The Epidemic

We are definitely experiencing some unprecedented times. Businesses are about to close their doors as well as the world economy facing total collapse. What is the situation we are in? What is COVID-19? Businesses opportunities? Will there be an end to all this? Follow my article and let’s find out together.

Unconsciously functioning most of the time we focus on our life square, minding our own business, and making sure we reach our small targets. We live day to day supposedly overworking and over-stressing on certain inputs that we auto-induce. Now, why are we so surprised that this virus had spread all over the world when we saw with our own eyes what happened in China, months ago and we did nothing to prevent it. It is the emotional factor.

As human beings, we tend to respond to emotion, either it is sadness or happiness or any other kind of emotion, our prefrontal cortex together with the somatosensory cortex, amygdala and other parts of the brain produce what we humans know as happiness, fear, etc. Only then anatomically speaking we have a response. Either we start acting out or engage in activities, or panic, we have a response. We had to feel the urgency of the situation to act out, we had to see the people around us building stress to manifest our own.

This exact prototype happened in Italy. They treated this gruesome virus irresponsibly, spreading it all over, and now they have 41,035 cases and out-threw China on the number of deaths with 3,405. Now their security measures are radical. They have stopped the bleeding, of course, they are still feeling the impact since the incubation period takes around from 2-14 days. This is what everybody should do.

What is coronavirus?

The virus was named SARS CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) by the International Comity for Viruses Taxonomy and the disease caused by this virus was named COVID 19 (Coronavirus Disease 19) by the World Health Organisation.

SARS CoV originally detected in Guangdong, South China in 2002 and MERS CoV identified in 2012 in Saudi Arabia are the original coronaviruses inter-humanly transmitted from zoonotic sources. Mentioning SARS and MERS we have a rapid spread but not such a big impact as COVID 19 with a mortality rate of 9.5% for SARS CoV and 33% for MERS CoV.

The virus is humanly respiratory transmitted on a range of >2m. Conduction of virus is being made by the respiratory path through Flügge’s droplets ( big drops spread by cough, sneeze, talking, etc.) The most common symptoms are fever (which, after some studies, cannot be present at the onset of clinical disease, but it almost always occurs during the course of evolution 88% of cases) and cough, sometimes followed by difficulties in breathing. Pneumonia is the most frequent clinical form, with radiologically evidenced bilateral leaks, clinical manifestations and imaging do not allow etiological differentiation. In severe cases, insufficiency is installed respiratory distress, acute respiratory distress (ARDS) being the leading cause of mortality.

We now have a total number of 245,913 cases around the world, 10,048 deaths, and only 88,465 recovered.

The best way to protect ourselves is to self isolate ourselves as much as we can. We could wear masks and gloves of course but remember that the mask is a permeable material and it is made to avoid doctor’s bacteria to enter open wounds or plagues when in surgery. Often wash hands with soap and water for more than 22 seconds and use antibacterial gel or wipes.

Business opportunities?

In the last couple of days, I have been approached by many business developers trying to sell me the best way to work from home on a range from VoIP connections to a list of the most common actions you must follow when working from home. I find this of big distress when so many people are dying around the world and you try to sell a service for 44 dollars. Which is basically a PDF, teaching you how to set a remote working station.

Yes, money-hungry, soulless entrepreneurs are thinking about this. As a business owner, I can relate, I am familiar with this point of view. I also punctually respect but definitely not agreeing.

Respiratory ventilation system costs around 40.000 dollars. Hospitals do not want to buy more of those to be used only on the pandemic period afterward to be left over with. Entrepreneurs do not want to lower the price because it is a big business opportunity. Crisis brings opportunities, that’s what they say. I am partially supporting this, but not on a human life cost.

Business continuity!

I am thrilled that people finally gave working from home the importance it deserved. I am hundred percent positive remote work is here to change the business world from what we know it. In terms of this we already see trends that will impact the post-pandemic flourishing business life.

Managers, leaders, business owners will now use the benefits of technology better than ever. Based on Alain Dehaze, research shows that working virtually can drive productivity improvements of up to 43% but it must be done effectively. Many businesses have resisted home working for various reasons but the current crisis might well have proven to them that it can work. It took one world crisis to shook things up and make people understand the real gold mine we sat on for so long.

As I specified earlier, if done right this will revolutionize the world as we know it. Managers and entrepreneurs will have to work on tools and ways to re-skill and up-skill employees and of course train them into a better sense of business acumen, responsibility and profitability. Leaders will need a new toolbox for the leadership of a remote workforce. A few organisational fundamentals will be critical for leaders to align, motivate, and closely track projects and performance.

Will there be an end to all this?

Yes there will be an end. There must be. Even the Spanish flu was an unusually deadly pandemic that infected 500 million people, about a quarter of the world’s population from January 1918 through December 1920 and killed millions, it ended eventually. On the bright side, we have the power to protect ourselves. By staying inside.

Realistically speaking we are far from over. Vaccines are 8 – 12 months away due to clinical trials and testing procedures before being released. Even if a vaccine is being released, its main purpose will be to raise your immunity against the virus. This might take years. Some people say that waiting for a vaccine is not named strategy. I would personally suggest shutting everything down for a period of 2 to 3 weeks especially all channels of transportation, most businesses, have people stay inside and work from there. This will be the only viable solution to this international crisis we are in.

Last but not least, how come China owns the majority of their businesses now? All shares being returned to the Chinese by foreign investors on unimpressive prices. Isn’t it true that when this crisis ends, China will become the new world economic leader? It was a leader long before but now will be unbeatable. Let’s not forget the easiness to build hospitals and infrastructure like it was premeditated. Would this be a major political affair? We shall see.

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References:

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51963486

https://www.nejm.org/coronavirus

https://www.thelancet.com/coronavirus

https://www.elsevier.com/connect/coronavirus-information-center

http://weekly.chinacdc.cn/en/article/id/e53946e2-c6c4-41e9-9a9b-fea8db1a8f51

https://doi.org/10.1093/nsr/nwaa036

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