Coronavirus Evacuation Airbnb
Three friends and I got an Airbnb in a rural area to get away from Coronavirus for a week. The place was a day's drive away from SF, up in Crescent City at the Oregon border.
- Take advantage of us all being WFH to have fun and explore a new area.
- Have someone around us rather than spending the time alone at home.
- Cover some tail risk of civil unrest, where being in a dense city with low social bonds is worse than being in a static, rural area. This was only a minor goal initially, but as fear increased it became more important.
With the right mix of people it can a great opportunity to try structured social interactions. Normal, unstructured interaction is also a lot more fun since there's not much else to do.
- Group circle
- Moderated double crux (like a debate but better)
- Group replication of the Fadiman increased-creativity-on-psychedelics study
- Run through "36 questions that lead to love" together
- Hamming Questions / diagnosing bottlenecks
- Group debugging (share a hard problem in your life, group spends 30 minutes brainstorming solutions)
- Bridgewater / Ray Dalio style radically honest feedback on topics of each person's choosing
- Spiritual history interviews, inspired by the Mormon Stories podcast. Go over the subject's personal life history of spirituality, mysticism, wonder, numinosity, and how it changed over time.
- Story evaluation - everyone tells a story and then receives feedback on delivery, interest and meaning
- Make up a personal mythological system as justification for our actions - bets/promises you've made to various concepts and what each one has given you. i.e. your dedication to the god/concept of truth, and what you will insist it has given to you if you are faithful in pursuing it.
- Setting up sociofinancial commitment bets - I promise to do X by date Y or else I lose Z money, with Q evaluation procedures.
- One guy got some sypmtoms resembling coronavirus (minor fever and body aches) for 36 hours, which really scared us. He self-quarantined in his room and soon recovered; nobody else was infected (despite close contact including a 7 hour drive in the same car). This resulted in lots of debate and fear; luckily it was nothing.
- Seeing how people deal with truly difficult situations and conflicts lets you know them much better and more deeply than you would in normal life. Friendships can go on for years, stuck in a possibly not optimal state, and this provides a situation to precipitate a change.
- Having access to other people's cooking skills.
- You really get to know people well when you hang around them for 12 hours a day.
- Story value - you now have a good answer to "what did you do during the coronavirus outbreak?" This may end up being our "JFK moment".
Things we forgot
Considering that evacuation is not just a conventional trip, and that you're going there to live and work from home, you may want to do the trick where you pack and sit in the car, ready to go, but then come back inside for 30 minutes and wait to remember additional things you need. I did this accidentally (needed to charge my phone) which gave me time to remember a few vitals.
- Pepper - people have genuinely different priorities in life from what others assume. It's important to find out what people really need to be happy beforehand and make sure it's provided.
- Can opener
- None of us own one, but we probably should have brought thermometers.
- It's important to agree to the quarantine policy beforehand and get buy-in from everyone. There will be variations but at least getting them down on paper is important. You should also establish a plan for what would break up the house if someone gets sick.
- Fear of CV is a very strong rhetorical argument, which causes resentment when the most concerned person tries to regulate others behavior. You need to establish an upper bound of safety procedures.
- Having a group dinner together every day is fun.
- I had a policy of not drinking during times when decisions don't really matter, and feel glad about it
- It's easy to continuously eat - adopting an absolute "no snacking" rule is good, too.
- The average AirBnb does not have a good desk or chair setup at all. For working 8 hours a day, this is much more important than I'd realized. It's hard to evaluate the desk situation through pictures. Even though most of us had brought our keyboard, mouse, monitors, lack of good setup space still hurt.
- Related: Although it's interesting to be away from home, one's home/apartment has so many advantages since it's already optimized for your personal lifestyle. It's hard to replace it for a significant period of time. For longer evacuations, this seems resolvable, if ordering things from Amazon is still possible.
- Evacuation is similar to being an expat - you are isolated from normal society, so you have much more energy and time to devote to relationship building. This matches my experience living overseas - that it's actually more social than normal working suburban life, at least with people sharing a common language.
- It's commonplace, but getting out of the house and going on a hike is extremely beneficial. Physically exercise directly feeds back into good mood. Also, being in a beautiful place gives a sense of timelessness. The redwoods have seen much worse infections than this. You begin to think about the tragedy and terror suffered by the native americans when European disease began spreading into their tribes from the east, hundreds of years before actual contact occurred.
- You can get a pretty good workout (or at least trigger the muscle building / soreness reflex) with a single 35lb kettlebell