Last Updated: Sun. March 8th, 2020
The Coronavirus (COVID-19), has infected nearly 90,000 people worldwide as of March 2, 2020, killing more than 3,000 of those infected. The virus started in China, where the overwhelming majority of these 90,000 cases are, but has recently reached the United States. With the virus spreading to every continent on the globe except for Antarctica, it is important to prepare your organization for the potential consequences of this potential pandemic.
How Dangerous is COVID-19?
The answer truly depends upon your age. People most at risk from this virus are those age 50 and older. A study published by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, revealed a mortality rate that was nearly 15% for those 80 years of age and older. Whether preexisting conditions play a role hasn’t been determined yet.
Warning: External Link: Mortality and Infection Statistics by Country
What can I do to protect myself personally?
It is important that we all do our part in defending against this virus. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following practices to reduce the likelihood of contracting this virus:
- Avoiding close contact with people who are infected.
- If you’re sick, avoid interacting with other people.
- Don’t go to work if you’re sick; stay home.
- When you sneeze, cover your nose and mouth; use your elbow or better yet, a tissue or handkerchief.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that could be contaminated with germs (like your phone).
- Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or more, or use an alcohol-based sanitizer with 60% alcohol or higher if you can’t get to a sink.
Practicing these measures will help slow the spread of this virus and may lower your chances of contracting the virus.
Is there anything else to be concerned with?
Unfortunately, yes there is. The COVID-19 virus has also been weaponized by hackers and scammers taking advantage of this situation. Read our recent article on the FTC Warning of Potential Coronavirus Scams to reduce the chance of you becoming a victim of a coronavirus related cyber attack. Simply put, hackers are sending out phishing attacks with coronavirus related links and attachments. Hackers know people are interested in learning all they can and this leads them to let their guards down so that when they are asked to click a link, or open an attachment, they’re more likely to do so when it relates to this coronavirus.
Do not be duped into clicking fake coronavirus links or opening malicious attachments. Go to trusted resources such as the CDC for official news related to this or a trusted site. Do not fall for these phishing attacks.
What should Business Owners Do?
Much of that depends upon your business. Manufacturers may face difficulty sourcing parts. Knowledge companies need to test work from home capabilities. All businesses should curtail travel, especially international travel. Its been reported that over 50% of the COVID-19 deaths to date are in the 60+ age category. Depending upon the age of your workforce, you may need to ask older workers to stay home for their protection. Post the informational images at the end of this article in your workplace.
Adopt an “Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Policy” and require your employees to sign off on the policy to guide and govern them during this outbreak and future outbreaks.
- Covid-19 Resources Website
- FTC Warns of Potential Coronavirus Scams
- Infection and Mortality Totals by Country