WEBVTT 1 00:00:01.020 --> 00:00:12.240 Tom Field: Hi, I'm Tom field, Vice President of editorial with information security Media Group. I'm talking about the COVID-19 pandemic, and getting back to work. My pleasure to welcome back to the 2 00:00:12.240 --> 00:00:20.220 studio, Regina Phelps, founder of emergency management and safety solutions. Regina, as always, thank you for joining the virtual studio. 3 00:00:20.640 --> 00:00:23.640 Regina Phelps: Tom, it's so good to see you. Again. It's been a while two weeks, 4 00:00:24.540 --> 00:00:36.600 Tom Field: like clockwork, and a lot has changed in that time, the world now, in places at least particularly in the United States is starting to reopen. And so my question for you is what do we 5 00:00:36.600 --> 00:00:43.170 need to know about the state of the pandemic now, as we start to venture out and leave our homes? 6 00:00:43.799 --> 00:00:51.509 Regina Phelps: It's a really great question. So first of all, it's really a mixed bag. I think it's what I would overall say, if you look at what's happening in many places throughout the world, but also 7 00:00:51.509 --> 00:01:03.689 here in the United States. There are places reopening and in some cases reopening even when their case numbers are still rising and so It's concerning. And so it's concerning to me thinking about 8 00:01:03.689 --> 00:01:15.329 what's going to happen in the next few weeks next month, when all of those cases maybe actually bloom into serious illness. And I think you're seeing now that many of the hospitals are finally 9 00:01:15.449 --> 00:01:23.639 getting a little bit of relief who have been inundated with cases. And I'm concerned, I think we talked about this earlier before, I'm concerned about the overall health and well being of all of 10 00:01:23.639 --> 00:01:29.789 those health care workers and their ability to keep going, you know, week after week, month after month, so I 11 00:01:29.790 --> 00:01:31.500 Tom Field: think so much of them heavily. 12 00:01:32.159 --> 00:01:41.579 Regina Phelps: Oh, absolutely. I mean, I've been just the it's been it's been heart wrenching to read about what's going on with healthcare workers across the country and across the world. And the 13 00:01:41.579 --> 00:01:45.419 numbers that have been lost because of this illness. It's really heartbreaking. 14 00:01:46.110 --> 00:01:59.100 Tom Field: Regina prior to this call you share with me a paper by Michael foster home from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy described please the three pandemic scenarios that 15 00:01:59.100 --> 00:02:01.350 we should consider Based on their research, 16 00:02:02.010 --> 00:02:05.730 Regina Phelps: I'd be happy to do that. The reason I get to I'd like to go digital, if I may, 17 00:02:05.790 --> 00:02:07.110 please, um, 18 00:02:07.350 --> 00:02:17.040 to really demonstrate the three waves that we're speaking about that are our potential. And the reason I think it's helpful to look at the waves is it gives you an idea of what could happen. And 19 00:02:17.040 --> 00:02:30.090 let me just say, straight away that none of these degrades. So what I want to say overall to you is there's no silver bullet, there is no immediate savior here. And that our life is going to continue 20 00:02:30.090 --> 00:02:40.290 in different versions of what we're experiencing now, until either one of two things happens. One is that we have a successful therapeutic, which is an anti viral, very likely that we'll be able to 21 00:02:40.290 --> 00:02:51.990 treat the symptoms of the illness. And then secondarily, of course, the best option would be a vaccine. And we know already that that's 18 to 24 months and likely longer than that. So if you keep 22 00:02:51.990 --> 00:03:01.860 that in the back of your mind, and then you look at this document that shows three waves and again, this is done by Sid rap, which is a group that Michael Ostrow Mama's I've been with for some time 23 00:03:01.860 --> 00:03:13.860 out of Minnesota. And essentially what you'll see when you look at the very first top series of waves is a series of peaks and valleys. And so what you'll see is the first big peak of where we're 24 00:03:13.860 --> 00:03:23.820 at right now. And then you see we go down, and then we don't behave ourselves for a period of time. And then we go right back up. And then we go through this sort of, they call it almost like a shark 25 00:03:23.820 --> 00:03:35.880 tooth kind of wave. So it's based on our behavior. We have peaks because we