Covid-19 pandemic: An exercise of human adaptability

  • this is a crisis of unknown proportions and duration
  • best if we remain thoughtful about our individual experiencing of the seven stages of grief and strive for cognitive meta awareness for sound decision making (with inspiration from the Dunning Kruger effect)
  • the majority of us will likely contract Covid-19, it is just a matter of time
  • some people are more vulnerable to Covid-19 which means that this is a team sport, not each for their own
  • we build hardware and do neuroscience at Kernel, which, like many others in the world, requires some physical presence considerations. Our worldwide collective safety and basic functioning depends on a substantial percent of the population to be physically present somewhere, on the front lines, whether in factories or hospitals.
  • Covid-19 is with us for the long run, best if we settle in and figure out how we can flatten the curve and quickly adapt to this new norm
  • we will be proactive, adaptable, measured and take care of one another
  • we will create stronger and more durable bonds as we are forged in the foundry of Covid-19
  • vigorously and frequently wash hands for 20 seconds, posting signs in all bathrooms and by all sinks reminding of appropriate hand washing procedures
  • no handshakes, maintain physical distance
  • best to avoid touching your face
  • stay at home if you feel ill and get tested asap (if even possible 😐)
  • we deployed industrial grade disinfectant in spray bottles company wide, within reach of every personal and shared space, and began encouraging 2x daily cleaning, in addition to the professional cleaning services that were being done nightly
  • we eliminated as many shared surfaces as possible, including taking the cabinet doors off
  • we left entrance and exit doors open to avoid needing to touch shared surface handles
  • Any external visitor had to be approved by me personally. Upon arriving, we followed a staged protocol 1) asked questions of their health and recent travel 2) rigorous hand washing (which we oversaw) 3) limited to certain areas which could then be cleaned.
  • my co-workers and I took turns serving our colleagues lunch each day, eliminating the shared touch point of serving utensils and reinforcing the importance of new social norms
  • we carefully examined all workstreams and each individual’s role in those activities, and implemented plans for physical distancing, reduced density, WFH, and on-site coordination — also anticipating that schools would be closing.
  • created new protocols and processes for interviewing
  • we offered to pay for anyone getting tested for Covid-19 (if even possible 😐)
  • we purchased nutritional items that would help upregulate people’s immune system to lessen the effects if/when Covid-19 was/will be contracted [1]
  1. What if we could quantify the cognitive effects on decision making after someone read coronavirus articles for 30 minutes? Would our judgement be akin to being legally inebriated? With that knowledge, could we then develop better systems to modulate and tailor information consumption for our resulting decision making processes? Would you be surprised by your own subconscious response?
  2. Could we quantify someone’s normal compulsion and risk aversion, and then quantify their cognitive proclivities to disaster scenarios? Or demonstrate detectable synchronization patterns between individual brain patterns and collective behavior, creating generalized models for better socio-economic preparedness and cooperation around the world.
  3. Would the neural signature of seeing clearly incorrect or hyperbolic information look different from a more nuanced piece?
  4. Could we gain insight into cognitive processes that hinder us from taking action on other surprise exams, or Covid-19 like scenarios, that we already know about but which we do nothing about?

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Founder & CEO KernelCo . Also founder OSFund & Braintree Venmo

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Bryan Johnson

Bryan Johnson

Founder & CEO KernelCo . Also founder OSFund & Braintree Venmo

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