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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic disrupted daily life as we knew it, and instilled fear and uncertainty in many, challenging leaders in government and business to allay concerns and respond to the crisis. A year into the pandemic, recovery is on the horizon with vaccines becoming available to more people every day. But there is still much work to be done as we prepare for a return to a more normal way of life. We will continue to approach the array of issues the pandemic and recovery presents through the lenses of people, risk and capital, creating content regularly in these three areas to help business better understand and manage the crisis.

This page will be updated frequently so please check it regularly for updates.

Preparing for a post COVID-19 world

The COVID-19 crisis magnified and accelerated the transformation toward a more global and digital world amid widespread uncertainty and ambiguity. Even as a greater sense of certainty returns, the way organisations lead and manage in this “new normal” is critical to business performance and their ability to remain competitive and relevant.

The organizations that will succeed tomorrow must develop resilient workplace cultures, careful risk management and detailed business continuity plans. At the same time, employees are expected to keep pace with the evolving workplace (which likely will become hybrid), adopt new technology and processes, update their skills and competencies, and stay engaged and productive. Organisations should examine operations to determine what worked and what didn’t during the height of the crisis to improve operations, risk management and business continuity plans to better prepare for the next crisis.

Protecting people

Protecting people from COVID-19 goes well beyond preventing illness. The pandemic has had a monumental effect on employee wellbeing. More than a global health crisis, COVID-19 is also a financial and social crisis that requires bold actions to preserve the safety, health and the wellbeing of your workforce. The challenge for employers is how to best support their employees to feel and perform their best, inside and outside of work. Taking a people-first approach will earn the trust of employees and enable the organization to move forward in this difficult time.

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Employee Experience Leader, UK & Ireland

Head of Health & Benefits - Ireland

Managing risk

In terms of risk, when the pandemic began, one of the first questions many asked was, “Will my insurance cover losses associated with COVID-19?” But as it became clear the pandemic was likely to last more than a few weeks, risk exposures changed and developed. For example, the transition to a virtual workplace led to a sharp increase in cyber risk. And the efforts to develop a vaccine created a whole host of new risks some obvious like those for pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers, and others less obvious like air cargo companies and other parts of the supply chain.

But managing risk goes far beyond insurance. For example, when to encourage colleagues to go back into the office and whether they must receive a vaccine are important elements of risk management.

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Contact an expert

Brian Curtis
Head of Corporate Risk and Broking
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Safeguarding capital

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, it had a deep impact on capital markets. Eventually, the markets recovered, but over time the crisis led to new challenges to traditional market behavior such as a social media driven campaign to squeeze short sellers. Furthermore, economies across the globe were stressed as lockdowns led to a drop in GDP and many governments opted for stimulus programs that may lead to increased debt. Ultimately, the pandemic’s long-term impact will not be understood for some time. Businesses should take a long-term perspective but be prepared for continued market volatility and further economic uncertainty.

See all insights about coronavirus and safeguarding capital

Contact an expert

Senior Director – Investment

Rosemary Commons
Head of Insurance Consulting & Technology - Ireland
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Additional resources

For more information, consider visiting the following resources:


Quick access to all of Willis Towers Watson's coverage of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) insights and research.

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