Braving Coronavirus Disease:

coronavirus-covid-19Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Braving Coronavirus Disease

Most Challenging Time of the Century

The Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a shocking experience for humankind. We are not ready to confront, diagnose, or even run away from it. We are all unprepared despite all the advancements that humans have achieved in many decades.

When I started thinking of preparing this article or brief collection of guidelines and practices, I felt that the world is experiencing a total uncertainty and darkness of its future, honestly speaking!

But I believe there's still hope... Only when we work together!

What prompts me to write this article is my experience in the last few weeks amidst the explosive spread of Coronavirus. When the breakout started in Wuhan (China), I felt that there is something big coming, just like some have thought!

Then it spread... Sincheonji (church) 's secretive religious activities expanded the transmission of COVID-19 through its believers. That particular incident made South Korea the second country in the world with the highest number of Coronavirus cases.

As a resident here, it was very alarming. The Korean government responded quickly, employing all possible means necessary to contain the outbreak. The country now seems to be doing fine... but European nations and the US are experiencing the brunt of the pandemic.

Another good intent in writing this article is to make a very brief but comprehensive guideline as to how and what the world (you, me, nations, groups, institutions, etc.) should or ought to do based on the recent findings and advice from experts, which I used as sources of this article.

This article (study) reviews resources available online on Coronavirus. What I did was outline various stakeholders who are participants and have critical roles in slowing down and stopping the pandemic. Indeed, I also included my views and thoughts based on my humble knowledge, insights, and background.

So, here, I tried answering the question: What should the (participants, stakeholder) do...? The major stakeholders here includes all human beings. However, the weight of the jot depends on the roles of the stakeholder. The stakeholders or participants include...

  • Individuals
  • Governments
  • Travelers
  • local Communities
  • Companies/Businesses
  • Technologies (updating)
  • Finance Institutions (updating)
  • International Organizations (updating)
  • Medical/Clinicians and Researchers (updating)

The main purpose of this article is to provide a brief guideline and expert advice from the leading nations and organizations fighting against the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).


covid-19-south-koreaAfter the Coronavirus Disease spread in Wuhan, China, South Korea became the second most infected country, then slowly slipping down as the nation implemented effective measures to contain the pandemic.

Handwashing Practice
Wash your hands with soap and water for around 20 seconds. Do this practice, especially when you thought you touched surfaces or things that many people use. Practice this many times a day.

Social Distancing
Distancing means keeping a 6-feet (or 2-meter) safe distance between persons. This could prevent the transmission of Coronavirus either from you or the other(s) person to you.

Wearing Facemasks
Wearing a facemask can do two things: first, psychological it would prevent you from touching your face, mouth, or nose; second, it protects you directly from someone (out of nowhere) who coughs or sneezes.

Non-essential Activities
Cancel or postpone unnecessary travels, meetings, religious rituals, events, and other small and large gatherings.

Heeding Protocols
Do what your government is implementing and take them seriously. In this way, you are doing your essential part and contributing to the elimination or reduction of Coronavirus' spread.

The World Health Organization (WHO) provides technical guidelines if you want the more detailed and more extended versions of protocols and guidelines. This article is a shorter version that I collected from the leading countries who established country-specific guidelines and active responses to the COVID-19.

Of course, I also added my thoughts and reflections based on my understanding of the present development and practices. I don't claim as an expert of Coronavirus, but my background in international relations and development, care for the sick at home and hospitals, transparency and integrity, morality and ethics, and psychology among others, prompted me to prepare this brief article (or guidelines) regarding stopping the virus.

Feeling incapable of doing anything to help the affected individuals and countries, I believe this article would serve as my humble contribution, besides my prayers and keeping the protocol sincerely on "social distancing" and working at home.

But to see the details clearly, you can see them below outlined as guidelines for various levels in the society. The solution to the problem is the answer to the question...

What Can and Should We Do?


What Can YOU do?
This guideline for each individual describes practical instructions to protect yourself from getting the virus as well as protect others from contracting the virus that you may have known or not known yet.

