If you are like me you are probably wondering what’s going on with all this Coronavirus stuff.
It’s impacting business, and life, and we don’t seem to be able to get straight answers. In fact, a lot of the information seems to conflict.
I’ve begun collecting some information on the virus for business owners, business leaders and concerned citizens – and, of course, for my own personal planning.
I don’t claim to have the answers or the magic pills though I have seen ads for them (already).
As best we can, this article will focus on facts. Feel free to comment with links to articles and information you are collecting and we can try to crowdsource meaningful facts for our community.
We Are Still Learning On How This Thing Transmits
There have been a lot of reports on how COVID-19 transmits. It seems clear that person-to-person is how it is most likely to be moved (live virus going from one person to another such as coughing on them). The current recommendation is to stay 6 feet away from people to avoid transmission which seems inherently difficult in modern society.
But as for the disease living on surfaces the information is varied. Some sources say the COVID-19 won’t live long on surfaces. Others say it could live up to 9 days outside of a body (in perfect conditions).
With early reports saying it was hard to transmit via surfaces I wasn’t too worried about lunch counters, seats at the airport and my seat on a plane. Now I have to wonder and perhaps add some care for these situations.
The Impact On The Economy Is Huge
The stock market has had some major moves since this virus hit the US. First way down and then back way up (but not back to where it was before this started) and down again.
It is clear this disease has had and will have a major economic impact. People will slow travel (reports were travel sales were down 10% the week the first community spread cases hit the US). People will go out in public less.
As a speaker we are watching events change or even cancel in light of the virus. This fundamentally changes our business models. There is talk of delaying the Olympics.
Death Rate Is Hard To Estimate
And while many of us are concerned with our businesses and economy a bigger issue is that we want to be well and we want the same for our friends and loved ones.
Many reports state that a lot of people get this disease and have little or no symptoms.
So the first problem we have is that almost every death rate statistic we have is incorrect because there is no one that seems to have any clue how many cases of COVID-19 are out there.
While it’s apparent we have some control on the numerator – the number of deaths – we seem to have no control on how many cases. So the stats are just wrong. At one point it was reported there were 14 cases in the US with 5 deaths.
While it’s hard to get the stats down on this it seems that a lot of people will die. And that’s horrible for families and business.
Probably Worse Than Flu
Many people are likening COVID-19 to the flu. And there seems to be similarities in transmission method and how it impacts people.
At the same time this disease is much different than the flu. The transmission rate seems to be much higher. And when it does impact people with health conditions very severely
So it seems to have a much bigger impact than the flu. Right now many many less people have COVID-19 than the flu. The concern, of course, is that COVID-19 will become as common, or more common than, the flu and that will mean massive impacts on health.
Death Rates Vary Widely By Condition
Whether you die from COVID-19 seems to be highly correlated with other health conditions. If you are well and give COVID-19 your chances of recovery seem to be at least 99%. If you have a heart condition that chance of survival might fall to 90%.
It is still an eye opening statistic. There is very little in our society we do with a 1% death rate.
Living in DeLand, Florida, one of the skydiving centers of the world, I can tell you that a lot of people get injured and die skydiving. Skydiving is estimated to have a 1 in 100,000 fatality rate.
So jumping out of a plane is about 1,000 safer than getting COVID-19 based on current statistics.
Of course COVID-19’s death rate calculation might be wrong, as mentioned before, because we just don’t know how many people have it.
What To Do Now
There is no doubt that COVID-19 is impacting business and business planning.
I recommend that everyone pay close attention to this and adjust your plans as needed. I’ve already pulled back on planning in-person events because I know demand will be down until we get a better feel for this.
We as business owners need to plan for changing customer demand and the possibility of staffing issues.
The information we have right now is scattered and hard to understand. What I can see is the impact of this may be large even if just from a psychological standpoint.
So keep paying attention and monitoring news so we can adjust as needed.
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