31 Aug 2020 20:49 IST

A three-pronged strategy to win the war against Covid-19

One needs to plan at the individual level to win this war against the pandemic at minimum possible cost

We are going through very difficult and unprecedented times, at least in the recent history of homo sapiens. To face these times, we can use some lessons learned from strategy discipline. From a strategy perspective, currently,the world is in a state of war with the invisible enemy of Covid-19. The war needs to be fought together by multiple disciplines such as science to cure the patients, find vaccines; political and administration, to the overall management of the situation; and, economics to ensure livelihoods are ensured. The war needs to be fought at multiple levels including the global, regional, country, states, districts, cities, villages, local colonies, to individual households, to individuals.

In this article, we are focusing on the Covid-19 war at the last level i.e. individual level. As in any other war, with minimum possible cost, we have to win this war and come out even stronger than before. It is not going to be easy. To make it a bit easier we need to strategise and come with a comprehensive strategy. To fight this unusual war, we need a three-prong strategy to win this war.

Prong 1. Know the enemy

The starting point is to know the enemy in as much detail as possible. From credible international and national sources, know every detail about Covid-19 including its basics, how it spreads, where all it has spread, what is its spread in our touch points in life, how it affects human bodies, what all needs to be done if someone gets infected and what are the help points available from government and health bodies and so on. The most up-to-date information can be found on the WHO website. We prepare ourselves for the war by knowing the enemy.

Prong 2. Know ourself

Our first important step is to make sure, we avoid the war head-on. Going into war head-on with an enemy will also make you lose something as even the winners in a war also pay a cost. We need to find ways to make sure we avoid it as far as possible. Make a list of all possible ways that it can get to us and one by one close those ways for it. Governments have provided a list of simple steps we can take to protect ourselves from contracting and transmitting Covid-19, for example, wash hands regularly, wear face-covering in public, practice social distancing. For the most relevant advice to our region check our Government’s health department advice. Also, we need to invest in building our immunity by following a healthy lifestyle including workouts/yoga, meditation, healthy and immunity-boosting food.

The second important step is to make sure we run our lives as smoothly as possible even during these times. We must make sure that our life goes on as smoothly as possible, without getting impacted much by this pandemic. We need to prioritise the tasks, follow a routine, and find safer ways to carry on our life including taking help from digital technologies.

The third important step is to create a standard operating procedure for ourselves to get tested and if we get infected by it to get out of it as soon as possible and with as much minimum cost and losses as possible.

We need to face the enemy of Covid-19 known to us in the best possible way by knowing ourselves.

Prong 3. Support others and the Government strategy against Covid-19

This is a pandemic and it is going to stay here for some time. We need to stay in touch with our family, friends, and neighbours to offer any possible help to them if required, but first making sure we are safe. This is a highly contagious disease and so for our safety, it mustn't spread among others. Also, we need to help the local administration and hospitals, if needed. The minimum help we can do is to make sure we follow the guidelines issued by the government and health departments for citizens as well as inform the respective departments if we see any violations of these guidelines by anyone.

(The author is Professor of Strategy with MDI Gurgaon.)