Each day of this ongoing pandemic gets more grim. Our country and indeed, the world, was not adequately prepared for the challenges we now face.
Many people are in to finger pointing saying had he done this or had we done that, we wouldn’t be in the situation we’re currently facing. But that accomplishes nothing for where we are today and where we might be as a nation by the time 2021 arrives.
We have to get back to work. But the way we work has to dramatically change. Business as usual would be a colossal failure leading to more spread of the virus and crippling our healthcare system for good.
So what can we do? We need to look at how we conduct business and what types of business we should be conducting in the first place.
We need American ingenuity now, more than ever.
Our first focus has to be on serving the needs of our healthcare providers. That seems to be the current emphasis – but the rest of us who aren’t involved in any of those endeavors can’t just sit idly by, waiting for someone to signal “Everyone back in the water.”
Social distancing needs to become the norm for the immediate future in the workplace. Workers need to be checked each day at the door for potential symptoms. Are there instant temperature reading devices available? If not, we need them.
Factory automation needs to be ramped up. Just like Ford and GM have shifted to making ventilators and masks, we need more companies to figure out ways to mass produce protective shields, temperature readers, sanitizers and other key items that could allow retail stores, restaurants and other types of businesses to re-open their doors.
Mass transit is no longer an option. But it doesn’t mean it has to come to a complete end. If we got rid of 9 to 5 hours and went instead to shifts around the clock, that could ease some of that burden. Purchasing tickets online and limiting the number of tickets sold for each stop could also help.
We may need to go to a cashless society. We may need to eliminate personal transactions between individuals.
We need to re-think our food preparation and food delivery system.
I don’t have all of the answers. In fact, I don’t have any of the answers. Many of the above items I just listed would take months, perhaps even years to implement which is not much help to what will take place next week.
But the fact remains, our work paradigm has completely shifted. And we need to find new ways to shift with it.
Sports and entertainment are a huge component of our American fabric. Sadly, until this resolves itself, team sports are out of the equation and attending events probably isn’t a viable option either.
Individual competitions could still go on. Professional golf could return – maybe the players wouldn’t be allowed to have caddies. They’d have to meet health criteria before going out on the course. Courses could follow the same restrictions they’re currently using with no flags or rakes. Broadcasts could still go on with limited camera coverage. That would mean ad revenue and sponsorships could return.
Track & Field events could be ramped up with new restrictions regarding social distancing. Same with swimming & diving. Figure skating. Skiing. Motocross. Bull riding.
Professional bowling could return. Bowling alleys could re-open with new sanitary rules and social distancing regulations.
The key is to get people to re-think how we’ve done things in the past. And figure out new ways of doing things for the future.
We cannot afford to wait to return to business as usual.
There may never again be a business as usual.
If you agree, please share.
More important, put on your thinking cap and whatever your profession may be, think and propose new ways that we can get back to work without further risking the spread of this virus.