Why Apple postponed its 3-day-a-week regime

Tim Cook knows when it’s time to give a little. And why not, when he’s got a good public health reason to do so?

From Mark Gurman’s “Apple Delays Office Return by At Least a Month as Covid Spikes” ($) posted on Bloomberg late Monday:

Apple Inc. is pushing back its return to office deadline by at least a month to October at the earliest, responding to a resurgence of Covid variants across many countries, people familiar with the matter said.

The iPhone maker becomes one of the first U.S. tech giants to delay plans for a return to normality as Covid-19 persists around the world and cases involving a highly transmissible variant increase. Apple will give its employees at least a month’s warning before mandating a return to offices, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing internal policy…

Apple’s decision comes as its own employees criticized the September deadline as too early.

My take: In the end, the crew — most of whom I assume are fully vaccinated — will return to the spaceship.

See also: Quitting, recruiting and other aftereffects of Apple’s work-at-work rules

16 Comments

  1. Jerry Doyle said:
    Many employees have viewed remote work as a coveted perk they do not desire to relinquish. Apple, though, views remote work as the desired outcome for which Apple approved the pandemic era policy: to protect employees during the pandemic period. The continuous spread of the Delta variant has pulled into question whether returning to Apple HQs at the targeted September date is prudent. All that Tim Cook has done is to extend the remote work policy by a month to ensure employees are protected by not returning too early. It is short-sighted for any employee desiring permanent extension of the remote work policy to believe erroneously that Apple will capitulate on its stance that employee in-house collaboration is germane to Apple’s continued success.

    1
    July 20, 2021
  2. Jerry Doyle said:
    “…. My take: In the end, the crew — most of whom I assume are fully vaccinated — will return to the spaceship.”

    CNBC News reported yesterday that 60 percent of the newly hospitalized with the Delta variant reported they had been fully vaccinated. I find this news jaw-dropping.

    0
    July 20, 2021
    • Bart Yee said:
      @Jerry Can you provide a link to that story? I searched CNBC and other sites and could not find anything which said that. What I did find was a July 12 story which said:

      https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/12/most-fully-vaccinated-people-who-get-covid-delta-infections-are-asymptomatic-who-says-.html

      “In the U.S., officials have said virtually all recent Covid hospitalizations and deaths were occurring among unvaccinated people.”

      This would directly contradict what you stated CNBC said. Fully vaccinated people can still get infected but will have much less symptoms if at all and significant protection against serious illness and death. Of course there will be and have been occasional breakthrough cases and deaths among fully vaccinated older adults for a variety of reasons.

      “Some studies have shown that those infected with Covid after vaccination produce much less virus than those who are unvaccinated, reducing the risk of passing the virus to others.”

      This is the specific action of vaccines giving herd immunity and reducing or slowing viral spread. Those who are unvaccinated will spread the Covid variant faster and more easily than before to like unvaccinated people while being at higher risk for serious illness and potential hospitalization compared to fully vaccinated people, per the CDC and WHO. IME, this isn’t surprising or unexpected and is abundantly predictable from past epidemic experiences and results.

      4
      July 20, 2021
      • Jerry Doyle said:
        @Bart Yee: Bart, it looks as if the reported news by CNBC may have come from the source below which since has been updated by the source. This may be why you (and I) could not pull it up on CNBC.

        Earlier, Sir Patrick Vallance told a news briefing that figure was for double-jabbed people. But he later corrected himself on Twitter, saying the original statistic was false. He posted: “Correcting a statistic I gave at the press conference today, 19 July. “About 60% of hospitalisations from COVID are not from double-vaccinated people, rather 60% of hospitalisations from COVID are currently from unvaccinated people.”

        Below is the source correcting the earlier report.

        https://www.vaccine.tv/covid-19-vallance-corrects-mistake-to-say-60-of-people-being-admitted-to-hospital-with-coronavirus-are-unvaccinated-sky-news/

        2
        July 20, 2021
      • Jerry Doyle said:
        Bart, I responded but the response is awaiting moderation, I guess because of the link. So, I emailed PED to intercede to get the response to you.

        PED:
        The response to Bart below is held up for moderation. I guess due to the link. Would you be so kind as to release the comment for me.

        Thanks

        0
        July 20, 2021
    • Daniel Epstein said:
      I believe the reporting on this has been corrected. The British official mis-tweeted the numbers so he meant to say 60% unvaccinated which in itself turned out be more like 85% unvaccinated. So the vaccine was working to keep people out of the hospital. The reverse of the original meaning. I have noticed an increase in commentators reversing or misstating things. Maybe nerves!

