Our lives are being changed by COVID-19 – permanently

I just read on OregonLive.com that gas stations will be permitted to temporarily go to self-service to reduce exposure of employees to coronavirus as they take payment and interact closely with customers.

I’ve often thought that handing a credit card across is one of the best ways to give or get a cold. Now that we have a turbocharged version of the cold, we’re all looking at all the ways we might be opening ourselves to risk. This is going to create some lasting changes as we do things differently to prevent contamination.

Other examples of processes that are under the microscope and how they may change in the future:

  • public transportation seating is very close together for extended periods – fewer people may travel on planes, or airplane ventilation and cleanliness may be managed differently
  • tightly packed lines at grocery stores, TSA security, athletic events, and more – we may see a different method for managing lines involving “Disney-esque” crowd control
  • public building and restroom door handles are needlessly high-touch – more of these may become automatic when you press a switch plate
  • public or workplace plumbing faucet handles – many of these are already touch-free, and many more will become so
  • point-of-sale systems that require the employee to handle customer’s credit card – more POS will be self-service
  • POS systems that require customers to touch the screen or buttons – more POS will allow touch-free (in their lingo, “contactless” payment like Samsung Pay, Google Pay, or Apple Pay
  • reusable shopping bags introduce more disease risk than expected – customers who are tired of wiping down their reusable bags are going to buy machine-washable cloth bags or some better alternative
  • using the customer’s own reusable drink cups pose a risk to restaurant workers – we may see that restaurants stop this practice forever, even for drive-ins
  • sick leave for workers who are in contact with customers regularly is inadequate to protect public health in extreme cases like coronavirus – more employers may go to a more flexible sick leave policy (or be forced to by law)
  • recycling is now so dangerous for the workers that stores in many states are not required to accept bottles and cans for refunds – in the future, there may be more stringent requirements about rinsing or protective equipment for workers

As the effect ripples through our nation and even our world, we can only be sure of one thing – that we will encounter more surprises and challenges in the future.

What we’re going through is going to change how we work, shop, play, celebrate, and care for ourselves and others.

LastPass and my chromebook

I’m settling into my new Asus Chromebook C433T, which is a wonderful, fast, slim machine that seems to do so much of what I want out of a laptop.

This one has an Intel CORE m3 8th Gen processor and 60 GB of storage, and is running Chrome OS Version 80.0.3987.158.

I’ve been using LastPass to manage my passwords for years now and it works great on Windows PCs as a Chrome extension and on Android phones as an app. It fills usernames and passwords like a champ.

However, Chromebooks are neither a PC or an Android phone, but can use a little of both. I’ve recently learned that the best way to use a Chromebook is with Chrome extensions or apps, and not Android apps. Some of the newer Chromebooks can also use Android apps, but I find they open in a small, phone-shaped window and that’s a bit awkward to manage.

If you also have a Chromebook that can have Android apps, you may have noticed that when you are looking at your launcher and searching for a specific app, sometimes you see two of the same app but with slightly different icons. What’s happening there is your have both the Chrome WebStore and the Google Play Store apps.

Chromebook launcher with Evernote search.

Chromebook launcher with Evernote search.

Currently, the Chrome browser extension (from the WebStore) is still auto-filling with no problems.

However, LastPass isn’t auto-filling passwords between the Android LastPass app and other Android apps on my Chromebook.

Chrome LastPass extension

The Chrome browser on my Chromebook shows LastPass is ready to auto-fill my password for the Pocket website.

To log into the Spotify Android app, I must open the LastPass Android app, put in my PIN, search for Spotify and then copy and paste the password back into Spotify.

I think this is the main reason why Chromebook mavens are recommending to use the WebStore apps whenever possible. The user interface is not pleasant on Android apps when you’re trying to display them on a 14″ screen.

If you want to learn more about managing both types of apps, Google has a good answer on this topic. There was a bit of useful discussion on the LastPass Reddit as well. The website GSA Education provided a helpful comparison of Chrome OS apps, Chrome browser extensions, and Android apps, all of which are available for Chromebooks.