BCG's work to confront the global COVID-19 pandemic challenge with public and private sector clients worldwid
The unfolding, global COVID-19 pandemic is a human crisis of historic scale and complexity. It is straining health care systems, government fiscal capacity, and the ability of many organizations to cope with the changes wrought by the virus and the response to it.
The level of uncertainty for most leaders is unprecedented, and most of our frameworks for planning and problem solving are unable to manage the geographic variability, uncertainty, and the exponential change brought by the COVID-19 crisis.
In BCG’s work to confront this challenge with public and private sector clients worldwide, they have found that many leaders are asking the same set of questions such as
When will this be over, and when will we return to “normal”?
These are good questions, but the reality is, we shouldn’t be asking them at this point.
In the wake of so much uncertainty, we should instead focus on framing potential scenarios and use them to develop a robust plan of action.
Three months into the COVID-19 crisis, we are starting to see patterns in its impact on countries and cities, as well as in these areas’ responses. BCG sees three distinct phases.
Three distinct phases for countries and cities
First, there is the “Flatten” phase, in which countries or cities lock down to flat-ten the virus’s exponential growth curve.
Second comes the “Fight” phase, during which a geography “Restarts” its economy while maintaining a low rate of infection, while still running the risk of having to implement further lockdowns. Especially high-contact industries will continue to be impacted through the