COVID-19 Daily Updates

In an effort to provide regular updates of what we know regarding the spread of the COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, we will be providing you with a new update each day. These updates will provide information from across the globe around key issues or disruptions that are occurring in response to the COVID-19. Make sure to check back daily.

 

3/19/2020

Panama – Stranded and Valued or Stranded and Forgotten

At 12 PM EST on 3/19/20, Panama has reported 109 total cases of COVID-19. A large spike has occurred in the last week.

 

Panama issued a surprise quarantine of 500 people at a music festival in Playa Chiquita and now everyone is stranded. Attendees from all over the world now have no idea when they will be able to get home.

 

This scenario is being played over and over with tour operators abruptly closing in the UK, cruise ships not being allowed into port around Jamaica and Chile, rapid border closures in Hungary, and no-notice airport closures in El Salvador.

 

Now what happens? What do people do? How do organizations react? Is it simply out of site and out of mind?

 

The idea of being “stranded” is unique to most people as we have enjoyed the ability to move around with relative ease –  and always “get home”, even if there was a weather delay or cancelled flights.

 

For organizations and travelers, it is important that basic needs are being met during these times. It is also critical that employees, students studying abroad, and travelers still feel connected and valued. Certain considerations for organizations include:

 

  • Confirm all contact information and location.
  • Ensure safe and continuous lodging.
  • Provide information on potential legal or security risks of getting “out and about.”
  • Plan for regular contact.
  • Ensure they are connected with a local office or support structure, if present.
  • Ensure they are connected with family back home.
  • Ensure they are connected with relevant embassy.
  • If medical/medication needs, assist in identification of local source and provider.
  • Provide psychological first aid services.

 

R3c has expertise in assisting and providing these kinds of support. This includes security or protective services support and psychological first aid as part of R3c’s disruptive event management services with resources in over 100 countries around the world. When in isolation due to COVID-19, R3c provides remote assistance to individuals through our telephonic services and the R3SILIENCY App.

 

Check in with us on Active Front Lines each day for a new update.

 

For those organizations that have additional questions or are in need of support, please contact the R3c Response Center Disruptive Event Hotline at 1-888-736-0911 x1.

 

For more information from our Subject Matter Expert’s regarding COVID-19, check out some of our other daily blogs:

Daily Behavioral Health Blog: https://r3c.com/news-and-events/covid-19-daily-behavioral-health-blogs/

Daily Security Blog: https://r3c.com/news-and-events/covid-19-daily-security-blog/

 

 

3/17/2020

Spain – Looking for Information

At 12 PM EST on 3/17/20, Spain has reported 11,748 total cases of COVID-19, up 1,467 cases from yesterday. Madrid itself has 4,871 cases.

 

More and more people around the world have questions and more and more people around the world are self-isolating or staying off the streets due to government restrictions.

 

How are people doing? Do they have questions? Where do they go for answers when they do not have a dedicated outlet to ask? The must go to the internet.

 

When looking at internet search analytics, every day indicates that more and more people are searching for topics related to the Coronavirus. When looking at the search activity city by city, the most active locations are in Italy. The highest ranking city outside of Italy is Madrid. All of this makes sense and is consistent with the number of cases.

 

This is consistent with the number of cases and the potential anxiety that individually may be experiencing.

 

How can organizations assist their employees and by extension their families? With 3 primary communication options:

 

  • Leadership should send communications proactively to staff, when possible. Keep them informed as much as possible as to what the company or organization is doing or planning.
  • Have a way for employees to ask questions back to the organization. Set up a specific email address for questions to be submitted. Then make sure the organization gives them an answer and includes options of where to go to educate themselves. This helps a great deal to deal with mis-information or rumors.
  • Have a telephonic support or smartphone support option that employees can go to for assistance with developing coping strategies.

R3c assists crisis managers, crisis teams, risk managers and first responders with workload support through COVID-19 analysis, planning and assistance through our crisis management services and provides remote assistance to individuals through our telephonic services and the R3SILIENCYApp.

 

Check in with us on Active Front Lines each day for a new update.

 

For those organizations that have additional questions or are in need of support, please contact the R3c Response Center Disruptive Event Hotline at 1-888-736-0911 x1.

 

 

3/16/2020

Italy – Is Intentional Coughing a “Threat”

At 8 AM EST on 3/16/20, Italy has reported 24,747 total cases of COVID-19, up 3,590 cases from yesterday. Of the total number of cases about 2,355 have recovered and 1,672 that are considered to be in serious condition.

