Retailers Preparing to Save the Day
Right Now It's All About Speed & Safety

Op Ed: Dr. Fauci's "Close to 100% Normal" By Q4 - Prediction This Week

If Dr. Fauci's Q4 Prediction is Correct - Trade Shows May Not Return Until 2022.

Mind you this is just our opinion and is not backed by any news or information, other than putting all the pieces together from various sources, journalists, and study's all showing the continued level of fear of risk from both the associates and consumers around the U.S.

With the supply chain for local vaccine distribution basically broken and showing no signs of being corrected, this will indeed slow it's delivery down to a crawl and add to the time it takes to return to normal.

With a second key and concerning point Fauci made, being his definition of normal. Which raised more questions then it did assurances.

Fauci: "Maybe not a hundred percent normal, but enough to get people to eat in restaurants, to be able to go to the theater, to be able to watch a sports event, to feel very comfortable with the schools," he continued. "I believe if we do it right, we can do that this coming fall."

The key point there being "If we do it right." And that's a tall order given the local politics involved.

No-Federal Blueprint Provided

Already this week, politician's are pointing fingers at the administration for not providing a federal blueprint. When all along the Governors were demanding independence and total control. Now true and regardless, one should have been provided whether it was used or not or even ignored. But it wasn't and so we're relegated now to how local governments manage the distribution. Or at least for the time being.

As a result we probably won't be seeing our colleagues and friends until late Q4 or 2022. Anything earlier is simply wishful thinking.

However we're starting to here more about the hybrid trade show model from a few sources. Where it mixes virtual with locally driven smaller groups of executives, all coming together simultaneously for a day of sharing and networking.

Retailers to the Rescue - If They're Unleashed & Staff Up

With the drug store industry and all the nations pharmacy's basically waiting on vaccine shipments the retail industry has an historical opportunity to come to the nations rescue and inoculate the entire U.S. population. An opportunity we've never seen before and one that retailers should be able to shine at. As it is the delivery model of choice and is built specifically to be able to handle such a challenge.

But there are a number of issues and challenges. Starting with the politics, the medical community, distribution, in-store delivery models, and even security. As this could also attract bad actors, cargo thieves and even nation states possibly wanting to disrupt our economic return to normal. By causing havoc in the supply chain and stretching the time to normalcy. Thus causing more economic pain across the nation.

Security/LP/AP/ & IT Security's Role

AdvertisementThis is a serious time and it's a huge task with no blueprint or operations manuals. As the nation and even the world for that matter, is making it up as we go. But be clear on one thing. Security, Loss Prevention, Asset Protection and even IT Security all have a critical role to play.

We just saw the Russian SolarWinds hack last week and we all know the trade, IP theft issues, security equipment and apps issues we're having with China. For all we know both nations may already have the capability to disrupt our processes.

And right now the number one concern in our nation is to get back to our economic normal and save lives and if security issues start popping up once the vaccines reach the retailers, at whatever point, then we've got serious problems. And lives could be lost.

Security is Going to be Tested

From hacking systems, ransomware, and the insider threat all designed to disrupt a retailer's process or the national roll-out for that matter. To hijacking shipments, tampering with the vaccine (which we've already seen this week from one conspiracy pharmacist), to simply stealing it for the black market. There's going to be security issues and most we won't even hear of.

Don't underestimate this risk. Start your internal review processes and build a strong security plan. It's going to be tested. All we're suggesting is 'Heads Up'

Let's just hope the governors and local politicians, if any become involved, allow the retailers to start the vaccination processes as soon as supply allows.

Just a thought. -Gus Downing