Yet ANOTHER article, post or blog about the Corona virus or COVID-19 as it is called now.
But this one's different.
1. What's going to happen:
Human Beings are very similar. Our color, ethnic backgrounds, education, weight height may all be very diverse- but People are similar.
What we witnessed in China, we then saw in Hong Kong.
The rush to buy groceries and strangely Toilet Paper.
We then saw this same thing happening here in Singapore. People clearing toilet paper from supermarkets in a mad rush. Everyone made fun of Singaporeans. Then it happened in Australia, then Germany, Canada and so on.
People will panic.
People will fall sick. Things will be challenging. Then things will get better and people will overcome.
Through out history we see this. It takes a critical event to make a huge step change.
This will be and is the same.
It's a new virus. It's contagious. It gets people really sick. Unfortunately there will be people that will suffer or die. And that is really bad.
There will be companies that collapse and close, causing economic issues to employees and people who depend on these companies to earn a living.
2. How everyone will behave:
People will be worried about the Coronavirus. They will be anguish.
They will panic at any news about the Coronavirus.
Any lock downs.
Any travel restrictions.
People are glued to the internet searching for Coronavirus
Initially they will be searching for hand sanitisers and face masks
Then they will be searching for information.
First, because this Corona Virus, COVID-19, is a new virus and not much is known.
We saw videos about people falling in China. We see people dying in Italy.
The unknown is scary.
Corona Virus seems pretty bad.
Second, we are constantly bombarded with media- social or otherwise.
We have keyboard experts on Corona Virus. People who have never even been vacinated are now pretending to be experts.
Social media creates an issue- there is too much information that may or may not be true.
"It doesnt seem to be as deadly as SARS" or "its airborne" or "its not airborne" etc
There was a panic rush at the supermarkets in Singapore because Singapore Government raised the DORSCON level to DORSCON ORANGE- and people panicked because they didnt know and well "monkey see monkey do" .
No person wants to be left out. No person wants their family to suffer when there are no groceries on the shelves.
With social media (and messaging) it has made it alot easier to pass on information. And people in general dont really check or verify information before passing it.
Best place to get information. Your Government. In Singapore would be the Ministry of Health. (Heck even the Ministry of Manpower and other Ministries will have information leading back to the Ministry of Health). In the USA it may be CDC. In Malaysia the Ministry of Health and so on.
There is also the World Health Organization which would be one of the best places to get information on Corono Virus or Covid-19
3. What this means for employees:
The gig economy workforce may be one of the hardest hit. If they dont work, they have no income. This includes the Taxi Drivers, the Grab Drivers, Grab or Uber, The food delivery riders, Grab Delivery, Panda Delivery or others, or contract staff.
With governments encouraging stay home or social distancing- these people may be the hardest hit.
Employees in general may also be hit. They may be worried whats happening. They may see their company production levels drop or sales drop. People arent dumb- they know.
4. What this means for business:
Some companies will fall and fail. Some may be affected but survive. Some may even excel.
Think about the cleaning companies or those selling masks and sanitisers. They probably are doing well but are they getting raw materials. Do they have people working etc.
Are companies (bosses and employees) busy reading up on Corono Virus and talking or are they making plans to get around the issues?
Years ago - we separated our teams. Outsource certain functions not just locally but internationally. At the same time we invested in building automated systems and being less dependent on human interactions. Companies that start thinking that way will probably survive.
Bosses should always ask
"Are we in control of our business or is the environment in control of our business"
If you are at the mercy of the environment- then there is a real need to change it up.
5. Can the Corona Virus be an opportunity?
But before you start thinking of selling hand sanitizers and masks- STOP.
We are NOT talking about oppurtunity by fear mongering or creating fear or profiting on the fears of people. Thats WRONG.
All businesses and employees should be looking at how to tune their operations. How they can in the future not be at the mercy of the next virus, the next typhoon, the next power outage, the next strike.
Think about how you can start to be different and not at the mercy of the environment.
How you can be ahead of the market when things recover.
How you or your company can be the shiny beacon in the times of darkness.
Now is not the time to sell your products or market your services.
Now is the time to help people overcome this Corona Virus in the way that you can.
If you are a copywriter- can you write articles to educate people on the Corona Virus (using the correct information)
If you are in delivery- can you help older folks get their groceries
You get the idea.
Shine the dark times, people remember you in the good times.
Of course some other things that you can and should do- and this is what we (and I) are doing
1. Avoiding large crowds
2. Washing my hands
3. Maintaining good hygiene habits
4. See a doctor (the same doctor, no hopping) when sick. Wear a mask when seeing a doctor, and be truthful
5. Reminding others to do 1-4.
6. Eating right and exercising well to keep my immune system good.
7. Listen and read to official government sites as well as sites like World Health Organisation (WHO)
8. Avoiding hearsay, rumours and gossip.
9. Reminding ourselves - not to panic, we will overcome. We are not alone in this.