 

It is becoming clearer that those individuals with an intent to intimidate or do harm, are incorporating COVID-19, or implying an infection, to inflict emotional and possibly physical distress.

 

We have seen this recently in Italy when a 29-year-old man was cited by police for an “attack on public health” after he “repeatedly and intentionally” coughed in the faces of police officers. In the Shimane Prefecture of Japan, a person was arrested after he pretended to have contracted the novel Coronavirus and threatened to spread it at a local train station. In another case, a person went bar hopping after he tested positive to “spread the virus” until a Hazmat-clad police team took him away.

 

So, is it possible that a cough in a certain context is an intentional act to intimidate or do harm?

 

Is there a difference if the act is done at the time of a quarantine order or not? Does this have any bearing on an organization’s WPV policies?

 

These questions could be debated, and the reaction of the police may not be what an organization may hoping for. However, the behavioral action taken by someone threatening and the interpretation of that act creates an environment of anxiety, fear and anger.

 

Can and should the organizational response to those impacted and the “threat of violence” issue be addressed simultaneously? Should they be coordinated?

 

R3c is there to assist leadership in understanding the risks and knowing how to address the operational challenges through our crisis management services and support the management of unique threats and behaviors of concern our threat of violence consultation.

 

Check in with us on Active Front Lines each day for a new update.

 

For those organizations that have additional questions or are in need of support, please contact the R3c Response Center Disruptive Event Hotline at 1-888-736-0911 x1.

 

 

3/13/2020 Update

Japan – Healthcare, Specialized Equipment, and Bandages

At 12 PM EST on 3/13/20, Japan has reported 701 total cases of COVID-19, up 10 cases from yesterday. Of the total number of cases about 118 have recovered, leaving 564 still dealing with the illness and 29 that are considered to be in serious condition.

 

For those patients that experience a serious form of COVID-19, they do need hospital care. In Japan that is about 5% of the total numbers of active cases. Some need special pieces of equipment, such as an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) system that helps those with lung troubles to get oxygen into the body.

 

Between specialized hospital beds, specialized equipment and the need for medical professionals, certain locations, such as Japan, Hong Kong and Italy are at the edge of being overwhelmed with cases. Even in places like Chicago, hospitals are preparing to work in tents due to the anticipated number of patients.

 

When this rush to hospitals occurs, two things are likely to happen. The first is that issues of quarantine become more important. The second is overwhelming to those in healthcare.

 

The overwhelming aspects of care during a surge in cases can, at times, lead to things such as compassion fatigue. The cumulative effects of managing a seemingly never-ending line of patients and not having enough space or equipment can build up and be difficult to deal with.

 

Once in the protective suits, medical professionals have described not being able to eat or drink for as many as 6 hours or more. Some even end up wearing bandages on noses and foreheads, like in South Korea, to keep the masks and goggles from creating sores.

 

R3c works with medical professionals every day to address these issues and maintain aspects of productivity.  It is more critical now than ever that we find ways to keep our healthcare system and those dedicated professionals functioning at the highest levels.

 

R3c can assist with optimizing and elevating performance in times like these and in high stress environments. We also help those manage and cope with issues of compassion fatigue through our through our disruptive event management support.

 

Check in with us on Active Front Lines each day for a new update.

 

For those organizations that have additional questions or are in need of support, please contact the R3c Response Center Disruptive Event Hotline at 1-888-736-0911 x1.

 

 

3/12/2020 Update

Singapore – Contact Tracing & Getting the Call

 

At 12 PM EST on 3/12/20, Singapore has reported 187 cases of COVID-19, up 9 cases from yesterday with relatively small increases each day.

 

How or why is there a difference as some countries are seeing large increases and Singapore is not, at least not yet.

 

A simple analysis and a review of lessons learned from Singapore’s response points to successful “contact tracing.” The government was able to track each case and test all contacts in almost real time. By catching each potential case as early as possible, clusters of new cases were not able to begin.

 

But what does it mean to go through “contact tracing?” It is really an investigative and epidemiologic function to interview the person who tested positive, ask them to recall as much as possible, and then find and contact everyone that has been in close contact.

 

What if, as a company, you are asked to support the investigators conducting contact tracing? What if you as an individual get a call saying you have been connected to someone who tested positive?