      3
      July 20, 2021
      • Jerry Doyle said:
        @Daniel Epstein: Correct, Daniel E. Hopefully, PED will release soon my response awaiting moderation that has the link for all to read.

        It is disconcerting for responsible officials to release in error such critical information. All these public releases are supposedly first written, then verified, discussed among the appropriate officials, approved for press release, and finally reported. How on earth could this high level official go before the press with such un-vetted data? Once that information is reported by the press then that information is heard in the wild. Once it is heard in the wild, it spreads like a wildfire. Then later after the erroneous news is spread, the public officials come behind and say “we erred!” It is crazy! And we wonder why so much bad information is among us.

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        July 20, 2021
        • Bart Yee said:
          Thanks for your comments and clarifications on the UK person’s miscommunication and misinformation, inadvertent or not.

          That is why I reserve my listening ears, reading eyes, and trust to scientists, physicians, epidemiologists, and public health teams who are working first hand with the actual patients, collate the test results, see the actual hospitalizations and must count those who walk out the front door and those who are wheeled out the back door. But I am biased having been in Healthcare my entire working adult life and still receive medical journals with data and case reports about Covid.

          Everyone else is hearing about it second hand and relies (sometimes no other way) on what is given to them.

          I will NEVER give any credence to anyone who denies this pandemic or infection, most if not all have NEVER walked the hospital halls, talked or even had the decency to comfort or even acknowledge the families who have lost family or friends, spoken to (but rather derided) all the healthcare workers who have struggled to contain, treat, and deal with the pandemic and it’s effects on people. I know what it’s like to see a loved one on a ventilator for weeks fighting for their lives with a disease that now is treatable and mostly preventable.

          Sorry for the rant but not sorry.

          2
          July 20, 2021
          • Jerry Doyle said:
            @Bart Yee: “…. Thanks for your comments and clarifications on the UK person’s miscommunication and misinformation, ‘inadvertent or not.’” (emphasis added)

            Bart, I do hope you are not inferring in your words “inadvertent or not” as my implying ulterior motives in reporting what I heard a CNBC news anchor report yesterday while listening on my AirPods while working out at the gym. I only regurgitated earlier on the blog what the news media reported. The news media regurgitated what the medical community reported.

            “…. Everyone else is hearing about it second hand and relies (sometimes no other way) on what is given to them.” “…. That is why I reserve my listening ears, reading eyes, and trust to scientists, physicians, epidemiologists, and public health teams who are working first hand with the actual patients, collate the test results, see the actual hospitalizations and must count those who walk out the front door and those who are wheeled out the back door.”

            The information reported Bart came directly from the top UK physician who in addition, is a scientist and clinical pharmacologist and who also serves as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the government of the UK: Sir Patrick Vallance.

            The medical community has not had an exemplary track record during Covid-19. Public skepticism beginning with WHO and continuing down to national, state & county public health officials is understandable.

            In summary brother Bart, I repeated what I heard the media report and the media reported what they heard the Chief Scientific and medical advisor to the government of the UK report.

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            July 20, 2021
            • Bart Yee said:
              @Jerry no offense intended to you regarding your reporting what you had heard broadcast. You were rightly surprised at the comment that was put out, I was too. I had not had a chance to review your link till now, seems Vallance stated the incorrect comment at his press conference with Boris Johnson (who Zoomed in while self-quarantined after a +case contact – he himself caused an uproar by initially choosing not to self-Quarantine). Then upon review or reflection or correction, Vallance Tweeted out the correction.

              I do not disagree with your view that leaders, health leaders, politicians have had a tortuous record of uneven comments during the pandemic. Vallance’s specific gaffe, inadvertent or not, was not caught immediately by him or his staff at the presser. Taking to Twitter instead of going right back onto live TV was a mistake also IMO. Apparently the anti-Vaxxers in the UK are having a field day with this and even the correction hasn’t cleared the confusion, vagueness, and distrust it has brought, even though it could have been an honest but brutally bad mistake/misspeak. But the British press and populace / social media seem to be holding Vallance to the fire and it’s creating problems for the UK government. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Vallance is asked to step down in due time if the uproar doesn’t subside, qualified or not as he is. His job as a public figure is to instill trust and he blew this one big time.

