Debate: ‘Cocooning’ versus ‘Herd Immunity’
Tuesday, August 11 2020 | 45 minutes | 09:00 GMT
Chairman and Senior Partner,
VP & Head of Corporate CSR,
Our era will be defined by the clear rift between the period of pre-corona and the ‘new normal’ that will emerge in our post-corona world. In this unprecedented new reality, we will witness a dramatic restructuring of the economic and social order in which business and society have traditionally operated.
And in the near future, we will see the beginning of discussion and debate about what the next normal could entail and how sharply it differs from what previously shaped our lives. Some countries like Brazil, Sweden, Singapore and the UK (at some point) opted for a ‘herd immunity’ approach to tackling the coronavirus in order to preserve their economies from faltering.
Proponents of the ‘herd immunity’ method claimed that the cost of shutting down the economy for an indefinite period would have more damaging consequences on its citizens than the virus itself. They called for physical distancing and insisted that preventive efforts should be placed on vulnerable communities rather than the whole population. On the other hand, advocates for ‘cocooning’ believed that the necessary steps required in a pandemic environment was to have a total lockdown of cities (as was the case in Italy, Spain and France) for a period of time to tackle the outbreak.
Amid the grim picture and shock to our livelihoods from the virus-suppression, lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis can generate a steep learning curve and sustainably improve corporate resilience as a result.