have a lot of cases and a lot of illness along us, and then it goes back down, because we have now sheltered back in and 26 00:03:35.880 --> 00:03:47.970 home again, and then we behave ourselves for a period time and it goes right back up. So that's that sort of shark tooth. That's, in many ways where we are right now. The second one is a different 27 00:03:47.970 --> 00:03:57.960 version of this, and this would be very much like 1918, of which what you see is the first peak, which is really that first, really, this second one doesn't really count. It's that first one big 28 00:03:57.960 --> 00:04:07.230 wave and that's where we are now and then we'll Go down, oh go down for a period of time potentially. And then over the course of the fall, maybe it's around October. So it will really come 29 00:04:07.230 --> 00:04:19.290 back with a lot of fierceness. And then we'll actually be a longer period of time and then go down. And then because of the size of that wave, we will have gone through a lot more individuals, so we'd 30 00:04:19.290 --> 00:04:30.930 have a lot more herd immunity, and then the following waves would be smaller. Probably the best example, the best thing we could hope for is actually the slow burn, which is the one at the bottom. 31 00:04:31.200 --> 00:04:43.860 So we start with this big peak that we are now and then what we have is more of a rolling hills, if you will, where we are behaving ourselves with physical distancing, wearing of masks and really 32 00:04:43.860 --> 00:04:57.450 appropriate behaviors that minimize this, this up and down, that we're likely to experience with large social gatherings, not wearing a mask, not not physically distanced. And so our best solution, 33 00:04:57.840 --> 00:05:08.790 our best possible solution is now Number three, which is the slow burn. I'm fearful, however, that we're probably going to vacillate maybe between the first one the shot the shark teeth. And the 34 00:05:08.790 --> 00:05:11.550 third, the second one, whichever is the big peak in the fall. 35 00:05:12.270 --> 00:05:23.760 Tom Field: Oh, that's really helpful, Regina. So my question for you is, is this like a Christmas carol? And are we Ebenezer Scrooge? And we can choose which one of these futures? Oh, gosh. 36 00:05:24.570 --> 00:05:35.190 Regina Phelps: Yeah, you know, I wish we could. But I do want to say that our behavior really impacts whether we are successful in this or not. So if we are good at physical distancing, if we are good 37 00:05:35.190 --> 00:05:45.630 at wearing masks, and if we're good at basically really evaluating all of our actions on a daily basis, which, by the way, is a little exhausting, that we could actually be much more successful at 38 00:05:45.630 --> 00:05:56.550 this and be very much like that slow burn. But again, I think what happens for a lot of people is they just get tired, tired of this life that we have, and I think it's really hard for us to think 39 00:05:56.550 --> 00:06:01.200 about doing this for 18 months 24 months longer. 40 00:06:02.280 --> 00:06:12.780 Tom Field: So Regina, I'm talking with lots of organizations now where they're discussing reopening some offices bringing some essential workers back in. So I'm going to go through some scenarios with 41 00:06:12.780 --> 00:06:23.910 you to get a sense of how you respond to those. And the first is, what's the office environment going to be like when we do start to reopen and bring people back to a central office? You know, 42 00:06:23.910 --> 00:06:33.120 Regina Phelps: that's a really great question. And what I would say to you is that, so this is what I would have you think about, we've been counseling and coaching many of our clients really for the 43 00:06:33.120 --> 00:06:43.560 last four weeks about this concept of re entry. And I will tell you that people are now kind of coming What I would say full circle. So when we first start talking with people, the first thing 44 00:06:43.560 --> 00:06:55.710 was, oh, man, we've got to get back and what do we have to do and, and then we start exploring and peeling back all the things that have to be done. And Tom, it's not an easy task. That's the first 45 00:06:55.710 --> 00:07:05.670 thing. And so once people begin to understand and I'll take through a variety of things, Have to do in just a second. But once they begin to understand the complexity of it, and still there's no it's 46 00:07:05.670 --> 00:07:16.260 not risk free, it's there's still a risk involved. And so then people begin to think about