Life after COVID-19
22-07-2020 | Posted by Joaquín Martí
Just three months ago, in early April, at the peak of the pandemic in Spain, we wrote a post describing the ongoing situation, and particularly the implications for a consultancy like ours. Those implications are still being felt, but it is a good time to look back, not in anger as in Osborne’s play, but objectively.
At this point, over 600,000 casualties are attributed to the virus worldwide. Just in Spain the excess deaths above the historical trend exceeds 44,000, more than 14,000 of them in Madrid alone. Those figures send a chill through the spine. Fortunately, although the growth of new cases and deaths is still rampant in parts of the world, the number of fatalities in Spain has kept within historical expectations for the last two months.
We are therefore trying to recover normal life, personally and professionally. Most firms have suffered serious effects because of reduced demand, increased expenditure, impossible or inefficient operations, etc. In some cases, like transport and hotel firms, this has been extreme; in very few others, like home deliveries, they have seen their business increase. But the average effect is strongly negative and likely to linger for quite a while.
Engineering consultants have struggled with the effects of lockdowns, unable to travel or meet their clients personally, rescheduling courses and conferences, with disperse teams working on each project, sometimes under stressed financial conditions..
It is commendable how workers have adapted to the new working conditions, and how companies have reinvented themselves to make it possible. And we have all smiled when seeing kids roam about or break into a remote meeting of grown-ups.
The post published three months ago recalled a humorous boast we sometimes tell clients, stating that tough assignments we solve on the spot, the impossible ones take us a bit longer. Well, perhaps that is a bit of an exaggeration, but we have proved that we can manage to operate, and to do it reasonably successfully, under the extreme constraints of the last few months. This is primarily due to the goodwill and efforts of all participants, which I gladly acknowledge here.
But this feeling of success should not hide the stark global picture. On the one hand, the blow dealt by the pandemic to the economy is very serious and, even if it does not worsen further, will impose tough future sacrifices. On the other, the battle against the virus has not been completely won yet; hence, on your behalf and that of others, let us all be prudent to ensure that the number of daily deaths remains within historical expectations.