Information Overload: “When and How to Reopen”?

I hope the re-open momentum doesn’t overwhelm good sense and science. It’s understandable to want to get back to work, worship, and events (and I really miss good restaurants).

On LinkedIn, there’s a tsunami of information about when and how businesses, owners, and building managers should reopen. And reopen we must. And with intelligent plans too.

To that end, the CDC has provided decision-trees to help decide when and how to reopen. Their safeguards are in three groups – where decisions to reopen shouldn’t progress until all the safeguards in the prior group are met before moving to the next group. 

Yet I have a healthy scepticism whether those CDC safeguards will be met in this tidal wave to reopen. Especially the “health and safety actions” and “monitoring”. Just follow the CDC links in the decision-trees for each safeguard, and then seriously consider what it takes to have them at 100%.

Reopening Consequences

Because failure from opening too soon has a different effect depending on who you are.

Life or death for the older of us and those with compromised health: nothing scarier.

Flu-like discomfort for those of us healthy and/or young, and maybe a fear of transmission to vulnerable family, friends, and others.

Yes, there is economic harm from reopening later. But those at highest risk would rather be alive and have the opportunity to make money another way. The alternative of death or permanent incapacitation leaves no other options.

Reopening Overconfidence?

Reopening is happening and it must.

But with the overload of “How to” information at the moment, there may be collective overconfidence that we’ve turned the corner.

I’m hopeful that with full safeguards in place, reopening will be a great party for us all.

Yet, I’m also dreading the next few months if COVID-19 data on deaths and infections shows we’ve been too hasty. Those numbers will be our judge.

First published on LinkedIn
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