The Wisdom of Yogi
By Jim Mullen
Emergency Management, Once Removed
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll probably wind up somewhere else” – Yogi Berra
What will “recovery” from the coronavirus pandemic look like? Do we know?
While it is unfair to expect those responding to the current crisis to think much farther ahead than their next reporting cycle, preparations for long-term recovery will be even more important to the long – term health of our society. These are some of the sectors of society that will merit special attention (and reserve capacity?)
• How to surge commodities, necessities, and human capital more effectively.
Health and medical services
• Reinforcing hygienic actions for kids and adults in perpetuity (we did it for seat belts!)
• Training, hiring, preparing, equipping and health workers and support personnel.
• Health worker surge measures: assess how early graduation, temporary redeployment from one specialty to a support role, and other measures worked
• What have we learned about tele-medicine as a tool?
• Policy versus political issues: free diagnosis, treatment, and the future
• Altering just – in – time renewal capacity of (some) regular medications for two weeks
• Deferred maintenance on public streets
• Safer (medically) mass transit systems when communities re-open
• Airport and other transportation hub safety inspections (passenger health surveillance)
Community Mental Health
• Delayed bereavement services
• Child counseling
• PTSD counseling support (adults, children)
• International supply chain safety measures
• Remedial /catchup classes – how to minimize interruptions of academic progress in future
• Review of on-line schooling efficacy – can everyone do that?
• Safer, secure voting systems (as a national security matter)
• Medical treatment without legal consequences for undocumented persons (as a national public safety matter)
• Review of false or opportunistic advertising?
• Regulation of Twitter, Facebook, other sources?
Economic Health Inquiry
• In a rushed response, what was gained/lost?
• Who was helped? Hurt? Ignored?
• Do we need to rethink the definition of a small business?
• Telecommuting: where can it work, and not work?
• Acknowledge Interdependencies: Economic recovery links to re-employment which links to reopening schools and child – care requirements
• Who are the essential employees? How can we adjust to acknowledge (and compensate) them for being there when we need them?
Government Emergency Expediting Processes (Grants, Approvals, Regulations) Which should we keep? Codify?
• Which were smart and should be kept?
• Which were abused?
• Protection of those in custody: discernment of those who pose a threat, those who lack resources for bail while awaiting trial, and those seeking legal asylum who are confined to squalid facilities.
Enlist Private Sector and General Population in this Inquiry
• Their buy-in to emergency measures has proved crucial
We should set our course now, during this stage of the pandemic, and not wait until the recovery crisis is upon us. As the feds shrink from responsibility, governors and mayors must expand their reach. Testing for the virus is important, but an even greater test lies before us. We need to define what recovery will look like. In doing so, we will define what we look like going forward.
Yogi’s advice should “catch” our attention.
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