Prevention and protection: physical

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or more every time you think you touched surfaces or something that many people use.
  2. Alternatively, use a hand sanitizer or liquid sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  3. If you did not have the opportunity to wash your hands, do not touch your mouth, eyes, nose, and other possible entries of COVID-19.
  4. Do not get close to people who are sick or not feeling well. If you are attending someone who is sick or feeling sick, ensure that you wear facemask and hand gloves. Then do the hand-washing practice after attending to the patient.
  5. Avoid close contact with anybody because it would be either you or the other people is a carrier/host without knowing it.
  6. Wear face mask, definitely, if you are sick. And it is highly suggested even if you are not sick to prevent the transmission from you to another person and vice versa.
  7. If you are coughing or sneezing, use a tissue or the inside of your elbow to cover your nose and mouth; dispose of your used tissue properly; wash your clothes thoroughly with soap and water.
  8. Disinfect and clean surfaces that are being touched daily, including doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, tables, keyboard, phones, faucets, taps, among others. Use sanitizers, soaps, detergent, and other disinfectants to clean those surfaces and utilities.
  9. Do not go to places where many people gather, including parties, gatherings, meetings, events, religious rituals or services, among others, as much as possible.
  10. Cancel your non-essential travels, and don't travel as much as possible. If you need to travel due to other essential reasons, please follow the protocols provided by your government or by WHO.
  11. Do not go to Church, Synagogues, Mosques, and other religious places where people gather. Pray humbly and silently for your self and all people in your room or anywhere safe. God, Allah, the Great Spirit, Creator of all beings is omnipresent for those who believe and can hear your prayers deep in your heart and alone.
  12. Avoid inviting visitors to your house as much as possible. If you do, then take all the preventive measures.
  13. Pregnant women should do most of the above guidelines and should be more cautious than others.


  • Don't spread fake news. Please, do not spread the news that is unsubstantiated and no basis at all. This is not a time to play jokes and pranks. This can cause irrational fear, panic, and disruptions to ongoing problem-solving actions and efforts.
  • Stop being judgmental or mean to others. Be kind and respectful to others. It is okay to be critical, but offer your thoughts and solutions if you think they are doing things wrong.

Keeping Your Distance
If you are exposed or have contracted the COVID-19, then you are obligated and responsible for taking serious steps...

  1. Social distancing--means keep approximately 6 feet or a more safe distance from others. This also includes avoiding gatherings with larger crowds, including public transportation, churches, concerts, movies, game rooms, clubs, Karaoke or Noraebang (singing rooms), and schools (kindergarten, elementary, and higher education institutions).
  2. Quarantine--means avoiding contact with others if you are suspected of possibly having exposed to find out if they are affected.
  3. Isolation--means that one is being put separate from others because you have contracted COVID-19. This will prevent the spread of the virus to others.

How To Cope With Emotional & Psychological Effects
Negative Effects
Due to the global spread of COVID-19, most people will be affected both psychologically and emotionally in various forms. Most of all, those who contracted the virus will experience various negative emotions, including fear and anxiety, depression, boredom, anger, frustration, among others.

The feeling of being stigmatized could be another fear. Find more detailed descriptions at this expert APA resource.

Coping Methods
According to APA, there are various useful tips and methods in coping with situations like this one. They suggested that planning ahead on how to spend time while in quarantine or isolation is one great useful action.

The useful plan should include mental health and emotional support to the affected individual. Contacting ahead and getting support from family members or professionals (counselors, psychologists, etc.).

Here are the suggestions...

  • Do not read all news but limit to reliable sources only. Too much exposure to media coverage of COVID-19 can increase your fear and anxiety. Instead, read, listen to music, learn new hobbies, etc.
  • Maintain a daily routine. While in isolation, quarantine, or simply staying at home, one needs a regular activity such as exercise, usual work, among others, even if doing it remotely as much as possible.
  • Keep in touch with others virtually. This will keep your regular interaction with friends or family flowing and not create total isolation.
  • Keeping a healthy habit. As much as you can, keep your sleeping habit consistent, including exercise and proper meals. If you have a counselor or psychologist, ask if you can contact them while in isolation or quarantine or at home.
covid-19-stay-homeCOVID-19 Stay Home Stay Safe Protocol

For Travelers

If you must travel, take the necessary precautions and seek medical attention if you feel you are sick.

