Walmart is the latest company in corporate America to be hit with coronavirus. The retail giant has launched an emergency leave program for employees after a worker in its Cynthiana, Ky. location was struck by the disease.
While both the public and private sectors are reportedly crafting proactive emergency plans in response to the coronavirus outbreak, this one hit Walmart without warning. The company reportedly outlined its emergency plan in an email to staff, saying that the attendance policy was nullified through April as per a “COVID-19 Emergency Leave Policy.” [Business Insider] According to the email,
“[A] Walmart associate at our store in Cynthiana, Kentucky, has tested positive for COVID-19.”
The employee, whose name was not revealed, is on the mend, as “her condition is improving,” according to the email. This individual and any other Walmart worker who gets infected with coronavirus is eligible for up to two week’s worth of pay, as per the coronavirus-related quarantine recommendations. The memo goes on to state,
“If they’re not able to return to work after that time, additional pay replacement may be provided for up to 26 weeks for both full-time and part-time hourly associates.”
The new policy seems to apply across the board at Walmart and its subsidiary Sam’s Club. Employees who take the company up on the new policy still need to update their direct report, according to Walmart CEO John Furner and Sam’s Club CEO Kathryn McLay in the memo.
Coronavirus Delivers One-Two Punch to Walmart
Of course, Walmart is joining a growing list of companies to be directly affected by the coronavirus epidemic, one that extends to Wall Street firms including BlackRock, Barclays, and Morgan Stanley. [Axios] Meanwhile, as if Walmart needs any more negative attention, it’s not the only Coronavirus-related incident tied to one of its locations in some way. After learning that he had been exposed to coronavirus, US Rep. Matt Gaetz self-quarantined himself, sleeping in a Walmart parking lot along the interstate on his way from Washington, D.C. to Florida. [Business Insider]
— John Schindler (@20committee) March 10, 2020
The Walmart stock price was trading lower by 2% at last check.
Blockchain Watches from the Sidelines
The coronavirus-fueled scramble in corporate America shines a spotlight on the alternative decentralized model that’s so popular in the internet-fueled blockchain space. It’s not like there’s a Bitcoin company in which core devs have to report to at 9 a.m. each morning. This nimble nature works in the cryptocurrency market’s favor. Many cryptocurrency projects are open-source and have developers working remotely from all over the world while contributing to GitHub, for instance.
Take Gitcoin. It’s a freelance-based platform that gives blockchain developers the opportunity to “find paid work in open source and beyond,” according to the project’s Twitter profile.
Ethereum boasts hundreds of thousands of developers based all over the world. Péter Szilágyi is a software developer at Ethereum based in Romania. Massachusetts-based Eric Kellstrand is director of blockchain engineering at ConsenSys, which builds dApps on Ethereum. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin hails from Russia and reportedly launched Ethereum from Canada, where he grew up. The list goes on and on. Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin is looking to bolster the Ethereum-dev community to 1 million. Try fitting them all under one roof.
Where the blockchain space is just as vulnerable as Walmart and the rest of corporate America is conferences. Paris Blockchain Week is already a no-go as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to an announcement. The cryptocurrency community expects that it’s only a matter of time before Consensus is similarly cancelled. Time will tell. In the interim, Messari co-founder Ryan Selkis predicts live events won’t resume until the middle of the third quarter, at least.