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Covid-19. Avoiding tube or other high density commute


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Our board is comprised of old men in denial about Covid-19 and believe that people working remotely just watch youtube & fiddle about on social media.

So we have been instructed to continue to come into our offices.

For my colleagues & I, that means being about 40cm from a wide cross section of manual & office workers from many nations  & tourists  for 30mins twice a day - mainly Central, district & Northen line & Thameslink, plus some bus usage.

I can do a tedious stop start bicycle commute through Stratford & Whitechapel.  A longer route through Victoria park less punctuated by traffic lights is available.  Not thrilled about being forced into the rain & whipping wind though.

Any thoughts from other commuters to Central London or other big cities?

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4 minutes ago, hotblack42 said:

Not thrilled about being forced into the rain & whipping wind though.

You get used to it. I'm an all weather's all year round cyclist, have been out in some truly horrendous weather and it's fine. Character building.

Just get decent clothes and proper mudguards. I used waterproof socks and assume I have to change everything when I get to the office. Don't need to bother with a shower if you keep to a leasurely pace and don't build up a sweat. 

I'd recommend the quite route. I used to play with traffic, it's fun for a while but life's too short and its less stressful off the main roads.

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I'm avoiding, I mean flat plain not using, public transport but as winkie says apparently the tube is much less populated. I'm a keen cyclist so you know what I'm going to say; get some decent weather gear and your fitness up and you'll be OK.

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2 minutes ago, winkie said:

Look on the bright side, fewer are using the underground, can therefore stand your distance from others still using it....no longer in your face.?

 

Well if you catch Covid19 and pass it on to the board, they might look at things differently. 

Seriously old men like that shouldn't be removed, sounds like business practices from the 1970s/80s. I started working in 1996, and had remote access and a laptop back then. 

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1 minute ago, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

Well if you catch Covid19 and pass it on to the board, they might look at things differently. 

Seriously old men like that shouldn't be removed, sounds like business practices from the 1970s/80s. I started working in 1996, and had remote access and a laptop back then. 

Good point, the older should be trying to protect themselves from the younger that might pass something to them because of their choice of office policy......?

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9 minutes ago, winkie said:

Look on the bright side, fewer are using the underground, can therefore stand your distance from others still using it....no longer in your face.?

 

Last week central line peak was only reduced to the extent of most being able to sit.  District was sometimes as busy as normal.

I have been very disappointed with the response in London so far - most seem to be carrying on regardless, either their own denial or inflexible employers I guess.  I even tried 6am train only to be confronted by a horde of people who sermed to be heading for cleaning and labouring jobs in the West end.  They didn't get off at Liverpool st or bank anyway..

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6 minutes ago, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

.. . I started working in 1996, and had remote access and a laptop back then. 

Which reminds me how, how sh1te Windows NT4 was!!! 

Much preferred OS/2 or even a VMS session at the time. It took Windows until 2000 to become properly usable. 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

Which reminds me how, how sh1te Windows NT4 was!!! 

Much preferred OS/2 or even a VMS session at the time. It took Windows until 2000 to become properly usable. 

 

 

Yep I was remotely dialing in too, that was easy as I was the one who built the multi modem remote server. Back then you needed multiple phone lines to the same box. Agree NT4 would commit suicide for no reason at all. The server version was the same as the workstation service pack 4 made it pretty stable though.

It was all good I liked working back then it helps when they paid you £30 a hour on call 20 years ago to fix the broken nt4s ?

 

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Os/2  was stable we hand boxs that had not been rebooted for years Os/2 running on IBM MCA architecture was rock solid back when IBM was the best got to love those ps2's.

Never liked that ambra stuff they did.

 

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A lot of firms are now expecting people to work from home. Sounds like you work around the City. I know of one big bank that has pretty much closed its offices as of Friday. 

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2 hours ago, hotblack42 said:

Our board is comprised of old men in denial about Covid-19 and believe that people working remotely just watch youtube & fiddle about on social media.

So we have been instructed to continue to come into our offices.

For my colleagues & I, that means being about 40cm from a wide cross section of manual & office workers from many nations  & tourists  for 30mins twice a day - mainly Central, district & Northen line & Thameslink, plus some bus usage.

I can do a tedious stop start bicycle commute through Stratford & Whitechapel.  A longer route through Victoria park less punctuated by traffic lights is available.  Not thrilled about being forced into the rain & whipping wind though.

Any thoughts from other commuters to Central London or other big cities?

My guess is that your employer is behind the curve, and will change tune quickly as soon as your office start dropping like flies, or (because they are human) once someone they know actually gets it and it becomes "real" for them.  I hope you don't become the test case.

Like others on here I wouldn't want to use public transport for the next 2-3 months, and I would be having a very serious conversation with my manager if my employer asked me to go into London.  But I appreciate it would be more difficult if, like you, your normal place of work is in central London.

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2 hours ago, winkie said:

Look on the bright side, fewer are using the underground, can therefore stand your distance from others still using it....no longer in your face.?

 

Agreed it is noticeably quieter - party night on Thursday was deserted but still the odd few in packed bars.

Personally i believe if you have been using densely packed tubes for the last 3 weeks it is probably too late anyway given you then interact at work with people who have been on other public transport.

I believe as posted in another thread that large numbers of people in my workplace are infected - they are off sick at home but haven't been tested because of the symptoms they have shown and how they have gone down one by one. Loads of security staff were off too,

I have been boosting my immunity for weeks with food and vitamins - no symptoms yet but I am concerned. There is just a lack of direction and leadership - and testing.

 

Edited by MARTINX9
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3 hours ago, hotblack42 said:

Our board is comprised of old men in denial about Covid-19 and believe that people working remotely just watch youtube & fiddle about on social media.

