On its COVID-19 page, the WHO recommends to “Maintain social distancing – Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.” The CDC says six feet, but the message is clear: avoid getting too close to people who are sick or have symptoms. Except… the symptoms of COVID-19 present like a cold or the flu. What to do?

Several of my clients are instituting an A-Team/B-Team strategy starting this week. The basic idea is that on odd-numbered days, the A-Team (half the workforce) comes to the office, while the B-Team (the other half of the workforce) works from home. The groups are reversed on even-numbered days. The goal is to reduce the density of office workers and put additional distance (social distancing) between the workers. Desk assignments are modified to provide the recommended distance between co-workers.

Over the weekend, the “gallows humor” was rampant. People were greeting each other with the Mel Brooks/Young Frankenstein (Madeline Kahn) elbow touch. (Too soon?) Others (including me) were using Mr. Spock’s iconic split finger Vulcan greeting (generally with the customary, “Live long and prosper”).

In truth, the humor was the sign of an underlying fear of the unknown. In the absence of leadership and reliable information about the risks, it is hard not to be scared.

Right now, I’m relying on cdc.gov and who.int for my information, along with the Johns Hopkins heat map. If you’ve got better sources, please share.


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Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.



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