” COVID-19 – President Donald Trump’s Moment of Decision on Reopening American Economy ” – April 16, 2020.
President Donald Trump always wants to be successful ; he always wants to do good things ; he is an eternal Optimist.
President Donald Trump now wants the US economy to open soon – as soon as possible.
New York has extended its stay-at-home order until May 15. Seven mid-western states gave shape to a pact that set a new thinking to the reopening of the economy. This preempts the President’s plan.
President Donald on Thursday night, April 16, 2020, (in his usual press briefing from the White House) introduced his government’s plan for reopening the economy which has been his heart’s desire for sometime now. The plan was spelt out in three phases which will pitch in when the states witness decline in COVID-19 cases for 14 days successively. He also expressed the hope that sports stadiums, specially, will witness full houses soon.
Actions for the three phases are given below :
1. Phase One :
Individuals – Vulnerable people shelter in place ;
Workplace – Telework and return to work in phases ;
Schools – Remain closed ;
Gatherings – None larger than 10 people ;
Travel – Minimise non-essential travel ;
Big Venues – Restaurants, Gyms, open with strict Social Distancing, bars closed ;
2. Phase Two :
Individuals – Vulnerable people shelter in place ;
Workplace – Continue to encourage telework ;
Schools – Open ;
Gatherings – More than 50 people should be avoided ;
Travel – Non-essential travel can resume ;
Big Venues – Restaurants, Gyms open with distancing, bars with smaller occupancy ;
3. Phase Three :
Individuals – Vulnerable people interact in public but still social distance ;
Workplace – No restrictions ;
Big Venues – Open, limited physical distancing , and sanitation protocols.
Discussions are already on in regard to the specifics and timeframe of these actions.
Observations : 1. Trust with the leadership of Donald Trump is weak and thin at most levels and whether the plan can trigger people enthusiasm, specially psychologically, to resume work is not certain at this moment.
2. Expert Scientists and researchers opine that a vaccine for treatment can be available only in 16 to 18 months. An Oxford research group, however, is on line conducting clinical trials on human beings of a possible vaccine and its optimism that by September 2020 it will be ready for use may give a new hope.
3. Will the Public Health concerns override his wish in reality in terms of consequences is the question.
Conclusion : Will the President’s decision isolate the US from the rest of the world or be celebrated as special, bold, and important ?
“Dieu avec nous”
Friday, April 17, 2020 – 11.49 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” Spread authoritative information ; avoid misinformation ” – Zuckerberg, FB.
Lifting the lockdown and steps to promote the economic growth are the twin challenges facing the Government immediately when on April 15 the lockdown period comes to an end. Peace to people and confidence to businesses constitute the twin requirements for the nation to move forward. The decision along with the suggestion that the PM will spell out within a couple of days or so holds the power to cast a spell on us, citizens. Everyone is expecting an interesting address influencing the spirit and energy of people. Businesses are increasingly concerned about keeping their heads above water in these troubled times.
As a layman, relying upon commonsense, I proceed here to present a brief, skeletal framework of a technique used to make decisions on these issues.
In business, it is common for managers to make a forecasting analysis/experiment to make decisions on what steps to make in such instances. A related version of the technique called, “Scenario Planning” will help better the business leaders in the present circumstances – post COVID-19 period. While forecasting is made for longer periods of months or years, ‘Scenario Planning’ can prove more useful for shorter periods of, say, 15 days, 30 days, 45 days … … The advantage that it holds is that it is real time and short time. It is simple with less business lexicon with potential to get rid of chaos and confusion in the minds of people or employees in industry. It is usually hailed as the elixir that can guide the leaders’ decision making abilities amidst uncertainties like what is being experienced now. Capacity to create a clear path forward for all economic activities is its core strength.
Brief Description of Scenario Planning :
Three Scenarios are created for COVID-19 analysis work. Each scenario will consider the following two aspects : (a) Public Health Actions where the aim is to strike a balance between health & safety and opening up of the economy; and (b) Growth of Economy where the aim is to protect people and control spread of the virus/disease.
Scenario I : Figure below represents the elements of this scenario :
Where the cases inspected and cases covered are equal and the death toll is stabilized. Social Distancing, Testing, and Contact Tracing are the three precautionary measures adopted as Public Health Actions for safety. In this scenario there will be strict social distancing measures, an increase in testing, and an accelerated contact tracing. There will be a complete lockdown with only essential services operating and strengthening of public health infrastructure with hospital beds, testing kits,ventilators, gloves, masks, aprons and the like.
