May 1, 2020


Working from home, even when the coronavirus crisis has passed (Deutsche-Welle, 5/01/20)

Industrial facilities and commercial buildings are in different stages of emerging from shutdown around the world. This is inevitable. But is it inevitable that we all, one day, return to our offices?

In 2018, a team including Kimberly Nicholas, a sustainability scientist at the University of Lund, surveyed studies of behaviors where emissions reductions could be measured -- such as meat consumption and household energy use -- and found that working from home reduced the most emissions of all interventions studied.

"Working from home as opposed to driving into work substantially reduces pollution. And that's both climate pollution -- greenhouse gases, and particle pollution," she told DW. "Greenhouse gases last thousands of years, essentially forever, in our atmosphere. In contrast, the particle pollution that affects our health most immediately and directly is shorter acting. We do see an immediate effect from less driving and less burning of less gasoline on air quality."

In other words: Any driving you eliminate adds up to a big difference.

We'll be at least somewhat desperate to "return to normal" once this is over, but we've had a wide range of proofs of concept that should drive the future in the following ways:

-Car-free cities

-Reducing business travel (especially air travel)

-Distance learning

-Working from home

-Increased use of robots/machines

-Universal basic income

-Online shopping

-Removal of licensing requirements

-Regional coalitions of states

-Home making

-Extending families

-Open-sourcing meetings, classes, lectures, performances, social events, games, etc.

Unimaginable good is coming of this awful situation.

Fitbit data shows we're sleeping better during the COVID-19 lockdown ( MARK SULLIVAN, 5/01/20, fast Company)

Americans don't typically sleep well. One large survey showed that people get a full, uninterrupted night of sleep on only about one out of four nights. During this anxious time, you might think the problem would get worse. But data from sleep-tracking apps and wearables suggests something different. Many people are actually getting more, better-quality sleep during our new stay-at-home lives.

At Fast Company's request, Fitbit pulled data from its wearable devices in use in six U.S. cities--San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, New York, and Phoenix--and compared how people have slept before and after we began sheltering in place. While Fitbit wearers don't represent the full U.S. population, the company did find a surprising trend among users: they're getting 17 minutes more sleep per night in April than they were in January. Thirty-six percent of those people are getting an additional 30 minutes of sleep or more now, as compared to life before lockdown.

Fitbit says the quality of the sleep has improved too. Using the company's scale from one to 100 that's based on sleep duration and restorative value, people's scores have improved by 1.8 points during the crisis. Fitbit users typically score between 72 and 83. Fitbit says the score increases are mainly due to the increased duration of sleep, but increases in REM sleep and Deep Sleep have also helped. The company's researchers add that people are going to bed an average of 16 minutes later than they did pre-coronavirus.


Posted by at May 1, 2020 7:44 AM