Twenty years ago, we were celebrating; we had overcome the fearful Y2K or the “millennium bug.” Today, twenty years later, we are facing a real bug, Covid-19, a new Coronavirus. Just a strand of RNA, but can be fatal.
By closing their borders in January 2020, China bought the rest of the world some time. Not enough, probably, but enough of a window for public service officials in the rest of the world to prepare the town, the city or their country to respond. There are questions as to whether enough preparation has been done or that the Covid-19 threat was taken seriously, but we are in it now, facing the bug in real time in the United States.
Uh oh! Echoing my Twitter post: https://twitter.com/SuJunLim/status/1234331486125469697?s=19
Like many of my fellow tech transfer colleagues, I had been looking forward to the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) conference in San Diego, particular the Technology Marketing Course that I would be teaching together with my fellow course instructors. The team has devoted quite a bit time and great effort for the past year or so (while enjoying the process) assembling the course content, which we were so excited to deliver to the audience.
We were still holding on to the hope that the show will go on, for a long time, even setting up contingency plans with video streaming options. Finally, it is official; AUTM 2020 has been cancelled. I am disappointed but fully support AUTM’s decision. I believe that it is the right decision, given what we know–and not know–so far. However, the decision did come rather late, to be honest.
So, too paranoid or taking too much risk? As we navigate this evolving public health situation, it is so apparent that risk management skills are imperative.
This is a trying time. And trying times reveal a lot of things, really. I will have to quote Warren Buffett: “You never know who’s swimming naked until the tide goes out.” So, who is swimming naked?