MY TWO CENTS:
While our governor in the State of Michigan has issued a “Stay home, stay safe” executive order that is keeping most of us homebound, the Covid-19 virus does NOT need to keep us frozen in panic and fear. Beating this outbreak will require an intelligent approach that is coordinated through individuals, families, businesses, communities, and governments.
According to the CDC, Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that people could catch COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces or objects – and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
In addition to the WHO’s “Do the Five” to stop the spread, here’s our step-by-step approach:
EXPLAIN - Knowledge is power, but panic leads to irrational and unwise decisions.
- This virus passes most actively through “High-Risk Individual” (HRI) carriers.
- An HRI is someone who comes in contact with 3 or more strangers per day, or who frequents a high-risk environment (i.e. grocery store, gas station, or work environment with more than 3 people).
- These people are identified as HRIs because their interactions with larger groups of people put them at higher risk of contagion due to unknown nature of the larger group’s health and personal exposures.
- These HRIs are then more likely to spread the virus to their family members and others with whom they have close contact.
- Family members of HRIs now carry the virus to their respective places of work, infecting their co-workers who carry the virus to their homes infecting their family, and so on.
- Within the course of three interactions (one work, one family, and another work), the virus begins an exponential spread through one person carrying the virus.
EXPLORE – Awareness helps us be knowledgeable instead of panicked.
- Identify High-Risk Individuals
i. Are we an HRI, or is someone with whom we consistently interact an HRI?
ii. It is EVERYONE’s responsibility to limit exposure to HRIs.
2. Limit Cross Contamination
i. Restrict building (and home) access to only essential personnel.
ii. Adjust work strategies to allow for essential personnel to interact remotely.
iii. Encourage self-identification for those who could inadvertently become an HRI.
3. Develop Flexible Staffing Strategies
i. Reduce daily staffing counts.
ii. Extend working hours per staff member for fewer days per week.
iii. Shift workload to night or weekend hours where possible.
iv. Create social distancing opportunities within the workforce so as to limit exposures without sacrificing productivity.
EMPOWER – All hands on deck!
1. Communicate clearly how the virus is spread.
2. Expect EVERYONE to limit exposure to HRIs.
3. Encourage EVERYONE to consider themselves and others HRIs.
4. Give authority for everyone to protect their personal and working environments.
5. Demand positivity, creativity, and flexibility to develop solutions to enhance productivity as we purposefully bring the spread of the virus to an abrupt HALT!
Most of these ideas have already been promulgated in one form or another over the past few weeks. However, even with shelter-in-place orders, there are many people who will still be leaving their homes to work in “essential businesses.” This content is being offered as a tool to raise awareness and empower people to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.
Let’s make it a great week by sharing this content with anyone and everyone you think could benefit as we work to bring the spread of Covid-19 to an abrupt halt!!!
Scott Cousino, CFP®