Phases of response to the coronavirus epidemic

Denial phase

The phase when the threat is considered to be negligible and/ or outside of the region of one’s network and is often termed as just another flu. The below tweet by Elon Musk was when the USA was almost out of the situation of Coronavirus and when the number of cases in the country had a low count. Most of the countries are undergoing this phase. A primary signal for regions encompassing this phase will be for the grocery stores to get ready for the surge in demand.

Panic and precaution phase:

The panic phase starts when a few cases start getting discovered in a country/ region and social media, then, starts playing a massive impact in perpetuating panic in the form of mass hysteria. Implementations of travel restrictions, declaration of it being a pandemic by the WHO, testing of international passengers with mandatory quarantining, etc. are some of the measures that indicate that a region or a country has entered the phase of precaution. The stock market is expected to take a large hit due to the sentiment of fear. According to Bain&Company, the US stock market has seen a decline of over 25% from its recent all-time highs, the fastest rate of decline since the 1920s. Hiring freeze can be evident as the demand and supply configuration of various sectors may be imbalanced.

In many areas, universities have either turned to the online mode of education or have canceled the in-person classes for some time. In response to the Coronavirus epidemic, Harvard moves its classes online as have asked the students not to return after the spring break, according to the Harvard Crimson. Other universities of the USA canceling in-person classes and adopting virtual options include Stanford, Princeton, University of California- Berkeley & SanDiego, Columbia, Hofstra, Ohio State, Seattle, University of Southern California, etc.

Source: TheCrimson.com

In India, state governments including that of Punjab, Odisha, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Delhi, etc. have issued advisories and have even directed closing of schools, colleges, gyms, malls, etc. in many cases.

Evolution phase:

The trend and patterns that a large set of the population will accept during the epidemic may be set to retain into the lifestyles of many and may result in an evolved lifestyle that may include the following:

  • More digital adoption in the form of increased internet usage, digital payments, digital governance, etc.
  • Drone deliveries
  • Digital Banking
  • Online education
  • Self-serving supermarket (like amazon go)
  • Online dating
  • Food delivery
  • OTT adoption
  • Insurance policy adoptions
  • AI and ML for supply chain
  • SaaS product adoption + Cloud servers
  • Web application innovation in design and experience
  • Usage of Hygiene/ Personal care products
  • Online gaming
  • Digital Lending
  • Social networking
  • VR/ AR adoption for remote support

Amid restrictions on gatherings, the epidemic will essentially force people to embrace digital technologies and applications, and therefore become more convinced of the need to migrate their operations to the cloud.

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