During your travel, you should...

  • Wear your face masks, especially in areas that are affected.
  • Avoid going and spending time in crowded areas.
  • Move away from people you think are sick and showing symptoms or Coronavirus, such as coughing, the difficulty of breathing, and has high fever.
  • Know the area and follow the official public health advice
  • Maintain the handwashing protocol and practice the coughing and sneezing etiquette, such as using your arm to cover your mouth and nose, and also using a tissue.
  • If you are flying back to your country or territory, inform authorities if you are feeling sick during your flight or travel. If you have the symptoms (coughing, breathing with difficulty, fever), then you will be quarantined. If you don't have such symptoms, you will be asked to do self-isolation for 14 days.
  • During your return and in self-isolation, monitor your health, do not receive visitors, and keep the handwashing protocol and using the sanitizers.
  • Register yourself abroad to your government's service to stay connected in case of an emergency abroad or at home.


What Your Government Can Do?

  • Should calmly encourage the public to take all the precautions necessary to stop the spread by following all the government protocols.
  • Should make people stay calm and not panic by providing updates and reliable and accessible information and immediate resources or facilities.
  • Relevant and responsible government officials and agencies should properly assist the spread of COVID-19. It should find out the source or place where the spread started undetected; therefore, acting immediately would prevent the explosive transmission of the virus. Prevention is way much better than curing the problem.
  • Government officials and staff should keep themselves clean and healthy so that they can continue their responsibilities. They should strictly follow the protocols of cleanliness as individuals, as outlined already above.

Governments should provide travel advisory
Since COVID-19 is a pandemic, all governments should discourage, as much as possible, all travels. Using technology, people can easily organize meetings, conferences, and such events online. It is safer and cheaper.

Should install and make use of all available, accessible, and affordable facilities and technologies to monitor the spread of the virus. Such technologies include medical, information technology, transportation, and emergency vehicles.

  • Should regularly inform the public with additional reminders on how and what to-dos.
  • Shelters and room facilities should be established, built, or renovated to anticipate further spread and accommodate patients.
  • Lockdown a city, province, or Community and then implement quarantine only when deemed necessary. While doing this, ensure that people are informed, and their basic rights are respected.
  • Curfews should be implemented as the local government, and the national or central government sees fit.
  • Just as many countries already have implemented, states and countries should encourage and prevent its citizens from traveling outside the country. Such travels include both international and local. Only relevant officials, medical/clinicians, and emergency response people should be permitted to travel domestically or internationally.
  • As strongly recommended relevant agency should cancel or postpone cruise ship travel, and avoid doing it this time. If you have just taken the cruise ship travel, immediately report to your relevant authorities for consultation whether you are showing symptoms or not.
  • Provide citizens with guidance documents so that they can easily access and follow the government's relevant advice and protocols in containing COVID-19. It should be available online--through phone apps, email, government websites, messaging apps, or copies of printed materials.
  • The indigenous peoples should be especially treated because they are very sensitive to virus and diseases outside their natural world. Any outside and unwelcome disease could be very detrimental to their existence. Their traditional knowledge about the natural world and understanding of indigenous medicine could be useful in preventing any disease.

Governments should establish critical responses to deal with the effects of COVID-19's outbreak

1. Economic and financial support
Governments should support, basically, financially its citizens who are affected the most (such as those who earn a living through daily work-street vendors, recycling workers, taxi drivers, private utility drivers, all self-employed, clubs, etc.).
Short-term Support for people without paid sick leave.

  • Longer-term income support for workers. This is for those workers who lost their jobs or who faced a reduction of work hours.
  • Support for people who need it most. This should include low-income people and earning a living daily only.

2. Flexibility for Taxpayers
Governments may defer the filing due date for last year's tax return of individuals, including some trusts. You can ask your government's relevant point of contact regarding this matter. 

3. Financial Institutions
A government's finance minister and other relevant heads should contact national banks and request them to be more flexible to help customers whose personal or business finances are severely affected by COVID-19. Such financial support may include pay disruption, deferral for mortgages, among other possible and helpful actions.

