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In America, we are now entering our 5th week of the new world, brought about by the global reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Panic buying, continued sensational news stories and a gross lack of coordinated federal government support for the 50 states has left many Americans with a sense of bewilderment, fear and uncertainty.

It all could have been different, and it still can be.  The next several weeks are going to be a real test of our resolve as a nation, and as individuals.  We must call on our leaders to push the federal government to come up with a comprehensive testing plan and call on our media outlets to stop reporting on number of known cases and death counts and start reporting on ways to come together and help each other. 

The president and congress should allocate the necessary funds to test every single citizen, bypassing the entire health insurance system; regardless of coverage, people should be tested.  In this way we will know who has had the virus, who has immunity due to contracting and recovering from the disease and who can safely go back to work, while identifying the individuals who need medical attention and who need to continue to practice self-isolation.

With thorough, accurate information generated by a comprehensive testing strategy, the media can start reporting on the percentage of individuals who have recovered vs. making sensational statements like “cases doubled overnight,” or “number of deaths increased by 60%.”  The way they’re currently reporting we don’t know whether the cases that doubled went from 1 case to 2, or 500 to 1000.  Their whole strategy is to create fear and sell advertising.  Yellow journalism at its worst.

I urge you to push your local, state and federal leaders to work together to act on a comprehensive testing strategy so we can know who’s sick, who’s carrying the virus and who has immunity from recovering from the disease – and who can safely go back to work.

We must work together in a calm and resolute way to get our country and the world back to work in a safe, compassionate and coordinated manner.  Uncertainty is what creates fear.  Facts allow people to plan and act with purpose.  Resist fear.  Continue to work if you can.  Be positive.  Be disciplined in maintaining as much routine as you can in your life. 

Now is the time to come together.

John Henning is the Chief Client Officer at Granite Solutions Groupe. He has over 35 years of leadership experience in the financial services and technology industries, and currently oversees all client account management, professional services, marketing strategy, business development and sales operations for GSG. To stay updated on the latest market news and insights, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn.