Week 48 – The Damn Blog
Hope everyone is doing well and is safe and healthy. I would like to first wish my friends who practice Judaism Happy Hanukkah or Chag Sameach. As I was thinking about a topic for this week’s blog, I could not help but think about my wife Tina saying to me every week “that damn blog is a pain” and “you just don’t have the time for it.” She is spot on
with her assessment as she always is since she knows me better than anyone. She also knows that while it can be a pain, this blog allows me to provide you information about what is going on with the company from a business perspective, what cool technology and/or programs we are working on and what my personal thoughts are about a specific topic. I am so appreciative of your support. Many of you have been so kind to let me know that you enjoy reading the blog each week. This “damn blog” is for you.
We are nearing the end of 2020, a year that has been challenging in so many ways for so many people. We are closer to getting a highly-effective vaccine against COVID-19 that will hopefully bring us back some sense of normalcy toward the middle of next year. COVID is not going anywhere for a little while. We need to come to grips with this. It has begun to approach my immediate circle. My mom who is in a nursing home battling Alzheimer’s was just diagnosed this week with COVID-19. It started with 4 people testing positive in her unit, then up to 10 and then she was added along with others to the list. She is fortunately doing well at this point so we are saying some prayers. A good friend and collaborator who is a surgeon that I’ve worked with for over 30 years that has been as careful as can be (constant mask wearing, social distancing, etc.) just tested positive this week as well. Unfortunately, he has to commute into Boston using public transportation, which was likely the cause of his infection.
Sadly, there are still people who don’t get it by either not wearing a mask or wearing a mask half-way down their face which puts everyone at risk. My daughter’s hospital, similar to many hospitals across the US, are seeing a rise in COVID-19 admissions. Again, some people still do not believe this is real. My feeling is that they can take her place in the ICU so she can be safe and they can deal with the sickness and death from this virus. If our leadership does not lead by example, there are people who follow their lead like a sheep does with a shepherd. Even if you look to protect yourself, you may not be able to do so with these folks wandering around. Their attitude is that it won’t kill you. COVID-19 kills about 5% of people it infects. Take 100 of your closest family and friends and pick the 5 that you want to die. This is not being dramatic. This is a fact. It doesn’t need to be this way. This could be better controlled simply by everyone wearing a mask and caring about each other.
We are continuing to make progress on the business front. We are close to finalizing some potentially exciting opportunities. For those of you are older like me, you will remember the old Heinz ketchup commercials where they showed the ketchup slowly coming out of the bottle and Carly Simon singing “Anticipation.” This is what it feels like. You can see the progress being made but it’s not fast enough for me to provide you even a sneak peak prior to a more formal release. I can tell you that if these come to fruition, it will significantly change the trajectory of the company. To potentially accommodate the potential new business, we have been discussing what changes will need to be made at the company like growing our space footprint, increasing the size of our team and implementing new technology to make each group communicate better as business grows. We have to plan for potential changes, even if they don’t materialize, because if they do and we are not prepared, we will be far behind in terms of executing our plan. Growth could come on multiple fronts, from expanding our research programs through adding manufacturing for our cell culture insert plates.
Please keep supporting your local businesses as they continue to work through these challenging times. Many other businesses are nowhere near out of the woods yet and won’t be for a long time. As we head to winter in Massachusetts and the cases are significantly going up, more businesses are going to rely on curbside take-out. If you can, grab some take-out. Don’t forget to take care of the employees too. Please also consider donating to your local food pantry or to other nonprofit groups that are helping people who need it. Every little bit helps and does make a difference!
Next week will be the last blog for 2020 as we will run into Christmas and New Year’s Day. If you have any suggestions for the topic for next week’s blog (anything you would like to know about the company or a science question), I would be glad to hear your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will give you full credit for the topic.