Scenario II : Figure below represents the elements of this scenario :
Where the cases infected decline by 50% and the death toll comes down. Precautionary measures – social distancing is maintained ; testing done at random ; and contact tracing is continued where needed. Lockdown can be lifted totally where infected cases are nil. Essential services, schools, and colleges will remain open while ensuring minimum transport ; and public infrastructure in terms of hospital/patients needs will be kept ready.
Scenario III : Figure below represents the elements of this scenario :
Where the cases infected decline by 90 to 100 % with the death toll almost nil. Precautionary measures – social distancing will become voluntary while permitting people engagement with some restrictions ; testing to be carried out only where symptoms sound an alarm ; and contact tracing will be resorted to when new cases emerge. Lockdown will be lifted in all places where infection is nil ; all services and functions will resume with fresh enthusiasm ; public infrastructure in terms of hospital beds/patients needs will be kept at optimal levels.
The aim here is to get the Economy function at the original level (that before the outbreak) ; reduce business debts ; mitigate risks to business ; and devising strategies to pull the necessary strings to keep businesses on track.
Business leaders need to focus on (a) building accountability for future instances ; and (b) communicate to employees and people periodically with facts on their courses of actions.
Conclusion : The above exercise with available data will meet the needs of managers – be they in business or public health system – to make key decisions regarding containment/control and effective scheduling of preventive actions in a way any likely disruption in terms of people’s social activities and business agility are tackled.
“Dieu avec nous”
Friday, April 10, 2020 – 1.29 p.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” You start making the same decision of cautious optimism in a crisis each time, it gets acknowledged.”
Sen Bernie Sanders has officially suspended his Campaign ending his run for Democratic nomination on Wednesday, yesterday.
In doing so, he has given the Democratic Party Bigwigs two gifts : (a) the party to rid itself of the discomfiture of the likely damage that would have been caused by Sanders’s continuance in his contest for nomination against Former VP Joe Biden ; and (b) to hold the Democratic Party Flag flying high with its primary goal of “Unity of Purpose” reflecting from Sanders’s decision emphasizing the principle of ‘Shared Values’ that the party takes pride in.
Senator Bernie Sanders through his active participation in two General Elections (2016 and 2020) as a Democratic Presidential candidate, has shaped his core convictions to a “key Democratic platform” giving every participant to express views/opinions publicly and to make progress when they come to power. An anti-elitist model of a Society with his core actions centering around the triad as presented in the figure below :
The three elements of the triad are : (a) Medicare for All ; (b) Tuition free College ; and (c) Green New Deal.
Sen Bernie Sanders sent his good positive ideas that can serve the highest good for almost all Citizens of the nation.
Anyone who has watched the Democratic Presidential Primary Debates will be convinced that these three aspects above took close to or even more than 50% of the overall debate time with almost everyone supporting his ‘agenda’ even if with mild/minor variations.
It was to the credit of Bernie Sanders that all debaters engaged in heart-centered conversations and arguments expressing their intention(s) and focus to care about American Citizens on these key issues.
Proper perceptions, assumptions, and interpretations of his ‘agenda’ held the potential to avoid any irritation, frustration, and confusion that may have been caused in the minds of voters reflecting the true situation and the problems that existed in American lives today.
Bernie Sanders has been successful in setting a new norm. In all his conversations in Debates he stayed true to being a “Doer”, not just a “Dreamer”. That has been his way of inspiring the voters ‘specially, the youngsters and low wage earners’ without commanding anything.
Existentially confident, Sen Bernie Sanders has always been less concerned about the possibility of his individual success always emphasizing his position(s) related to the possibility of his goals and national goals. Knowingly or unknowingly he chose to adopt this stand, a stand that has management theories propose with extra force while discussing national image in situations of doubt and uncertainty.
Sen Bernie Sanders’ leadership also is centered on a model that prompts individuals to do their own best choosing what it takes to succeed. Enshrined in this principle is the strong belief and conviction that people hold their own ideas and views of doing things and people are capable of adapting to new ways to ensure success. People First is the guiding principle.
Conclusion : Sen Bernie Sanders has now left the Democratic Primary contest clearly in favour of former VP Joe Biden. Physical, mental, or emotional obstructions, if any felt by any and still held by any, in making progress forward quickly is cleared now. It is time for the Democratic Party to take the reigns now.
“Dieu avec nous”
Thursday, April 9, 2020 – 9.09 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” Inspiring leaders are called mirror leaders.”