4. Mortgage default management tools
5. Supporting Businesses
Being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, governments should lend help to businesses to cope with financial difficulty. A coordinated package of measures to cushion markets and resilience of the financial sector should be carefully planned by finance officials of the governments and financial institutions. This will undoubtedly provide significant support to all businesses of various sizes.

6. Governments should help businesses keep their works
Due to revenue losses, many business lay-off workers. A government may propose to provide a temporary wage subsidy for a few months to eligible small employers. Businesses will benefit from this by reducing their income tax remittances on their employee's remuneration. This support should help small corporations, non-profit organizations, and charity organizations.

7. Governments should defer the filing of business taxes.
8. Supporting National Financial market liquidity
In this program, a government will purchase insured mortgage pools through a housing corporation. According to the source, this action provides stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders, support lending to consumers and businesses, as well as liquidity to the mortgage market. Source:

Collaboration with other governments
Countries should collaborate in creating a cure or vaccine for COVID-19. They can do this by sharing data, expertise, collaborative research, and experimentation.
Countries should share more transparent information so as not to make mistakes in responding to the data provided.

  • Each central government should actively collaborate with its domestic and relevant health and public safety institutions, organizations, and even with non-governmental organizations and charities. The government's dedicated agency that deals with COVID-19 or the head health minister should coordinate with all the relevant networks that can contribute to preventing and resolving the spread of Coronavirus.
  • Also, the government should work and partner with other countries who have capacities and experiences in dealing with this problem. In particular, the country should closely work with international health organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Fast track clinical trials and continue testing possible patients with this virus. Organize online collaborative meetings with international regulators to share information on test results.
coronavirus-2019-covid-19Staying safe from Coronavirus includes handwashing, social distancing, and wearing a facemask

Travel Advisories by Governments to its Citizens & Non-citizens
Each government should continuously monitor travel activities among its citizens to assess the risks of spreading COVID-19. Governments should strongly advise its citizens to avoid all non-essential travels outside the country, including domestic travels, especially when the virus is on its peak of spreading or breakout.

  • It means imposing travel restrictions and, if necessary, travel bans to some places where Coronavirus is intense. Such restrictions and protocols must be publicly and repeatedly announced or broadcast through various mass media sources including TV, radio, internet, and other modes of messaging to reach all people.
  • In some countries, governments might have to close down their borders and restrict all foreign nationals from coming in. This same emergency policy will also apply to citizens who want to travel outside its national border.
  • For those returning travelers, the government should properly examine them during their entrance and record their travel itineraries. Then the returnees should be highly encouraged to self-isolate themselves to ensure that they are not infected and safe to stay with family and work or do their daily chores.

Exemptions for Travelers
Certainly, there are always exemptions, but it does not mean one is above the law or emergency protocols implemented by the government authorities. Foreign citizens may not enter a country by land, air, or sea if they are not the contributors to preventing the spread or stopping COVID-19, curing the sick, maintaining peace and order, or any activity that would add up to slowly recovering the society and whole nation.

  • These people include those who are officially requested or summoned to cross borders or nations, such as medical practitioners, medical scientists and researchers of virus (or virologists), relevant health authorities, peacemakers (military officials), emergency response person or team, visiting forces, pilots and crew, diplomats and its family members, among other relevant people.

  • Also, if truly necessary, some people who need to travel with the following purposes will be allowed: work and study, buy essential medication products, health, and immediate medical care, build infrastructure to support the efforts, and various supply chains and economic assistance.

Local Communities

What Communities Can Do?
Schools and institutes for higher education

  • The management should encourage their staff and Community to protect their personal health using the fundamental guidelines.
  • Encourage staff and members to stay home, keep social distancing, and observe quarantine, and isolation as required by professionals and authorities
  • Should clean surfaces including desks, countertops, kitchen areas, computers, doorknobs, and main doors.
  • Cleaning supplies should be readily available at accessible places
  • Events and meetings should be limited or canceled depending on the situation and recommendations by authorities
  • Assess thoroughly if the Community is at risk and make proacted plans.
  • Keep on updating on developments of the situation.

Community and faith-based organizations (CFBOs)
If there's no preparedness Plan
To make any community that has no preparedness plan, here are some useful guidelines...

