Matrix of Individual, Industry and Government Resources to Fight COVID 19

–Essential Pointers for the Travel and Hospitality Industry

The threats of the ‘novel’ Coronavirus have been very real and palpable. And so imposing in their magnitude, reach and penetration!

While other outbreaks have been sizeable too and have unleashed big enough havoc; yet they seem to have been region specific having peaked in one geographical area or two. H1NI, SARS, MERS, Ebola – all have claimed lives, some more than the others.

But Coronavirus seems to have unified the world in fear, panic, and helplessness like never before. It is not a First World dilemma or a Third World problem. The Virus has spread across the length and breadth of the globe with unfathomable haste and urgency, leaving a small window for response and rectification.

We all seem to be grappling with the menace of it, having trundled into an area none of us have had experience in; not even the richer, more equipped societies.

With no place or person immune to the deadly Coronavirus, people are employing energy and acumen into developing resources and devising techniques to streamline a combat strategy.

While the role of the Government and the various governing bodies is paramount in making the pandemic retract; many ingenious individuals and institutions have set themselves on the warpath to make an impressive difference.

Some of the examples hereunder are perfect for the travel and hospitality industry to either

  • Emulate from
  • Learn with
  • Contribute to
  • String together in their own Survival Strategy
  • Improve upon by adding their unique experience
  • Use as a Sift to see what can be gleaned and what must be allowed to pass-through

Avi Schiffmann a teenage High School student from Seattle developed a website in December of last year when the virus had not been detected outside of China. Accessing data from the World Health Organisation, the Centers for Disease Control and other relevant places, Avi’s Site is today one of the most significant global resources for tracking the Coronavirus cases.

The at-a-glance dashboard presented in real-time on the Schiffmann Website depicts total confirmed cases, total deceased, total serious, and total recovered in 173 countries infected by now, providing you easy and quick information on where and how the Coronavirus is spreading.

The latest addition is the ticker advising you about how many vaccines are being currently worked on. You can access the Site here –

I think this is a fantastic resource to aid in the planning of travel and hospitality professionals. Besides, since such talent, experience, skill, and acumen resides in the industry, it presents opportunities to individuals and companies to get innovative and inventive.

Dennis Pitocco, a Florida-based publisher and solopreneur who runs an award-winning media digest BizCatalyst 360°, is using his platform to perpetuate a goodwill wave of “rising by lifting others.” Dennis’s initiative is essentially targetted at the weakest common denominator – the senior population and the desolate. Acknowledging the challenging times and urging everyone to do their bit, Pitocco reemphasizes that “doing something versus doing nothing means everything,” so much more in the present context.

Pitocco advises to organize Wellness checks on the senior population, offer practical help, physically run errands, be a call away for the most vulnerable. I ratify that these are pertinent pointers to devise one’s strategy around guest loyalty and retention.

That is the need of the hour. From an individual’s effort to a country’s approach as a whole – everything will and is adding up to combat the Coronavirus.

A handful of countries such as India and Canada had taken the lead with timely steps, but lack of consistency as in the case of India is proving to be its Achilles ’ heel. Some other countries, like Italy, where there is a large senior population faced the brunt of it.

Vilnius, the capital of the small European country Lithuania, in the initial days itself made ‘solidarity’ its anthem to meet the Coronovirus pandemic head-on. The country is under quarantine, but the zealous volunteers of Vilnius together with a large number of entrepreneurs and businesses have been working overtime to help the doctors and people in risk groups.

I would like to use the Vilnius initiatives as a model on which the efforts of any country or industry could be easily based. The tiny nation’s giant strides must be extrapolated.

The Volunteers of Vilnius are joining into different groups to take up big or small tasks – help a senior citizen shop for food or medicine, disburse correct, fact-checked communication through posters, flyers, and drones, raise funds for protective equipment or respirators, provide help to overloaded medical staff in whatever way possible such as perhaps volunteer to walk the dogs of doctors and nurses currently pressed into immense pressure.

The number of volunteers is increasing every day with the current count being more than 3000. Competing telecommunication providers set up a website ‘Strong Together’ where both volunteers and help-seekers can register. The site matches offers and requests ranging from providing food aid to being a courier with one’s own car.