1. ” One little germ hitting the bronchial saloon ;
Two little bugs hitting the corners of larynx ;
Three little pathogens stuck in the mouth ;
Hue came down with COVID-19 in Wuhan. “
2. ” Hue let out a sigh, with his temperature high ;
Hue let out a cough, getting his throat sore;
Hue let out a cry, thinking he will die ;
Will Hue survive the case of crazy COVID-19 ? “
3. ” Doctor read his case, the nurse gave him some juice ;
Doctor prescribed a pill, the nurse sweetened the pill ;
Doctor made his spirits run high, the nurse gave him the high five ;
Doctor put him on ventilator as such, the nurse gave him the magic touch.”
4. ” Hue had a cold in the head, Doctor said he knew what to do ;
Hue snoze a sneeze into the air, Doctor said it is cold ;
Hue felt he had pneumonia, Doctor admired the smart patient ;
Hue felt his cough is better now , Doctor said his practice is good ; “
5. ” Hue went to bed, pulling the covers over his head ;
Hue fell asleep, sleeping for a week ;
Hue’s symptoms totally vanished, toss and turn in bed completely recovered ;
Hue’s temperature came to normal, his case became a model and special.”
” Dieu avec nous “
Wednesday, April 8, 2020 – 10.29 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” Everyone was glad when it ended, Happy Ending “.
Thousands of people world over have now succumbed to the Coronavirus Tragedy (CT), and hundreds of thousands of people remain infected. The tragedy strides ahead without any signs of abating in the near future.
A revealing fact truly reflective of the reality today is made on Monday, yesterday, by Dr Anthony Fauci, 79, the Infectious Disease Expert, U.S.A., – “US might never get entirely back to where it was before the novel Coronavirus outbreak especially without a vaccine”. It may well sound true to every nation afflicted with the deadly disease, including India.
Concern regarding the nature of actions to take after the lockdown hold sway over the minds of leaders around the world. Nations are now seeking ideas and suggestions from experts and individuals to get their strategies after lockdown into shape. India has also sought the same. India’s lockdown period ends on April 14.
Two aspects need consideration in this respect : (a). Businesses devising their path forward ; and (b). Healthcare efforts and their progress.
Cited here are 10 actions encompassing both considerations :
1. Coronavirus lockdown made businesses learn to organise their activities and work with less people, and people working remotely. It means that their personal supervision and management of employees have been relegated, if not to the bottom but at lower levels than before. They have to take stock of any increase in efficiency/productivity during the period combined with ‘trust’ between employers and employees to really assess the advantage or otherwise. This is the first task for the Businesses now.
2. It is not uncommon to note the host of benefits, privileges, and financial support that businesses extended to organise their work during the lockdown period, to keep their morale strong, and to maintain efficiency fairly stable. With the lockdown lifted and companies getting back to their routine as before we need to ask : whether the employers will continue to dole out the benefits ; whether the employers will be ready to share their profits more ; whether the employers will expect a greater sense of belonging from the employees – questions that the companies’/organisations’ top management will be posing themselves to move ahead. This is their second task.
3. Coronavirus lockdown and the accompanying relaxations/restrictions in regulations due to the sudden, unforeseen nature of remote work altered the nature of teamwork ; altered the practices of guidance with meetings ; altered the nature of support from higher level management – forward looking companies may be willing to consider modern methods and ideas taking their plans further forward than earlier with highly confident behaviour overall. This is their third task.
4. Coronavirus has strengthened the human characters of Sympathy for the suffering groups ; Understanding others’ pains/feelings sufferings/experiences in tackling the challenges ; Sporting an attitude of generosity and goodwill ; and responsibility for one’s actions and beliefs. Adversity brings people together. Post Coronavirus, organisations and companies have an opportunity to build on these behaviors of employees in developing a culture of workplace behaviour rooted in sincerity and honesty with confidence. This is their fourth task.
5. Coronavirus containment efforts have witnessed leaders at different levels of every nation transmitting updates and messages in an attempt to embolden Peoples’ confidence and to assure them that all facilities and necessary equipment are available for healthcare in this troubled times. Post-Coronavirus Era shall strengthen leaders of organisations and companies attempting to stay in constant touch with employees through meetings, messages/information, video calls and other technical tools not just to benefit them but also to afford needed counseling for their progress. While top management may well be looking forward to design a forward planning document for the Organisation detailing the course that it will take in short term, medium term, and long term. This is their fifth task.
6. Establish COVID-19 only nursing homes and microclinics as a joint effort with another party. A two company joint effort can provide more value while doing things better. The areas and regions where these are to be established should be based on susceptibility of people to the disease.
7. Establish partnerships with similarly affected neighbouring State Governments and share experiences to make things in post Coronavirus control efforts happen before getting overwhelmed. Karnataka partnering with Telengana ; Tamil nadu partnering with Kerala ; Andhra partnering with Orissa ; West Bengal partnering with Bihar ; Uttarakhand partnering with Uttar Pradesh ; Gujarat partnering with Maharashtra ; Punjab partnering with Haryana ; Delhi partnering with Chandigarh ; Rajasthan partnering with Madhya Pradesh ; – purely on National Safety and Welfare considerations.
