Conquering The Coronavirus
Our world has been taken by surprise.
The Coronavirus pandemic was the last thought on almost any CEO's mind when they were making their 2020 capital budget and outlining their firm's goals for the year. How could it have been?
The last major health crisis to hit the US and cause significant societal upheaval was the polio epidemic of the early 1950s. In that case thousands of children died and many thousands more were crippled, and the elderly were not the ones at great risk. In that instance the nation was panicked and fearful parents kept their children at home. A 2009 PBS documentary reported, "Apart from the atomic bomb, America's greatest fear was polio." But the Salk polio vaccine was discovered the following year which ended the panic.
With the current health crisis we have seen the emergence of private industry stepping up to make a major difference.
From artificial intelligence used to map the Coronavirus to millions of free pills being released by Novartis and other manufacturers of the potentially life-saving malaria treatment, private business has been extraordinarily proactive.
The world's largest company, Amazon, has been one of the leaders in providing extra support to our struggling world. Amazon is delivering food and household goods to many families who can not leave their residence.
At a time when many businesses are furloughing employees, it is always heartening to read that Amazon is adding more than 100,000 new employees to deal with the surging demand.
Glove and mask production has been ramped up by companies in the medical supplies industry and companies in apparel and other associated firms. Practically overnight some textile firms turned their factory on its head to make an entirely new product.
From finding cures for the coronavirus to developing a vaccine, there are hundreds of biotechnology firms around the world racing to respond to the pandemic. In fact, Moderna and Regeneron are already entering testing with their drugs. Development has been at a most rapid pace. One Israeli firm thinks they might have a vaccine within 90 days.
In the meantime, one can see an online doctor and get a prescription for only $20 from Heydoctor.com or the more established global TELADOC will give you a virtual consultation with one of the world’s leading physicians.
Elon Musk has said that Tesla should have over 1,200 ventilators ready to ship next week, which is remarkable for a firm that makes electric cars. Tim Cook has pledged that Apple will donate millions of masks and protective gear to hospital and health care workers around the country who are facing severe supply shortages.
In the United States the response to this crisis has been one of coming together and working together to solve this issue. This sits in stark contrast to the People's Republic of China, which arrested the initial whistleblower, a doctor who died fighting the disease, and initially lied about the contagiousness of this virus.
Many Americans have turned their kitchen table into a desk and the nation's trend of working from home has exploded. Will this be a major turning point for labor relations of US industry?
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