 

The call or the visit from public heath should occur as soon as possible. Not only is the information and potential risk discussed, but so are the recommendations. In most cases, it will involve self-isolation and testing.

 

Keep in mind that these calls can come as a shock and may happen even if the person has followed all the best local, state, federal government and medical advice to minimize the risk.

 

The shock, fear and anger of being notified can be tough to deal with. If the exposure occurred during business travel or at the office, it is possible that there will be blame focused toward leadership. R3c is there to assist leadership in knowing what to say and simultaneously support individuals to cope with what is happening.

 

R3c provides just in time coaching to leaders and can create plans to address all aspects of this human centric COVID-19 crisis.

 

R3c assists crisis managers, crisis teams, risk managers and first responders with workload support through COVID-19 analysis, planning and assistance through our crisis management services and provides remote assistance to individuals through our telephonic services and the R3SILIENCY App.

 

Check in with us on Active Front Lines each day for a new update.

 

For those organizations that have additional questions or are in need of support, please contact the R3c Response Center Disruptive Event Hotline at 1-888-736-0911 x1.

 

 

3/11/2020 Update

South Korea – Crisis Managers, Risk Managers & Workload

 

 

At 12 PM EST on 3/11/20, South Korea has reported 7,755 cases of COVID-19, up 242 cases from yesterday with some changes in the rates of new cases.

 

It appeared over the last few days that the rate of new infections was slowing in South Korea.  However, today there was a shift… a small shift but an important one. The number of new cases went up, but they went up in Seoul. Seoul is outside of the quarantine area and the new cluster in the city appears to have the ability to grow fast.

 

These new clusters are likely to continue to occur around the world. But the constant back and forth of things are getting better, then worse, then better again creates management challenges. In addition, most crisis managers and risk managers alike have been working on COVID-19 all day, every day from at least mid-January. This creates a situation where high stress and significant demands combine with long hours, fatigue, burnout and a lack of time spent around family or other support structures.

 

This does not occur with just crisis and risk managers but also with first responders, doctors, nurses and many others.

 

Unfortunately, during these times when every conversation is important and every decision is scrutinized, the impact can exceed the ability to cope.

 

In a tragic situation in South Korea, the official in charge of managing the COVID-19 crisis response committed suicide on Feb. 27.

 

It is important to remember that even though these roles are being taken by everyday heroes, crisis managers and crisis teams are not immune to the stress.

 

R3c is there to assist crisis managers, crisis teams and risk managers with workload support by providing COVID-19 analysis, planning and assistance through our crisis management services and with the management of the heightened stressors through our disruptive event management support.

 

Check in with us on Active Front Lines each day for a new update.

 

For those organizations that have additional questions or are in need of support, please contact the R3c Response Center Disruptive Event Hotline at 1-888-736-0911 x1.

 

 

3/10/2020 Update

Italy – Quarantine, Lock down, & Isolation

 

At 12 PM EST on 3/10/20, Italy has reported 10,149 cases of COVID-19, up 977 cases from yesterday and the numbers have been increasing over the last week.

 

Because of this the Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, has restricted the movement of the entire country, all 60 million people. We have seen this on a large scale in China, South Korea on cruise ships, and on a smaller scale in many other places around the world.

 

Just today in New Rochelle, New York, the state plans to close facilities for two weeks and limit large public gatherings.

 

The National Guard would be deployed to the area to help with cleaning, food delivery for people under quarantine, and transportation. Dedicated testing facilities are being set up. The containment is believed to be the first in the country and includes roughly 79,000 people.

 

Is this the same as an extended snow day where people are not driving or commuting? Or a 2-week vacation?

 

It is safe to say that this is different. The fact that it is under medical guidance, the unknown, the anger, the isolation, the boredom, the confusion, the anxiety, the testing, being out of work, etc. be difficult. Researchers at King’s College London reviewed 24 studies into the psychological impact of quarantine. They concluded that the effects can be “wide-ranging, substantial and…long lasting”, though they pointed out that the effects of not using quarantine and allowing a disease to spread “might be worse”.

 

The effects can take a psychological toll. As the world looks at replicating these tactics to battle the coronavirus, these quarantines will continue, stresses will increase, work from home productivity will decrease and then there is the prospect of coming back.

 

At each of these transitions and throughout the process, R3c is there to assist in COVID-19 analysis, planning and assistance through our crisis management services and trough our disruptive event management support.

