Health experts around the world have warned of a global health threat for decades. They accurately predicted the coronavirus pandemic, just not when. Still, the world was unprepared for COVID-19 and the many widespread ramifications it would entail.
Bill Gates commented, “the world needs to prepare for a pandemic the way it prepares for war.” He predicted that a viral outbreak will likely happen every 20 years or so. In an interview with the Financial Times, Gates said that the coronavirus pandemic outbreak will cause future governments to have “standby diagnostics, deep antiviral libraries, and early warning systems.”
Gates has predicted a global pandemic for years as have notable infectious disease and flu experts. Former White House officials and U.S. Intelligence warned of an upcoming pandemic as recently as 2018.
The coronavirus pandemic is ahead of us on many fronts. In addition to the urgency for scientific advancements pertaining to testing, treatment, and vaccines, business leaders need to catch up and gain control by modifying indoor spaces and how they are used to help ensure public safety with new and improved technology and protocols.
Illness-related lost productivity costs U.S. employers an astounding $530 billion per year, according to 2018 report from the Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI), a nonprofit health and productivity research organization. That amounts to 60 cents for every dollar employers spend on health care benefits. A company’s greatest asset is its workforce. Investing in a healthy workforce can have profound impact on the bottom line. For this reason, it is essential to make buildings healthier.
COVID-19 has the potential to further impact businesses’ bottom lines as it relates to consumerism. If people lack confidence about health and safety measures, they will not be good consumers or productive employees. Healthy, indoor air quality is tantamount to conducting business successfully.
Indoor air quality is not a short-term problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) has indicated that COVID-19 might be here for good, even if a vaccine is developed. Diseases like measles and whooping cough have vaccines, but they were never completely defeated. Because experts can’t predict if or when this novel coronavirus will disappear, it’s important to ensure indoor air quality is improved in workplaces, retail, healthcare facilities, schools, and hospitality settings.