Working paper Open Access
.Woods, David D
Covid-19 outbreaks present novel, uncertain, and changing situation to policy makers and the public. The uncertainty means that different strategic responses to the pandemic are bets about the future. There are three bets circulating in the US: 1. The act early, act aggressively bet; 2. The density bet; 3. The natural course bet, which has 2 versions -- mitigate risks for the vulnerable bet and the “so what” or bolsonaro bet. The paper explain the bets and how they are pooled across layers society.
Uncertainty, novelty, and noise combine to make the three bets against the odds, odds that cannot be estimated sufficiently while in the evolving crisis. What strategic approach should guide and coordinate a jurisdiction’s response to Covid-19? Research on acting in the face of uncertainty in a deteriorating situation focus on tactics to hedge one’s bets. Hedge, but be Decisive, Synchronize across roles and levels, while remaining Ready to Revise as change continues. Hedging means taking steps while holding open or creating opportunities to change assessments, interactions, and course. Decisiveness refers to the need to take partial uncertain information and past lessons and make a commitment to a course of action, recruiting others to support that course of action. Synchronization across roles and levels is needed because no one role can do enough by themselves to handle all of the reverberations as the situation deteriorates. Hedges, decisive commitment to a course of action, synchronization across roles all require a continuing Readiness to Revise assessments, relationships, courses of action, models, goals, and priorities.