Pandemic – that terrible word indicating that the coronavirus has now spanned the globe and is infecting the entire planet – is enough to make strong men and women tremble and drive people to fill the house with water and toilet paper.
I am living through the crisis in China – so far 8 weeks of effective ‘house arrest’ – and still counting because we are still not allowed to dance down the street quite yet unrestrained impulsiveness.
We are not allowed visitors. We get our temperatures checked coming and going from the apartment complex – if your temperature is higher than 37C (99F) then you are denied entry to your home and have to front up to one of the 4 coronavirus hospitals in Chengdu for testing.
You can only return to work if all staff have a health certificate stating they are clear of the virus and you have enough health supplies – 2 masks per person per day, hand sanitizer, temperature checking guns (point and read), gloves and a register of every single coming and going.
All bars and restaurants closed except for delivery – delivery drivers get tested every time they set off and the App shows their temperature. Orders left at the gate.
Only food supply shops have been open for the past 7 weeks but other shops starting to open in the 8th week.
So, what have we learned:
Yes, it is a nasty virus with a 2% grim reaping statistic, and it has the annoying thing that you can have it and not know it (47% of people are asymptomatic or have mild cases) and that makes it easy to spread.
But in China only 0.0072 % of the population was infected and the virus has killed 2% of those.
The chances of you getting and then dying from this is not a huge risk unless the solution to the spread (i.e. containment and tracking) is not implemented strictly.
Don’t panic. Unless you are over 80 years old and have pre-existing health conditions then the chances of this being the final stop are minimal. The younger you are the better. So, protect the older members of the family first.
Containment is the key to stopping this – China delayed for one week in getting the containment and the result (according the latest modeling statistics) was 66% more cases than if they had started one week earlier.
So, start containment as early as possible to ‘flatten the curve’ – spread the cases over a longer period of time.
Containment means your cooperation – it means you staying at home and being a good boy/girl and not thinking you can be the exception.
Do your bit for the people who have family who might have a higher risk than you personally – every person who does fall to this virus is someone’s loved one.
Masks – the Hairy Biker in the Room
Lots of moaning, Facebook Warriors, Twittering Tweeters and’ Legends in Their Own Minds’ are telling you masks aren’t effective. And yes, I have read what the CDC said about this.
The stats out of China are that you have 5 times LESS chance of contracting the virus if you (and everyone else) wears a mask.
The masks don’t stop the virus particles – but they do stop the droplets – which contain the virus and if you are wearing a mask then droplets wont get into your nose but more importantly, they stop droplets coming from an infected nose getting across to you.
And they stop you touching your face – that’d have to be good if your fingers happen to have the virus particles on them.
And if you don’t know you have it and don’t wear a mask then you are a spreader and other people will be accepters and then the numbers go up and up and up.
In China go out without a mask one two things will happen – you will be heavily criticised, and I mean heavily to the point of being cursed and, in a few cases beaten, by the people, and you will get fined by the police.
Wear a mask because the actual figures (which you can call facts) support wearing a mask.
Get some latex/vinyl gloves and don’t go out without them – and take them off and throw them away as soon as you walk back in the door – if you have been out (wearing a mask, of course)
Single most common way of transmission – touching your face with infected fingers.
Gloves/Sanitizer/Soap – that’ll make a big difference.
Whatever you read about how many people the flu kills forget it.
This is way worse than the flu and not for the obvious reason.
Here are the facts.
Corona is 20 times more deadly than the flu 0.1% of infected people die from the flu – 2% die from corona – do the math – 20 times more deadly.
Infectiousness – the flu infects between 5% – a good year and 20% – a very bad year – of a population.
Corona is similarly infectious as the flu – so if corona was allowed completely free run in the United States for example there could be as many as 65 million cases and 1 million deaths.
BUT – and this is the big but, which is making governments tremble – it is not just these figures – it is these figures:
14% of corona patients need hospital care – which defines as being on oxygen for 2-3 weeks and 5% need critical/intensive care.
That’s a total of 20%
10% of the population (US here – insert your own countries population) with corona = 32.7 million
20% hospitalized = 6.54 million hospitalizations.
Unless you can build hospitals in 8 days (or 16 new hospitals in 3 weeks) then you are going to have a lot of people without care.
This is the nuclear bomb corona carries in its pocket – HEALTH SYSTEM CAPACITY
2 Months Goes like a Slippery Eel through a Weir. Fast
If you are required to stay at home for 8 weeks it goes fast and if you feel that living in your home, with plenty to eat and drink, movies to watch, books to read, music to listen to is a hassle then you need a new life and a new home.
It is one of the most rewarding experiences if you approach it right – personally I’ve written material for two books, designed a whole new Virtual Reality Headset, added 15 new sales agents to our network, and managed more work than what I could have managed from the office.
It’s a time for reflection, thought, introspection, renewal and reward. You will get to know your loved ones all over again and whether that leads to a deeper relationship or divorce is up to you – but it’s a byproduct of ‘house arrest’
This glass is half full.
Courage and Calm
You want to know what it is like having 1.4 billion people under lock down?
Calm and courage – you will never experience the wonderful strength of the Chinese people until you see them deal with something like this.
No moaning. No protesting. No pushing and shoving at the market of the supermarket. What I have seen has been acceptance, determination and grit.
Its WW2 and the Pearl Harbour/Blitz type of spirit. We have a problem, lets solve it.
People are noticeably friendlier, unified and happier. I am proud to be a member of this society.
Worried about your business?
Find new ways to do what you have done in the past – use the time to reassess your entire strategy, your business plans and what you really want to do.
It’ll be tough – no doubt about that – but WW2 was tough – 80 million people died. 9/11 was tough. 2008 was tough.
But you are still here.
Times of trouble are times of change – embrace it or let it destroy you – it’s your choice.
This will impact the entire globe – it will expose weaknesses and strengths in all sorts of places – starting with governments.
We had 4 calls from government bodies during this crisis – offering us (for our business) – interest free loans, payroll subsidies (equivalent to 1 months’ salary for every staff member), bank delaying payments by two months (China has ordered the banks to forego profits in 2020) and new banking finance support available. And we are NOT a huge company at all.
Invest in courier drivers, home hair clippers and any other home equipment suppliers – gym equipment, massage, health and beauty – sales of these have rocketed here in China.
Finally, this is a message of hope and not of despair – be safe by being sensible and don’t panic – this will pass.
It may be the biggest thing that Boomer/Gen X Y and Millennials have faced (or it may not) but it can be beaten – China has beaten this in 2 months after a rocky start.
And personally, if there is anything, I can do to help you, let me know –I’m busting with new ideas and ways to make your business grow even in ‘Interesting Times’
Be safe and be sensible.