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Life Goes on and So Should Business

It was important as a society to take a position of extreme caution when COVID-19 made its way to the USA. 

We didn’t know what we were dealing with, it was novel.

We had to flatten the curve so that hospitals were not overrun.

And the models were showing extreme damage to the USA, potential deaths in the several hundreds of thousands or even millions.

The stay at home orders originally were to flatten the curve so that the hospitals would not get overloaded.  Now the stay at home orders are for safety reasons.

Many believe that this actually means government control of our lives.

Government sleight of hand at its finest – how did the government rhetoric change so quickly and so seamlessly from preventing hospital overload to we solemnly declare that nobody should ever die?

It’s an election year after all, and both sides of the aisle are handling the COVID-19 Pandemic as it best suits their needs for the upcoming election.

Meanwhile, because of stay at home orders, American businesses have been told that they cannot operate.

In a remarkable effort, congress came together and passed the CARES Act that was soon thereafter signed by the Executive Branch, in an effort to stimulate the economy while American operations shut down, and to give these shut down businesses a lifeline while they were closed.

But the PPP plan from the CARES ACT for businesses, even though great in concept, has failed miserably in its delivery. 

In my home state of Michigan, only 39% of the businesses that were eligible, received loans.

Most of the big banks did not have processes in place to submit the loan applications to the SBA and the money ran out before it could be distributed, and many loan amounts were reduced because the funds were dry.

What a mess.

How can you prevent someone from conducting business, and at the same time not provide them stimulus?

This is not what the American business world is supposed to look like.

This is not what business people signed up for.

There has to be a better way.

Lawmakers should also consider the extreme collateral lifelong damage that has been caused from the stay at home orders issued by the government such as an increase in depression https://theconversation.com/covid-19-could-lead-to-an-epidemic-of-clinical-depression-and-the-health-care-system-isnt-ready-for-that-either-134528, suicide https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/covid-19-is-likely-to-lead-to-an-increase-in-suicides/and domestic abuse https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/06/world/coronavirus-domestic-violence.html.

Also, the lockdown is preventing children, adolescents, and teenagers from enjoying memorable times of their lives, not going to school, or being locked out of participation in their activities.

Even more importantly, some scientists argue that children are missing out on the opportunity to build up their immunities which is good for themselves, but also for society as it limits the future transmission of disease to others who are more susceptible (because if they are immune, then they will not be infected and at a future point in time they will not pass it along to someone who isn’t immune and also is susceptible to harm).

For those of us who are in business, let’s not forget about the trillions of dollars of economic damage that has been caused from shutting the American Economy down, negatively impacting millions of Americans.

Doctors and hospitals are now much better suited to treat patients and tremendous increases in mass testing are being rolled out each week.

And studies are showing that millions of people have been infected with COVID-19 (significantly more than is being reported by the national media), many of whom showed no symptoms or just mild symptoms, and some estimates show that over 20% of the people in New York City were infected.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-23/new-york-finds-virus-marker-in-13-9-suggesting-wide-spread

This is great news, because it means that the percentage death rates are much lower than what was originally thought.

Also, many reports are showing that the actual death rates for COVID-19 are no different from the flu. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-04-20/coronavirus-serology-testing-la-county

COVID-19 is an awful virus especially because it is novel, it spreads quickly, and nobody has immunities built up for it.  It has wreaked havoc and played a role in the death of thousands of people. 

But as a society we cannot sit on the sideline and let life pass us by.

There is no clear promise of a vaccine and it seems clear that herd immunity is what will eventually end the pandemic in America, so why sit around and wait any longer before engaging in business activity?

And while I am personally against dying, I realize that death is part of life.

It’s time for Americans to start living again.

American business people have no choice but to rise to the challenge, and overcome the adversity that we are facing.

But we need the government to open the economy to even have a chance at success.

It’s time to intelligently open up businesses where everyone wears a mask, people keep their social distance, and companies get back to working as normal as possible.

We need to start with important foundational pieces to society, like schools, manufacturing, and the medical profession.

And then in stages begin to open other parts of the economy.

People should be allowed to work from home if their job can be performed satisfactorily or go into the office if they choose.

For anyone who is healthy they should be shot forward back into society at lightning speed.

People who have pre-existing health conditions, or who are elderly are at a much greater risk for death, and they should heed the warnings of the medical professionals.

But they too should be allowed to exercise their freedom in entering back into society if they would like to.

If people want to smoke, drink, or eat fast food every day of their life, or if you want to exercise your freedom to drink bleach or inject it into your body (please don’t), it is your American right to do so.

The curve has flipped and it’s impossible to go the other way now – more Americans now are being wounded as a result of the stay at home orders than those who would be hurt if we open America back up for business.

The hardest days are behind us.

It is time to focus on the future.

It is time for America to get back to business.

#SCNrecruiting

Jim Guerrera

Author Info

Jim Guerrera

Jim Guerrera, Managing Director, founded SCN in 2000. As a leader of SCN, Jim assumes responsibility for the hiring and development of company employees, strategic planning, culture leadership, core value leadership, marketing, operations, and bus...

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