As news of the rapidly spreading Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) sparks concern and even panic around the world, we’re already seeing major ripple effects through almost every sector of society. The stock market has gone on a roller coaster ride, grocery store shelves are emptying, and hand sanitizers and face masks have become major commodities—all in the space of a couple of weeks. Between a rapidly evolving world health situation and mixed messaging coming from Washington, you may be wondering (along with many other business owners) how Coronavirus may impact how you do business. Let’s explore this question to see how we can be better prepared.
Let’s Start with the Facts
Despite the panic caused by conflicting stories, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have both been diligently compiling useful information about COVID-19, and they are perhaps among the best sources available to understand what this virus is, how it spreads, and how to protect ourselves. Here’s a summation of what we know so far about the virus itself:
Protecting Yourself, Your Family and Your Team
Before discussing how Coronavirus may affect your business specifically, your first priority should be the safety of your team, your family and yourself. The CDC recommends the following practices to reduce the risk of infection:
If you do develop symptoms that become severe (e.g., difficulty breathing, difficulty retaining food/water, high fever), call your doctor or the E.R. before coming in so they can prepare to receive and test you safely. Avoid contact with others as much as possible.
Most importantly—don’t buy into the panic. Coronavirus must be taken seriously, but it is not inevitable, nor is it a death sentence. Be smart, take the necessary precautions, and you can manage the risk far more efficiently.