Category: Coronavirus Pandemic

The Newest Variant


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


A new variant of coronavirus is upon us. As is its wont, Omicron is more infectious and is spreading fast. While, in the past, the virus impacted only a handful of close friends and family, the recent spike has impacted quite many friends. A few of them are struggling, despite having been vaccinated. 

As I was researching the possible impact of the new variant, I couldn’t help but notice how difficult it was to find accurate, actionable information about Omicron and how to deal with it. Except for a handful of writers — Ed Yong of The Atlantic, for example –, one gets quickly sucked into a quagmire of hot takes and incremental information.

It leaves you even scratching your head, perhaps highlighting the problem we have in an Internet-centric information economy. Information is easy to produce, but intelligence remains in short supply. 

In the end, I ended up emailing a few friends — who are experts, doctors, or both, and they all pointed me to a handful of sources to make an informed decision. On their recommendations, I have been following Bob Wachter of UCSF on Twitter and Katelyn Jetelina (aka YourLocalEpidemologist) on Substack. They are pretty direct and clear in their communication about the virus and its reality.  

I was planning to travel for the holidays, but instead, I have gone into a self-imposed lockdown. Sure, I have been vaccinated and received the booster, but why take unnecessary risks. I hope you are doing your bit to (Read more...)

What’s so great about summer?


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


San Francisco undercover. Made with iPhone 12 Pro Max

What’s so great about summer? Quite a few things, but for me, it is Fogust: the foggy month of August that we get to enjoy in San Francisco. August is the perfect staycation month for me. 

First of all, I am extra cautious about the emergent strain of the virus — and see no reason to take any risks by traveling. Secondly, I’m not too fond of hot climes. While most of the northern hemisphere enjoys hot days and balmy nights, I much prefer my backyard—daytime highs of 65 degrees and nights that dip down to the low 50s. 

The fog is also a chance to exercise my camera. And spend a lot of time reading — long articles, books, and of course, research papers. I hope that with the arrival of the new month, I will find my writing rhythm. Over the past two weeks, I have probably scribbled more notes in my journal than on the old blog. 

Anyway, this being the weekend, I thought I would share some gems I found on the Internet to make you smile. 


An unusual week


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


It was an unusual week. Unusual in part because of how normal it felt, like the days before the pandemic. And yet, by the time the weekend rolled around, it was clearly anything but ordinary.

My schedule was packed to an extent it hasn’t been in quite a while. I had a couple of board meetings (still completely on Zoom). I did quite a few everyday pre-pandemic things, like getting a haircut and a straight razor shave. I even visited my local tailor, because I lost enough weight in the pandemic to get my pants taken in. I have had enough of living in easy pants at home. I want to wear grown-up trousers, proper leather shoes, and shirts with collars. 

I popped over to have lunch with Brad Stone of Bloomberg Businessweek and talk about his book, Amazon Unbound. I am halfway through the book, and I find it much more interesting than his previous effort, The Everything Store. I am finding it more revealing and informative, mostly because I lived (and covered) the world of Amazon in the early phase of the company’s history. As a civilian, I find the new book to be chock-a-block with new details, stories, and insights about a man who has surpassed success. I am sure I will eventually write a full review. 

We talked about billionaires in planes — sorry, in rockets — and how many people from far-off places recently pinged me about the “space economy” and space stocks. Nothing (Read more...)

Music for India, a concert for COVID Relief in India


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


Geeta Dayal, a well-respected art critic and music journalist, is helping organize a music concert, Music for India, on Saturday, June 5th. She announced the news about the concert on Twitter. All proceeds from the concert, which will stream online, will go towards COVID relief efforts in India. Headlining the event is legendary musician Terry Riley. Indian classical violinist Kala Ramnath and pedal steel guitar explorer Chuck Johnson are going to join Riley. Several other musical acts are likely to join the concert. I am going to watching this concert and doing my best to support the relief efforts.  You can follow Geeta on Twitter to get updates on the concert.

India’s Coronavirus Crisis


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


Over the last two days, I have been talking to old friends and family members, and no matter how you put it, the situation is grim. Except for my parents, the virus has impacted many extended family members. A couple of friends have lost family members. The stories I have heard, including shortage of resources and crematorium problems, bring tears to the eyes. 

Whether you read in the papers or hear over the social networks, this is an enormous tragedy. The scale of devastation is never going to be understood because the government is busy playing games with numbers. I mean, instead of being focused on solutions, you have powers that be spending energy on getting Twitter to take down tweets

I keep saying this again and again — lies cost lives

April 25, 2021, San Francisco.