Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Updated 2020-06-11

🇬🇧 WE ARE OPEN 🇬🇧

UPDATED ADVICE. As of Thu 11th of June, the rules of what you can and cannot do are even more relaxed, allowing non-shielding individuals more time outside and further from home plus the addition of meeting up with one other person in open space, singe-person household bubbles and, or course, on the 15th of June the remaining non-essential shops will open. Pubs, restaurants and the indoor leisure facilities remain closed.

Strict social-distancing remains in place and the wearing of masks is recommended in all indoor public spaces, crowded outdoor places, and where close contact is likely. Those who cannot work at home should return to work. This will be likely the last update to this article unless the lockdown is squeezed again. We’ve updated this 16 times, showing how fluid the pandemic has been and, whilst it is not over for a long-shot, most folks now have a better understanding of how the new normal looks.

You should follow the Official Government Advice. This information changes frequently. Other jurisdictions will have different policies and laws, specifically now in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

We must ALL continue to take responsibility for good hygiene and diligently adhering to anti-infection and anti-transmission practices.

What about us?

We operate a tried-and-tested location independent business model (it’s over 20 years since we adopted remote working), the team operates out of micro-offices and individual homes across the UK and North America. Using a distributed-location model allows us to mitigate the internal spread of infection dramatically. None of us is in what are deemed high-risk categories, nor is anyone reporting any symptoms and no one has had a positive test. We are all working 100% from home for the foreseeable future, probably forever.

Since we started actively monitoring the spread of the virus in February, we have taken a number of measures to further reduce to spread of the virus:

  • Our Summer Corporate event has been cancelled.
  • The team will communicate only using digital and telephony and work 100% from home.
  • All face-to-face meetings are cancelled. We will use Zoom, Skype, Google Hangout, FaceTime, WhatsApp and Slack to communicate.
  • All international business travel is banned.
  • Planned attendance at conferences and other group-like activity is on hold.
  • Social distancing policies introduced in public places the first week of March include 2m gaps and avoiding: the tube, peak-hour travel, and trains. From May the 1st the advice was updated to recommend the wearing of masks in indoor public spaces.
  • Screens on computers, tablets, and phones should be cleaned as per Apple’s updated methods that now permits a use of a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe. You may wish to extend this cleaning routine to other frequently handled devices including remotes, chargers, headphones, keyboards, etc.
  • Drugs: Use of NSAI to treat fevers in adults is discouraged. This includes Ibuprofen and Aspirin. Additional Vitamin D3 is recommended, especially in folks with darker skin which produces vitamin D at a slower rate..
  • The initial viral load absorbed is possibly linked to the severity of the infection. Particular care should be taken with regard to proximity to “coughers” and “sneezers”.
  • For those not showing symptoms, household isolation linked with occasional, managed, contact with restricted non-vulnerable groups is accepted as a good balance between mental health and risk of infection. Social distancing must be in place at all times.
  • Adopt a pragmatic approach of being aware of our surroundings and being prepared to take protective measures such as the wearing of masks.

TRACKING THE OUTBREAK

We starting tracking the outbreak in quite granular detail in February, and since the peak in early April we have been forecasting the fall in deaths (not cases) with quite surprising accuracy.

What we cannot do, as of yet, is forecast the possibility of a second peak, but from our data and predictions we are expecting the COVID-19 disease to fall to nominal death numbers by the end of June, regardless of the impending relaxation of restrictions.

We are well past the peak of the infection and death rate – which is good news. Sadly, we’re expecting the deaths to continue for months yet, albeit at a much lower level than we saw in April. No one at Connected is knowingly infected, nor immune, either. Every death is a real person, a family grieving, someone missing from the population and we understand how hard this has been. To put this into some context, at the peak almost 7,000 people a week were dying from this vile disease, as of week 24 this is down to 1,400 a week. In a normal (non-COVID) week, around 10,000 people die every week in the UK.

The post-COVID world is looking quite different. There is most definitely a new normal now on the horizon, one that respects social distance, mask-wearing in crowded place and an improved track and trace programme.

Financially, we have not needed any of the government bailouts, nor do we plan to take advantage as we’re still operating, albeit at a slightly reduced level but continue to make a profit. It would feel morally wrong for us to take advantage of the situation when so many others are in genuine need. No staff are furloughed, but the partners in the business took a 50% pay cut from March through June.

Connected are a “fair tax” organisation and financially strong which, combined with a scalable cost base, and no-frills approach to running a business means we can comfortably weather this crisis. The balance sheet and our reserves can sustain us should the crisis extend into 2021 and beyond.

This is version 16 of the document.