1. Review, update or establish emergency operations plans (EOP)

  • This can be done by assigning head staff who would develop, maintain, and implement the EOP. The plan would include organizational structure, setting up policies for work hours flexibility; understanding the roles of the country, state, local, tribal, and territorial health agencies; assigning a point of contact; building a strong collaboration with other community heads, church leaders, local businesses, schools, among others.
  • CFBO should identify and meet with potential partners (such as hospitals, emergency responders, schools, etc.) to learn their plans and introduce your plans and capacities.
  • Collaborate with congregations and organizations that have established associations, networks, and local neighborhoods.
  • Assign roles to your chain of communication (such as staff, volunteers, etc.) to update their contact information, and maintain various online dissemination methods such as a hotline, messaging, a website, among others. Make a plan B in case the internet is down.
  • Assign an experienced and dedicated person who can receive calls or respond to the needs of your organization skillfully.
  • Religious leaders should consult health officials and heed authorities' directions to contain the spread of COVID-19. The leader should modify their religious rites, rituals, and services. Such modifications would include preventing shaking hands, hugging, kissing, holding hands. Use a stationary collection box, mail, or electronic means instead of passing around a collection tray. The priest or pastor should use a hand sanitizer before the Mass and should distribute the Communion, not on the receiver's tongue instead of on his/her hand.

2. Communities (CFBOs) should properly teach and strengthen healthy hygiene practices, including the intensification of cleaning and disinfection efforts.

3. Should monitor the staff and volunteers and implement proper and flexible actions including requiring staff to work at home, working hours flexibility, among others.

4. Identify events or gatherings and determine if they can be canceled or postponed. As much as possible, encourage people to stay home, and to keep the social distancing rule so as to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

5. Instead of meeting in person as a group, use the online or electronic methods to organize and achieve the purpose of the meeting.

6. Establish Methods to Support the Sick

  • If someone in your Community seems sick, immediately provide facemask (if not wearing yet). Facemasks should not only for medical people and people with respiratory symptoms; instead, facemasks should be made available and used by all, especially in communities and areas where the virus is spreading.
  • Then, the Community should contact health authorities right away to assess and investigate the case to determine whether the person had contracted COVID-19 or not.

In case the Community is confirmed to have a COVID-19 case

  • Your Community should immediately contact and coordinate with local health authorities and seek proper guidance.
  • Then, you should implement general cleaning action and disinfect the whole area thoroughly. Cleaning and disinfecting the entire Community's facilities include specific areas such as tables, offices, bathrooms, chairs, sofas, floors, walls, game and activity facilities, computers, among other facilities.

Companies & Businesses

What Can Private Companies Do?
Businesses and employers should and can prevent the outbreak in the business setting by planning ahead, or implementing preventive and spread measures, including cleaning and disinfection, practicing social distancing, and updated strategies to respond to COVID-19.

Preparing Workplaces Against COVID-19 Outbreak
Companies and businesses should coordinate with local and state health authorities to provide exact information and receive proper guidance. Employers must reduce transmission among employees by asking or sending sick employees to go and stay home, identifying where and how the employee got the virus, separating sick employees who have symptoms, and educating them on how to reduce the spread by following the protocols on COVID-19. See CDC's advice.

Businesses and employers should maintain healthy business operations...   

  • A workplace coordinator must be designated who is responsible for addressing issues and impacts of COVID-19 in the workplace.
  • The employer must assess the major functions and reliance of the Community or consumers of the company's products and services. The company's products could be very vital in preventing or stopping the spread. Such companies include face masks, medicines, disinfectants, and other immediate medical and practical products.

The Business should plan and monitor and respond properly to absenteeism at the workplace. If the business is critical in providing products or services that can prevent or solve the COVID-19, it must continue to operate...

  • Employers should be more flexible in work hours and leave policies.
  • Employers should cross-train employees so that if other key employees cannot function, major operation functions will continue to operate, thus producing the critical products.

Again, businesses should properly establish policies and practices for social distancing.

