Measuring your Covid KPIs

A friend of mine has been noting several of her family’s key performance indicators (KPIs) during the Covid Times. Things like how many minutes her family collectively naps and exercises each day, or the number of days they have cooked dinner together (vs. getting takeout) or total episodes of Tiger King they have watched. At first I thought it was very cute and clever but now I think this idea is worth a closer look. After months under lockdown, we all need some solid data to measure how we are holding up under the strain. And you all know how much of a data nerd I am.

This week the NY Times published its own instructive “pandemic rules”. The piece included accounting for the number of close contacts, managing your exposure “budget” and keeping higher-risk activities as short as possible. All are worthy goals.

Here are a few more of the ones that I have discovered from my wife and I being under lockdown.

  1. Number of bottles of wines remaining before resupply. Early on in the Covid period, we didn’t venture out for anything. I wanted to order at my favorite wine shop and pickup at the curb. Their website was terrible and it took forever to find things that would have taken me about 15 minutes if I was shopping at the physical store. Thankfully we aren’t big drinkers but we will eventually have to restock.
  2. Rolls of toilet paper remaining on hand. No more needs to be said of this.
  3. Instacart fulfillment wait times. When we began in March, we already were big users of Instacart for grocery delivery. Orders which were usually filled within hours of completing the carts suddenly took days or even a week as newbies jumped on board this system. Thankfully they have gotten things back under control and now are back to a few hours to fill.
  4. Teenage eye rolls per day. Thankfully we are empty nesters, otherwise the first metric might have to be adjusted. But hearing from parents of teens who are sheltered together more has been interesting. Some teens are finding out what mom and dad actually “do” during the work day instructive, and perhaps are more sympathetic when sharing the communal “office.”
  5. Number of Zoom minutes consumed by non-work activities. As Zoom has become the de facto connective and social tissue of our lives, its use varies depending on our social needs.
  6. Steps. We have always tracked our daily step count, but finding places to walk where you aren’t dodging folks can be tricky.
  7. Proportion of non-masked people encountered. Across our region this varies by place, time of day and other factors. Hard to have any hard and fast rules here. But we both are using them as much as possible when we are out.

If you have suggestions on other metrics to determine progress, do share in the comments.

4 thoughts on “Measuring your Covid KPIs

  1. Speaking of keeping risky activities to a minimum, takeout food carries a risk. What is your social distancing from kitchen staff? I order fully cooked food (hold the lettuce please) and I shun places where the staff don’t wear masks. It is hard to know what the kitchen staff is doing. And maybe it makes sense to reduce number of places which you order takeout David, you have written about restaurants and I think that you have a special relationship with those in your area so you can advise on this matter better than most. Thanks — Rick

  2. Rick, thanks for your comment. Yes, certainly know the mask protocol before ordering. Most places will tell you what they are doing. We have great experiences with both large chains and local places and bad experiences too – it really depends on your own particular requirements. We try to eat outdoors given the weather, and sometimes that works — last week we were seated by ourselves on a patio and a large group camp by and sat down at the adjoining table. They weren’t quite six feet and I wasn’t comfortable but didn’t want to be a jerk so just finished eating and left.

    • The danger is from the aerosol we all exhale, possibly containing viruses if we are infected. On that patio you might be safe if you are upwind of someone who is infected. But then you are risking their health. And what if the breeze is changing back and forth?
      Most of us are not good at estimating risk, and I know I am bad at it. We face tough choices.

  3. It should be my wife and ME being under lockdown, not I, am I right? This is one of mine – I am reading more and paying much more attention to what I am reading. If I is in fact correct, please tell me why. Lol!

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