COVID-19 vs. The Flu Pandemic
by Angie Ash, EVP
As each day passes, our consumer anxiety and stress levels rise as new announcements are made about COVID-19. In many states, groups of 50 or more are discouraged from assembling, schools have closed and college students have been forced to pack up and come home for the rest of the year, many restaurants are closed or only offering pick up service, grocery stores are wiped out, and toilet paper is scarce. The impact is being felt by many as people scramble to figure out how to work from home (if that’s an option) and what to do with their young kids. Many have been laid off already with no ready indication of when they’ll be able to come back to work.
Even everyday luxuries like having a gym to go to and a library to visit are no longer options, as many have temporarily closed. We can expect everyone to get a little stir-crazy until we understand exactly how long we will need to practice social distancing and avoid large gatherings to prevent the spread of this highly contagious virus. The unknown is what’s bothering everyone. However, it’s very important that we flatten the curve by doing our part, and taking this preventive step seriously. Although our businesses are being disrupted and yes, sales will likely decline, what we don’t want is a repeat of what transpired in 1918, when the country turned a blind eye to the pandemic of the day, the flu. In 100+ years, we’ve all built up some level of immunity, and the flu today is nothing like it was in 1918. If you’re unaware of what transpired, it’s no surprise. It’s almost nonexistent in history books, but you can read about it here. Let’s all be smart and safe out there!