8. Prepare for a ‘shake-up’ in Healthcare system as a whole. Retailers like ‘Big Bazaar’ and ‘Central’ can become popular health places to visit. Telecom players like JIO, AirTel, and Vodafone can become special partners with Apollo and Fortis for Telemedicine specialities and programs. Auto majors like Bajaj, Mahindra & Mahindra, or TVS can beome realtime solution providers to help in chronic condition management during driving and counseling for drivers. This requires business and healthcare companies to work synergestically. Accessibility, convenience are increasingly business considerations ; low cost and high quality treatment are healthcare essentials ; when these two mix what emerges is extra power, extra energy, and extra advantage.
9. Anxiety like the optimum amount of stress needed for improved performance in general has to be tapped to make it a positive influence for growth in organisations and companies. Anxiety has the potential to turn one’s enthusiasm into productive output. Research suggests that a certain level of anxiety can prepare individuals to be motivated to make future driven solutions benefiting people. COVID-19 induced anxiety can be productively used after identification in organisations through surveys with individuals.
10. Use data regarding the numbers of people in areas like ‘grocery stores/pharmacy’ ; ‘parks’ ; ‘workplaces- residential/official’ ; ‘religious places’ etc. A report in the US mentions that San Francisco witnessed between February 16 and March 29 : 72% drop in retail and recreation ; 55% drop in parks ; and 21 % increase in residential population. Such data can be collected in India for places like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Trivandrum, Pune, Vadodara, Varanasi, Lucknow, Bhopal .. .. Data can be used by Public Health department to determine and alert the next COVID-19 hotspot. Add to this data on symptoms of patients and it will be useful in targeting specific regions. This is extremely important when people return to schools after lockdown ; when people return to work after lockdown ; congested areas can be gauged ; recommendations can be shaped on optimum work hours and service delivery. Google’s anonymous location data covering 131 countries is a good source here.
Conclusion : All the above have the inherent potential (a) to do what a single entity cannot do effectively ; (b) provide better value to the services rendered ; and (c) serve as a transition that can improve the overall performance and efficiency of independent services contributing to the National Economy.
“Dieu avec nous “
Tuesday, April 7, 2020 – 12.49 p.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” Only 7-8 % of retail industry’s modern trade sells now. It will take at least 2 years to bounce back to normal industry standards”.
Even as the COVID-19 tragedy continues unabated, there are hopes and depression ; positives and negatives ; chaos and clarity ; truths and misgivings ; courage and fear among individuals, communities, regions, and States. The global pandemic is also reshaping quite a few of our thoughts and convictions bringing a new order and approach to our sensing and control of realities in life. We may also witness conventional approaches giving way to newfangled ways of our style of living encompassing almost all the sectors of economy. It will encourage and enthuse the kids and students of the day moulding their imagination to take inspiration from the successes of COVID-19 control efforts and experiences of the times. They may well set in motion a process where actions by the governments, businesses, and sciences will take a new path for the growth and development of our society in future. The sacrifices and care made by many at the call of duty in saving human lives can only be marvelled by everyone as ‘courage over despair’.
Cited below are 25 reported examples of what happened during the crisis in terms of statements, theories, and practices :
1. “Earth shakes less” –
Ambient seismic noise reduced – i.e. less vibrations generated by cars, buses, trains, and people going about their daily lives. In the absence of noise, earth’s upper crust is moving less.
2. ” COVID-19 reduces pollution in India” –
World’s largest Coronavirus lockdown causes a dramatic impact in terms of reducing air pollution in Delhi, India. Less cars, buses on road, less trains running, less people going about their work are some possible reasons.
3. ” COVID-19 promotes Jugaad Innovation ” –
Indian doctors fight Coronavirus using rain coats, helmets as personal protective equipment during treatment. India, nevertheless, exports surgical gloves to Europe; and about 90 tonnes worth of PPEs to Serbia.
4. ” COVID-19 promotes Watching Wedding virtually over Video Call ” –
COVID-19 forces a family to watch a wedding over video call in India ; lockdown prevented them to move out.
5. ” COVID-19 breeds opportunity for organised crime ” –
Governments in Asia are now being challenged to combat transnational organised crime and trafficking. (CNN Opinion story).
6. ” Pray more, prey less ” –
Prayers asking for guidance and protection at work and home to keep people and family safe are becoming common and regular now.