well, well, how's that working for us now working at home? And what I would say to most of you, most of 47 00:07:16.260 --> 00:07:28.020 our clients is, when I asked them, Why are you going back? If it's successful, most of them don't have a good answer for me. Oh, well, I guess because we're supposed to, well, are you really 48 00:07:28.020 --> 00:07:40.770 supposed to. So I will tell you, the vast majority of people we are working with are not planning on going back at all, at least through the summer. And many people are actually forecasting it won't be 49 00:07:40.770 --> 00:07:52.740 till next year. Now for the folks that are gonna go back. There's a lot that has to be done right. Everything from Are you going to screen your employees every day. Are you going to tech to 50 00:07:52.740 --> 00:08:05.910 temperatures are you going to then monitor the lobby of the building and the elevator cab And are you going to only have so many people per elevator? And are you going to convert your hallways to 51 00:08:05.910 --> 00:08:17.190 one way hallways? Are you going to restrict how many people can be in a cube farm? And oh, the list is empty. There's seven pages of a checklist that we have for clients if they really want to go back 52 00:08:17.190 --> 00:08:21.690 and it's overwhelming in many ways. But that's what you have to do. 53 00:08:23.640 --> 00:08:35.880 Tom Field: Regina, we're a very touchy meeting like society, how are we going to approach our client relations in meetings? Where we're used to glad handing and lunching and dining and being together 54 00:08:35.880 --> 00:08:36.750 to seal the deal? 55 00:08:37.319 --> 00:08:47.189 Regina Phelps: Yeah, you know, again, not gonna happen. I think what you're going to see and I mean, you and I are both road road warriors. We travel a lot. I do 200.000 miles a year, you probably do about 56 00:08:47.189 --> 00:08:56.669 the same. And what that means is that we are used to being on the road to see clients and service them right. Well, that's not going to happen in my world. You're probably I'm probably not going to 57 00:08:56.669 --> 00:09:05.759 be on the road for the foreseeable future. And I don't know frankly, when I will Be, again, because it goes back to when are their therapeutics and what are their vaccines. So I think that means 58 00:09:05.759 --> 00:09:16.259 everything is going to have to be virtual. And I think we are figuring that out. I think when this first began, people were very uncomfortable in that virtual environment. But now I've seen a huge 59 00:09:16.259 --> 00:09:27.089 change in the last couple of weeks. And I think that's going to continue, where people are going to continue to feel more comfortable. And that's feel so odd about talking to their laptop and their 60 00:09:27.089 --> 00:09:35.819 dining room table or wherever they are. Right. And so I think it will improve over time, but I think it's going to be a lot of that. But tied to that. Tom, I think it's important is that from a 61 00:09:35.819 --> 00:09:45.899 perspective of how we connect how we communicate, we have to work a little harder, perhaps, in this virtual space, but you thanks and then just being in a room with somebody, 62 00:09:46.110 --> 00:09:47.070 Tom Field: that's a lot more work. 63 00:09:47.790 --> 00:09:56.850 Regina Phelps: Yeah, I mean, it takes more effort, right to communicate, it takes more effort to give a thought across perhaps, and then you have to reach out to people in different ways. So I think it's 64 00:09:56.850 --> 00:10:08.250 going to take creativity. It's going to have to take it Being willing to think outside of the box that we've always done right. So we have to stretch. And I will tell you generally, my clients that 65 00:10:08.250 --> 00:10:17.190 are younger, probably under the age of 35, or 40, who have been more in this kind of environment more facile with you will have an easier time than people that are a little bit older. 66 00:10:18.300 --> 00:10:29.760 Tom Field: So I can't think of a major event that is still being planned right now that hasn't either been canceled or turned virtual. How do you see conferences and live events evolving? As we 67 00:10:29.760 --> 00:10:31.950 get through these next 18 to 24 months? 