I don't think I've contributed to much more than one or two octave
threads. But with more people now forced to "work from home", maybe
octave is going to be more useful to more people?
I'm not sure what you mean with the rest of the email, but there may be something to what you say at the start.
I've already recommended to a neighbor home from school that Octave might work for him if he keeps having connection issues as classes start back up online.
A large number of people going to be doing work remotely. Matlab access might no longer be a given for those used to using it. Remote connections may be are oversaturated, unreliable, or unavailable. There may be a need for local, non-networked installation of a programming tool, and that could be Octave. People/companies may find themselves in a position where they want/need the calculation/simulation tool, but don't have the resources to justify a Matlab license. Last, there are a lot of people who may just be sitting at home, with more time than they are used to having. Some of these people may find a new hobby in contributing to open source software. I started with Octave 15 years ago because we only had standalone, often out of date licences of Matlab on certain computers, and I needed to work while mobile. Octave provided a constant computing and simulation environment that worked wherever I was as long as I had my laptop, and 7 times out of 10 I could even share code back and forth with my Matlab using colleagues. Maybe up to 8 or 9 out of 10 now :)
I don't know if FSF is making any concerted marketing efforts right now, but maybe there will be a few less negative outcomes from of this worldwide calamity.