Covid-19 and crying “wolf” too many times

The Covid-19 pandemic will affect many small businesses.

pack of wolves
The Covid-19 issue

There was the story of a boy who cried ‘wolf’ too many times that when he finally saw the menacing wolf, no one answered his call for help because they assumed he was just messing about as usual . The current pandemic might have been caused by too many experts exaggerating too often.

A few weeks ago, it was difficult to believe the extent to which Coronavirus or Covid-19 will change the world’s landscape. When the world heard of the whiff of the virus in January, it seemed like just another outbreak soon to be under control, but then the spread continued unabated. Some universities and schools started to close and moved their classes online.

As  early as the beginning of March no one would have predicted we will get to where we are now. We all assumed that total closure and lockdowns were not possible or even plausible. A couple of weeks later, things changed. The virus had reached almost every part of the world and claimed over 30,000 lives as at 31st March 2020. That number is growing astronomically by the day.

The challenge

2020 is proving to be a year of challenges that will shape the way we live and work for many years to come.

There are those who believe this pandemic could have been avoided or that it was caused deliberately by those with sinister intentions. There may be some truths in these theories but I also found that there have been many pandemics and epidemics in the past dating back many centuries. If you are interested History of pandemics

This time we have the advantage of good communication system and the internet to share knowledge and expertise. Here are a few examples from the past. The great plague of Marseille, France between 1720 and 1723 killed over 700,000 people worldwide. The world lost over 1 million people in the flu pandemic of 1889 to 1890. The Spanish flu between 1918 and 1920 infected 500 million and 100 million died. There have been the Asian flu and the recent Swine flu but none as wide spread and as devastating on economies as the current COVID-19, even the much dreaded Ebola epidemic killed ‘only’ 11325 people in the end. I used ‘only’ because the Ebola crisis lasted 2 years and this current pandemic had killed nearly 30 thousand in 3 months.

Crying wolves too many times.

Back to the analogy of the boy who cried ‘wolf’ too many times. One of the lessons from the virus crisis is that too many experts have provided wrong assessments in the past. We all remember the Year 2000 bug that never was, the election predictions that were plainly wrong and the market crashes that never came.  Lessons must be learned from this crisis. Companies, dreams and lives would have been destroyed by the time this crisis is over. There must be repercussions as well as lessons. Quick and swift actions must be taken to avoid anything of this nature in the future.

All countries must be made to provide honest assessments of any such events as early as possible to the World Health Organisation in the future. Other countries must be warned, border closed quickly, rapid deployment of people and resources. It will be difficult at the point to estimate the cost of this pandemic in Human Resources and in financial terms.

This should never happen again.

Governments must assess their contingency plans, there must be rapid deployment of experts and researchers, lessons must be learned. So many lives could have been saved and many people should not be suffering and future lives mortgaged, plans derailed over something that is avoidable.

As entrepreneurs, it will take a few years for many to recover the momentum they had, but we must look back to learn the lessons and then match forward. So never let this stop your dream, it is only a minor hiccup. You may be interested in Its not over unless you give up

This is the time to  Spend time wisely

I have heard of a new word recently, companies putting their staff on “furlough” or forced leave of absense of up to one year without pay.

The repercussion, higher taxes in the future, loss of jobs, slow growth in economies, mistrust of government and much more.