Nick Schulaner’s keen situational awareness enabled him to make the right decisions and safely navigate the rapid, unanticipated closing of his university campus due to the coronavirus pandemic. In this exclusive interview, Schulaner deconstructs the frantic shut down of his campus, migration to online learning, and overlooked electronics that are crucial to surviving in a stay-at-home decree. RETURN OF FRIEND OF THE SHOW NICK SCHULANER. Mechanical engineering emerged as a field during the Industrial Revolution in Europe in the 18th century; however, its development can be traced back several thousands of years around the world. It is perhaps the most diverse of engineering disciplines. Stage left to university student Nick Schulaner who is pursuing degrees in mechanical engineering and marketing. His aptitude coupled to knack for connecting larger schemas positions him as someone that solves problems. SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. As described in the book School of Errors, situational awareness is critical to quickly identifying changes from normal, AKA the TORUS. Nick shared that he was aware of how the coronavirus was impacting regions of the country three days before it became a furious storm that shattered his campus. WHAT ONE THING DOES NICK RECOMMEND RIGHT NOW. As jobs and education have been shuffled to online platforms, the need for a robust Internet router to handle multiple devices and larger bandwidths makes the top of Nick’s list. He recommends buying a new router and to seriously consider models designated for “gaming” as they often have options that work well for kids in virtual classrooms or people watching videos. Expect to pay more, but you won’t regret it! If your router is 5 years old, it’s probably obsolete! VIRTUAL LEARNING HAS ARRIVED. Nick notes the capacity has existed for the better part of a decade and the pandemic forced the hand of K-16 education to evolve to virtual platforms. Nick notes the paradigm shift embraced, or rebuffed, by his professors. GREAT TIME TO BUY USED ELECTRONICS. Nick adds that the economic plummet has a silver lining for anyone wanting to upgrade their phone or computer. Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist have been flooded with modern electronics. It’s a buyer’s market and Nick is confident that most people will be able to find gently-used electronics at a fraction of the price of new. IS NOW A GOOD TIME TO MARKET MY GIG? If you’re the owner of a physical location deemed non-essential, then the answer is no. However, if you are able to sell your product or services online, then now is a great time to invest in Facebook and other ads as prices have fallen in the past month. Nick describes one of his clients realizing a more than double return on investment in recent weeks. HOW WILL ENGINEERING CHANGE OUR WORLD AFTER COVID2019? First, Nick believes some things will simply be abandoned, such as dorms or other population-dense buildings that won’t be possible to retro-fit with anti-virus or social distancing technologies. He adds that someone is probably working right now on a device that will descend from the rafters of a 20,000 seat arena and either distribute a mist or laser beams to sanitize the facility after each use. Things nobody imagined a month ago will be necessary if mass gatherings resume after the coronavirus event. BATTERIES TO GET A BOOST. In addition, Nick anticipates that batteries will be rapidly innovated and that we should expect mobile devices to stay “charged” for days on a single charge. Mobile devices sold next year might come standard with batteries that last twice as long as today’s batteries. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. This is episode 127 of The Safety Doc Podcast published on 4-4-2020.

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