Judging by the number of articles on the internet right now about how everyone is too dumb to survive the solar eclipse without going blind, I expect that by this afternoon, most of the population will need to visit an ophthalmologist. If only I had known about this back when I was choosing my career path, I could have gone to medical school and starting later today I could be filthy rich.
In addition to everyone becoming blind, apparently, we are going to go broke as well. Outplacement firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, estimated that the eclipse will cost businesses around $700 million in lost productivity. I'm sure they did this calculation for the press, which they've gotten in spades. I'm happy to help share the news.
And the cat thing? I was only partially joking. I've seen numerous warnings to keep your pets inside because they will go blind as well. Newsflash: You would have to take your pet and force the poor thing to stare at the sun. Animals aren't quite so stupid as we make them out to be.
Can we calm down a bit? Yes, people have taken today off work to travel to see the eclipse. Yes, if you live in an affected area, you'll probably want the whole office to go outside to see it. You won't be all that productive during the 2 minutes and 40 seconds that the eclipse is going on--that is, if you live in Carbondale, Illinois, where NASA says it will last the longest. If you're in Kansas City, Kansas, you'll get the totality for 20 seconds. Every other place that can see it will be between the two extremes. Granted, Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimated that it will take 20 minutes to gather your stuff and head outside and get back to work.
You know what your employees have spent more time on? Making or buying glasses or pinhole viewers out of cereal boxes. Think of all the benefits to companies that made legitimate glasses, not to mention the huge amount of profit made by companies that made fake glasses. They didn't even have to ask scientists to look at them! (Yes, if a company sold fake glasses and someone gets hurt, they should be sued out of existence, and the executives thrown in jail, but I doubt this will happen.)
If your employees want to go outside and see the eclipse, let them.If they want to stay in and work, let them as well. If people are taking a vacation day to go see the eclipse from a better spot, or because their child's school closed for the event, well that's a vacation day they won't take at another point during the year.
It's a tremendous opportunity that most of the world doesn't get. So, stop worrying about all the bad things and worry about how cool it will be. But do keep an eye on your cat--you don't want the Eclipse monsters to steal her.