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Losing our brains with disruptive technologies (XXIV): the shape of COVID19 decision making.

Have a beautiful week. Wishing you are happy and relaxed if you live in a country with a lockdown or quarantine period as a prevention measure to fight the COVID19 or Coronavirus. I live in El Salvador, and our government ordered 30 days of “safer stay at home” strategy in order to prevent the spreading of the epidemic.

Blind 03

“Closing the eyes to Disruption Technologies”. An aquarelle exercise by Eleonora Escalante. Made with love on paper Fabriano Artistico 300GSM. Size: 28cm x 20cm Photo reference: HYM glasses.

Last Friday we introduced a general outline about the topic “Losing our brains with disruptive technologies-Cure activities”. At Eleonora Escalante Strategy, we decided to utilize the coronavirus example applied to the health-care industry technologies.

Let´s refresh the outline for this sub-theme:

  1. Antecedents or Preliminary Background of the Coronavirus. Done last Friday 20th of March.
  2. The shape of this viral infectious disease. Today´s objective. √
  3. Effects when lacking preparedness (concerning an uncertain pandemic)
  4. Society isolated.  Benefits and Issues.
  5. The global economy and its bemols when it comes to health contagion.
  6. Disruptive technologies and methodologies applied to attack the sickness. Different approaches. Pros and Cons.
  7. How to keep going when in times of a pandemic.

Today we will cover the item number 2. The shape of this viral infectious disease. In addition, for today´s logic, I won´t use numbers. Remember mathematics and data analysis are important for certain things, but at the end of the day, these can´t and won´t replace the experience and wisdom gathered by years and years of expertise and practice.  I have seen “weird” conclusions based on the wrong numbers. In consequence, do not forget that experience knitted with passionate curiosity to find the correct and ethical solutions can´t be dismissed “par rapport” (in comparison) to big data analysis and all the AI-Quantum Supremacy technologies in place.   

A pandemic is an emergency crisis beyond the health-care value chain and the physicians. An experienced multidisciplinary team to solve it is required. First of all, we must define what is the issue as soon as possible: the pandemic of COVID-19 has expanded to 189  countries, it has infected 332,935 people and 14,510 have died. The plague is relevant because it is infecting and killing frail people at rapid rates, and we have not found a cure to it (no vaccines, neither medical treatment available). The most vulnerable are the elders, the weak with preceding diseases, and those who can get contaminated by helping us (medical helpers, government servers and food sourcing workers).

WHO Coronavirus status 2332020

Coronavirus plague status to this day 23/03/2020. Source:  official data from WHO.

Once we understand the nature of the disease and the cause-effect of the casualties (what?), then we can extend our analysis to understand who is who in this problem. The scope of a pandemic crisis goes on the far side outside the medical system, but it affects more parties, private and public´ workers, individuals or communities. Many stakeholders or players are involved in the spreading or/ and stopping of the virus.

Additionally, we must answer the question of how to tackle this issue, on multiple levels, with different and possible scenarios and outcomes;  contrasting the various possible solutions. Basically when in times of pandemic, each solution has an escalated road-map with tollgates. At each stage, there is an order of magnitude of tasks to do and different responses to mitigate the associated risks, for which physical resources are needed, and specific participants are required.

If you follow me, to understand the pandemic, first, we started by applying Markides strategic innovation framework, which I modified it when I was writing during Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018.  Well, I am applying it right now, to understand the shape of the COVID19 pandemic.

Eliescalante When in Newport Strategic Innovation paradigm 8

Then we will proceed with the rest of the questions (not included in Markides framework): Where? The location that surrounds the issue is crucial. When? The number of days and maybe months that each solution will require to be implemented for each scenario; and How much will cost each of the solutionsEach solution has a budget. And for poor countries, it is impossible sometimes to get access to grants or cheap sources of funds when the sovereign credit grades are not optimal.  

