As someone who has been involved in community-building and post-disaster work for nearly 40 years, I know there are typically three stages that occur in the wake of a catastrophe: response, recovery and rebuilding.
Response is how society reacts in the immediate aftermath. Are people able to get shelter, food and medical supplies? Are they able to access pre-existing systems, like emergency aid, quickly and easily? Do they have hope that they can get back on their feet in a reasonable time frame?
Next comes recovery. Recovery consists of the establishment of relief funds and coordinated networks of care. It includes public policy actions, volunteer mobilization, and cross-sector partnerships that make a difference by leveraging the resources of the private sector with the community knowledge of civil-society organizations. In the case of COVID-19, recovery also includes getting back to work safely.