Difficult Conversations – What Would We Do?
Submitted by Grenville Phillips II
We have been asked how we would have responded to COVID-19. We provided our best advice about one year ago, but the Government rejected it at that time. Given the foreseen nightmare scenario, they should reconsider – for all our sakes.
In the past 15 days, we had 15 new deaths. In the previous 15 days, we had 7. In the previous 15, we had none, as shown in the attached graph. This wave of deaths appears to have started after the UK variant arrived in Barbados.
On 3 March 2021, we can expect a total of 44 deaths if the growth rate is linear, or 59 if it is exponential. If the growth is exponential, as the data suggests, then we can expect a total of over 100 deaths by 18 March 2021. The assumed growth rate may be verified on 3 March 2021.
The only way to avoid the nightmare exponential growth scenario, is to manage all aspects of the COVID-19 response well. We cannot risk using our home-grown management methods to manage this pandemic anymore. Those methods have consistently failed us over the past 50 years.
When our management systems failed, the normal consequences were being forced to pay higher taxes, to wait longer for declining standards of service. There were blips of improvement, but that only lasted until the quality employee was seen as a threat, and was made redundant.
Bad management only appears to work if there are few customers and products. Once the number of customers and products increases, the system normally fails. When it fails, the only thing left is public relations to give sorry excuses. If the public relations is effective, the customers will blame themselves.
It seems that we must comply with the WHO and PAHO requirements to receive their assistance. Therefore, we must keep our borders open. However, we should mandate that all visitors to Barbados must be properly quarantined at authorised facilities, for 14 days – no exceptions.
We should manage the: air and sea ports, transportation to quarantine facilities, quarantine facilities, QEH and other health clinics, isolation facility at Harrison point, contact tracing, and the Best Dos Santos lab, to ISO 9001 principles. Even at this late stage, all of that can still be accomplished within 2 weeks.
REJECTING AN INTERNATIONAL STANDARD.
For some strange reason, the Government rejected the international management standard when I first recommended it about 17 years ago. I since repeatedly offered to implement it in all statutory corporations in Barbados, free of cost. But no takers.
About 3 years ago, all statutory corporation CEOs were invited to a free public workshop on implementing the standard. They were guaranteed that following the training, they would be capable of implementing the ISO 9001 principles the following day. Not a single CEO attended. The Government has since publicly trashed the international standard – for political reasons.
Based on my 17 years of active efforts, I do not expect the Government to consider the desperately needed international management standard at this time. Especially since it is designed to delight customers with exceptional service, and eliminate corruption. We simply cannot reject our 50-year cultural traditions so easily. That is not who we are.
The weakness of our management system is evident, with over 30 unnecessary deaths. Yet, we persist with it, and continue to reject the obvious solution. Instead of surrendering our pride, retreating from what is not working, and embracing what will, we are encouraged to stay the course – to foreseen destruction.
LETTER FROM THE FUTURE.
I expect the Government will finally see the light in May 2021. That is when the total forecasted deaths from exponential growth exceed 1,000, and we should get a scathing rebuke from the WHO for our politically motivated stubbornness.
At that time, we would wish that we could go back in time to this point, and change-course to avoid the foreseen and likely nightmare. Well, think of this as a letter from the future, encouraging us to do just that.
Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com