From Spaghetti Westerns to Superheroes to Star Wars… Covid-19 Scenario Sets

From Spaghetti Westerns to Superheroes to Star Wars… Covid-19 Scenario Sets
May 4, 2020 Virtual Consulting

By Gideon Malherbe, VCI Founding Partner


The advent of COVID-19 in December 2019 saw governments, think tanks and business leaders rapidly fretting about the potential scale and scope of this novel pandemic. Soon the strategic conversation settled on projected rates of infection and the ability of healthcare infrastructures to cope with potentially surging demand. With these projections varying widely, we created 4 different Scenarios to depict how things may actually play out. To add dimension and interpretation, we’ve given titles and descriptions to our Scenarios, based on iconic characters and storylines.

For an update on these sets of Scenarios, visit our webpage devoted to Scenarios Under COVID-19 


Spaghetti Western Scenarios


For A Few Dollars More

A relatively light infection rate in a robust healthcare system


The Good

Clint Eastwood’s character “Blondie” as symbolic of a jurisdiction experiencing severe infection rates, but also with a robust healthcare system


The Bad

Lee Van Cleef’s character “Angel Eyes” as a jurisdiction with severe infection rates and a failing healthcare infrastructure


The Ugly

Eli Wallach’s character “Tuco” aka “The Rat” as severe infection rates in a weak healthcare system


Based on the characterization of each of these 4 Scenarios, we then developed Playbooks for each. This involved splitting each Scenario into two sections for analysis:


(1) What must be done because of COVID-19, regardless of anything else? and

(2) What must specifically be done under each different Scenario?


Our initial Scenarios and Playbooks are serving their purpose well. And our strategic discourse can comfortably migrate from the Spaghetti Western Scenarios to our next phase of Scenarios.



Superhero Scenarios


Captain America





Under the Superheroes Scenario set, we look at the period of lockdown in each jurisdiction and the positive or negative government support in each quadrant. Then we develop strategies for short and longer lockdown periods and for little or sufficient government support.



Star Wars Scenarios


Moving further forward, as the pandemic begins to decline, we’re steering our strategic discourse to the next set of Scenarios that we’ve themed around the epic Star Wars series. We use these storylines as a metaphor to deep dive into community behavioral responses and the readiness of industries to rebuild. Unknown answers around return to work, civil unrest, supply chain adaptions and debt are explored.


Our upcoming newsletter Partner’s Views will explore more strategic issues under each of these Superhero Scenarios and Star Wars Scenarios.


Join VCI on this unfolding journey and tune-in to how you can remain ahead of the curve.


Visit our webpage devoted to Scenario Planning Under COVID-19


Call or text Gideon at +1 914-381-000 or