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5G does not cause COVID-19, working from home best practices

Tech Talk

 

May 9, 2020

Greg Cunningham

If you spend any time online or get your news via social media, you have probably run across conspiracy theories about 5G cell towers causing COVID-19. Not true, bucko. 5G technology uses electromagnetic waves, while COVID-19 is a biological virus. Whole different things.

When most people talk about 5G, they are referring to the current fifth-generation mobile broadband technology that companies are rolling out worldwide. Okay, not in Tehachapi, yet. But someday. All mobile broadband technology (4G LTE, 3G, and everything that came before those guys) utilizes radio waves that operate in the electromagnetic spectrum.

Radio waves do not have enough energy to separate electrons from atoms or molecules, that would cause chemical reactions or DNA damage. The main effect of radio waves on physical objects is a heating effect.

Why is it called COVID-19? The CO comes from Corona, the VI comes from virus, the D comes from disease, and the -19 comes from 2019, the year it was first identified.

COVID-19 (full name: SARS-CoV-2) is just one of many viruses classified as Coronaviruses. Coronaviruses get their name from crown-like spikes on their surface. Some Coronaviruses can circulate among humans, causing mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold or influenza. And like a cold or the flu, COVID-19 is spread through human-to-human contact, not radio waves.

So, stop burning down 5G cell towers and harassing the guys putting them up. Mmm 'kay?

To protect the health of your family, friends and the people of Tehachapi, stay home as much as possible, wear a cloth face-covering where it is hard to keep social distancing and wash your damn hands. A lot.

Working from home best practices

It has been a few weeks now of working from home (WFH) for some people, how is it going? If you are struggling with being productive while WFH, here are some tips that may help.

Workspace

It is enormously helpful to have a separate space to work from home in – a guest bedroom, a table in the garage, something out of the normal flow of life at home.

Not everyone has or can make a separate space for work. If this is you, try to stay away from working in either your bedroom or the kitchen. Working in the bedroom can make it hard to get to sleep (hey, I'm still working) and simultaneously hard to get work in the morning (hey, this is where I sleep.) Working in the kitchen will be like working at the crossroads of your home. Everybody goes to the kitchen multiple times during the day, and that probably will affect your focus.

Setting up your workspace in a formal dining room or a corner of the living room can work. For most people, this WFH will be temporary, so no going crazy rearranging things at home.

Get dressed

On workdays, shower, pack a lunch (if that is what you do/did,) and get dressed like you are going to work. Getting dressed like you are going to work helps get you in the right frame of mind to focus and be productive. You can always wear your footie pajamas when your workday is over.

Make video calls

Part of working is interacting with other people. A phone call or a conference call is better than nothing, but nothing connects you to people like a video call. It will be awkward at first as people get used to it, but in no time, your conversations will sound and feel like they did when you were at work. As a bonus: video calls force you, and everyone else, to get dressed for work. You know, like the professionals you are.

Take breaks

Just like at work, remember to take breaks. Get up and go to the kitchen for a snack. Track down whoever it was in your house that needed something from you a few minutes ago. A few 15-minute breaks during the day can do wonders for your focus.

Stop working

Because it is so easy to keep working, make a hard and fast rule on what time your workday ends. Then shut down the computer, put away anything you have been working on, and put your footie pajamas back on. Now that your workday is over, time for some downtime.

Overheard in the line outside Home Depot

My husband is working from home, and he's still late for work.

Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at [email protected]

 
 

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