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 – https://ncov2019.live/data.
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.