The coronavirus global pandemic of 2019 / 2020 has changed the lives of millions of people all around the world, and it’s not entirely clear when, or if, life will ever return completely to normal.
COVID 19 is likely to be a part of our lives for many months to come, and we have to start getting our lives back to some sort of normality, whilst keeping people safe.
How are businesses making things as safe as possible for their clients and customers, as well as keeping their employees safe?
An Overview Of Covid-19
COVID-19 is an illness that primarily affects the respiratory and vascular systems within the body that is caused by a virus from a family of viruses called Coronavirus. This particular strain was first isolated in 2019, hence why it has the name COVID-19.
There is lots of speculation over where COVID originated, certainly the first diagnosed cases were in China, but we do not yet have solid evidence on where it came from, some say from eating bats, others say from wet markets. We may never know.
The most common symptoms of COVID 19 are a persistently raised temperature, a new prolonged cough, extreme fatigue, a loss of smell and taste, and difficulty breathing.
Many people recover well from COVID, but sadly there is a significant proportion of people who die. The difficulty is that it is hard to know who is going to contract COVID and how they will be affected if they do contract, and research is constantly being done into this.
There is also developing evidence that there is syndrome being referred to as long covid and this a collection of symptoms that people continue to show for weeks to many months after illness, including extreme, long lasting lethargy, breathlessness, and sometimes damage to internal organs..
So COVID is already a tricky disease because we don’t know exactly who it will affect, and how it will harm them, but also the time from contracting the illness to showing symptoms can be anything from one to fourteen days, and during that time the person who has contracted the illness is contagious, and can easily spread the disease.
The disease spread most easily through close contact like talking, coughing and sneezing. There are also concerns that the virus can be contracted from contaminated surfaces, but there is no clear evidence how long the virus survives on different types of surface.
Keeping A Business COVID Secure
Thorough and regular cleaning of all businesses and workplaces is so important during this global pandemic, and this is to try and make things as safe as possible.
Businesses should be kept as organised and uncluttered as possible, as this will make cleaning and disinfecting all areas much easier.
Many businesses are outsourcing the cleaning to a professional company, and in Oregon, Portland commercial services are taking on many businesses to keep them clean.
Intense cleaning should be carried out at least once a day, although it is recommended to have the workplace cleaned twice daily for maximum safety.
Touch points should be wiped down more often with a disinfectant that effectively kills COVID 19. Touch points are surfaces such as desks, taps and door handles.
Hand sanitisers are everyone’s best friend in these times. All businesses should have hand sanitisers available on entry and exit to their premises, and staff should be encouraged to wash and sanitise their hands on a regular basis.
Keeping Our Distance
We know that COVID spreads through the air, and research has shown that staying socially distanced greatly reduces the spread of COVID 19. The distance that is recommended is two metres, or six feet.
Workplaces and business should endeavor to keep staff socially distanced as much as possible, and this may involve erecting perspex screens to keep aerosols from going from one person to another.
In places where the public are allowed, one way systems are being put in place to stop people coming too close to one another, and only allowing a certain amount of people in at one time so that everyone can remain socially distanced.
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment, or PPE is now being worn by almost everyone. Masks have become quite the fashion accessory, with many people matching them to their outfits, and many businesses are selling masks and making a very good profit on them.
Research has shown that if people wear masks, it not only greatly reduces spread of the virus, it also reminds people to keep their distance.
Other forms of PPE are disposable aprons and gloves, and face shields or goggles to protect the eyes as well.
It has never been more important for businesses to think outside the box, and diversify in order to remain a viable business in these difficult times.
There have been some amazing examples seen globally. For example Dyson, the famous vacuum cleaner manufacturers were making medical grade ventilators to assist the health service when the pandemic was at its peak.
Some companies that produce alcoholic spirits changed their manufacturing process and instead started to make hand sanitiser instead, filling a gap in the market when it was needed most.
Many businesses around the world have taken a large financial hit over the last few months, but as we learn to live with COVID 19, adjustments are being made in order to allow businesses to get back to some form of normality.
Businesses are putting a lot of time, effort and money into making their workplaces as safe as possible for both their employees and their staff.
The guidelines are constantly changing, so keeping up to date with the latest regulations on how to stay safe is important for all types of business.
Some lateral thinking is needed in order to keep cash flowing into the business, and therefore keeping peoples jobs secure, but with a little thought and innovation, businesses should be able to keep running for some time yet.