Agility In The Face Of The COVID Storm

In the early days of the pandemic, there were a lot of analogies comparing COVID to a “silent enemy,” equating pandemic to war. As time goes on and we figure out how to live in this new normal, COVID seems less like war and more like weather. Watching confirmed cases data trends over time looks very much like the wind pushing waves into white caps. 

COVID itself is like one very long, very unpredictable storm. 

For those of us who grew up around storms (or hurricanes or tornadoes), COVID’s unpredictable behavior may feel familiar. Like an impending storm, we could see COVID coming, we knew it’d be bad, but our only option was to batten down the hatches and seek shelter, hoping to emerge safely after COVID passed. But unlike real storms, COVID moves in circles. Two months after the world as we knew it battened down our collective hatches and hoped for the best, we’re still watching the storm. 

Throughout the pandemic, The New York Times has maintained an interactive data page (You can check it out here). There’s a graph of confirmed cases for each state, categorized into three groups: increasing, decreasing, and steady state.

A semi-random record of state’s COVID status by date. Source: The New York Times

States are still moving back and forth between categories, sometimes seemingly overnight. Nebraska, for example, which went from the increasing category to the decreasing category in 72 hours (May 12-15). Arkansas went the opposite direction in roughly the same period of time. 

This level of unpredictability is challenging for us all but the storm hasn’t yielded and neither has ConsejoSano. We’re here for our clients more than ever, working to guide new Medicaid enrollees through the system, helping plans retain existing members, generating telehealth appointments (35,000+ to date), and, yes, reminding people that they still have to wear masks. 

For our partners in states that seem to be coming out of the storm, we’re designing campaigns to ensure that kids can safely get their vaccines on schedule, helping to communicate new safety protocols for clinics. For partners in states still in the storm, we’ve built a culturally-aligned hybrid contact tracing program that uses the human touch to build trust, at scale. And for everyone we serve regardless of geography, we’re continuing to ensure that they know someone cares.