Packer Perspective: Navigating the Coronavirus

Published in Complex Rehab on March 10, 2020

“The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.”– Ulysses S. Grant

I have just returned from ISS in Vancouver, and it was a very good show. It appeared to me that there were a great number of people at the show considering the growing concern of the coronavirus. I have to admit that I was not really concerned, as each year in Iowa we worry about the flu and other sicknesses related to the cold weather in the Midwest. I understand that the coronavirus is a very serious issue. If you are relatively healthy, you may have some discomfort and setbacks from work, but your chances of severe complications are quite minimal. I think the major concern is the highly contagious portion of this flu-type virus that can spread through your business quite quickly, which can be concerning. 

That being said, the population we care for and provide our equipment for is a different story. It is the population that is at an advanced age and or has weakened immune systems that are at the highest level of threat, so we must keep those that we work with informed on how to keep the potential of contracting the virus at a minimum. We must be vigilant to make sure our teams are taking precautions when working with our patient population. If employees are sick or having any symptoms, it could be very tragic for our consumer population. It is our patients that this virus could have a devastating impact on, so we must help them understand how to take precautions throughout their daily lives and living conditions. 

At VGM, we have posted some information and resources at vgm.com/coronavirus for our members to see how VGM is handling the threat of this virus. I want to let you know that we have not taken this situation lightly, but we also know that we must be vigilant to stay connected to our patient population and work through this potential threat of illness. You can review what we have on our website at vgm.com/coronavirus for more information, including resources from organizations like the CDC and the WHO. 

Here is some information that can be found at vgm.com/coronavirus:

VGM Insurance recently shared in the Risk Insights the examination of what coronavirus is, how it spreads, and what employers can do to protect their workforce.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronavirus is a family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. 

According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the spread of COVID-19 from person-to-person most likely occurs among close contacts who are within about 6 feet of each other. It’s unclear at this time if a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.

Best practices employers should consider to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 include: 

  • Educate employees on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and the precautions that can be taken to minimize the risk of contracting the virus, without causing panic.
  • Appoint a single individual or department as the point of contact within your organization for employee questions about COVID-19. 
  • Review safety programs and emergency action plans to ensure that they include infectious-disease protocols.
  • Implement travel guidelines and procedures for approving travel to and from China.

At VGM, we are reviewing all travel of our staff and working to make smart decisions on preventing the potential spread of this virus throughout our internal workforce. We are taking many precautions to make sure we are able to keep our lines of communications open to you and your workforce and to make sure you continue receiving the high level of support and service as our members. Please let us know if we can help you in any way or if you have further questions about any of the current topics in the marketplace regarding this virus. 

Please know that if you have any concerns or issues with your staff or your business, you can count on us to help you in any way that we can. We are here as a member service organization for our membership to keep you informed and up to date on issues regarding these type of concerns. If you have any questions, please go to vgm.com/coronavirus to get the latest updates we have for our industry and our understanding of how to help reduce the spread of this virus to keep your company and working partners healthy and free of this potential threat.

As stated above in the quote, it is those who are here for you during tough times that are your partners, and we cherish our partnership and will help in any way possible to keep our friends and partners up to date and ahead of the potential threats in the industry.  

Greg Packer
[email protected]
(800) 987-7342


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