Flatten the Curve and Take Care of Employees

In the midst of the cascade of emergency declarations, closings and appeals to maintain social distance, two calls to action have emerged that have resonated with #TeamME: Flatten the Curve and Take Care of Employees.

We’re all reeling, of course, as we begin to grasp what a pandemic really means. We’ve assisted clients as they’ve cancelled events large and small, from city addresses and public meetings to fundraisers and happy hours. Our public sector clients have moved to holding only “mission critical” meetings and calls while still providing the services our residents expect. We all still need highways to be safe, water to be clean and our garbage collected, to name a few examples.

While some states have delayed or even questioned the need for such preventive measures, we’ve been heartened by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s leadership in taking immediate steps to halt COVID-19 from spreading further, faster. His proactive, regular communication and his trust in our public health experts have inspired confidence and resolve, even while uncertainty about societal impact grows.

On Monday and Tuesday last week, we saw claims that cancellations and quarantines were politically inspired or an over-reaction to social media. By Thursday, March 12, we saw the visual “Flatten the Curve” message – taking extreme measures now will slow the spread so it is more manageable for our healthcare system – begin to take hold. It has helped all Ohioans understand why we must act now.

The shift from indifference to action has been needed and swift. Forthright communication, clarity in message – and the visual portrayal of how the virus could overwhelm our medical facilities have broken through the fog of war-like confusion.  These are best practices in communication that work, as we’ve advised our clients time and time again.

As we’ve come to grips with this new reality, we’re now reckoning with how all Ohioans will be affected. Who will take care of the kids while they’re home from school? Who will feed them if they were getting free meals at school? How do hourly employees still pay their bills if they are unable to work? How will those with no safety net at all be affected?

We appreciate the announcements of support for hourly employees who live paycheck to paycheck. Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love pledged $100,000 to employees who work the NBA games at Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. Following in Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban’s footsteps, several NBA team owners will continue to pay arena workers. Walmart is extending paid sick leave. These are the types of actions major employers can take to fill the gap; smaller employers will have to also think creatively. 

At MurphyEpson, we’re making sure our 10 employees know their jobs are safe and we will support them as they navigate having kids home from school while they also work from home. We’re used to working online and using digital tools to communicate, so this is a no brainer. We’ve also increased paid sick leave and will watch for other ways to support employee needs as they emerge.

We’re also making donations to Central Ohio organizations who support those most in need and include some of those links below.

Hopefully, this pandemic won’t be as extensive as feared because we took the needed steps in time. In the meantime, we’ll do our part to flatten the curve and take care of employees. #teamME, after all, is in our circle of loved ones too.

Community Shelter Board at https://www.csb.org/ 

Move to Propser at https://www.movetoprosper.org/support-us

Central Ohio United Way at https://liveunitedcentralohio.org/

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