The trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic has plagued us for the last few years. Understandably, at a time when vaccination rates are high, the existing variant of dominance is less life-threatening and restrictions have eased, organisations and businesses globally are opting to move forward with lower levels of caution. What we understand is that the need to ongoingly respond to a sustained emergency has caused widespread ‘crisis fatigue’ and burnout. This said, the risk of bringing COVID-19 measures to a grinding halt leaves businesses and economies unprepared for future contingencies.
Whilst we experienced a sharp rise in the peak of Omicron, the other side of the curve has not been as steep and we have seen a slow reduction in numbers. As we look to where is the pandemic heading, according to Respond Global’s Founder and Managing Director Dr. Ian Norton, three possible scenarios can emerge:
1. One is that the virus becomes like the common cold. Very infectious and still, sadly, deaths, but we will learn to live with the virus. Symptoms whilst debilitating, will not be serious to a large majority of the population. It will become endemic.
2. The second scenario is that the virus continues to haunt us in the way it has to date, with waves of infection; epidemic waves that can be serious and sometimes fatal to the vulnerable and those with other health conditions. This is the most likely scenario and might continue for another year or two.
3. The third scenario is that the virus becomes more virulent through mutations and other variants. This is the worst-case scenario and whilst unlikely, still has a roughly 10% chance of eventuating.
What this tells us is that there is a need to stay prepared in the event of scenario 2 or 3 becoming a reality as quickly as COVID-19 entered our lives. If the past few years have taught us anything, it is that having the right measures in place to be fully prepared and ready at the onset of a crisis is essential and invaluable. Reviewing COVID measures and making sure that lessons learned are accounted for is crucial at this time, and a key step to keeping your business, organisation, and/or community safe and prepared.