Coronavirus: Important Lessons to Consider

Coronavirus: Important Lessons to Consider

Coronavirus: Important Lessons to Consider

The Coronavirus is creating havoc around the world and many are wondering whether and what kinds of lasting effects it will have on how we work, live, play and spend once it runs its course.

I've already learned that I should:

  1. Wash my hands more often in and out of the hospital.
  2. Get better at elbow bumping.
  3. Learn to work in virtual teams.
  4. Save more and spend less and invest for the long run.
  5. Question the value of attending large medical conferences.
  6. Put things in context. Influenza causes 34 million infections and kills 20,000 a year.
  7. Be more optimistic.
  8. Prioritize your time.
  9. Don't touch so many things.
  10. Think twice about cruise vacations.
  11. Get better at teaching online.
  12. Don't ignore the hand sanitizer isle at Costco.
  13. Reconsider that home office deduction now that I'm supposed to work from home.
  14. Don't take Uber to go to the doctor's office to get tested. Instead, move to Seattle and test yourself from home.
  15. Go to someone else when your bartender is wearing a surgical mask.
  16. A recession is the best time to start a business.

Several country-level studies, including a prominent one for the United States, have identified long-term effects of in-utero exposure to the 1918 influenza pandemic (also known as the Spanish Flu) on economic outcomes in adulthood. In-utero conditions are theoretically linked to adult health and socioeconomic status through the fetal origins or Barker hypothesis. Historical exposure to the Spanish Flu provides a natural experiment to test this hypothesis. Although the Spanish Flu was a global phenomenon, with around 500 million people infected worldwide, there exists no comprehensive global study on its long-term economic effects. Some have tried to close this gap by systematically analyzing 117 Census data sets provided by IPUMS International. They did not find consistent global long-term effects of influenza exposure on education, employment and disability outcomes. A series of robustness checks does not alter this conclusion. The findings indicate that the existing evidence on long-term economic effects of the Spanish Flu is likely a consequence of publication bias.

So, when COVID19 passes, more than likely, I'll go back to shaking hands with strangers and hanging on to things on subways and not cleaning my filthy cell phone. Corona might kill thousands, but the case mortality rate of habits of those who survive will be much lower...until the next epidemic.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs on Twitter@ArlenMD and Facebook

Share this article

Leave your comments

Post comment as a guest

terms and condition.
  • Dave Hargreaves

    I will never underestimate the power of soap

  • Roger S

    The best way to prevent infection and spread of germs, including the coronavirus is by practising good hand hygiene, and regularly washing your hands with soap and water.

  • Ben Warren

    I wish others agree, because this corona virus is still spreading.

  • Gavin McGetrick

    That’s good to know

  • Maria kandelaki

    Don't dry your washed hands with air blowing dryers. Use paper towels to avoid the rapid circulation of residue from wet hands.

Share this article

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at and and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

Cookies user prefences
We use cookies to ensure you to get the best experience on our website. If you decline the use of cookies, this website may not function as expected.
Accept all
Decline all
Read more
Tools used to analyze the data to measure the effectiveness of a website and to understand how it works.
Google Analytics