By Jim Flieler, VP of Sales Canada for Charlotte Products Ltd
We tend to focus much of our efforts and discussions on the impact of COVID-19 in North America, but what are the ways the pandemic is impacting less developed countries across the globe?
Dr. Helen Scott, an epidemiologist with the University of Toronto whose work focuses on global public health, joined us for a Charlotte Products webinar to discuss this question, and to offer some sage advice on the ways the cleaning industry can contribute to a safer, healthier world. Below, we share some highlights of that conversation.
A Global Community
“With all global health issues, the reality is that we are only as safe as the people around us,” says Dr. Scott. “In a globalized world, there is no way to think of this alone as a single country.”
Dr. Scott pointed out that the pandemic will have a lasting economic impact in developing countries across the globe. From economic shut downs, to shifting trade and a stop in travel, it has been estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic could set the world back 10-15 years.
“In developing countries the impact is not only from the virus, but also from increased poverty,” she says. “In communities in civil war or facing natural disasters, the impact is tenfold. And on top of that, the humanitarian organizations that support these countries have had to shut down travel. Without those volunteers and people on the ground seeing the impact themselves, that could even further slow down progress.”
Education Is Essential
The world is very small. We’ve learned a lot over the past ten plus months, and it is proven that mask wearing and hand washing are keys to reducing the impact of COVID-19. As this message travels farther and more people follow these behavior modifications, we will continue to reduce the spread of infection.
“The first reality is that there are many, many places in the world where more people don’t have access to clean water,” says Dr. Scott. “But even in communities like ours where we are fortunate to have access to products and resources to have cleaning and soap and clean water, about 95% of people who don’t wash their hands or follow disinfection protocol properly. The reality is we don’t do a very good job even with all the materials in the world.”
Education is always the cornerstone of public health, and during the pandemic it matters more than ever. “We often forget the role the private sector can play in driving markets,” says Dr. Scott. “In marketing products, communicating how to use them correctly is very important.”
The experts in manufacturing and distributing cleaning chemicals have the responsibility to reinforce the principles of effective disinfecting. Our role in educating the public has never been more important.
In closing, Dr. Scott emphasized that there is a real opportunity for cleaning industry companies to work with countries and communities all over the world to make a difference. “A small amount of investment could change lives,” she reminded us. “How do the products you produce help to get us through a pandemic but also to create a safer and healthier world?”
We take that question to heart. It is our mission to make this world a healthier, safer place. Thank you to Dr. Helen Scott for an educational discussion that has opened our worldview, and inspired us to do even more to build healthier and safer global communities. We are all in this together, after all.
You may access any of our archived webinars on the Charlotte Products Youtube channel or the webinar page of our website. We will continue to have featured guest speakers and educational content related to the COVID-19 pandemic and public health on our bi-weekly webinars. Register to attend these webinars live and ask our guests your questions.