Bill Gates’ take on getting back to normal

If there is one thing that all people of the world want in unison, it is to get out of the Covid-19 pandemic. But unfortunately, in reality there is no instant cure for this mutilated virus, and it will take months for the vaccines to be available for common people.

In Bill Gates’ opinion it would most likely be the end of next year for the world to overcome the pandemic; and for certain countries the health and financial instability might stretch till the end of 2022.

Gates further explains that despite an exceptional effort by the medicine and science fraternity to expedite the process of developing a vaccine and a cure that would generally take years, the initial vaccines to hit the racks would only provide short term immunity.

He further adds that we would be lucky to have something substantial before the year-end, but in 2021, several vaccines from different countries are expected to gain validation. The best is expected to be given by the protein subunit, however, since so many companies are working on it worldwide, one might expect a vaccine that is affordable and works long-term despite some failures.

What this means for businesses is that they need to work towards new models that are effective in the present or “new normal” as the old normal will not return any time soon, if at all. Most companies have taken steps to survive in the new normal but the organizations that are waiting for the crisis to be over, must wake up and start taking measures to operate in the present situation.

Throughout the world, people are craving to return to their offices, schools, religious places, etc. Everyone wants to leave their homes without having to worry for their safety, but Gates points out that the true end of the disease would come from natural spreading of infections and activation of herd immunity by administering vaccines. He expects wealthy countries to reach that point in the first half of 2021, and complete recovery by the end of the year. Poorer countries, however, might take till the end of 2022 to reach the same level of recovery.

In a separate interview with Wired’s Steven Levy, Gates held the inefficiencies of the current testing system responsible for the spread of the disease. The delays in getting test results, are making effected people unwantedly exposing others to the disease. He says, schools, businesses and other activities could not reopen effectively until test results are made available within a day of doing the Covid-19 test.

Gates expressed being optimistic about the advancements achieved in developing cures and potential vaccines for the pandemic. He said he was impressed by the scale of innovation that is taking place in the domain. But innovation need not stop with scientists researching means to shield people from the viral pandemic.

The same spirit of innovation and urgency must also extend to businesses who must get creative and find ways to serve customers. Organizations should no longer wait or hold back. Since they cannot outlast the pandemic by staying dormant for such a long period, it is in their best interests to find out ways through which they can reopen. The crisis will stay longer than was initially expected and businesses must figure out ways to move forward and be flexible enough with the changing reality.

To read the original article by Jason Aten as published on Inc., click here

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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