The contribution of entrepreneurs is phenomenal. In a matter of hours, when the Pandemic first broke out, entrepreneurs raised around EUR 600,000 through online communications. The funds are being plowed into procuring essential amenities like surgical masks scaling up to lung ventilation machines and other equipment.

Many businesses are donating their products or adapting their production lines to the new situation. Distilleries and chemical plants are producing disinfectants. Popular restaurants are providing free food for medical staff, servicemen, volunteers, and isolated people. A known Fashion Designer is producing substitute surgical masks for doctors who are lacking professional protective equipment.


L. Aruna Dhir
L. Aruna Dhir
L. Aruna Dhir is a Hospitality & Feature Writer and Columnist for some of the world’s highest-ranked Hospitality publications. Her industry writings are syndicated to the finest global hospitality bodies and used as references in case studies and hotel schools. Aruna runs an exclusive channel on the award-winning media digest, BizCatalyst 360° called “Hospitality Matters” based on her hospitality industry insight and commentary. Aruna is a recognized and national-poll winning Corporate Communications Specialist, PR Strategist, and Writer. A seasoned hotelier, Aruna loves to present hospitality industry watch, insights, case studies, and analysis to her ever-increasing base of global readership. Aruna has over two decades of experience in Hospitality Communications and Brand Management and has worked with some of the best global hotel companies. In her last corporate role, Aruna was the Director – Public Relations at The Imperial New Delhi, where she was part of the core group and was responsible for re-launching The Imperial as one of the finest hotels in India and Asia. Aruna’s hotel experience includes leading the Marketing Communications and Public Relations portfolio for flagship properties at The Oberoi Group and Hyatt International. She also helped launch the Vilases as the uber-luxury experiences from the Oberoi stable. As an industry expert, Aruna has launched brands, developed training modules, created standardization dockets on business communication, written manuals, conducted Image Study & Positioning Analysis, and led media campaigns of Australian Ministers in India. Aruna Dhir’s successful work tenure with Australia’s Diplomatic Mission in India in the capacity of Media Relations Officer, saw her working on a host of never-done-before exciting projects including the hugely rewarding organisation of Australia-India New Horizons – Australia’s largest ever Country Promotion. Aruna Dhir is the first-ever Creative Writer for the Indian greeting cards giant – ARCHIES Greetings and Gifts Ltd. The milestone puts her in the league of Helen Steiner Rice and Amanda Bradley. While with the company she came out with several series of cards sold under her byline – an unprecedented feat that has not been repeated since. L. Aruna Dhir also dabbles in poetry and has to her credit two titles of Anthologies published and marketed by Archies G&G Ltd. Aruna serves on the Board of Association of Emerging Leaders Dialogues (AELD), a front-running Commonwealth Body that works towards developing leaders and influencers of tomorrow, with Princess Anne as its international President. Aruna has been engaged in freelance work for Doordarshan – the Indian National Television, All India Radio, and Times FM. Academically, L. Aruna Dhir topped at the All-India level in her PG Diploma in Public Relations and Advertising. Aruna has been a Ph.D. scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University, akin to an Ivy League in India. She has earned a Senior Management Course Certification from the Oberoi Centre for Learning & Development in partnership with the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow; V Dimension Management Company, London & Asian Institute of Management, Manila, Philippines. Aruna Dhir has represented India to a select group of opinion-makers in the United States, as a Cultural Ambassador under the GSE Program of Rotary International. She has also participated in the IXth Commonwealth Study Conference held in Australia and chaired by Princess Anne. Aruna is a Life Member of the Public Relations Society of India A Freelance Writer since 1987, with articles that have appeared in India’s topmost newspapers and magazines, Aruna is also a blogger, a memoirist with works published on platforms like Medium and a Book reviewer on Goodreads. In her official and personal capacity L. Aruna Dhir has and continues to work on several social awareness projects – People for Animals, Earthquake Relief, National Blind Association, PETA, WSPA,, Friendicoes to name a few. Born at Allahabad (now Prayagraj), one of the world’s oldest known cities, L. Aruna Dhir grew up and did her schooling in Dehradun, regarded as a prominent seat of academia and literature. After being brought up in the sylvan surroundings of the verdant Doon valley, Aruna chose to make the Capital City of Delhi her second home.

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