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There were some silver linings handed to us
with the pandemic that we're currently dealing with, because two things happened.
One, we know that our mitigation strategy to prevent the spread of
the virus was to lock down large numbers, large portions of society.
In an instant, millions of people had to go from commuting to an office to working from home.
It's been described as the largest experiment
(global experiment) in remote working that the globe has ever seen.
What the experiment taught us was that there were large segments of the workforce
that could continue working from anywhere, because we have the technology to do so.
Of course, it wasn't an ideal situation, and in many cases it still isn't ideal,
because people have to work in environments where they have a lot of distraction,
from the point of view that they have their children with them,
their spouses, and other circumstances around remote working,
which is happening because of the confinement that lockdowns have enforced.
The silver lining is that leadership teams and governments have seen that, in fact,
you can have millions of people working remotely.
It doesn't necessarily have to be from an office.
For remote work to be effective and for it to be efficient,
it requires more than just forcing people into a lockdown situation.
Yet, we have seen that it is 100 percent possible for millions of people to work from anywhere.
The next thing that happened was data that came to us from satellite imagery, that
was tracking nitrogen dioxide concentrations across the world.
The satellite imagery available showed that where there were lockdowns,
there was a marked reduction in nitrogen dioxide concentrations.
Many people commented about the improvement of air quality, in the cities especially.
Have a look at some of this imagery, just to give you an idea of what was
spotted as a result of the lockdowns and people being forced to work from home, and
commutes ending, and highways freeing up from vehicles that were traveling.
For example, have a look at imagery that was taken in March of 2019 over
the Paris and Northern Europe area, and during the lockdown period of 14th to 25th March in that area,
you'll notice you can visibly see the reductions happening there.