You don't have to be a supply chain expert to understand that nothing happens in a vacuum. The COVID-19 pandemic has helped make that increasingly clear to everyone.
A Vietnamese man gets sick. He can't afford to stay home, so he goes to his job at the glass vial factory. He infects his coworkers till there's a production shortage. And they infect their shippers who bring the vials to California. And at the same time that the logistics company's capabilities are impacted, those shippers are infecting their kids who are too young to be vaccinated and wear masks consistently. And those kids are infecting other kids and teachers whose infection impacts the ability of school to serve as childcare, and even the kids who aren't sick have to stay home, so their mom has to try and manage a hospital's worth of materials from home, and - would you believe it - she can't find the glass vials she needs to keep her community safe.
Sound familiar? So should a couple of the below news stories we ran across this week.
- As this MedPage Today article puts into sharp focus: it's not the unvaccinated who are the most affected by the pandemic. The most disadvantaged are always the most affected.
- This will not come as a shock to anyone who works in any sector of healthcare: everyone in every sector of healthcare is affected by burnout. Clinicians, supply chain, and admin staff alike. And the severity of burnout is up tremendously across all those groups.
- Speaking of the supply chain, more disruptions are coming. Asian countries have been and will continue to be especially hard-hit by the latest surges, and that will lead to widespread disruption in all the sectors that use Asian manufacturing (which is everything). Some of this will be offset by improvements to American manufacturing capabilities, but not enough.
- What's one thing that has absolutely not been disrupted throughout the last year-plus? Cybersecurity threats. Breaches are up considerably just in 2021 from their historic levels in 2020. This article has some practical advice to add on to what we've previously suggested on this blog. Just in case, y'know, you didn't believe us.
- Simple, solid advice is always welcome. It's reassuring that we can personally help all these groups (including ourselves). We can help prevent a projected 100,000 deaths between now and the end of the year. What's the best way to improve everyone's situation?
- Reinstate mask standards.
- Mandate vaccines.
- Avoid public & private gatherings.
Despite the fact that it's not that hard, all things considered, we somehow haven't nailed it yet. Here's hoping that the threat of the next 100,000 motivates us like the last 600,000 failed to do.