There is a good chance we will get to peak email before we get to peak exposure to the coronavirus. People might go stir crazy after too much time sheltered in place, but they might also become homicidal toward those who overuse the send button.
Here are a few thoughts that have been on my mind in these disconnected but also hyper-connected times. There are no guidelines for behavior in the circumstances we have today, but here are some candidates that might evolve into some useful ones.
The world is badly in need of editors. Unlike masks, gloves and ventilators, we have plenty available.
If a theme has been relentlessly covered, only best in class will do. The others are tedious.
In entirely new environments, it is completely reasonable not to know the answer.
The same applies to making predictions.
The only emails that deserve to be forwarded are those that contain information that is new to you. The audiences that Pundificator fans interact with no longer need to be told about social distancing and handwashing. If you already knew the information that was in an email in front of you, everyone else did too.
Set priorities. In my case, I am more interested in managing and solving the public health and economic recovery problems then in scoring political points about them. There can be no stupider conversation then whether it should be called the China virus or the Trump virus. Sadly, this suggestion is likely to be taken as a challenge by political strategists and spinners.
Read before sending. If there is even a small chance that you sound like a grumpy old man yelling at small children, the send button is not your friend. This also applies to politicians who have zoomed past their sell by dates.
Shorter is better. Please note that this suggestion does not include a cartoon.
We take lots of steps to avoid getting the coronavirus but the best we can do is lower the odds. There is much too much advice that cannot be followed. Maybe a good rule of thumb before forwarding a finger-wagging suggestion is “do I plan to do this myself?”
And when do I think any of this will happen?
There is no reason to think these are the right answers nor are they necessarily even the right questions. All they are is a first try at responding to something completely new.
Perhaps you have other thoughts or, better still, contrary ones as we crowd source social responses to challenging times.
As we lament our confinement, there is time to consider whether we’d prefer to have faced the Spanish flu in 1918 with no internet.