 

Check in with us on Active Front Lines each day for a new update.

 

For those organizations that have additional questions or are in need of support, please contact the R3c Response Center Disruptive Event Hotline at 1-888-736-0911 x1.

 

 

3/9/2020 Update

Spain – Athletes with no fans

At 10 AM EST on 3/9/20, Spain has reported 1,50 cases of COVID-19, up 376 cases yesterday and the numbers have been increasing over the last week.

 

With more governments creating restrictions around large groups, such as France, Switzerland and Germany capping gatherings at 1,000, sporting events are being played in empty stadiums.

 

Even in the United States, there are questions about games in Los Angeles, Seattle, and even College Basketball with March Madness and the NBA.

 

Players are left to wonder if they should play either due to the potential risk or because it is not like a real game. In some cases, there are not even handshakes before the game.  Athletes specifically report unique experiences like Italy’s Fabio Fognini said it was a “strange feeling” playing a Davis Cup tie, Lebron James saying he will not play without fans.

 

Sporting events can create a sense of normalcy and will be important in the long run. But for now, it appears that many players will have to deal with games void of energy. Fans will have to accept that the games are for entertainment and not an experience.

 

Those involved in organizing these events will have to take the leadership for staff, guests, athletes, conferences etc. as these restrictions grow.

 

As questions come up for events, if they should be held or not, and how to manage once decisions are made , R3c is there to assist in COVID-19 analysis, planning and assistance through our crisis management services and executive or athlete support by elevating performance.

 

Check in with us on Active Front Lines each day for a new update.

 

For those organizations that have additional questions or are in need of support, please contact the R3c Response Center Disruptive Event Hotline at 1-888-736-0911 x1.

 

 

3/6/2020 Update

Hong Kong – Are masks becoming as valuable as jewelry for criminals?

At 7 AM EST on 3/6/20, Hong Kong has reported 106 cases of COVID-19, up 2 from yesterday and the numbers have been slowly increasing. Hong Kong currently reports having 125 in the hospital due to the virus and they are operating 4 quarantine centers.

 

Hong Kong has also seen political unrest and targeted criminal activity that was directed at inbound transportation and COVID-19 quarantine locations. But are masks the new gold?

 

Masks are in short supply all over the world. Countries will not export them and therefore each country is trying to produce as many as possible. In some locations, the daily production rates are published.

 

Now criminals have gotten into the mask industry. Some are producing fake masks and there are multiple different types of sales scams online. But most concerning is the increase hospital break-ins.

 

Hong Kong, France, Japan and the United States have reported thefts of thousands of masks. Some are targeting storage areas and some just run into the emergency room, grab masks and run out.

 

As businesses are forced to reduce hours or close and as new items are beginning to have value beyond their price, security needs change. R3c is there to assist in COVID-19 analysis, planning and assistance through our protective services.

 

To manage these effects organizations, need to be prepared for behavioral changes. R3c is there to assist in COVID-19 analysis, planning and assistance through our crisis management services.

 

For those organizations that have additional questions or are in need of support, please contact the R3c Response Center Disruptive Event Hotline at 1-888-736-0911 x1.

 

 

3/5/2020 Update

France – Concerns are causing antibacterial gel to be treated like gas.

At 8 AM EST on 3/5/20 France has reported 285 cases of COVID-19, up from 212 yesterday and the numbers have been increasing each day over the last week. The country has raised its alert level to 2 and is working to fund its hospitals.

 

Stage 2 for France is described as the virus circulating in the country but that there are still identifiable chains of transmission. About 75% of cases in the country so far have been identified through contact tracing.

 

All indications are that the new infections continue to accelerate. Internet searches for information on coronavirus is at an all-time high. These two indicators combined have resulted in signs of panic buying.

 

One of the items sought after is hand sanitizer and prices have surged. Some countries like South Korea are even shifting alcohol use for consumption and making hand sanitizer. France is now stepping in and declaring that antibacterial gel is a controlled item and price is determined by the government.

 

This normally occurs in situations like a hurricane when gas prices are capped. However, the French Finance Minister is using the same methodology for sanitizer to keep it affordable.

 

All around the world, even online retailers are sold out. Until supply can meet the current demand, the idea of what may be a controlled item in a disaster is changing.

 

For additional leadership resources visit:

Supporting Employees and Organization Operations During an Epidemic

Coronavirus: Leadership Tips – Managing Fear While Encouraging Hope