Business Society And The Coronavirus
7. Business, society and the coronavirus. (Module 11)
Based on the unique circumstances that we are facing due to the corona virus at this time, this discussion board will focus on business, society and the coronavirus.
There are a lot of different issues to consider here, but here are a couple of links, for some readings on the issues for us to consider as we start the discussion:
CDC Guidance for Businesses and Employers on the Coronavirus (Links to an external site.)
Wikipedia Overview of the Coronavirus Pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic is a strong reminder that even with medical developments and technological advancements, catastrophes will continue happening in the future. Even though the world cannot prevent pandemics, there is a need to prepare for outbreaks to mitigate their impacts on society. The Covid-19 pandemic provides society with insights that can help dampen the effects of future catastrophes. Since its onset, the pandemic has transformed how people perceive technology, which promises to be an integral component of business and society in the coming years.
The corporate world is among the industries that have registered the greatest changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Following the virus’ outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention established guidelines to increase its spread and lower its impacts. These guidelines focus on helping firms develop a healthy working environment and reduce transmission among employees (CDC, 2021). Consequently, the pandemic has changed how organizations interact with employees and transformed how workers interact with their colleagues.
To comply with government regulations aimed at curbing the virus’s spread, organizations have established flexible working conditions that allow employees to work from home. Additionally, they have developed greater trust in employees’ abilities to deliver without being in the office or undergoing frequent monitoring. Likewise, employees have become familiar with working from the comfort of their homes, which eliminates daily commuting struggles. Moreover, there is a decreased need for business travel due to social distancing measures while there is greater dependence on technology. Due to social distancing, most organizations have established ways to operate without the physical presence of workers. Hence, automation is likely to increase in the future, reducing direct interactions and minimizing business travel.
CDC. (2021). Guidance for business and employers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID-19 Guidance: Businesses and Employers | CDC
In considering this discussion topic, the first thought that came to my mind is the ‘brief’ yet remarkable history of this pandemic. While the virus behind the pandemic was identified in December 2019, it was not until March 11th, 2020 that the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic (Misc., 2021). In a course of 4 months, SARS-CoV-2 went from a local outbreak which barely registered as background noise in news casts to anything anyone was talking about. COVID-19 is responsible for the most rapid shift in society and business alike. Practically overnight, everything was shut down and everyone was stuck indoors around the world. One extreme example of this can be seen in flight statistics. In April 2020, there were 96% less U.S. airline passengers than in April 2019 (Misc. B. , 2020). Similar decrease in air travel were noted around the world.
During the whole of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention worked tirelessly to put into place a framework to help the state and local governments manage this deadly virus. While the state and local governments decided how to execute the framework, the CDC developed guild lines such as wearing cloth masks, staying 6 feet apart, and washing hands regularly (CDC, 2021). Similar guidelines were also rolled out in other countries. However, some countries did a great job with adhering to these guidelines like New Zealand or South Korea while others did not like the UK or Brazil (Muggah, 2021).
The coronavirus has touched every aspect of business and society from how we interact with each other to how we conduct business. Adoption of telecommunication software like Zoom and Teams has exponentially increased while movie theater stay mostly closed. Purchases from Amazon has increased tremendously while some brick-and-mortar stores go bankrupt. This level of chaotic disruption to business and society is awe inspiring. However, there is hope for a more normal future.
With a slew of approved new vaccines that are readily available to the public, there is a real possibility of completely eradicating SARS-CoV-2. Not only do the vaccines slow the transmission of the virus, but it also reduces the virus’ severity. This reduction in the severity leading to a 94% less chance of being hospitalized with COVID-19 (CDC, Fully Vaccinated Adults 65 and Older Are 94% Less Likely to Be Hospitalized with COVID-19, 2021). This kind of results, I firmly believe, will help those who feared this virus start to gain confidence in a better future.
CDC. (2021, April 28). Fully Vaccinated Adults 65 and Older Are 94% Less Likely to Be Hospitalized with COVID-19. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/p0428-vaccinated-adults-less-hospitalized.html
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