Many people felt we had an apocalyptic day here in the San Francisco Bay Area a couple of weeks ago. Daytime was a sky of dark orange and daylight never made it through the thick smoky fog. This photo was taken at 11:15 AM in San Francisco at the brightest spot in the sky I could find.

Dry lighting that lasted for hours and ignited over 500 wildfires in the state, smoke from the wildfires that polluted the air so it was the worst in the world, and an uncontrolled pandemic that was going into its sixth month all fed into that eery orange darkness apocalyptic day.

Was this a freak thing? The pandemic already devastated the economy in a reality version of dominoes. Pandemics, extreme bad weather years, and polluted air, water, and land is our everyday existence. This is our normal. There’s no going back to the old normal. Normal is continuously changing. Natural disasters fueled by the human hand have caught up to us. 

Many businesses have adjusted. There really isn’t much choice. Adaptation is key to survival. And speed is essential. Waiting for the virus to go away is unrealistic. How are you going to continue and improve your business with the virus and the accompanying restrictions? Hospitals and physician organizations need to entice their consumers to come in for their regular check-ups and elective procedures. Children need immunizations to keep them safe from devastating childhood diseases. As long as fee for service is the predominant method for healthcare payments, providers have to get their patients in the door. 

What do healthcare consumers need to feel to make an appointment? 

  • Know what the environment is like before they arrive
  • Understand what are the steps when they arrive (stay in car, text that they arrived, any administrative forms to be filled out)
  • Estimated wait time at designated location points (like at Disneyland)
  • That the provider will enforce a safe environment
  • Risk of going to an office or enclosed facility is no higher than pre-pandemic

Oddly enough, it seems that people are more comfortable with meeting friends or relatives in an outdoor park than going to a hospital or doctor’s office. That’s because they don’t understand what the provider’s environment is like. They need to be informed and educated.

Our recent apocalyptic day will come back. It is a matter of whether we will be prepared to handle it. That preparation begins today. 

Have you started?