Admittedly, I have been avoiding the topic of Covid-19 because I didn’t want to give the impression I was trying to benefit out of a global pandemic, but recently I have come to the conclusion that by not providing information I may have done a disservice to my clients and followers. So, I will begin to write more articles involving this pandemic and my own lessons learned from assisting in managing this situation in critical infrastructure.
One thing we have learned throughout the pandemic is that new strains of infectious diseases are unpredictable from their potency, mitigation strategies, and treatments. However, its spread is now something we have a good grasp on. Globalism and the availability of relatively fast global transportation played a major part in its spread. Travelers returning early during the progression of the disease may have contributed to its early spread prior to being caught by health officials and organizations like The Center of Disease Control.
Flattening the Curve
Many countries around the world have reported a drop in confirmed cases of the disease which may invoke cautious optimism. Media took hold of the term "Flattening the Curve" very early on and in case you didn't know, it means reducing the new confirmed cases of Covid-19 to a "flat" level. For example within the next 7 days we continue to have only 3,000 new cases everyday with only a slight variance. Eventually after flattening the curve the number of confirmed cases per day will begin to drop.
The cautious part of this is that several environmental and policy factors may reduce case count including warmer weather, reduced global travel, stay at home orders, hospital vacancy etc.
Ending the Lockdowns
Some countries and certain US states are beginning to loosen the restrictions on their lockdowns improving the economy. This has been met with various opinions from governments, the private sector, and citizens with some for and others against removing the barriers to return to work.
Weathering the Potential Second Wave
No one can confirm that there will be a second wave, but if we look at similar pandemics through history the second wave of disease such as The Spanish Flu were more deadly than the previous year. With modern technologies and medicines, we will hopefully be able to prevent or blunt another wave of the disease by taking proactive steps before Fall of 2020.
What You Can Do Now
If you haven't already done so create a Crisis Management Team (CMT) that monitors the progression of the pandemic. This team should be responsible for advising upper management of options and news related related to Covid-19, the CMT should also be a single point of communications to staff.
As part of your business's Covid-19 response create and After Action Report. This report should include information from the start of the pandemic and how your company responded. Ideally information should have been collected from the beginning of the pandemic and continuing on until substantial progress has been made fighting off the spread of the disease.
Finally, make preparations for the next wave. The weather is getting warmer and the confirmed case number has began to decline, now is the time to get your plan together for next flu season. Use your After Action Report and a lessons learned meeting to develop your company's strategy for next season. If you are missing the resources in-house consider hiring consultant on contract who specializes in Crisis Management and ideally someone who was involved in planning for Covid-19, SARS, or MERS. They can be a great asset for your Crisis Management Team and your business.
Let's all hope for a speedy recovery for the economy and for the safety of current and returning workers and students.