I am sitting at my desk thinking about what’s next after retiring from the legal profession. Having just visited my son and daughter in the US as well as their children (I have three grandkids!) my wife and I find ourselves in quarantine even though we have been vaccinated. Korea does not currently recognize most people who have been vaccinated abroad though there are exceptions. Consequently, I must endure 14 days of quarantine. Hopefully, things will change in the near future and I can travel abroad without worrying about quarantine,
Having visited the US (specifically Chicago and NYC) I noticed the US appears to have reopened for business. Though many people in NYC still work from home, the entertainment, sports, and leisure industries are starting to reopen. Broadway is beginning to open as well as most restaurants and sporting events. In Chicago, the restaurants and sporting events have opened up with many employees going back to office buildings this month or next.
So, what does the US re-opening tell us? It is opening for business with some states open while others are beginning to open. The infection rate of the Delta variant is decreasing in many states and Covid vaccinations are increasing. People are even beginning to receive booster shots. I think by the end of 2021 or early 2022 many Covid related restrictions will certainly begin to ease as the pace of vaccinations has increased and the Delta variant begins to decrease.
From a travel standpoint, I fully expect to travel to the US in the Spring of next year and most probably the Fall as well. Travel for many people will pick up in 2022 and the travel and entertainment industries will both benefit. The world’s economy will certainly improve next year as many (who want to) go back to work.
Therefore, companies have to be ready to handle the usual legal and risk issues that they normally face as well as those issues and liabilities caused by the pandemic. Insurance, transportation, and supply chain issues will undoubtedly remain major areas of risk for the foreseeable future. But the normal areas of risk whether legal, operational, geopolitical, or financial will all, of course, have to be dealt with too. Obviously, a company’s crisis management plan must consider pandemics such as Covid. But also, the normal everyday areas of risk that can and will result in loss of business must be addressed as well.
The good news is that the world’s economy is opening up. The bad news is that the world’s economy is opening up. Those in the risk management business or in legal should consider developing checklists to cover the legal and operational risks their respective companies will encounter now that the global economy appears to be opening and people are in fact going back to work. Such checklists can cover a multitude of risks and focus the risk manager or in-house lawyer to look at potential risks and risk processes in detail. It may help to bring in a third-party risk management consultant. Some of the risks that should be on the checklist include:
Employment-related risks- are sufficient processes in place to cover risks?
Operational risks- are sufficient processes in place to handle operational risks?
Legal risks- are processes and procedures in place to handle the multitude of legal risks the company now faces?
Crisis- what crisis looms down the road and is management ready to handle it? After Covid what kind of crisis will most likely occur?
Geopolitical risks- are there risk management processes in place to address potential geopolitical issues?
Now is the time to prepare for risks if you haven’t done so. Don’t procrastinate as the world economy is beginning to open up.