I have a tendency to focus on the positive, so I thought I would pull together a little list of the positive developments during this pandemic. I will start with some personal positives and then I will "zoom out" and look at this from a global perspective.
We've always been a tight knit family, but the pandemic has brought us even closer together. We've had to come up with new ways to stay entertained together. So. Many. Board Games! Not to mention the evening 2x2 soccer games have been nothing short of epic battles.
It's hard to believe I've been a technology leader now for going on 14 years. In the early days of my career, I was a serious geek. The pandemic has given me free time and I've cracked my knuckles and dug back into old areas of interest. PC hardware, Linux, virtualization. Let me tell you, the geeks these days have it wayyyyyy easier than we did when I was coming up. Docker blows my mind.
With all of this time at home, Alicia and I have been spending a lot of time on a variety of improvements. Alicia has gone all next level with her gardening. The property looks amazing. I've rebuilt the wood ramp to the shed, built a gardening prep bench for Alicia in the garage... and resurfacing the rear deck is planned for the next 2-3 weeks.
The pandemic caused a massive decrease in transportation such that April saw a ~17% reduction in CO2 emissions when compared to mean 2019 levels. The earth deserved a bit of a break. What we have to hope for now is that we will see more permanent Work from Home programs that will result in a prolonged reduction in commuting and the resulting CO2 emissions.
I tell my teams that I'm not interested in implementing technology, but seeing it adopted. Value comes from use. The pandemic has driven massive technology adoption that may not have happened otherwise. At my institution, the use of Microsoft Teams increased by ~700%+ in a very short period of time. People who were hesitent to adopt video conferencing technologies are now telling me they are shocked by how easy it is to work this way. There should be long-term benefits here from an organizational change management perspective. Less anxiety around the adoption of new or changing technology.
There has been a clear attack on science (and education) over the last several years and hopefully the pandemic will (re)open some eyes to the critical role science plays in a healthy society. Let's favor facts over opinion and continuously pursue the truth using scientific methods.