The strategic innovation mapping can be used to structure decision problems. Once you create various strategic innovation maps with the answer to all these questions, then it is easy for us to understand the general shape of the coronavirus disease. When we are facing the structuring of a problem, we can use the strategic innovation framework, adjusted to the size of the problem that we face. Each solution with a magnitude of bemols can be applied alone or simultaneously with others:

  1. Solution A: Prevention of the contagion from outside in, and from inside out. Many stratagems to stop the deadly spreading exist. One of them is the methodology of isolation, by using several confinement methods such as a village or city lockdown, shelter in place, social and physical distancing, avoid non-essential transit, etc.
  2. Solution B: Design and implementation of a cure or treatment. let´s imagine a vaccine, which involves not just the eureka process to find it; but the regulatory approval and testing, manufacturing, logistics, delivery and deployment of the vaccines in a massive global way.
  3. Solution C: Protection cleaning measures.  By adopting sanitary methods as using alcohol gel, rinse hands constantly with water and soap, protect your body parts like nose, eyes, and mouth, cleansing any surface that could be exposed to the virus, etc.
  4. Solution D: Cure the sick and detach the potentially high risk infected from the healthy.   In hospitals, Covid19 shelters, at home seclusion.
  5. Solution E: Diagnose effectively, control and restrict the enlargement of the virus with technologies by catching the sick people using temperature control cameras, mobiles, and surveillance systems; Imprison them in Seclusion Centers.
  6. Solution F: Implement solutions A, B, C, and D together.
  7. Solution G: Take the next flight to The International Space Station in the low Earth orbit. 🙂

There are as many solutions as possible that could cross your mind. Some of these solutions may be absurd or simply not ethical; meanwhile, others are extremely expensive but necessary.  Other solving requires monetary policies that need help from the private sector.  Moreover, even if considering all the scenarios, the best alternative answer may be so simple, that no one has thought about it yet.  By asking ourselves the question How to solve the problem? We begin with the decision making analysis and we are able to develop decision strategies accordingly. Every solution requires resources that are related to people (entities, public-private), tangible resources, intangible mediums, skills, money available, sources of funds, weather and of course the information and the disruptive technologies.

Finally, once you have done all the considerations and choose the final optimal solution, we must add as a cherry on top of the cake the following variables: it must have a generational impact, an ethical awe factor, a talent development constituent, and a purpose.

Which is the optimal decision strategy when in times of pandemic? Well, it depends on the circumstances and the contexts. But the bottom line is to prevent the contagion as soon as possible (restricting the transmission of the disease no matter what), using drastic measures if there is no other choice. All of this, meanwhile the doctors find a cure. What could be optimal for Singapore (one of the richest economies on earth) may not be applicable for the African countries. The optimal solution for Wuhan-China could be applied to El Salvador successfully, but not in other towns. The South Korea methods may be more applicable to other countries where governments are well prepared with medical training and kits, where control of the population is higher. When people are dying so fast, the response must be agile. What could happen when leaders delay the implementation of solutions waiting for data analysis, or by not considering all the variables in place? Or by not considering the context of their own country´s reality?

It pays off asking for wisdom to the most experienced in these matters (let´s say multidisciplinary professionals who have lived the same type of problems in the past).  For example, it is wise to knock the door to the specialists who sorted out the Ebola outbreaks in Africa or the baby boomers who fixed the Asian Flu or the Hong Kong Flu from the 50s.  Even the top New York health system M.D.s with zero experience in pandemics can guide wrong guidance in times of pandemics. As a result, experienced professionals with a higher degree of knowledge are required. Not all tip-top technologies in place together might solve these issues.
Data analysis, algorithms, AI or genetic engineering based on numbers “only” can mislead to shape the nature and the size of the Coronavirus disease. Data is helpful. Computers to process data are assistive. But at the end of the day, humans with experience are the ones who have to decide for the sake of saving the maximum amount of lives, particularly in poor regions that don´t have resources. For example, I have been watching videos about different M.D.s who are being interviewed at high respectable sources of news. These scientists are using artificial intelligence with genetic engineering to design the new vaccine against the Coronavirus.  Even if they find the cure by using this high-end technological procedure, it takes at least one year if no more to be tested and certified by the FDA or its similar entities. By that time, half of the world infected cases might perish. Mais, what could happen if the cure to the Coronavirus is simply in the botanicals, let´s say the cure to the COVID19 is a simple tea or infusion that I drink when I have hard flu, made with the toasted bitter orange peels mixed with fennel roots, lemon, and honey?   I wonder.

On my next publication, we will continue with the subject number 3. Effects when lacking preparedness (concerning an uncertain pandemic). I will leave you with the following idea: “Don´t confuse the information disruptive technologies and social media (which use the internet backbone structure to communicate news, notices, learning, and working from home shots) with the nature and roots of the pandemics”.

Thank you for reading to me. See you again shortly.

brain gyphy

Sources of reference utilized to support this article:

Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY.  Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.

Thank you for reading to me.


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