  • Social distancing means keeping a physical distance with others (in this case, the co-workers) but maintaining communication not only with workers and management but also with families.
  • Physically, social distancing means keeping the approximately 6 feet or 2 meters distance from others as much as possible in various social settings, such as cafeteria, breakrooms, etc.
  • Social distancing also means flexibility in working conditions such as telework, staggered shifts, drive through, partitions, postponements of non-essential meetings or events, phone/video/online service, and stay homework.

Businesses and employees should also maintain a healthy work setting and environment...

  • It means improving the controls and ventilation system by increasing the rates of air that circulate the building or rooms.
  • Again, as aforementioned, keep the protocols on respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene, and other past practices. Provide the workplace with disinfectants, soaps, sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol, and discourage the usual handshakes, among other tactile practices.
  • Perform the regular facility and environmental cleaning and disinfecting activities. This includes cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces, machines, tools, tables, computers, and other things that employees regularly or commonly use.
  • Businesses should prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, make no determinations of risk based on race or country, and ensure confidentiality of people with confirmed COVID-19.

Advancement in Technologies

The modern development in technologies, especially relating to medicine, are being tested and deployed at this grave medical challenge. Scientists, engineers, and artificial intelligence (AI) researchers can play a big role and helpful efforts in stopping the COVID-19 pandemic.

Such technological advances are being used when Coronavirus started to spread in Asia. Particularly, China, Singapore, and South Korea were reported to have deployed advance technologies to disinfect, deliver supplies, collect data, as well as track potential carriers of the said virus.

Disinfecting facilities and tracking potential Coronavirus hosts
For example, according to on technology for Coronavirus, China is utilizing robots to help disinfect medical facilities and deliver medical supplies to the medical frontliners (e.g., doctors, nurses, medical researchers, emergency responders) at hospitals and clinics.

Drones and robots use artificial intelligence to disinfect areas that are extremely risky for humans to be dealt with. Such AIs can create detailed maps of affected areas and also scan various terrains in a flash.

In Singapore, the government used data from various sources to create a mapping of the outbreak. On the other hand, South Korean authorities are using smartphones to track potential carriers and to advise citizens with local phone numbers regarding the outbreak developments and precautions.

Diagnosing Remotely
There is so much in the recent technologies that we have not employed as critical in providing us support in detecting and diagnosing the virus. For example, medical doctors can triage the hallmark symptoms of Coronavirus (fever, cough, and shortness of breath) via "telehealth or telemedicine center", according to

It simply means that medical doctors who are risking their lives in the frontline will have lesser risks than physically diagnosing the potential carrier. In this way, it is a more efficient, time and energy-saving strategy which is mutually advantageous to both parties. No time wasted means fewer lives are put into risk via such a method.

Therefore, instead of flooding hospitals with patients (some non-potential patients) and straining the scarce personnel and medical professionals.

Through telemedicine, the clinician will interact, diagnose and offer medical advice to patients and potential virus hosts remotely over video or audio feed.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Aside from individual-level medical care, the data collected through telemedicine services can be utilized to predict the movement of COVID-19 or other pandemic in the future in a certain area or population.

Through data collection, one can also anticipate the demand for health services, medical supplies, and medicines, thus making the medical institutions ready for any surge of a pandemic. The recent advancement in technology can open doors for a much faster and accurate data about any disease or pandemic, such as what the Google project did for flu and dengue fever trends a few years ago.

Just as AI can do deep learning models with great accuracy, it can detect and differentiate COVID-19 from community-acquired pneumonia and other lung diseases.

Medical Scientists & Tools

What can scientists do?
There are various materials that outlines strategies to deal with the pandemic Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19. For example, the RNSA published a document that has a set of policies and procedures directly applicable to imaging departments designed (a) to achieve sufficient capacity for continued operation during a health care emergency of unprecedented proportions, (b) to support the care of patients with COVID-19, and (c) to maintain radiologic diagnostic and interventional support for the entirety of the hospital and health system.

Countries that have complete radiology facilities may look at how they establish the policies and learn from them. See more here.

On Chest Radiography and CT for Potential COVID-19 Patients
An article on chest radiographs (CXR) and computed tomography (CT) for screening and diagnosing suspected patients with COVID-19 strongly emphasized a warming on the recent knowledge about this technology.

