Happy July 4th: Why think about life after the COVID Pandemic?

 American Flag and Sparkler
Tomorrow is July 4th, 2020 the American Independence day.  It is a day celebrating hope and freedom for all people.Traditional firework displays have been cancelled in regions where there is an upsurge of COVID cases. However, there are some options to watch fireworks  and here is a nice list of virtual fire work displays.

Here is our July 4th post from 2008, in the midst of the great recession.It’s really important to start thinking about life after the global coronavirus (COVID) pandemic…. because like the great recession, we will overcome this.  Here is why we should all be hopeful this 4th of July:

  1. We adapt better after each catastrophic event: Call it the ability of the human species to survive and treat every dire necessity as the mother of invention! We tend to develop institutions and mechanisms after every catastrophic event. Thus, the United Nations after World War, Homeland Security after 911, quicker financial support actions after the great recession of 2008. It is the experience of 2008 that prompted the US Government to support people  much bigger and quicker in 2020 than 2008. In the case of the coronavirus, although cases are rising  the death rate is declining  according to the CDC.
  2.  Rejoice -the death rate declining: As noted in an earlier post, the virus needs a host. If the host is too sick and can’t meet (infect ) anyone and the virus can’t survive. This is the reason public health authorities were locking down and that was killing off the virus which had literally – nowhere to go.  The other factor is that the medical folks have developed a great deal of expertise with the ailment and these include many treatment options that were unknown at the early stage of the pandemic. Older folks and people with pre-existing conditions are at greater risk of death so everyone needs to be particularly careful with this vulnerable segment.
  3. Face Masks, Hand washing, Social Distance and Outdoors help-a lot: Social Distance and outdoors help put some distance for the virus to travel and that reduces the chance of infection.Face masks prevent spread of the virus from an asymptomatic patient.It appears that 40-50% of the spread is from asymptomatic patients. Wearing a mask if you have no symptoms but are carrying the virus (i.e. asymptomatic) stops the spread.It turns out that  face masks also protect the wearer.
  4. Coexisting with COVID -assume that the Coronavirus is endemic: The idea of a disease being endemic is that is there and you have to learn to live with it. For example, if you visit parts of Africa and Asia that have endemic malaria, its good to take malaria tablets ahead of your visit and try and cover yourself with mosquito repellant and avoid mosquito bites. Similarly if the Coronavirus is going to be around and vaccines will take time it’s best to think of face masks, hand washing  and social distance as the equivalent of the mosquito repellant. Doing so, will enable us to  co-exist with the virus.
  5. The next pandemic will have much better global response:  Epidemiologists are convinced that there are many more different pandemics that will emerge due to the thousands of viruses that might jump from animals to humans and start spreading. We can be sure that that the global response will be far more robust. The global pressure on all countries where such pandemics originate is now such that, in the future you can be sure that such viruses will not leave the town where the virus originates.

In the meanwhile, here is a simple way to prepare for a post pandemic world in 2021 once vaccines are widely available:

Learn a digital skill relevant to your industry or functional expertise. For the coronavirus has truly unleashed the power of digitization in every aspect of life. Grocery stores and restaurants are taking online/phone orders and online/phone payments. This online/phone combination can be seen in banks, education, healthcare, manufacturing, movies, retail,  sport, public safety, entertainment  and everything else. There is a huge opportunity to perfect the digital channel in 2020 while folks are still in lockdown. Consumer behavior will change forever and if there is anything positive from the pandemic – it is the acceleration of digital. It will grow all markets because the combination of physical/virtual will open up global markets like never before.

We wish our readers a very happy 4th of July!

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