As of today, there are much as two hundred countries, which have fallen prey to coronavirus. Every country had a strategy to fight this contagion. While I say this, I mean no strategy is also a strategy .
Countries like Japan, South Korea reacted early to contain pandemic. Whereas countries like Spain, Italy , US seem to have surrendered to the pandemic. India is fighting with this corona outbreak on the lines of China, the two countries are quite similar as far as their population is concerned and there is uncanny similarity in their strategies i.e. lockdown.
Some countries realised in no time that it was not an ordinary epidemic and some countries thought it was another ordinary epidemic.It was the countries’ reactions and the timing of their reaction, that helped them sail through or led them into troubled waters.
The consequences are different because these countries reacted differently to the change i.e. coronavirus. How do we react to change and how reaction timing can affect the consequence is what we need to understand. But before that, let us understand change cycle.
The speed of Change
The speed of change is rapidly increasing in modern times. In old times, change occurred like series of stairs. You would reach a level, relax, regroup and start again. These days it is like a continuous upward curve with no time to relax. There are so many changes that happen concurrently economy, defence , pandemic . They all intersect , making it even more difficult to keep feet on ground.
Change is upsetting and disruptive
Interpreting Change Curve
Change does not occur in a straight line. It occurs in phases. The change curve occurs in four phases.
1.Shock & Denial
At this stage, it is common for people to convince themselves that the change isn’t actually going to happen, or if it does, that it won’t affect them. Performance often returns to the levels seen before the dip experienced during the initial shock of the change. People carry on as they always have and may deny having received communication about the changes, and may well make excuses to avoid taking part in forward planning.
Behaviour & Communication :Avoid topic, not taking any initiative, act as if nothing is happening, blame outside forces, question the authenticity of the information, do routine work.
Country/ Countries at this stage : Italy, famous for its huge contributions to the worlds of art, architecture, fashion, opera, literature, design, film and food .Italy spent too much time at this phase. People never believed coronavirus would reach them . They believed this was meant to kill people in eastern countries and they continued enjoying their colourful lives The virus barged in with full throttle , they were caught unaware. This is what happened to France.
During this stage, a loss of status, power, security, influence, comfort, relationships, credibility, seniority, value, expertise is felt. They have to make significant changes without assurance that the outcome will be positive or the path will be easy.
Behaviour & Communication :show anger, doubt the wisdom of the decisions, complaint, believe the task is impossible.
Country/ Countries at this stage :United States spent too much time at this stage. The president kept fuming at China , which did not help. The time was wasted in showing a. The nation did not prepare itself for the catastrophe. The time could have been wisely used in getting the house in order. The shortage of Beds, ventilators, equipments etc just show how the crucial time was wasted in cursing China, in registering anguish and animosity against China.
Feel overwhelmed and depressed, Refuse to go along. Become quiet and passive, Feel that there is nothing they can do.
Country/ Countries at this stage : France famous for fashion, food, cars .The capital of this stunning country was one of the hottest tourist destinations in the entire world. The country never expected coronavirus to hit them and surrendered initially. However now you can see France coming out the depression stage and entering the exploration stage.
4. Acceptance & Exploration
At this point people are more than halfway through transition. They are ready to think about what they can do, what is possible.They decide to take make the best of it, learn new skills and seek new ideas. Explorations signals a shift from seeing change as a threat to seeing it as an opportunity.
Behaviour & Communication : energetic, seek new ways of doing and thinking, seek to learn and discover possibilities, want to solve problems, take risks and try new things, generate lot of ideas, work together and seek help from each other,
Country/ Countries at this stage : India fortunately got the time to prepare and learn from the experiences of the other countries. Lockdown, testing , social distancing etc were the strategies which India learnt. With the vast diaspora and dense population, world was wondering how India would fight against coronavirus.
India at this stage is exploring and doing so much. Split ventilators by Vaish & Agarwal, Indexable 3D printable masks by IIT Jodhpur, sanitisers by IIT Guwahati ….is the proof that we are exploring hard to win over this change. And, with all these initiatives, there is no doubt India will this war against coronavirus.