68 00:10:32.099 --> 00:10:41.819 Regina Phelps: That's a great question. I think they're gonna be for the best part virtual, again, just think about if you have a big conference like RSA or any of the other ones, consumer electronics 69 00:10:41.819 --> 00:10:53.039 group or whatever, are you going to really want to send your folks to a place where they're going to be people from all over the world, all of that viral mixing? Ooh, I don't think so. And so I think 70 00:10:53.039 --> 00:11:03.509 it's going to be a very virtual space and I think we're just going to grow to be a customer that what I think will be interesting is what happens after this is over. So what happens to offices? 71 00:11:03.629 --> 00:11:14.279 What happens to business travel? What happens to conferences? Are we going to be so used to a virtual environment, it's going to be hard to go back to a physical space is going to be hard to 72 00:11:14.279 --> 00:11:20.279 justify the cost, or people going to be so excited. They just can't wait. I don't know. What do you think? What do you think's gonna happen? 73 00:11:21.630 --> 00:11:32.970 Tom Field: You know, I had the same question about business travel. I spent 45 weeks on the road at some point or another last year. And I know people that traveled far more than I did that were gone. 74 00:11:33.390 --> 00:11:45.600 Every week, somewhere all week. You have a society that's used to I'm in the us this week. I'm in Europe, next, Asia, and after that, what happens with this ubiquitous business travel that the 75 00:11:45.600 --> 00:11:46.860 culture has embraced? 76 00:11:47.700 --> 00:11:58.350 Regina Phelps: Yeah, I think what will be interesting is that I think if we're, if we don't travel for a long enough period of time, in some ways, it may be harder to go back. You may have to really 77 00:11:58.350 --> 00:12:08.940 justify why would I ever All of a sudden be on a plane, when now, for the last two years, I've actually been comfortable in discussing things with you virtually, and doing business deals and 78 00:12:08.940 --> 00:12:16.170 going to lectures, it's going to be harder, I think to justify the expense of Okay, a plane trip, a hotel room, etc, etc. 79 00:12:16.680 --> 00:12:27.030 Tom Field: So it seems like maybe the home office, the central office, the business travel, the live events, those have been the rule, right become the exception, 80 00:12:27.660 --> 00:12:38.850 Regina Phelps: I would not be surprised if that's what happens I, and again, the longer this goes on, it's going to be harder for us to go back to another behavior that we were so accustomed to. And I think 81 00:12:38.850 --> 00:12:48.840 we're getting more used to this space. And the other thing I would just say to you, Tom, and all of your listeners is, is that we're all figuring this out. And I don't know about you, but I have some 82 00:12:48.840 --> 00:12:58.830 days that I'm much better than others, right? I feel much more comfortable in this space of what I'm doing. Other days. I just think oh my gosh, I want my old life back. But I think you know, we're 83 00:12:58.830 --> 00:13:08.880 gonna go we're grieving For an old life that we're not going to have. And I think there's a natural progression of grief that we're all going to go through. And at some point, we're going to get to 84 00:13:08.880 --> 00:13:18.240 the end of that. And we're going to be in a new place. And we'll pick up from there. And I think it's important that we all understand that every one of us is in a different spot. And we're going 85 00:13:18.240 --> 00:13:27.210 to go up and down. And we have to support each other, and our colleagues and our friends when we're in those down places, and then you know, know that we're going to be in a better space and a little 86 00:13:27.210 --> 00:13:28.380 bit more rigid. 87 00:13:28.380 --> 00:13:40.980 Tom Field: And the other thing you and I rarely talk about as well is that we aren't just talking about work. Everybody that is at home is home with family. Education is going to has changed how we 88 00:13:40.980 --> 00:13:50.190 care for our children and our parents is going to change and all that impacts our ability to leave the home. Mm hmm. 89 00:13:50.430 --> 00:14:01.740 Regina Phelps: Yeah, it's so it's so different, right? Anything from children to elderly parents. It's all different and we are all recreating a world that is never existed before and at least in our 90 00:14:01.740 --> 00:14:04.980 contemporary times, right? So yeah, we have to be patient, 91 00:14:05.430 --> 00:14:15.840 Tom Field: Virginia as we head toward Memorial Day in the United States. And typically that signals the start of summer, we're going to get warmer temperatures, we're going to get people who want to 92 00:14:16.050 --> 00:14:26.910 