Coronavirus – What we are doing at SSW

This weekend I saw Coogee Beach packed to the rafters with parties. I also saw that The Oaks Hotel in Neutral Bay and The Coogee Bay Hotel were full of people who are either oblivious or stupid.

Note: Sadly, the Australian numbers are now much worse than below explained by this .gif:

2 weeks ago I spoke to each SSW office individually via Microsoft Teams and gave the following advice to all SSW employees to navigate Coronavirus. I am sharing this – I hope it helps:

From: Adam Cogan

Hi SSWAll,

The COVID-19 numbers are increasing every day – it is time to be worried and make some changes. Today NSW is the worst state at 171 cases (more numbers below).

Let’s focus on staying healthy for now. We can navigate the upcoming business challenges after that.

Stay home!

Over the next 8 weeks stay at home as your first option.  The incubation period for COVID-19 is around 2-8 days. The next 8 weeks are the most critical time for people to stay at home. 
Note: The average incubation period is 5.2 days. (Source: Prevention and control plan of new coronavirus pneumonia (fourth edition) issued by the National Health Commission of China).

Be safe!

There are going to be asymptomatic carriers – people who are infected, contagious, and don’t know it.

Practice social distancing over the next 8 weeks – by then you will know most of the people who became infected because they will be sick. (However, some people will have it, but show no or little symptoms). At this time, it will be easier to avoid infected people. Wait for them to get better and we can neutralize the spread of the virus. 

We won’t be as lucky as SSW China!

No-one in SSW China got the disease. And I think we can say it is under control in Hangzhou. Only 2 cases in the last 24 days in Hangzhou (pop. 13 million). But they were hardcore at their isolation. In Australia, the govt is softer and Aussies are more cavalier. She’ll be right mate!

This is going to be rough. Don’t go on public transport, drink at bars, eat at restaurants, work out at gyms, etc. You likely will contract the virus and the number of oblivious asymptomatic carriers will grow at a nasty rate. The best thing you can do is wash your hands regularly and especially before eating… Oh and don’t touch your face.

I don’t believe we will be able to contain the disease in Australia. It will wreak havoc on everyone’s lives. Our medical system will not be able to keep up with the onslaught of cases. The economic catastrophe will grow as we have never seen.

Work from home!

If you have a home office with internet, and a good mic and camera then you can and should work from home. Check your background and do a test with a colleague that you look and sound great. Clients still come first and for some, this will be a tricky balance. I don’t think we have too many clients that do not understand the situation. If the clients are not cool about remote meetings, then talk to your SSW State Manager.

Stay home and you will help doctors!

My neighbor is a doctor… he has been working long hours testing 150 patients each day for Coronavirus…. for the last 3 weeks! Not one positive yet for him. However, he says he has been ignoring all his normal sick patients. He is exhausted and sad.

Think about what you can do to help others!

SSW is experienced and set up for remote working – not every business is. Technology can help people. Keep your eyes and ears open to businesses who have unproductive staff and let them know how you work and what software we use eg. Azure DevOps, Microsoft Teams, SugarLearning, etc.

Call any friends you know who have just started Work From Home. Test their mic and camera placement. On so many of my calls, I am discovering not many people are equipped well to WFH, nor know basic mic/camera placement tips. Help everyone you can.

Have fun too – E.g. I love the Wuhan Shake:

The numbers

Last Friday, I send you the free lunch email with:

Today the updated data is:

  • NSW: 171 (2 deaths)
  • Victoria: 71
  • Queensland: 68
  • Hangzhou: 170 total cases 167 recovered 

And sadly the Economic Pandemic is just getting started:

  • Australian dollar dropped to a 12-year low of 61.1 US cents.
  • Australian Stock market plunged 9 percent to record the heaviest loss since the 1987 crash

Adam Cogan

Coronavirus protocol at SSW – Help us avoid any spread of the coronavirus at SSW

Before SSW

  1. Working from home is preferred at this time.
  2. If you are using public transport please avoid coming to SSW.
  3. If you (or your partner) are sick, stay at home. Seek medical attention.
  4. Avoid Public transport – it is one of the worst places to be during an epidemic as diseases can spread easily on planes, buses, and trains. Again Work From Home #WFH.
  5. If you have been overseas, self-isolate for 14 days.
  6. The new Coronavirus remains on plastics and stainless steel (surviving for up to 72 hours). If you have to go public, try to avoid directly touching the metallic surfaces e.g. elevator buttons, bus handrails, etc. More info 
  7. Be a watchdog and say something when people ignoring the pandemic situation we are facing eg. “Want to go to the pub?” Say “No let’s be responsible and have a beer over skype tomorrow”
  8. If you have been in contact with someone with the virus please do not come to SSW. Email your SSW State Manager and Cc Adam


  1. If you must come to the office, please wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap + clean your phone. It is filthy.
  2. Wash your hands before eating.
  3. Dry your hands properly – it is just as important as washing them properly. Read Not Drying Hands Thoroughly After Washing Could Aid Bacterial Transfer
  4. Avoid touching your face
  5. No handshakes, hugging, etc. Go for the Wuhan Shake.
  6. Face mask where you can – In China they are required to wear a face mask in public and in the office – seems to help them.
  7. Turn off the central air-conditioning – again a Chinese recommendation
  8. If you use the toilet in the bathroom please only flush with the seat down.
  9. Please cough or sneeze only in your elbows, shirt or a tissue.
  10. Ensure that after a cough or sneeze clean and disinfect the desk surface.
  11. Please maintain a social distancing of 1.5 meters.

Thank you for your help and cooperation in this difficult time 😀

Hygiene Enhancements

I have already spoken to the Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane cleaners and they are all doing extra cleaning and disinfecting all knobs, etc.
I forgot to include the fingerprint scanner until it was pointed out to me 🙂

Figure: 8 Steps of washing your hands


COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is going to have big implications for all of us. For now please focus on the tips for hygiene + the social distancing rules. The next few months will be tough and scary. However, there will be good that comes of this too. Working from home will become more acceptable to our clients. This is going to be the largest work from home experiment the world has ever seen.

For March and April and likely beyond we are only going do SSW events online. Losing our in-person Superpowers training is painful. My daughter has just started university and as it now closed, her first 2 weeks already have been via online classes. SSW TV becomes even more important to us.

I think we have plenty of new data – a great A / B test if you will – and we will see what good the reduction of travel has done for our environment. I think we will lose some clients and gain others.

I know this is going to be a disruption to SSW and our customers. Stay strong and learn a lot!

Adam Cogan