Happy Birthday Tobeva Software
As I’m writing this the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide is above 1,600,000 while the number deaths is nearing 100,000. It’s believed that in the United States we are approaching the “peak”, perhaps within the next few days.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases Worldwide as of April 9, 2020.
It’s extremely difficult to guess how the next few months will play out. How long until people can leave their homes freely, return to work, walk in public without masks. Until there is a vaccine the threat of a flare up will be ever present, in the United States and around the world.
The economic recovery is arguably even harder to predict. The economic impact of COVID-19 has been compared to a major hurricane hitting every single one of the fifty states all at the same time, although I suspect in some ways this might even be understating things.
However there is an important difference between the havoc wreaked by COVID-19 and past disasters that we’ve endured. Unlike war, terrorism, fires, floods, earthquakes and hurricanes, this time the physical infrastructure of the country is essentially untouched. There’s no wreckage to remove, no husks of cars or twisted metal, no buildings to raze or erect, no power lines or communication infrastructure to repair.
This strangeness is starkly evident when I look out my window and see a beautiful spring day. It looks like not a blade of grass is out of place. Everything looks fine until I turn on the news or see my kids are home when should be at school. The country is in a rough spot, so what do we do now? First we should tally up our collective resources.
SpaceX's StartLink system might have as many as 42,000 satellites.
The state of our technological infrastructure, as flawed as it is, is the best it’s been during the 4.5 billion years this planet has existed. There are hundreds of millions of smart resourceful hardworking people in the world. These capable people are connected by an estimated 700,000 miles of fiber optic cable and trillions of lines of computer code. We, as a species, are in the process of launching tens of thousands of communication satellites into space which will provide internet connections where those cables don’t reach.
So what can I do, one lone little person? I’m starting a software company, just myself for now, that I’m calling Tobeva Software. The name is a combination our children’s names, Toby and Eva, since they were young we’d say things “did Tobeva have fun at the park?”
I want to use this company as a platform to share things I’ve learned, and to hoover up new information as effectively as I can so that I can share more things in the future. I want to be equipped and prepared so that I can work with others to solve problems, whether by giving advice or writing useful software.
When my children, our children, face the next big would-be pandemic I’m hoping we can shift into offline work and school in a matter of hours, I’m hoping we can synthesize a vaccine in a matter of days, and I’m hoping we can kick that virus in the teeth before it kills a single person. It will take years, perhaps decades, of hard work combined with a new breed of global cooperation to get there.