7. ” Booze sales boom in America ” –
Millions of Americans who are staying at home because of COVID-19 are drinking a lot of alcohol to pass time for now.
8. ” COVID-19 gives relief to people through reduced electricity bills ” –
Duke energy in U.S.A. offers to cut electricity bills in May ; TECO will spread the savings over the summer. Many others may follow suit.
9. ” Irreparable damage to airlines ” –
Boeing CEO says that it will take years for the airlines and aerospace industry to recover from the Coronavirus crisis.
10. ” Cleaning can cost the earth ” –
To clean the Kennedy Space Center after an employee tested positive, it took $ 145000.
11. ” Obama wants social distancing to continue “. –
Obama encourages people to continue Social Distancing despite Trump’s wishes to open the economy. He advocated a cautious approach to the containment efforts.
12. ” COVID-19 forecasts for Hurricanes”-
Atlantic hurricane season which is just two months away may be above average according to the forecasts now.
13. ” COVID-19 call for banning consumption in China ” –
It is now illegal to eat animals raised as pets (cats and dogs) from May 1. Shenzhen is the first Chinese city to ban consumption.
14. ” COVID-19 boost to biosecurity laws ” –
Australia to punish people convicted of illegally exporting masks, hand sanitizers, or other personal protective equipment with hefty fines.
15. ” Support for Vatican City needed ” –
Rome imposes stringent Social Distancing rules. But reports from Vatican City suggest that Holy See is doing far less than the rest of Italy to stop the spread of Coronavirus.
16. ” Thirst for Oil evaporates ” –
Highways empty ; Planes grounded ; Factories shuttered ; Collapse of oil demand sends crude crashing to 18 year lows. Supply seems to be resilient still. A situation where World will find it hard to store oil now is predicted.
17. ” Zoom-bombing : FB warns video calls getting hijacked ” –
Zoom videoconferencing app finds extensive use for almost everything from brunches and birthday parties to religious events and even a UK cabinet meeting. Spike in popularity causes a spike in scrutiny because of privacy concerns.
18. ” UK media opinion ” –
Government Coronavirus briefings are a complete waste of time and pathetic – according to UK media.
19. ” UK media opinion ” –
Mass testing for COVID-19 is our priority, but we lag behind the world.
20. ” New research ” –
Coronavirus can spread not just through coughing and sneezing but also by talking or by just breathing. A new generation of doctors and scientists will emerge in future.
21. ” Medical facility infrastructure for COVID-19 containment ” –
The biggest ICU in the country, UK, will be open this week. NHS is an incredible public service. The facility in UK was completed in 7 days. Spain did it in 24 hours. China did it in January. Philippines is doing it.
22. ” Early action saves lives ” –
A large scale scientific study found that early interventions like Social Distancing and severe restrictions on people’s movements restrained the spread of COVID-19 and saved tens of thousands of lives across Europe.
23. ” Journalist tested positive minds his work ” –
” We do not have testing data to make sense of our reality beyond what we know is the face of (Coronavirus) for an overwhelming number who get sick”, said Chris Cuomo, a great, genuine, truth speaking and transparent CNN journalist. ” That face is mine. I tested positive ” he added. He is still giving information to public while on job.
24. ” Adversity is an Opportunity ” –
Hungary passed a bill on Monday that gave PM Viktor Orben the power to rule by decree indefinitely. As COVID-19 brings the world to a halt, some world leaders have spotted an opportunity to tighten their grip on power.
25. ” Strange, but true ? ” –
North Korea which borders two of the most heavily affected countries in the region – South Korea and Japan – has not reported any Coronavirus infections. Are they hiding the facts or they are better equipped to handle the crisis ?
Conclusion : The world will not be the same if and after the Coronavirus gets eliminated. Economy, Science, Medicine, Sports, Agriculture, Finance, Social and Spiritual life, – every sector of human endeavour – will all see a dramatic transformation in the way we see, approach problems, manage incidents, and guide overall life. The above mentioned monitoring and control aspects are just a pointer to what is in store for our future. Many of the actions cited may hold and stay permanently mainly for two reasons : (a) fear that our life will be in danger again if Change is attempted, and (b) a process of acclimatization to the habits adopted now firmly entrenched in life. To that effect, COVID-19 can be deemed to be the “transformation agent” of this new millennium inducing a new phase of human evolution. World War I, World War II, Oil Shock, Mobile revolution, Depression of 2008 and now this Coronavirus Disease – changing the way humans live, work, and connect/collaborate to meet ends.
” Dieu avec nous “
Saturday, April 4, 2020 – 6.29 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” Now is the time to quit smoking ; it could increase your odds of beating COVID-19 ” – CNN.com