So we have been instructed to continue to come into our offices.

For my colleagues & I, that means being about 40cm from a wide cross section of manual & office workers from many nations  & tourists  for 30mins twice a day - mainly Central, district & Northen line & Thameslink, plus some bus usage.

I can do a tedious stop start bicycle commute through Stratford & Whitechapel.  A longer route through Victoria park less punctuated by traffic lights is available.  Not thrilled about being forced into the rain & whipping wind though.

Any thoughts from other commuters to Central London or other big cities?

Go to the board room, try out the chairs for size.

I'd avoid the tube. Miserable few years doing the tube.

Edited by spyguy
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Do the same as Justin Trudeau:  claim your wife has already got it and withdraw from public life.  If you go off sick now then by the time you would be ready to come back they will have caught up to the fact that it's serious and will be begging you to stay at home.

Or they'll all be dead by then and you'll have some sensible people making the decisions.

 

Edited to add:  If you don't have a wife, claim to have yourself.  No one's going to check.

Edited by stop_the_craziness
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6 minutes ago, hurlerontheditch said:

I heard Bernard Looney at BP sent an email out stating office staff to work for home for the next month

Are the Government still going to expect councils to collect business rates on all these empty offices in April - or all the shops, pubs, cafes, restaurants seeing a mass downturn in business. Few central London firms are benefitting from the relief schemes for businesses in the Budget - but their rates and other taxes are critical to keeping the country afloat as they pay for the services such as social care, fire services, children's social care.

 

Edited by MARTINX9
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12 hours ago, hotblack42 said:

Our board is comprised of old men in denial about Covid-19 and believe that people working remotely just watch youtube & fiddle about on social media.

So we have been instructed to continue to come into our offices.

Call in sick with symptoms which couldn't be the coronavirus, so that you can believably call in sick with coronavirus at a later date. 

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22 hours ago, hotblack42 said:

Any thoughts from other commuters to Central London or other big cities?

well government trying to force people to use public transport via extra taxation like congestion charges,ULEZ etc ,is now looking like a bloody stupid idea isn't it?

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1 minute ago, oracle said:

well government trying to force people to use public transport via extra taxation like congestion charges,ULEZ etc ,is now looking like a bloody stupid idea isn't it?

at the very time they are screaming from the pulpits about public health, their policy is actually putting people at higher risk of contracting something.

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On 14/03/2020 at 08:39, hotblack42 said:

Our board is comprised of old men in denial about Covid-19 and believe that people working remotely just watch youtube & fiddle about on social media.

So we have been instructed to continue to come into our offices.

For my colleagues & I, that means being about 40cm from a wide cross section of manual & office workers from many nations  & tourists  for 30mins twice a day - mainly Central, district & Northen line & Thameslink, plus some bus usage.

I can do a tedious stop start bicycle commute through Stratford & Whitechapel.  A longer route through Victoria park less punctuated by traffic lights is available.  Not thrilled about being forced into the rain & whipping wind though.

Any thoughts from other commuters to Central London or other big cities?

Working in tech and media with plenty of youngsters they might have a point LOL ! Seriously its an issue we are looking at two systems and will probably use both

A & B teams halve the number of people in the office - one team works at home one week then swop and deep clean in between - gives bigger gaps between people

Opening the office almost 24 x7 so people can travel out of rush hour

I think people have genuine  concerns and your board need to be told a few home truths - it is worrying for people and they need to address those concerns 

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1 hour ago, GregBowman said:

Working in tech and media with plenty of youngsters they might have a point LOL ! Seriously its an issue we are looking at two systems and will probably use both

A & B teams halve the number of people in the office - one team works at home one week then swop and deep clean in between - gives bigger gaps between people

Opening the office almost 24 x7 so people can travel out of rush hour

I think people have genuine  concerns and your board need to be told a few home truths - it is worrying for people and they need to address those concerns 

Our offices are open seven days a week 24 hours a day and our firm has been moving to hotdesking to save on office space.

I used to joke in my office that if people want to work from 10pm to 6am and can get the job done why not? If we can stagger tube use and avoid people cramming on at 8am and 5pm why not?

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1 hour ago, GregBowman said:

Working in tech and media with plenty of youngsters they might have a point LOL ! Seriously its an issue we are looking at two systems and will probably use both

A & B teams halve the number of people in the office - one team works at home one week then swop and deep clean in between - gives bigger gaps between people

Opening the office almost 24 x7 so people can travel out of rush hour

I think people have genuine  concerns and your board need to be told a few home truths - it is worrying for people and they need to address those concerns 

Regarding the age thing:  An important point is that Italy is reporting an unsettling amounts of deaths of people under 50.

The narrative is that only the old really have anything to fear.  Whilst it's certainly true that older people are much more at risk, that is pretty much the case for all diseases.  I am going to speculate that the disease is somewhat more dangerous to 'young' , healthy people than has been disclosed but this is being played down to avoid panic.

'Lots of old people will die' is a narrative that the mostly not-elderly public can mostly accept - but when people feel directly threatened then they become unpredictable and hard to manage.

Do we really suppose that China had such humanitarian concern about their elderly people that they decided to shut the country and economy down to save them?  Or was the disease likely to take an unacceptable toll on people of working age?

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34 minutes ago, MARTINX9 said:

Our offices are open seven days a week 24 hours a day and our firm has been moving to hotdesking to save on office space.

I used to joke in my office that if people want to work from 10pm to 6am and can get the job done why not? If we can stagger tube use and avoid people cramming on at 8am and 5pm why not?

A veritable sea of contagion right there. 

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