Risk & Business Magazine JGS Insurance - Summer 2020 - Page 7

BEFORE AND AFTER COVID-19 BEFORE AND AFTER COVID-19: THE NEW ABNORMAL Regardless of how bad media headlines make it sound, COVID-19 is not the apocalypse it is being made out to be. It is, however, very serious and has ground much of society as we know it to a halt. Comparisons have been and can easily be made to 9/11 in terms of the disruption that is being felt across the international landscape. That begs the question: Will what is “normal” change after COVID-19 like it did after 9/11? Anyone who flew on an airplane, for instance, before 9/11 knows how different that experience became. What might change now? Pandemics are relatively rare. COVID-19 is the first serious pandemic the world has faced in modern times. It may or may not come as a big surprise that, even with all of our advanced science and knowledge, we dropped the ball on the response. What are some things that might change moving forward in the future? Most of this is speculative, but more likely than not, some or all of them could occur: • Travel watchlists for biological contaminants including illness at airports and seaports • Economic recession. This one should come as no surprise because we are practically already in the middle of one, and COVID-19 isn’t even over yet. • Politically speaking, scientists and physicians are likely to be more involved with policymaking, a least for the foreseeable future. • The storage of basic medical supplies, including face masks and gloves, will likely become a very commonplace thing, especially given the shortages the world has seen recently. • Businesses and insurance companies are going to come up with ways to mitigate potential risks that could stem from pandemics in the future. CONTACT TRACING • Trace and monitor contacts of infected people. Notify them of their exposure. • Support the quarantine of contacts. Help ensure the safe, sustainable and effective quarantine of contacts to prevent additional transmission. • Expand staffing resources. Contact tracing in the US will require that states, tribes, localities and territorial establish large cadres of contact tracers. • Use digital tools. Adoption and evaluation of digital tools may expand reach and efficacy of contact tracers. Other events could also occur that would change the general landscape moving forward. Many companies, particularly airlines and cruise ship companies (after massive stock buybacks), are on the brink of collapse unless they receive government bailouts. Companies like Ford, with less income, may experience a change in their credit rating which would then trigger clauses that require them to pay back loans, which could put them deep in the red at the very least. China has instituted measures to prevent the suspected origins of COVID-19 from happening in the future, such as banning the trade of live animals, though they puzzlingly had their government health office recommend bear bile as a cure for COVID-19 the very next day. Things might change dramatically across the world in very obvious ways. Likewise, things may not really change that much at all. Time will tell either way. What we know right now is that individuals, businesses, and politicians can’t afford to be caught off guard in the future like they were this time. The economy fell into a deep hole, and unfortunately, it was very likely avoidable. In the future, people will be better prepared if for no other reason than the fact that they have already seen what happens in this type of situation and now know what to do (and what not to do). + BY: ROSS E. RUTMAN, CLCS, CPIA ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT JGS INSURANCE Ross Rutman began his career in the property management industry 15 years ago. While working within various departments including operations, information technology, condominium management and insurance; Ross decided to pursue his passion and joined JGS Insurance. For the past four years Ross has represented the JGS marketing team by working alongside our sales, service and management side of our business. He strives to provide a consultative approach and proactive services to our clients. 7