This is not what we had in mind when we discussed viral marketing! Let’s talk about the coronavirus…
Few will have missed the fact that the world is currently preoccupied with the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that originated in Wuhan, China late last year. The Chinese authorities are investigating the coronavirus together with the World Health Organization, and measures have been taken by governments worldwide to prevent and reduce the spread of the virus.
Patients infected with the novel coronavirus have a fever (38°C or higher), as well as respiratory symptoms such as a cough and shortness of breath. This virus poses a much greater threat to our vulnerable populations like the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions. COVID-19 is transmitted from human to human, and the sicker a person becomes the more likely they are to spread the virus.
Luckily, none of our staff have been infected by COVID-19 so far. Even so, flu season is a thing even without the ongoing pandemic, and both our in-house designers are currently recovering from harsh flu. This has delayed the design process of the new V, but we’ll get back to that as soon as we can!
Some of our people already worked remotely from home at all times, including the community team and others. For the health and safety of our team and and the other companies that share our office space, now most of our staff does. Luckily thanks to modern technology many tasks can still be completed despite this separation.
One area that does affect us are the travel restrictions that are in place in Finland and across the world. Being unable to meet and work closely with some of our partners makes it harder to oversee product development.
Partners in China
Though our manufacturing partner for Spectrum is based in Suzhou, quite near Wuhan where the virus originated, as far as we know none of the people we work with are personally affected by the disease. Even so, there are indirect consequences from the measures taken to limit the spread of the virus. Being one of the first countries affected by the outbreak, many Chinese citizens were restricted to their homes which delayed or prevented their return to work after the Chinese new year. This made communication with our partners hard, as offices were shut down or understaffed, and engineers weren’t yet back on site.
Factories and offices are gradually resuming their operations, though engineering- and manufacturing capacity are still scarce. Manufacturers are dropping non-essential products from their roadmaps and are dedicating what resources are available to the completion of key projects.
Of course our preference would be to complete development earlier rather than later, but our schedule for the development of Spectrum and the new V leave enough room for delays that at this time we are not running into problems with our timelines.
Where we did run into issues was the shipping of our existing products. With no staff working logistics and fewer ships and planes available, shipping has been a challenge. After a period of no deliveries, our shipping capacity has been steadily increasing and we are back to normal levels.
What you can do
To protect yourself and the people around you it is recommended that you regularly wash your hands with soap for at least twenty seconds. Use paper tissues when coughing or sneezing and toss them away immediately after use, or use the inside of your elbow. Other recommendations include foregoing handshakes, keeping distance from other people and avoiding social contact that is not strictly necessary. If you show symptoms of the common cold or flu stay at home, and if you feel you may be infected, call your doctor for advice.
We think it is important to stay informed, and wanted to provide a background to the rest of this announcement. That said, we are a technology company, not health professionals. We recommend following advice from medical experts, and staying up-to-date through official sources including the World Health Organization for information about the disease and your local government for information about measures that apply in your area.
What we can do
We will have discussions about the new V’s specs soon, and as soon as our design team has recovered we’ll have much more in-depth designs to show. We can’t wait to hear your feedback! As soon as travel to China is an option once more, we will be able to meet up with our engineering team and provide new information about the electrical design and prototyping.
We wish everyone affected by the coronavirus a swift recovery to good health. Luckily, the virus does not interfere with participating in crowd-development, so feel free to use your time in quarantine to share your thoughts on Spectrum and the new V!