Lessons from a Pandemic
“Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”* As I write this, we’re in that limbo phase:
• Most states have closed schools.
• Most sporting events have been canceled. (No March Madness
• Restaurants and bars have closed.
• Grocery store shelves are bare.
• Social distancing (new term?) is in force.
• And MORE IMPORTANTLY, lives have
been lost and forever impacted.
But what comes next? Shelter in place?
Cancellation of domestic flights? We see
what has worked overseas to stem the
rampant spread of COVID-19, but is the U.S.
prepared to undertake such draconian actions? If we’re not, then
we’re fooling ourselves.
The underlying infrastructure nationwide and worldwide that
supports our daily activities is being stretched to its limits. Supply
chains that are responsible for how products get from point A to
point B are disrupted. We will get through this, but what comes
next? Are the optics truly deceiving?
What MUST come next is a complete rethinking of the
engineered systems currently in place to support our business
models. These systems are designed for a “blue sky” equation—
meaning made to operate under NORMAL conditions. When
the system is stressed, that changes the equation entirely. This is a
substantial vulnerability on many levels.
The pandemic itself, while horrendous and stressful and
pushing our healthcare system to the edge, isn’t the biggest
problem: It’s the connected systems and associated systems
architecture that are failing as a result. There are so many
secondary and tertiary disruptions that could occur involving
infrastructure, IT, electric power, water, communications,
transportation, and social systems—it is truly staggering.
So, what do we need? Open minds and getting back to the
basics of understanding HOW and WHY these systems operate
as they do under NORMAL conditions. We need to understand
WHY things are unfolding the way they are by means of root-cause analysis.
What we all need is one another. We need to keep the
HUMAN in humanity.
*Apologies to Bette Davis in All About Eve and thanks to C. J. Unis for
CEO, The Target Group Inc. Don Meeker
Publisher Stacy Atchison
FSM Matriarch Bobby Meeker
Editorial Director Barbara VanRenterghem, Ph.D.
Director of Sales Adam Haas
Art Director/Production Craig Van Wechel
Digital Editor Tiffany Maberry
Circulation Manager Andrea Karges
Administrative Manager Allison Demmert-Poland
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Barbara VanRenterghem, Ph.D. • 508.210.3149
Tiffany Maberry • 678.853.1062
Bobby Meeker • 818.842.2829
Adam Haas • 321.804.4319
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