Such warning mentions that CXR or CT is currently not recommended to diagnose Coronavirus because chest radiography in COVID-19 findings are not specific and they have overlapping symptoms similar to influenza, H1N1, SARS, and MERS. For further details, please check:

Medicine Research Companies

Clinical Trials Sponsors
Businesses, companies, or medical research individuals and institutions should contact their governments to support their efforts in producing some cure, and hopefully, a vaccine to Coronavirus. Such companies and researchers I believe are now busy working fulltime in trying to make drugs, medical instruments, or other health products that might help treat or diagnose COVID-19.

Since the whole world is in dire need for medicines or vaccine for COVID-19, in unison with all concerned citizens of the world, we plead to make such medicine or vaccine to be very affordable (and hopefully for FREE to those who cannot afford) to those who need it.

Medical (research) companies must be obliged to circulate the vaccine with moral values and integrity more than profits.

Financial Institutions

The following are suggestions and advice coming from various institutions including banks, government agencies, and other thoughts and practices related to financial institutions' capacities and possible actions to help ease the effects of COVID-19.

A source has offered a suggested checklist of action that financial firms can possibly offer as their response to Coronavirus' pandemic.

Governance – Assemble a proportionate but robust cross-functional response team. For example, the Board /Executive Committee appoints a COVID-19 lead point of contact (and deputy) at Executive Management level. Then the COVID-19 lead point of contact and deputy identify key personnel to form COVID-19 response team (consider stakeholders from across the business – Head of Business Lines, HR, communications, IT, operations, customer services, legal, compliance).

Scenario and impact planning – Consider impacts on the crisis response plan. For example, the  COVID-19 response team to determine and agree the organisation’s response in respect of the following: (a) Staff (b) Systems (c) Operations (d) Customers1 (e) Regulatory obligations.

Testing crisis response plan and its key components (internal elements). For example, the COVID-19 response team to perform testing of the plausible, but severe scenarios determined under action point on scenario and impact planning. Then the IT representatives (and relevant third parties) confirm remote access capabilities have: (a) Sufficient capacity under likely stress (b) Up-to-date and appropriate security protocols, among other specific actions.

Testing crisis response plan and its key components (including key vendors and outside parties). For this action, the  IT representatives to ensure that staff are in possession of all relevant technology to be able to perform their role as required from a remote location (e.g. computers, keyboards, docking stations etc). Also, Where required, relevant business stakeholders develop back-up / alternative business processes to ensure continuation of critical business services.

Communications to stakeholders. For this action, the  Internal communications representatives execute communication to key stakeholders.  Ensure all staff are informed of the following: (a) When the crisis response plan will be enacted / whether it already has been. (b) What action staff need to take in order to prepare. (c) What action staff need to take when a crisis response plan is enacted. (d) How they will be communicated with and the frequency throughout the period of crisis response. (e) How their safety has been considered.

The above action points are not prescriptive nor exhaustive and should be tailored according to the needs of the entity. See more details about the actions mentioned above in here.

The United States had its various finance agencies put their head together and decided to issue an interagency statement. The result seems to be a great decision by the agencies encouraging financial institutions to support and help out struggling banks, businesses, borrowers and the economy of the country.

Although this interagency statement by the US financial institutions, the summary here would only serve as an example that could be tailored and applied in other nations and states.

The interagency statement has the following main items: working with customers, accounting for a loan modification, past due reporting, nonaccrual status and charge-offs, and discount window eligibility.

For example, the statement mentioned encouraging financial institutions to work with borrowers prudently as they possibly cannot or unable to meet their payment obligations due to the effects of Coronavirus. See more explanations for each item mentioned here.

As an example, the Bank of Canada issued a statement that presents its stand and approaches amidst the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This brief paragraph informs the reader of what the Bank is offering and doing in this situation. For various good reasons, the Bank will act in various methods to help support the country's economy and financial system.

Mainly, the actions include relevant points: offering new monetary policy (such as lowered interest rates), supporting key financial markets (by offering programs to increase liquidity in core funding markets), liquidity support for financial institutions (such as enhancing its standard liquidity tools for ready access to funding), and other specific items.

Also, the Bank coordinates with international policy-makers including G7 central banks, and other economic and financial partners.

