CORONAVIRUS: A False Sense Of Security

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Summer Will Determine The Pandemic’s Future

By Michel Ouellette JMD, ll.l., ll.m.


People are saying we need to get the economy started and people need to go back to work, but there is just as much risk, if not more.


Swelling crowds at parks, beaches and home improvement stores during the traditional start of summer already are showing that many want to venture out and declare the pandemic over. But how will we really know when it will be safe to do all the normal things again?

The only certitude we may have is that the coming few months will have a lot to say about the state of the economy.


This is no longer business as usual


Businesses are quickly transforming to reassure nervous customers and employees about making a safe return. But they are operating with very little guidance and confronting new ethical dilemmas about how far they can go to reduce infection risks.

Some are switching to credit or debit card payments so that customers do not need to rely on cash. Some are requiring daily temperature checks and completion of symptom questionnaires before employees are allowed inside. Some are increasingly looking at antibody tests and "immunity passports" to know who has been exposed to the virus.

Businesses are quickly transforming to reassure nervous customers and employees about making a safe return but a question remains: Will people show up?


Will people show up?

“I do not see a full recovery of the economy for at least the next two to three years.”

A growing number of people are ready to venture back out into an economy that has been battered by months of shutdowns, but most are not expecting a return to normality anytime soon. As far as I am concerned, I do not see a full recovery of the economy for at least the next two or three years.That means businesses and governments will have to temper their expectations as the public figures out its new comfort zone.


Governments and mayors can declare their state, province or city open for business all they want, but ultimately the consumer decides. And they are going to make the decision based on their read of the news, the science, and their personal risk. Still, many people remain unwilling to go out even when they are legally allowed, and encouraged to do so.


Meantime, parks and beaches are packed increasing the risks of propagation and the risk of a second and even a third wave of Covid-19 infection.


Beware


Leading public health officials caution against a false sense of security, noting that case counts are falling in part because of the very social distancing measures that some now say are no longer necessary.


There are mixed messages about the risk.


People are saying we need to get the economy started and people need to go back to work, but there is just as much risk, if not more.

Michel Ouellette JMD, ll.l., ll.m.

Systemic Strategic Planning, Crisis & Reputation Management

 

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