Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sick of Corona, but this is the news right now

I know that most or even all of the people are pretty sick of Corona news but that is the real news out there with global outbreak still peaking in almost all the countries of the world save China (doubtful?!) and it has really upended the lives of all people including yours truly. Although I can work from home but most people in the restaurant and hotel industry and who deal with face to face interaction with people are getting laid off right and left. All over the world, Governments are initiating lock down of their citizens not to venture outside their homes if it not essential and the devastation of the business is being mitigated by the immense amount of money the governments are thrown in to save businesses and jobs. All talk of fiscal responsibility has been thrown of the window to help all kinds of people deal with this virus financially.
Even if this virus completely vanishes in a month or so, life will not come to normality anytime during the summer. This Virus has transformed the lives of human beings all over the world. Take for me as an example, my office had started to implement at least once a week to work from home and I was on the fence and taking it lightly as I was used to commuting to work, but with this virus, I am working from home and loving it since I am saving tons of money and also commute nightmare. This will definitely change how employers perceive work from home and how the employees will take advantage of being productive from home. I am working more hours but I also know that once I log off from my office server, I can just literally walk to my sofa or bed without worrying about commute. Also you will start to see lots of people wearing face mask even if this virus is somehow controlled. It will take a lot of time for people to be comfortable going into theaters and coming in close contact with people, and also the airlines will have a hard time making people accept social distancing as the travel industry is based on people cramming in one places like hotels and resorts. I feel for the people who are unable to work from home due to the nature of their industries and who have been laid off as I myself have been laid off three times previously so I know how it sucks. Despite governments massive efforts to help people with their financial needs, there will still be a lot of people who would not get the required help as every industry is hurting right now since many places are shut down to control this virus. With the best technology in places, even a vaccine for this virus is going to take anywhere between 12 to 18 months, although people of various countries are trying to come up with their localized and home grown remedy to escape from this virus. The one main problem is that instead of coordinating a world wide effort to control this disease, it seems that every country is now working to keep non citizens out of their countries and shutting their countries in order to control it. Although it has become a small world due to Internet and travel but when it comes to seeking sanctuary from this disease, the only way countries are fighting this is to shut down their countries from outside influence. It is a sad state but this is the reality that is being practiced all over the world.

Working from home

Ever since this COVID-19 started to affect the lives to New Yorkers and with its shelter in place policy, I have been working from home for the last four weeks, although my job is that I am not directly in contact with customers face to face as all work was being done mostly by email and sometimes on phone so the only thing I had to do is drag my ass to the office every day, which working from home is not letting me do it. I don’t have access to courier service, which we have already told our customers that we will only send PDF copies of their work and I don’t have access to files, which is being replaced with online copies of the same. There is no boss to deal with and if there is a conference call, it is being done via video and audio conference software. Although there is no social interaction except emailing back and forth, I don’t mind at all, not commuting every day and waking up at an unearthly hour to worry about how much traffic will be on the roads and whether there will any issue with trains.
Since I work in my office with two screens and at home with one, so it was natural for me to buy another screen (by the money I saved on commuting, I was able to come with money), although additional screen gives me advantage to work and see two software programs running side by side, it has not be smooth sailing as yet. But still glad that it has given me the opportunity to work from home, which was my dream job to start with and now that it is my fourth week in work from home mode, I am getting better in dealing with issues only related to work and not worrying about if I will be late to work or getting up early to fight all the insane traffic going back and forth.

On the lighter side-Movies-Doctor Sleep (2019)-Ewan Mcgrecor, Rebecca Ferguson

A sort of sequel to the 1980 Movie The Shining where the little boy grows up to protect another kid who has similar powers to fall into the hands of a murderous cult. Overlong and slow movie, really test your patience. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Little Women (2019)-Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson

Another remake about four women who are determined to live their lives in any way they can. Good acting. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Countdown (2019)-Elizabeth Lail, Jordan Calloway

An app predicts the exact time when a person is going to down whoever downloads it. Enjoyable horror movie. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Dark Waters (2019)-Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway

A corporate lawyer takes on a case of environmental pollution by a chemical company. Good movie will keep you hooked. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-1917 (2019)-Dean-Charles Chapman, George Mackay

During World War I, two soldiers are assigned to travel to a location in order to warn a regiment that their advanced to an enemy territory is a trap with disaster waiting to happen. Enjoyable British war movie. Highly recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Joker (2019)-Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro

A standby comedian descent to hell and the crime wave he inspires. Excellent acting by Phoenix. Highly recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Platform (2019-Spain) – Ivan Massague, Zorion Eguileor

In the future, prisoners are sent to vertical cells where the food is distributed according to high you are up the cell with the lower ones fighting for food left behind. Gory and bloody but very intriguing idea. Available on Netflix. Recommended

Sunday, April 5, 2020

More Corona news update

I know that people have started to feel sick hearing about this uncontrollable virus which has broken out of the confines of Chinese City of Wuhan and out to the Whole world including major outbreaks in Italy, Iran and Spain. Other advanced countries are also not immune any more as seen by surging cases in U.K, Belgium and United State. They were I guess late to the party and if you are late, you will leave late too. So is this case that the case of infections is also increasing faster in the United States with several states under a state of lock down including New York, California and New Jersey and all 50 states have now cases of Corona Virus. Life has been upended for a lot of people as young people have never seen this kind of situation before in their lives. Exams are being postponed, people are working from home, the retail and hospitable industries are closed and so are the people working in it are getting laid off right and left.
There are always losers and winners in every situation and so is the case with this Virus. Although it is hurting a lot of people but gas prices have gone down, Mortgage rates have gone down spiraling into a Mortgage and refinance boom. Pollution problem have come down considerably since most of the cars and planes and industries that do pollute have been shut down and air quality has increased. The Virus cases have gone down in some Far eastern countries but surging in the western world. There is a run on grocery stores and they have been stripped of essentials as people fear that with the current situation, the supplies may not be delivered. So there is panic situation all around, people are literally avoiding other people and keep a distance between each other to protect themselves. Internet use has gone up as people staying inside their homes are using internet to work from home and watch movies and keep their kids entertained. So although the overall situation is grim but hope for better times ahead as this phase will also pass.

On the lighter side-Movies-Kill Ben Lyk (2018-British)-Martyn Ford, Simone Ashley

When three Ben Lyk are killed in London, Scotland yard gathers all the other Ben Lyk and haul them up to secluded safe house to find out who is killing fun. Fun British comedy, action movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Shaolin Plot (1977-HK) - Sing Chen, Casanova Wong

An evil prince tries to steal Shaolin books from Shaolin temple. Average Martial arts movie. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Disturbing the Peace (2020)-Guy Pearce, Devon Sawa

A gunless sheriff picks up his gun again to battle outlaws attacking his small town for a heist. Not enough action with acting below par. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Color out of space (2019)-Nicoloas Cage, Joely Richardson

An isolated farm is hit by a strange meteorite and the whole family in that face goes nuts. Okay horror/science fiction movie with Nicolas Cage giving an over the top (literally) perform. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)-Linda Hamilton, Mackenzie Davis

Two people try to stop an enhanced terminator for killing a girl whose survival is crucial to Humanity. Non-Stop action. Recommended with caution