              On the subject of all the medical community having issues, including the WHO, yes, it happened. Early into the pandemic, things were moving rapidly, literally day to day. The contrasting approaches to sounding the alarm, being alarming, trying to keep calm, and downplaying almost to the point of denial we’re all playing out at the same time through various medical, public health, scientific, and political people and organizations. Each had/has various and sometimes opposing viewpoints on how, when, and why specific approaches to fighting or even reporting the pandemic should be done. There was certainly a cacophony of differing voices and reporting, each with an agenda of some sort. And specifically the WHO and medical community had to navigate public health measures on an unknown new virus & it’s evolving behavior against the issues of economy, politics (worldwide and especially the US), and the reality of an exploding pandemic.

              0
              July 21, 2021
              • Bart Yee said:
                I will just say this – the pandemic’s early months were filled with all kinds of hopeful and fearful responses from all quarters, many trying to understand, some trying to downplay, quite a few outright misleading, and some realizing this was going to be a major battle literally worldwide. The PPE/medical care debacle was illustrative of how ill-prepared many parts of the country / world was/still is, and how poorly many / most countries handled the first 6 months, then second 6 months, and now the third 6 months. It really isn’t surprising to me that we are still in the midst of an evolving / mutating viral pandemic, again, eminently predictable as befits fighting an enemy that can adapt and evolve. The 1918 pandemic took 2+ years to subside worldwide, 675K Americans died out of 17-50M estimated worldwide. 100 years later, even with all modern medicine has to offer, human behavior and poor decision making has lead to much suffering and deaths and heavy toll on healthcare systems and families worldwide. This particular Covid virus pandemic may last as long or longer due to the massive increase in population worldwide (7.67B vs 1.5B 100 years ago) providing still infectable hosts for infection, growth, mutation and further spread. Parts of the world have made progress and strides, other parts not so much, even at 1.7 yrs into the pandemic, assuming it actually stated Fall 2019.

                0
                July 21, 2021
  3. I’ve seen several interviews with ICU staff. Those with Covid-19 now in those intensive care units are all unvaccinated. Some vaccinated people getting tested for travel, work, etc. are testing positive, especially for Delta variant but show no symptoms. Major league baseball provides an important example. Quite a few players did not get vaccinated, afraid of trashing a million dollar career. Some played on, even went to the All Star game. Cases are popping up all over the league now.
    Back to school will be a bumpy ride, no doubt.

    1
    July 20, 2021
  4. Gregg Thurman said:
    We can all thank our leaders, past and present, that dismiss/ed CDC recommendations and pushed untested alternatives to vaccines. May they all rot in hell.

    6
    July 20, 2021
  5. David Baraff said:
    Us: “Genie, just this once, how about a miracle. A vaccine that stops COVID in its tracks.”

    Genie: “You sure that’s what you want? Anything else you need? You’ve got 2 more wishes you know, but they expire shortly…”

    Us: “Um, no. I don’t think so. I mean, what more could we possibly need to deal with COVID than a miraculous vaccine that’s available for everyone to take and protect themselves with?”

    Genie: “Really? Ok, if that’s all you need…”

    4
    July 20, 2021
  6. Bart Yee said:
    So last comment on the Corrected UK situation from my perspective and limited readings. 60% of hospitalized cases being unvaccinated is pretty bad. But it also suggest ~40% of hospitalized cases are from either partially vaccinated or fully vaccinated people which is not very good either. This may be due in part to the high use of the Oxford-Astra Zeneca (OAZ) vaccine developed in Britain and deployed there, Pfizer being 2nd most, Moderna and Jansen/J&J only rolling out recently. The OAZ vaccine is not as effective against Delta unless both shots are completed. This comment on a study of OAZ and Pfizer vaccines in England was troubling to me:

    “A report published in the journal Nature reflected the findings that a single shot of a two-dose vaccine such as Pfizer-BioNTech or AstraZeneca provided “barely” any protection.

    However, researchers also reported that people who had received two doses of a vaccine had significantly more protection against infection with the delta variant, with researchers estimating a level of 95 percent effectiveness.

    The study also found that the delta variant was less sensitive to “sera from naturally immunized individuals,” meaning people who had a prior infection may not be protected against reinfection with the delta variant.” So it is quite possible partial vaccination with some vaccines is clearly not sufficient protection. Very troubling since vaccination rate have fallen precipitously in many major countries and here in the US.

    Even more troubling is the much poorer Delta protection offered by the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines and the potentially suspect data regarding the Sputnik vaccines along with questionable transparency about actual cases and deaths. Such has been the world and it’s differing regimes and male driven egos.

    We literally are in the midst of the largest public health trial of viral pandemic mitigation techniques around the world and the very real results will be analyzed for years to come.

    1
    July 21, 2021

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