Managing Through Facts, Fear, and Fiction


WHAT IS COVID-19?

According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 (aka: “novel coronavirus”) is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

HOW DOES COVID-19 SPREAD?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

A Guide to Symptoms

For more information, including suggested protective measures, please visit the World Health Organization website


COVID-19: NOW A GLOBAL PANDEMIC

With more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and over 4,000 deaths (as of March 11th) attributed to the COVID-19 virus, the World Health Organization announced on March 11th, that COVID-19 is now officially a pandemic.
The last time the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic was during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, which infected nearly a quarter of the world’s population. However, that decision was criticized for creating unnecessary panic. SARS was not considered a pandemic, despite affecting people in 26 countries, and neither was MERS.

EPIDEMIC OR PANDEMIC – WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

According to the WHO, a pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease. “A pandemic is when an epidemic spreads between countries,” says David Jones, MD, PhD, a professor of the culture of medicine at Harvard University. In the case of COVID-19 specifically, the WHO said that it’s the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus. Sometimes, an epidemic stays contained to a specific area, but when it extends into other countries or continents, and epidemic turns into a pandemic.

  • Epidemic refers to a sudden increase in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected
  • Outbreak carries the same definition as an epidemic but is often used to describe a more limited geographic event
  • Pandemic refers to an epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, usually affecting a large number of people

For more information on these terms and other resources, please visit the Very Well Health website

PUTTING THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 INTO PERSPECTIVE:

Infections:

  • COVID-19:Approximately 174,884 cases worldwide; 3,813 cases in the U.S. as of Mar. 16, 2020.*
  • Flu: Estimated 1 billion cases worldwide; 9.3 million to 45 million cases in the U.S. per year.

Deaths:

  • COVID-19: Approximately 6,705 deaths reported worldwide; 69 deaths in the U.S., as of Mar. 16, 2020.*
  • Flu: 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide; 12,000 to 61,000 deaths in the U.S. per year.

*This information comes from the Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases map developed by the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering.


THE FEAR AND FALLOUT:

THE LOCAL AND NATIONAL RIPPLE EFFECT

This week, Illinois Governor Pritzker ordered the cancellation of all public events* with more than 1,000 people for 30 days and urged organizers to call off private and public gatherings of more than 250 people to attempt to curb the spread of the virus. In sports, major announcements have poured out over the past 24 hours. The NCAA basketball tournaments are off. The National Hockey League and Major League Soccer suspended their seasons, following the National Basketball Association’s lead. Major League Baseball canceled the rest of spring training and postponed Opening Day by at least two weeks. A policy of social distance in this circumstance is a smart precaution – but an abstanance of travel, shopping malls, restaurants, conferences and sporting events creates a wide ripple effect of economnic consequences.

THE IMPACT ON THE GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN

The growth and spread of COVID-19 around the world has everyone on edge. Businesses, schools, and healthcare institutions are all implementing their pandemic protocals from 2009 (H1N1) or, they’re scrambling now to put something in place. Given the pace of how COVID-19 is proliferating, the impact to business operations is imminent.

According to a survey conducted ealier in March by the National Association of Manufacturers, 78.3% of manufacturer respondents say that the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to have a financial impact on their businesses; 53.1% of manufacturers are anticipating a change in their operations in the coming months; and 35.5% say that they are already facing supply chain disruptions. Just as we learned from the recent disruptions caused by the trade wars, this pandemic will expose the vulnerabilities of many manufacturers, especially those who have a high dependence on China to fulfil their need for raw materials or finished goods.

Bringing emphasis to this point, more than 200 of the Fortune Global 500 firms have a manufacturing presence in the highly industrialized province of Wuhan, China – the epicenter of this coronavirus (COVID-19).

For more information on how COVID-19 will impact the supply chain, please visit the Harvard Business Review website

Download The Cleveland Research “CORONAVIRUS-Analyzing the Global Outbreak and Expected Impact on Transportation & Freight


THE FICTION:

DEBUNKING THE MYTHS

In a February Facebook post: “Poll Finds 38% of Americans Say They Will Not Drink Corona Beer Because of Virus. “It’s unfortunate for Corona’s parent company, Constellation Brands who needs to work towards debunking this myth, but this is an example of how these myths get started. It’s not uncommon for misinformation to spread as rapidly as this virus. Some myths born of this crisis may seem silly, yet the World Health Organization (WHO) has done a really nice job in debunking these myths (16 in all) in an easy to understand graphic format.

OUR ‘WHO’ DEBUNKING RESOURCE

Use the download link below and find out whether an ultraviolet disinfection lamp can kill the new coronavirus – or if it’s really transmitted through mosquito bites.

For expanded debunking information and other resources, please visit the World Health Organization website


SIMPLE THINGS WE CAN ALL DO

PRACTICE PROPER HYGIENE AND SOCIAL DISTANCING

  • Maintain good hand and personal hygiene
  • Wash hands regularly with soap and water or a disinfectant before handling or consuming food
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms, or who appears unwell
  • Avoid sharing personal items
  • Cover the nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow
  • Use paper tissues only once and dispose of them carefully
  • Should a mask be worn, use all the recommended precautions
  • Adopt a policy of social distancing; avoid crowded venues and unnecessary travel

We should continue to engage in social distancing and practice proper hygiene. These simple but effective actions can help mitigate and prevent further spread of the virus.

DON’T PANIC – LET COMMON SENSE PREVAIL

COMMON SENSE SHOULD PREVAIL DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

While it’s normal to feel anxious during times like these, please try to stay calm.

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate
  • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals and exercise regularly
  • Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling

Here are some resources that may help:
From Psychology Today: 5 Steps to Stay Calm During a Pandemic
From Yale Medicine: Feeling Anxious about COVID-19?


RELY ON TRUSTWORTHY SOURCES

For the necessity of rapid, open, and transparent sharing of data on this pandemic, public health scientists have decried the proliferation of rumors and misinformation surrounding COVID-19.

While the internet can often be a great tool for research and information, in this case we highly recommend relying on information coming from:

Below is a link to a list of information and resources coming directly from these health organizations.
Download our List of COVID-19 Resources