The coronavirus is affecting hundreds and thousands of individuals around the globe. This global pandemic has resulted in the massive loss of life and continues to endanger many. Governments and private institutions have reacted by temporarily allowing their employees to work from home to mitigate the spread of this unfortunate disease.
Large tech companies in the US, such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Twitter, have already told some of their employees to work from home. Throughout the US, offices are preparing to implement similar measures.
Just yesterday, Google announced its North American employees to work from home due to Coronavirus.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a family of viruses that cause illnesses to people of all ages. There are many different kinds, and some cause disease. A newly identified type has caused a recent outbreak of respiratory illness now called COVID-19 that started in China.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports global case numbers. Here are the following countries with confirmed cases:
Updated as of 12:00 p.m. ET March 10, 2020
|Argentina||Bosnia and Herzegovina||United Kingdom|
|French Guiana||France||Sri Lanka|
|Paraguay||Holy See (Vatican City)||Cambodia|
|United States||Iceland||Hong Kong|
|Iraq||Lithuania||Republic of Korea|
|United Arab Emirates||Romania|
Follow the official World Health Organization’s report on coronavirus for the latest updates and stats. [10 AM CET 11 March 2020]
How to Stay Safe from Coronavirus
Keeping yourself and your loved ones safe from any virus is of great importance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has these suggestions:
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay at home when you are sick.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects people frequently touch.
How the World is dealing with the Pandemic
Sentiments around the globe are filled with anxiety. Wuhan, the hard-hit city where this outbreak began, has gone into a complete lockdown. Hundreds of thousands of residents are working from home and have gone into self-quarantine.
While China rapidly built new hospitals in a matter of days, the sheer number of patients is ever increasing. The government detained those who broke quarantine rules or lied about their travel history.
In the US, over 1000 coronavirus cases, along with dozens of deaths have been reported. Several cities across the country, including San Francisco and Seattle, and even entire states like Washington, have declared states of emergency. This allows the local and state authorities greater access to emergency resources and funding in preparation for a more significant outbreak.
In Italy, the Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, announced that the entire country would be covered by restrictions that “can be summarized as follows: I stay at home.” All travel is banned unless justified on professional or health grounds.
Numerous airlines are also suspending traveling routes from countries that are affected by the coronavirus. As a result, companies are advising their employees to work from home.
Work from Home on the Rise
The 21st century has given birth to the work from home culture. More and more remote employees are actively opting to work from flexible locations that don’t involve them coming together to work in an office.
With the rapid spread of coronavirus disease, companies are taking precautionary measures by advising their employees to work from home. This is done to limit any exposure with other employees that might result in catching this disease.
Is it Safe to Work from Home?
While work from home is on the rise, there’s no guarantee that employees who are told to stay back at home and work on their daily tasks are staying back at home. It could be that those employees are heading out for whatever reason it is.
This notion of uncertainty and employees interacting with others doesn’t stop coronavirus from spreading to others who don’t have the disease. The best way to secure yourself from such a situation is to limit your contact with others in malls, street, subway, café, airport, etc.
While working from home or any other public place, a connection to a private or public Wi-Fi hotspot is necessary. Those who will connect to a Wi-Fi network to carry on with their office work could be susceptible to hacking attempts.
In these tough times, cybercriminals are the ones who profit the most as they exploit you when you’re most vulnerable. Since a lot of offices’ confidential data will get transmitted via Wi-Fi networks, it’s only natural that hackers would pry on your online activities and steal that data.
Importance of a VPN for People Working from Home
The most significant benefit is data security. When remote employees send data through a VPN network, their entire internet connection is encrypted. If hackers were to pry or steal any data, all they’ll get is gibberish information, which is of no use to anyone.
A VPN is particularly important when employees access their companies’ computer systems using public Wi-Fi networks because their internet traffic is unsecured and not encrypted. For companies, a remote access VPN provides a secure way to transmit data sent to and by offsite employees.
With a VPN, people who are working from home can conveniently connect to the internet without stressing about their sensitive information being tapped. Also, allowing employees to work where and when they want may potentially lead to higher motivation and productivity.
We’ll be adding more to this as new developments are revealed.