By Tanya Mtema
"Optimism in a crisis stricken world."
In the midst of challenging situations that have not left the socio-economic and political stones unturned, Covid~19 has been a looming risk for months. The age of the corona pandemic has distracted what was thought of as normal thereby creating a new space to fill in a new lifestyle fitted in the whims of the virus. Many people including youths and national governments have been left in a dilemma of interpreting the future since the virus caught them unaware. This has been a test for nations that has uncovered the increasing social ills as people scramble for a living. This has uncovered the realms of social inequality that has exacerbated the rates of under-development.
The impending question becomes; Is there a way to remove the chains of Corona?
A global crisis feels like an imprisonment that requires new thinking to break the chains and escape from its gloomy surroundings. This is a situation where we need to consider a prison break away from the whealms of Corona. But first we need to identify the crisis before giving out a solution.
Covid 19 unleashed crises.
Crisis 1- Poverty
Poverty is a multi-faceted phenomenon that can be found in social, economic and political spheres. The virus exposed the levels of social inequality in the global spectrum. Households that do not afford to stock basic items such as food where the most affected during the lockdown period. These vulnerable groups had no access to food since most of them would rely on hand to mouth feeding strategies. Financially crippled nations were not able to sustain their economies social nets and had to seek for external assistance. In Zimbabwe, our economic depression has increased the poverty rates since people had gotten used to various hustling methods.
Crisis 2- Loss of jobs
The pandemic being an enemy to all citizens even increased the poverty rates by disrupting the day to day lifestyles for many. A lot of contracts were destroyed by the virus and many people lost their jobs. Breadwinners were left with no choice but to stay at home. The lockdown regulations limited the daily movements of people thus there was no way to get out the crisis by looking for a second job. Companies and organisations made huge losses that forced them to cut on peoples contracts for them to survive.
Crisis 3- Ignorance of the pandemic
National governments in both Europe and Africa were reluctant when the World Health Organisation gave warnings about the impending virus. There were warnings for governments to trace, test and isolate in order to contain the virus. Zimbabwe is one of the countries that waited for the virus to hit the African continent before they could imply the lockdown regulations. Some governments such as America and China including other SADC countries have always been at war prior the pandemic. Such enemity is one of the reasons why the virus had to pose a global threat due to lack of solidarity and cooperation between countries. In regards to the global inequalities, developing countries were left behind as the war of the titans continued with each country concerned about building and sustaining their own health sectors. This led to tribalism and radicalism within the global development sector with the "one man for himself and God for us all" policy.
Crisis 3- Social Poverty
No one would have thought that the cultural norm of social cohesion would be disgruntled by the fearless intruder~ Corona. The norm of visiting eachother, supporting funerals and functions was all left in memories during the lockdown era. One would have thought that there was never going to be a new normal. A new normal of admiring each other in the adorned face of masks became a new normal. It was not easy for an asthmatic person or one who suffered from respiratory cardiovascular problems. This kind of social poverty greatly impacted the urban cities where busy areas where left looking like cemeteries with only a few souls moving around. Our Fridays became so boring as the vibes were never lit. All were turned into introverts with the stay at home regulations that affected even the local city hustlers.
Crisis 4 - Poor Leadership
A true leader understands the voice and plights of the people before anything else. The mass housing demands for the destitutes and the lockdown regulations was one way to ensure true leadership by protecting the people. It was a leaders responsibility to make sure that citizens were obliged to respect the lockdown rules of maintaining social distance and staying at home. Countries like Tanzania did not quickly react to the impending virus. The president of Tanzania being a Christian did not imply the lockdown until the crisis hit the country so badly. When the leadership is poor a crisis is always inevitable.
Recognizing an Opportunity in a Crisis Situation
The 1940 leaders faced the same crisis situation during the 1st World war and this led to the upsurge of the 2nd World war. The main problem was the lack of solidarity between the nations. These big powers ignorance of co-operation led to the great economic depression that inspired more national conflicts. Bustling street life has been changed thus leading to new social, economic and psychological opportunities.
• Applauding the health key workers
Covid 19 gave us a great opportunity to appreciate our health care workers and commercial key workers who risked their lifes by saving a life. Our communities realized the importance of the health care workers after all these years. Such appreciation was shown by the moral support they gave the key workers through music, poetry, quotes, awareness essays and adverts. Governments and companies also offered financial support to support the health care sectors.
• Stakeholder capitalism
In relation to the Sustainable development goals one of them related on the importance of stakeholder capitalism. Different stakeholders had to put their heads to gather in order to solve the crisis. In UK the high end restaurants were offering lunches for the health workers. Nigeria citizen powered organisations stood up to feed the poor. In Zimbabwe both private and public companies contributed donations. The level of solidarity with even non-health related companies offering help shows that when heads are in one basket a solution is clearly developed.
• Job creation
After the loss of jobs during the pandemic, new practical jobs relating to the crisis were created. A new mode of civilisation was embraced during the lockdown era. For instance, working from home was a new global movement that also solved the unbearable work loads that caused both psychological and physical injuries. New ways of making money were developed. Informal jobs were made legal and many people started hustling.
• Dealt with social inequalities
For decades nothing has been seriously done to help the destitutes. Covid 19 has made governments to recognize the social gaps in different locations. This was to contain the virus by removing all illegal structures for safer spaces that ensure social distancing. Slums were replaced by proper housing and removal of street children from the road to orphanages. This opportunity also helped in identifying the need for basic things especially in families led by old people.
• Restructuring and urban planning
The Pandemic gave city planners an opportunity to restructure the urban areas. The population that used to enter the city before corona had reduced to a manageable number. This increased the opportunity to clear the roads, paint parking areas and opening new green spaces.
The fall of 2019 and the whole of 2020 has been an increased opportunity for every individual to define life. Life is not all about planning for that can be disgruntled. What one has to consider is developing an opportunity whenever there is a crisis. This creates new thinking for the global spectrum. Whenever there is a crisis there is always an opportunity.
- Parrot Release admin
- Strategic planning