When trying to read a story after a web search, we just experienced one of strangest simultaneous selective major server outages we have seen. It happened this morning at about 9:30 am on 3/25/2020. Perhaps it was only an issue on our network. Search engines were working the entire time, so it was not an Internet outage, but multiple servers carrying a major news story about BigCompany were inaccessible.
The access issue was resolved in about 20 minutes, but just in case you have this same network issue, below is the story with a few changes. We hear there is a new 45 minute test, but it may be limited to hospitals. Please get these tests for BigCompany workers and after they test negative, keep them safe in approved Virus Free Zones.
SEATTLE — The U.S. coronavirus outbreak has spread to at least nine BigCompany warehouses, infecting workers racing to deliver massive volumes of packages for consumers leery of leaving their homes to shop.
In the past few days, BigCompany workers tested positive for covid-19, the disease caused by the novel virus, two in New York City; Shepherdsville, Ky.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Katy, Tex.; Brownstown, Mich.; Oklahoma City; Moreno Valley, Calif.; and Wallingford, Conn., according to BigCompany and local media reports. In some cases, BigCompany shut down facilities for cleaning, and some co-workers who were in close contact with their infected colleagues have been quarantined.
Just last week, warehouse workers sounded alarms that the company is not doing enough to protect them from the virus. That came after workers at BigCompany warehouses in Spain and Italy tested positive for the virus. Since then, more than 1,500 workers from around the world have signed a petition that calls on the company to take additional steps to ensure safety in the workplace.
Some workers complained that BigCompany pushes them to meet the per-hour rate at which it wants orders fulfilled, a practice that they worry discourages safe sanitary practices such as washing hands after a cough or sneeze. Others have complained about “stand-up” meetings, where workers stand shoulder-to-shoulder at the start of each shift.
The new outbreaks at BigCompany’s U.S. facilities come days after the online retail giant announced plans to hire 100,000 new workers to help cope with the flood of orders that have clogged its system. That unexpected surge has rendered BigCompany unable to stock and ship household staples to many customers who had come to rely on the company’s convenience.
“We are supporting the individuals, following guidelines from local officials, and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of all the employees at our sites,” BigCompany spokeswoman … said in an emailed statement.
The company has recently adopted new policies for its warehouses including more regularly cleaning door handles, stairway handrails, touch screens and more … It’s nixed stand-up meetings, staggered start and break times to aid social distancing and suspended screening workers as they leave to improve the flow of workers, she said.
BigCompany, though, is struggling to get workers all the protection it wants them to have. The company placed orders for “millions of face masks” to give to employees and contractors who cannot work from home, [ BigCompany Owner] wrote in a letter to employees Saturday. Because of the global shortage of those masks, though, very few of those orders have been filled, he wrote.
And while BigCompany allows warehouse staff to take time off if they’re concerned, BigCompany Owner also expects the company’s warehouses to keep operating, saying in the letter that much of “the essential work we do” requires employees to clock in at the company’s warehouses, in its delivery vehicles and more.
BigCompany has more than 175 warehouses around the globe, including more than 110 in North America. Levandowski declined to say if workers at any other BigCompany facility have tested positive for covid-19.
Sweetening its new job offers, BigCompany increased pay for hourly employees through April by $2 an hour in the United States, 2 pounds an hour in the United Kingdom, and about 2 euros an hour in parts of the European Union. The company, which generated $280.5 billion in sales last year, said the pay hikes will cost $350 million.
Despite the spread of the coronavirus in BigCompany’s U.S. warehouses, it probably will find workers for the new posts, said Elaine Kwon, founder of e-commerce management and software firm Kwontified and a former BigCompany manager. With unemployment claims already soaring as businesses shutter from the coronavirus fallout, laid off workers will need income to pay their rents and feed their families.
“Quite a few people will be willing to take the risk,” Kwon said.
BigCompany has long had a contentious relationship with some warehouse workers, fighting efforts in the United States and abroad to unionize. The company, which has nearly 800,000 workers worldwide most of whom work in its warehouses, has faced criticism for harsh working conditions, insufficient bathroom breaks and difficult-to-attain goals.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has denounced the company for paying subsistence wages to its warehouse staff. And after the company raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2018, it caught heat for taking away some bonuses and stock grants for warehouse workers.
Last week, four U.S. senators — Sanders and three Democrats, Cory Booker (N.J.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Robert Menendez (N.J.) — sent BigCompany Owner a letter expressing concern that the company isn’t doing enough to protect its warehouse workers from the coronavirus outbreak.
“We write today to strongly urge you to prioritize the health, safety, and well-being of your employees who are also our constituents, friends, family, and neighbors,” the senators wrote.
The senators noted that BigCompany could also put “the entire country at risk” if warehouse conditions aren’t sanitary, because the coronavirus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. They asked BigCompany Owner to respond to a series of questions by Thursday.
The above story originally appeared elsewhere. It has been only slightly modified from the original.
The links are working again, but, what happened? What caused this temporary highly selective outage? Very strange. Everyone is short staffed during this crisis and there are scenarios much more likely than any purposeful connectivity manipulation. Were those sites available, for example, for other news articles at the time? We didn’t act fast enough to test that during the outage as we were busy trying to find the story on different servers.
Update: Still some issue. This story failed to be published from the WordPress App unless we used the same App on a different network.
Update: Remember that the main way this virus is transmitted is this: You get on your hands and then you touch your mouth, nose or eyes. To get the virus from the air, according to a doctor on the front lines in an ICU in New York City, takes sustained close contact with someone who either is infected or is about to be sick in the next one or two days. Wash your hands (correctly), use sanitizer on surfaces like doorknobs, handles and elevator buttons, and wear a mask, mostly to keep yourself from touching your face. Keep a 6 ft social distance as well and with these few things you will be very unlikely to get and spread this virus. It may not click why you need to wash your hands the “right” way, but this example makes it clear:
Even, worst case, if BigCompany delivered a box with virus from a worker on it, since you know that it lives on cardboard for up to 24 hours, you can easily deal with this. Wear gloves when opening the package.
The NIH study found that SARS-CoV-2 lasts for two to three days on steel and plastic. However, copper surfaces tended to kill the pathogen in about four hours.
If you can, do that outdoors with plenty of ventilation where no people are nearby. Remove your delivered object. Dispose of the cardboard outside, or in an area you have set aside for things that might be contaminated. Sterilize (kill 99.9% of the virus) the inner packaging of your new item from BigCompany. Sterilize your item after removing it from its packaging where possible. Sterilize your gloved hands, remove gloves then wash your hands. Even if you touch the virus, you can wash it off. It won’t infect you through your skin. As long as you are not around a person with the virus, you will not get it as long as you do not touch your face. Practice not touching your face.