The month that the Corona virus was discovered in the Netherlands.
As in many other countries the COVID-19 virus spread rapidly in the Netherlands. Also in the Netherlands we felt the pain of the Corona virus. The impact worldwide was huge. Hospitals were crowded with patients, many people died. Shortage of medical equipment. Shares on the stock market declined with almost 30% in a few days. High schools, restaurants, hairdressers and all places were people had to work close to each other were closed for weeks. Airline traffic in- and outbound was postponed. Concerts, sports, holidays TV shows etc. were cancelled. People had to stay home, the elderly were not allowed to leave their rooms in nursing homes. The impact was so widely spread even in the supply chain and customers postponed buying of goods.
After a certain date this month the normal BCM related incident changed to a lot of Corona incidents. Below a view of them.
This virus had much more impact than the SARS virus. When the SARS virus was announced I developed for organizations plans to continue their business and to tell their employees to and what not to do in case of a pandemic. After completion there was no necessity to activate the plans. Maybe we had luck then!
Existing pandemic plans
The problems that the COVID-19 brought with her are so enormous we can asked our self “would these plans work in these circumstances”. Some did, some not. Banks could divide employees over two locations. Other organizations sent their employees at home. As much as possible they tried to work from home.
Crisis Communications opportunities
What also was seen, that there was a lot of job opportunities for Crisis Communications. Were organizations not enough prepared to manage and communicate this crisis?
But there were also good initiatives taken to help and mitigate the impact.
Applause for everyone involved in controlling the impact of the virus.
Translated from Dutch to English with Google translate