How Companies Can Strategically Plan for a Possible Second Wave of Coronavirus

Time to read: 6 minutes

Business Planning for Alleged Second Wave of Coronavirus Summary:

  • As the US Government starts to entertain the idea of re-opening, public health officials warn and hypothesize the second wave of coronavirus is in store.
  • What can we compare and learn from the Flu Outbreak of 1918?
  • Should public health predictions be true, now is the time for businesses to re-evaluate initial approaches in response to COVID-19 to be better positioned in the event of a second wave.

Re-opening the country is at the top of everyone’s minds. The President released a three-phase plan to open the country. However, just as the term “social distancing” took hold, “cautious optimism” is the new term floating around. The re-opening plans are also being met with new bulletins warning citizens of a possible second wave of the coronavirus. In fact, Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, expects it. The coronavirus flipped everyone’s world upside down. But are we in for another wave of cases?

COVID-19 Paralleled with the 1918 Flu Outbreak

Let’s take a step back and review the events that surrounded the Flu Pandemic of 1918; the last pandemic we can appropriately draw parallels from for COVID-19. The pandemic of 1918 caused country-wide shutdowns around the world, along with canceling large events and banning funerals. Sound familiar? The number of people infected during the 1918 Flu Outbreak is what made the pandemic so widespread. WWI and soldiers from varying armies around the world were returning home.

The 1918 flu outbreak devastated the economy. Labor shortages and wage increases ensued with increased social security systems. A pandemic is a true shock to supply and demand, making the economic crisis resulting from the pandemic just as bad as the pandemic itself. With that said, non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) (a.k.a. social distancing, quarantining, canceled public gatherings, etc.) were implemented to slow the spread of the flu in 1918. Areas that implemented the NPIs saw no adverse effects on the economy once recuperated.

What is important to note about the Flu Outbreak of 1918 is after the initial onset in spring 1918, there was not only the second wave in Fall 1918 but a third wave of the disease in the Winter of 1918-1919. The second wave of the 1918 flu outbreak proved to be the deadliest, according to research from the Center for Disease Control.

Should we endure the same timeline as the 1918 Flu Outbreak, what can businesses do to prepare?

Strategic Business Planning for the Second Wave of Coronavirus

When the coronavirus made its way to U.S. soil, corporate American was caught off guard. The American workforce has been remote for six weeks now. Companies have made strides in taking business completely virtual from video conferencing to productivity apps. Think about how you can better prep your business and current staff should public health officials predictions come to fruition:

  • Awareness: Be aware. Stay abreast of the news surrounding a second wave. As the old adage goes, “better safe than sorry.” Begin communications with staff and vendors around awareness to better work together in preparedness.
  • Response: Re-evaluate the initial response. Take time to review the actions that took place as COVID-19 came ashore. Find what worked and discover room for improvement, adjusting your approach for pandemic preparedness.
  • Technology and Security: As coronavirus cases rose in the U.S., cyber hacks and scams saw an increase. Ensure a strong remote workforce and digital infrastructure. Each employee has their own individual networks. Now is the time to enlist better security measures and cloud infrastructure for cyber protection.
  • Hygiene: Should business resume on-site, put new office hygiene policies in place and enforce as well as you can. The usual: frequent hand washes, avoid handshakes, reduce in-office staff or reduce distance among staff in the office.
  • Communication: Communication will always be key. Keep in touch with the staff as new processes and plans form.

COVID-19 Updates with Profiles

Profiles continues to monitor the current business and economic climate. Stay updated through our Coronavirus Updates as we continue to provide digestible content on hiring, job searches, working remotely, and other relevant topics.

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