25 March, 2020 | Sebastian Andreatta
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow. It is extremely contagious, there is no vaccine, treatment protocols are uncertain, and testing kits are in short supply. Practicing social distancing appears to be the only way to slow the virus spread so the medical facilities are not overwhelmed while we wait for the supply of testing kits (and protective gear) to improve and vaccines to be developed.
Social distancing does not really solve the problem as it effectively treats everyone as though they might be a carrier of the virus. Social distancing slows the virus’s progress blunting the spike associated with such a contagious virus, thereby giving time for treatments to be developed. It is important to understand that efforts to blunt the contagion will save lives but in doing so it also effectively prolongs the duration of the social distancing measures. Testing kits will improve the ability to identify known carriers allowing a more targeted response but it does not eliminate the health concern.
The medical industry is working hard to develop a vaccine, improve diagnostic and treatment processes, and manufacture more medical supplies. But the administration of a large scale vaccination program will take time. This virus has had a dramatic effect on our business and social behaviors and the expectation should be that if the public does not heed the calls for caution seriously, they will be escalated as the government tries to minimize damage to public health. We should expect the more stringent orders to remain until the disease progression begins to level off. As we become comfortable with these new behaviors some of these behaviors will remain with us post-COVID-19. Some of the behaviors we have reluctantly adopted in a response to the virus will form the basis for our new normal.
Suggestions to shelter in place and work from home where possible are an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus. While these orders may be looked upon as an inconvenience, if the public fails to support these initiatives, the enforcement mechanisms will be increased. As work-from-home programs become a standard part of our work-life (instead of a benefit) and video conferencing becomes the norm, these practices will become the norm rather than the exception.
Retailers might cede additional ground to on-line shopping and there will be an increase in demand for delivery services. Over time, it is possible the consumer market will began to look for “virus-free” assurances from these service companies or perhaps there will be a surge in demand for personal shoppers.
Shelter in place directives have also impacted movie theaters, restaurants, bars, concerts and other social events. Restaurants that previously looked to food delivery services as an augmentation of their dining room experiences now must consider delivery options as a prime source of revenue. As we move toward a post-virus environment, prepackaged meal services, personal chefs, and other more focused dining experiences may become the new food industry norm. Such a conclusion is far from certain, but the post-COVID-19 business environment will not be the same as the pre-COVID-19 environment.
Today’s situation is extremely fluid and the rules that govern society are rapidly changing. There are more questions than answers as we try to deal with a particularly nasty pathogen. It is extremely difficult to operate a business in a climate where the rules are changing at such a rapid pace; most organizations do not have time to consider the impacts COVID-19 might have to their post-COVID-19 business practices. Nonetheless, we can be confident we will recover from the current crisis AND that the business environment after that recovery will evolve to be different from the pre-crisis environment.
If business’s accept this, as they are organizing their COVID-19 response processes, they can do so with an eye that looks forward and prepares their business for the next new normal.
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Nader is the CEO of Kiana Analytics. He has over 25 years of proven performance as an entrepreneur, CEO, mergers & acquisitions, business development, technical marketing and global sales. Experienced in direct major account consultative selling, developing partnerships to drive revenues, and all aspects of marketing. Proven expertise in launching and rapidly growing new enterprise companies. Able to rapidly quantify a vision into a mission, and map to specific deliverables.
The 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak is an ongoing global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 COVID-19) that has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization. It is caused by the SARS coronavirus 2(SARS-CoV-2) initially identified as Novel Coronavirus that was first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019. J.P. Morgan Research reported that this pandemic has weighed on global financial markets and is expected to heavily impact business and travel. This virus is non-discriminatory. It affects the financial and psychological well being of all people and companies.
Kiana WiFi location analytics software, in connection with the unique identifier of a person’s mobile device, can be leveraged in the location tracking of people infected with Coronavirus, and the identification of others who have come into close proximity. WiFi is already installed and in daily use in many locations. Kiana WiFi analytics can then be used to identify devices that have been in contact with a “device of interest”, and the length of time of that contact. This analysis allows for a rapid response to isolate infected individuals and groups/areas. In enterprise and campus environments, where individuals are known, immediate outreach is possible. In city and public spaces, privacy prevents “knowing” individuals, but the information can assist communities in managing social distancing rules, identifying clusters of individuals and facilitating quick cleanup of areas where groups were assembled.