What should you do now to ensure your startup can survive and thrive during the coronavirus pandemic, and its aftermath?
It is very clear that the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus is serious. It is already delivering an impact more significant than we’ve seen in hundreds of years. We’ve barely seen the tip of the iceberg of what could happen. The time to act is now.
Here’s what we can expect based on the data so far and historical cycles. Plus, the essential steps to make so that your startup stays in business and can even come out on top.
What To Expect Next
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) report on March 12th, 2020 shows over confirmed 125,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide, with close to 5,000 deaths.
However, even places like Ohio have estimated they probably already have 100,000 infected individuals, and that is growing fast. We are likely to see far, far high curves in the data in the coming weeks.
While many say the common annual flu is much worse and more deadly, we’ve already seen the coronavirus pandemic claim more lives than 9/11. Some statistics appear to show very low fatality rates. Down in the single digits. However, these generic stats don’t show the full picture. Among those 60 years old and older, or who have pre-existing medical conditions, the mortality rate can exceed 20%.
As with business and financial markets, our patterns of disease and epidemics seem to have a history we can look to for forecasting what’s next as well.
The last time the United States faced something like this was the 1918 Spanish Flu. It was responsible for the deaths of around 50M to 100M people. Countries like Iran lost almost 30% of their entire population. It was made worse by people cramming into health facilities, malnourishment, and lack of hygiene, which was compounded by a mutation of the virus.
Today, we may also find much of the pain comes more from the financial side effects and chaos that stems from the reaction to the virus and countermeasures being implemented by governments.
Panicking is only going to make things worse, yet it only seems wise to get prepared. Hope for the best, but be ready to weather the most likely scenarios. This applies to you personally, your community, your startup business, and finances.
The Impact Of The Coronavirus
The unprecedented response to the viral outbreak itself says a lot.
Consider the cancellation of NYC’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. This is the first time it has been canceled in over 250 years. A ritual that predates the forming of the United States. We are looking at the size of a crisis that may only come along once every 10 generations.
Virtually all major sports franchises have canceled events. Major business events have been canceled or banned. Colleges across the country are being closed. The cost is already well into the billions of dollars. A loss which many will not recover from.
Spain has copied Italy’s move of beginning mandatory quarantines and physically blocking streets with the use of law enforcement. Even New Rochelle in NY has seen the creation of a ‘containment zone’ and the National Guard deployed in the streets.
It’s probably not the end of the world. Though, for many, it will temporarily be the end of society as we’ve experienced throughout our whole lives up until now. The side effects of that shouldn’t be underestimated.
The graph below gives you an idea of what could happen if proper measures are taken by policymakers to flatten the curve. Up until then what we are seeing is an exponential growth of people getting infected.
Too Close To Home
The average family is already experiencing a lot of chaos in their daily lives.
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