The Third Great Awakening

May 25, 2020

For the last few months, the novel COVID-19 coronavirus and our response to it have been nothing short of a pain in the assets.

Through it all, we recognize that COVID-19 has generated 19 good things:

  1. Everyone seems to “deliver” these days. In fact, the burgeoning “delivery” industry has been tested thoroughly and has flourished.
  2. The so-called “gig economy” populated by contractual and/or “freelance” workers now possesses considerable street cred.
  3. People apparently can work from home after all! And be productive!
  4. Sales and marketing campaigns for home-office set-ups have been creative – including the one where you can build a see-through cubicle in your living room!
  5. We see just how important those “invisible” professionals are. You know them – when something goes wrong you’re pointing fingers at them first, but when everything’s running smoothly (which means they’re doing everything right) you look right through them. Who are the invisibles? Supply Chain, Environmental Services, Sterile Processing, Facilities Management, Housekeeping …
  6. For months, ventilators, respirators, masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and even toilet paper have become even more valuable than high-tech medical/surgical devices and equipment.
  7. Until now, the use of videoconferencing was confined to corporate boardrooms and government agencies – particularly in those action/adventure, crime, spy and superhero shows and movies. Now, even elementary school children are showing their parents how to Zoom.
  8. Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx.
  9. Our moms taught us how and why we need to wash our hands. Mom was so right, proving just how smart and valuable she is. Never take her for granted. Remember: Scrub for 20 seconds to kill COVID-19 and other germs.
  10. Near-immediate access to reliable information never has been more important.
  11. Until COVID-19, we all thought the airline, automotive and banking industries were too big to fail. It’s really grocery stores, hospitals, restaurants, manufacturers of toilet paper, sanitizing products and PPE and internet service providers.
  12. Until COVID-19, stockpile represented a “safe” word for the government, but a “bad” word for managed care and its roots and moorings in cost efficiency. Time to bend without breaking?
  13. COVID-19 provided the necessary crisis/disaster-planning wake-up call that predecessors SARS (2003), H1N1 (2009), MERS (2012), Ebola (2014) and others did not.
  14. A growing number of businesses and companies – including high schools equipped with 3-D printers – didn’t wait for the “Defense Production Act” to marshal support in increasing production of ventilators, masks and face shields. They retrofitted production lines, donating time and energy. This represents American resilience and service-mindedness at its finest.
  15. Process and product development has been ignited through this crisis, including an emphasis on how we wash our hands, how we clean and sanitize surfaces and environments and how we conduct ourselves personally.
  16. We love our homes but we have a new appreciation for getting out of the house. Thankfully, we don’t live on the Moon, Mars or the International Space Station.
  17. Clinical/medical waste no longer is largely confined to healthcare facilities but applicable just about everywhere now. Hopefully, this motivates us to improve our judgment and practices when it comes to responsibly disposing of used masks, gloves and other related materials.
  18. H.G. Wells told us enough about the strength of the unseen world in his 1898 novel, “The War of the Worlds,” in that the greatest threat to mankind is a microbiological organism. One brought the world to its knees, if not a standstill, reinforcing why we should care for one another.
  19. Amid the growing emergence of status, self-centeredness and ego, COVID-19 clearly shows people still care for one another even as the jingoistic “we’re all in this together” grows stale. That light at the end of the tunnel? Others on our hearts and minds and at the center of our efforts. Thank you.
About the Author

Rick Dana Barlow | Senior Editor

Rick Dana Barlow is Senior Editor for Healthcare Purchasing News, an Endeavor Business Media publication. He can be reached at [email protected].