Layman (or laywoman's) term, please help and support ordinary people who don't have resources and trying to make ends meet as they are severely affected by COVID-19. Banks always get what they want. So, please get your profits later on and you won't get profits if you don't have borrowers--the people.

International Organizations

What Can International Organizations DO
WHO (UN World Health Organization) is the dedicated United Nations' organization that monitors and provides updates as well as official advice and guidance of various actions.

For example, you can find relevant items on COVID-19 such as quick links, scam alert, advice for the public, advice for health workers, country and technical guidance, situation updates, research and development and various Q&As. See the official website of WHO here.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
The Secretary General of OECD, Angel Gurria, urged the G20 leaders to act promptly to counteract the effects of COVID-19. Very briefly, here is the quote:

  • Recapitalise health and epidemiological systems;
  • Mobilise all macro-economic levers: monetary, fiscal, and structural policies;
  • Lift existing trade restrictions especially on much needed medical supplies;
  • Provide support to vulnerable developing and low-income countries;
  • Share and implement best practices to support workers and all individuals, employed and unemployed – particularly the most vulnerable;
  • Keep businesses afloat, particularly small and medium-sized firms, with special support packages in hardest hit sectors such as tourism.

International Maritime Organization (IMO)
A couple of sea-cruise ships were affected by the COVID-19, and as of this writing, the passengers are still in them and many of them contracted the virus and are receiving treatments.

Following the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Maritime Organization's member states, seafarers, and shipping will heed WHO's measures that will limit the risk of exportation or importation of any disease including COVID-19.

The technical guidance of WHO includes the detection and management of sick travelers suspected of contracting Coronavirus. Please, see IMO's website to find out more on help guidance in case of outbreaks onboard ships and WHO's technical guidance for managing COVID-19 cases and other issues.

Amnesty International (AI)
According to AI, during this unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19, many countries are implementing various strategies to control the spread and even death due to the pandemic. However, the international organization also insisted that basic needs and rights of citizens must be upheld and respected.

AI insisted that "[i]nternational human rights laws and standards also require that access to health care, including any vaccines and cures developed for COVID-19 in the future, should be available in sufficient quantity and be accessible and affordable to everyone, without discrimination."

Amnesty International offered relevant and critical points to remember and implement by governments whose countries and territories are being affected by COVID-19. Here are the verbatim points...

  • Do not discriminate.
  • Don't leave marginalized and most at-risk groups behind
  • Don't resort to repression or excessive force in policing of public health measures that require restrictions on freedom of movement or deprivation of liberty
  • Don't censor or limit access to evidence-based information or preventative measures
  • Do guarantee workers' rights and social security
  • Do guarantee access to adequate water, sanitation and health care for all and engage international cooperation and assistance
  • Do ensure a gender-focus
  • Do protect people's right to privacy

Transparency International (TI)
Governments, institutions, companies, and various entities will be doing business in trying to deal with the unprecedented occurrence of the pandemic COVID-19. As TI's mission, the international anti-corruption organization, based in Berlin, featured an article appealing to all stakeholders to keep transparency and integrity as critical values that can help support the fight against eh pandemic and prevent the loss of many lives.

Citing a particular country, Brazil as an example, the anti-corruption organization highlights important recommendations and preventive strategies on corruption risks.

  • Information on purchases and contracting should be published in open data format and accessible to all audiences;
  • Procurement processes should prevent price gouging and hoarding and promote competition among companies;
  • Broad public accountability should include the monitoring of resources used during the emergency response.
  • Activate national anti-monopoly agencies to avoid collusion between economic actors and practices that result in price speculation.
  • Implement real-time audits for public procurement, precisely because of the exceptional nature and magnitude of the emergency.
  • Develop a single platform for government procurement information and ensure proper accountability during the emergency response.

Sincere thanks and gratitude to all medical professionals who are doing their jobs, tasks, profession, vocation or whatever you may call it. You are heroes and will be legends to the future generation who saved this generation from COVID-19.

I hope this is useful in some ways or another. If you have suggestions or recommendations to make this article more relevant, please let me know either to email or by kindly commenting below.

Thanks for reading and keep safe! We can overcome COVID-19 by acting TOGETHER!

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