2020 started like every other year. However, a few months in, Covid-19 made its appearance on the global stage, disrupting regular life for people and countries. People have been clamouring for a return to life as usual, but will there ever be such a return? One thing is certain, the pandemic is forcing people to do the one thing they were most unlikely to do, in spite of new year resolutions – CHANGE.
Here are a few things I hope will influence your decisions going forward:
Less is more. In the fight for survival, everything else is forgotten; aesthetics, vacations and all the things we assume we can’t live without. Organizations find they can operate leaner, and people are finding that they can actually afford to be less busy. It is possible that going forward, organizations will imbibe the lessons learned. But can the same be said for human beings? The disadvantages of an inundated life have always been known and largely ignored by most people until Covid-19. Is man capable of making the necessary changes required to live a well-adjusted life? Or will people revert to filling their lives with activities? As you emerge from the lock-down and re-immerse your self in the daily hustle, be deliberate about creating a balance.
Health and Safety is no longer an option. The non-discriminatory nature of this disease, its rapid global spread and the resulting impact of control measures has made hand-washing among other safety measures, a necessity. Inevitably, the post-pandemic world will be one where people will pay more attention to hygiene-driven habits.. In countries like Nigeria, where the approach to health and safety sometimes appears optional rather than crucial, things are being taken much more seriously. As you return to life after the restrictions are lifted, make hand-washing your new norm; it is highly effective in terms of stopping the spread of germs.
Failure to plan, is planning to fail. Those who think they’ve cheated the piper always find themselves in a bind. A plethora of governments were caught unawares in the first wave of the pandemic, and are (hopefully) now doing everything necessary to strengthen their systems against possible recurrence. Individuals should do the same. ”Living your best life” is all fun and games, even commendable, as long as you remember to plan for rainy days along the way. Emergency preparedness is not just for safety professionals. In many ways and to a reasonable extent, we should always have a degree of planning for emergencies individually and collectively. Draw up an emergency preparedness plan for yourself and your family. If you need some guidance or templates, shoot us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Charity they say begins at home. What a lot of people and countries quickly learnt during this pandemic was, “if we can make ours, we’ll be fine”. In terms of commodities and food, countries suffered less lack for the things that were already being made locally. For example, Canada made significant contributions to manufacturing in a bid to close up the shortage in availability of PPE for front-line workers People had to rely on themselves to make their meals, hand sanitizers and face masks. The essential things that were required for safe existence in a Covid-19 era, were available to a very large extent, to people who could make them. While there are a lot of barriers to entry for a country like Nigeria into manufacturing for example Power, it would be in the best interest of the country if the government starts now to create and strengthen systems for manufacturing. In Benue State, considered the “food basket of the nation), farmers continuously experience losses from wastage of excess produce.
Technology cannot be ignored. Those who, for different reasons, employed technology minimally in their lives and businesses, have in a Covid-19 era found that they should have done more. Meetings and group training sessions are more commonly held on Zoom, many live shows have moved to Instagram, and the cinemas are empty, so TV and VOD are the order of the day. In order to stay relevant, connected and productive, almost every business and individual has had to rely on technology one way or another.
Health is wealth. There aren’t many (if any) things that can cause governments to shut down economies and borders. For countries worst hit, the ability to cope with the worst of this pandemic has correlated directly with the capacity and strength of domestic health systems. What are governments like Nigeria, who in the wake of this pandemic discovered a huge infrastructural deficit in their health system, doing to improve healthcare?
Change is crucial, yet it almost always happens by force. In the aftermath of this pandemic, the ability to consciously change and iterate (quick learning cycles), will make all the difference for people, organizations and countries. Be decisive in embracing change today.