Mr. Covid at Workplace

- Shantanu Sen -

Whichever way you look at it, the one-to-many relation between a building and people is clear. A building is a porous 3D object made of steel, glass, and chrome. The porosity leads to a high surface-to-volume ratio. Mr. Covid, as we all know, loves surfaces; the more, the merrier it is for him.

To defeat him, we need to fiercely protect our personal surfaces inside the office. Even the most cramped office would allow you some space that is solely yours. You need to protect that, fiercely, like a tiger. Anyone approaching you with open arms should be treated as an assassin bearing the most lethal arms. Nothing less. Anything less would be of no medical significance.

Yet the fiercely territorial approach expounded above would be of little use. Because there are also shared surfaces like door handles and knobs, central desks of meeting rooms, tables and cutleries of dining halls, coffee machine switches, receivers and dial pads of desk phones, etc. Mr. Covid and his army would capture those unchallenged, and unseen too!

We humans do not give up easily when it comes to a face-off between mankind and animal kind. We had all but annihilated the latter long ago. Didn’t we? To reestablish the suzerainty of the former over the latter, our researchers are leaving no stone unturned. Thanks to the highly collaborative nature of modern research, we already know that high temperature and high humidity make COVID-19 quite uncomfortable, to the point that its hyperactivity slows down considerably.
To defeat him, we need to fiercely protect our personal surfaces inside the office.

Let’s have heated office spaces decorated with buckets of water. Let’s even glamorize it by calling it "workplace sauna" instead of more derisive "cesspool of sweat." Call it by whatever name you may, you will sweat nevertheless; like a pig. While sweating as such may be right for health, due to a bug in our physiological system, thinking does not go well with sweating. Also, there is a bug in our financial system too. Thinkers get paid much more than sweaters.

Despair not, my friends. Here emerges a ray hope of hope from unexpected quarters. Pure ethanol kills COVID-19 within a minute. A water gun, when filled with absolute alcohol, is a deadly weapon against COVID spores on any surface. An office worker, equipped with such a weapon, has to follow some necessary steps to stay safe at the workplace:

Guard your territory. Attack any intruder with maximum force.

Don’t enter a shared space without a gun in your holster.

While in a shared space, approach any potentially dangerous object like a door handle, a switch, a knob, etc. with extreme caution and alertness.

Fire your gun whenever you feel threatened by the objects mentioned above.

Follow the motto: Better to be wet and protected than to be dry and infected.

Finally, may I be allowed to plagiarize the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the USA to save lives? The law, as mentioned earlier, reads: "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Workplace rulebooks need a similar amendment, which may read something like this: "An alcohol-tolerant work culture, being necessary to the maintenance of COVID-free workplaces, the right of the employees to keep and bear ethanol guns, shall not be infringed."