has a horrible search; also searching for “yesterdays live coverage” is really hard.

Thursday – heavy pollen triggering massive allergies for some. Industrial food has caused some hotspots in meat processing plants. There’s a potential shortage of meat coming.

Wednesday – Trump de-funds WHO. 15% funding lost on a pique. 2 million global cases of coronavirus. WA state positive tests peaked on 28 March.

Ran a Zoom meeting for 5th LD Dems with online voting to confirm endorsements. More folk online than would come to a regular meeting. Maybe this is how we run meetings in the future?

Tuesday – “Reopen America” is trending

Monday – I have to admit – the work week (and to an extent the weekends) are becoming somewhat of a blur. This week should be Spring Break; normally we would have headed away for a few days. Instead everyone is at home.

Kids are into the routine of school in the morning, doing something creative and constructive in the afternoon. Today they made dinner and baked challah bread.

Trump press briefing is just trash.

Local and global coverage for future reference.

Seattle Times BBC Guardian
13 April here here here
14 April here here here
15 April here here here
16 April here here here
17 April here here here
18 April here here here
19 April here here here