So I've been home from college for two days now, and I haven't been feeling so well, with a cough and a sore throat. As a result of this, I've been resorting to the couch watching CNN, C-Span, and zombie movies... more CNN than anything.
So I've been listening, and couldn't help to want to start a conversation about the Ebola epidemic.
Now, some may ask, "Max, how does that have anything to do with business??" I'll get to that in a moment.
Out of interest, I decided to peruse the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's website. What's the first thing that pops up? A huge front pager about an Ebola update concerning the Texas Health Department's first confirmed diagnosis of the virus.
To understand the potential severity of this diagnosis, I think we need to first understand what the virus is. According to www.CDC.gov, originally named the Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola comes from the infection with a virus called Filoviridae. And yes, it is very hazardous and deadly. As serious as it is though, the United States government through the CDC is working at full speed to control the leak into the country.
ADVICE: I am NOT a doctor. However, I strongly urge you to view the CDC's page dealing with prevention of the Ebola virus, along with the prevention of other viruses and illnesses.
Now, getting to the business side of things...
How on earth could a disease affect the operation of global businesses and the U.S economy as a whole?
For one, when a disease surfaces as an epidemic, it causes fear that people will become sick. So what would be anyone's natural response to this? They stop seeing other people. This is something that certainly impacts the process of business meetings or other corporate events. Also, with people not wanting to meet directly with others, they also stop traveling. When people stop traveling, they don't buy airline tickets or gas for their cars. This drives millions of dollars into the ground and the stock prices of airline companies soar straight down. Also, with regards to keeping children safe, if the disease were to be something of a national emergency, schools may even close, causing the loss of millions and upwards of billions of dollars because of lack of productivity with parents remaining home with their kids.
Now what do you think? How will this epidemic drive the United States and global economies? With foreign corporate fear, comes the lessening of production and slowing of economic processes in the U.S.
Thanks for reading guys! And don't forget to wash your hands and take precautions to keep yourself healthy!