10 Things That Will be Better When the Pandemic Ends
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Did Nietzsche have pandemics in mind when he wrote this famous phrase? Organisms which survive infection become resistant to future attacks by the same or similar strains.
Societies respond in much the same manner. Laws, rules, and customs change when large scale disaster strikes. Humans learn more from pain and hardship than they do from pleasure and success. It’s one reason we have thrived as a species.
For the first time in history, we are all faced with the same enemy AND we have the tools to cope with that enemy; communication and technology. Here are 10 things which are going to improve significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Personal Hygiene
When was the last time you washed your hands this often? Like, never! Handshakes?! We will all be “Turning Japanese” when it comes to greeting each other. If you don’t like hugging people you hardly know…you are in luck. We were already halfway to stopping the hugging phenomena in the “#metoo” era. Now you won’t have to hug minor acquaintances of the same gender either. Sneeze into your elbow you cretin!
2. Public Hygiene
Stop the plane! There’s sticky stuff on my tray! A dirty airline seat will now become the equivalent of the Shoe-bomber. And getting away with filth on trains and buses is over. Restrooms at work better be spotless and full of hand sanitizer. Now would be a good time to get into the “Deep Cleaning” business.
3. Drug Development
Developing new therapies and new vaccines is an expensive, time consuming proposition. You may have noticed it took only a month for multiple pharmaceutical companies to create a vaccine for COVID-19. But then you heard it will take a year or more to conduct in-human testing of the vaccine for safety and effectiveness. The pharmaceutical industry WILL shorten the testing cycle after this crisis…one way or another.
4. Diagnostic Testing
Not enough test kits!? Are you kidding?! So now we have an entire world locked down in their homes because we can’t determine if they are sick or might make others sick. This was just plain negligence on the part of leadership. No excuse. We will be more prepared next time.
5. Logistics Technology
Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise for other e-commerce companies. Getting products delivered to homes and businesses was already the norm. It will be a necessity in the coming weeks. There is no going back. Expect delivery drones overhead to be a common sight soon.
6. Contingency Planning
We have chosen to protect human life over economics. Seems like an easy choice. However, over 125,000 Americans took their own lives during the Great Depression of 1929-1933. The suicide rate was the highest it has ever been in our country. One cannot discount the significant effect of an economic downturn. Fortunately, this slow-down is not the result of poor business practices that take years to correct like 1929 or 2008. COVID-19 will recede in the coming months. What could have been done to keep people working? What temporary modifications to the financial markets could have been made?
Why do we buy things from China? That’s right…cost. And to be fair, cost is a very good reason. But what happens when you can’t purchase necessities no matter how much you are willing to pay. That’s right…panic! If you want to destroy a global business relationship, do what the Chinese Communist Party is doing; lie and threaten to cut off drug supplies! The term is no longer “supply chain.” Chains have weak links. It is now a “supply network” with multiple supply paths. This will prevent reliance on the unreliable.
8. Respect for Business
When this is over, and it will be over, the bureaucrats will take credit for defeating COVID-19. But who did they call on for therapies and vaccines? Big Pharma. And who did they call on to keep feeding the people? Big Food and Big Logistics. Small business is stepping up to fill immediate needs for masks, sanitizer, etc. The list goes on…
9. Remote Working/Learning
When you emphasize productivity over time spent at work or school, everybody wins…employers and employees, educators and students. Businesses are being forced to experiment with that approach during this period of “shelter in place.” Likewise, schools have been forced to close in order to “flatten the curve.” The technology exists to work and learn from home. Let’s use it!
10. International Communication
How much faster could we have stopped the spread of this disease if we had known about it when it was in Wuhan? How much worse would it be if we did not have credible information coming from Italy to warn us? We simply need to talk to each other and to trust each other.
11. Politcal Harmony
Not! The title of this article is "10 things..." This is 11. Politicians are already at each other’s throats. Some things never change.