migrate outdoors and spend more time recreating, what are the pandemic trends, we really need to be watching over the next three or four weeks. Mm hmm. 93 00:14:27.360 --> 00:14:36.450 Regina Phelps: Yeah. So for all any of your listeners that are going to be on any sort of vacation, whether it's just a day at the beach, or anything else farther than that, I think they just have to 94 00:14:36.450 --> 00:14:47.400 be smart. And so you always have to have your pandemic brain on right so that's hand sanitizers in your pockets mask with you at all times. If you're out in a public place, and there's no one around 95 00:14:47.400 --> 00:14:56.610 you. There's no reason to have a mask on but you get starting to get in a congested area you need to have a mask on. You need to be thinking about would you go to a restaurant would you think about 96 00:14:56.610 --> 00:15:06.900 being in a space that might be confined with other individuals Are you going to go to somebody's home, for example? and recreate? If you're going to go to somebody, Tom, could you do it outside, so 97 00:15:06.900 --> 00:15:15.480 at least you're an ambient air. And you could have a mask on if you needed to. I think what you need to understand is that we don't know who's sick, and we don't know who's well. And I think what we're 98 00:15:15.480 --> 00:15:25.350 going to find after, for example, last weekend, and with Mother's Day in the United States, there were a lot of places that actually had a lot of congressman congregate groups. And that's going to 99 00:15:25.350 --> 00:15:35.520 be a problem. And you'll probably see in a couple weeks now from cases, so please think about what you're going to do. Be smart. Not say that you shouldn't be doing things as long as it's legal in 100 00:15:35.520 --> 00:15:37.110 your area, but you need to be smart. 101 00:15:38.040 --> 00:15:39.570 Tom Field: What are the trends? You're watching Regina? 102 00:15:42.570 --> 00:15:45.630 Yeah. What are the trends that you're watching now? 103 00:15:47.010 --> 00:16:00.000 Regina Phelps: Ah, it's a great question. I'm really looking at countries that are recovering from their first way. South, South Korea, for example, their caseload is going up. I'm looking at what's your 104 00:16:00.000 --> 00:16:12.900 happening in the UK with can their cases continuing to grow. And other parts of the country that are on fire like Brazil place, it's just it's so sad because they have so many poor people in Brazil and 105 00:16:12.900 --> 00:16:23.790 such little health care for them. So I'm looking at these hotspots, I'm looking at places that ignited him not cooled off like Brazil. And I'm looking to places like South Korea, Singapore, that 106 00:16:23.790 --> 00:16:33.810 are still that are not coming back with a second wave. And then I'm afraid is that shark tooth wave that I showed you earlier. So I'm looking into those kind of trends. I'm looking at what's going on 107 00:16:33.810 --> 00:16:44.700 in the United States. I have to say, overall, when I look at all the states, the one that I think has done the best job with the most worst possible conditions is New York, New York, in New York 108 00:16:44.700 --> 00:16:56.310 City in New York state who have done a stellar job not only in the leadership, but also in the in the regular briefings and keeping people informed and just being on top of it. Understanding that if 109 00:16:56.310 --> 00:17:07.500 they let go at all, that that could just escalate incredibly out of control. So I give them a lot of credit. And I think that's the kind of leadership that we need that kind of willingness to talk 110 00:17:07.500 --> 00:17:17.940 about what's real, to be truthful, to be honest, to be clear. That's what people need right now. And we don't get that then we start filling in the gaps with our own knowledge, which we might have 111 00:17:17.940 --> 00:17:21.180 picked up from the internet, which may not be terribly accurate, I might say, 112 00:17:22.650 --> 00:17:30.480 Tom Field: Regina, as always, I appreciate the check and look forward to talking to you again very soon. Until then, please stay healthy. Stay positive. I'll see you again someday soon. 113 00:17:30.780 --> 00:17:33.300 Regina Phelps: Oh, of course your well Thank you, Tom. Great to see you. As always. 114 00:17:33.690 --> 00:17:42.750 Tom Field: Again, speaking with Regina Phelps, the founder of emergency management and safety solutions, or information security Media Group. I'm Tom field. Thank you so much for watching.