As we all witnessed, Coronavirus does not check your bank balance, car model, skin color, your caste, creed, religion, and even borders. It just strikes everyone without checking passport control.
We have been passing through strange kind of days. We really do not know when and how the Covid-19 pandemic will end, but presently, we can only speculate the bad economic situation, stress and depression around the globe.
The researchers have been saying for many years that we all have a deep innate need to be around with our friends, relatives, colleagues to share our life in the form of experiences, as we all are social animals.
We do like shaking hands, appreciation, touch, snuggle, hug and thus it has been recently clarified to rephrase the social distancing as physical distancing.
Almost eight billion people are connected not only emotionally but physically, as quite evidenced by speedy spread of virus globally, which could intensify if the crisis lasts for a long time.
I truly believe that the history is being written and teaching us crucial lessons, which we need to learn in order to enter a new era of collaborative action to at least prepare ourselves.
Like many of you, I’ve been spending time thinking about how the world will emerge once we are allowed out of isolation and what will be difference.
Here are the major 5 lessons, nonetheless very important, but open to interpretation:
1. Hygiene is mandatory, not a choice
Hygiene is any practice that you do to keep things healthy and clean. Washing hands, coughing into your elbow, and regular cleaning are part of good hygiene.
We have experienced that washing hands actually does work! How strange that most people were not aware that soap can kill certain kind of virus and bacteria, including the novel corona virus. It must be a part of our good habit, with or without fear of virus.
2. Learn to appreciate and respect nature
This year we couldn’t celebrate the World Earth Day on 22 April, because Covid-19 has upended our lives. The big question is that, can we stop cutting down our forests, digging up fossil fuels and sacrifice the planet’s health for our profit and convenience?
India’s great leader Mahatma Gandhi famously said that there is enough on Earth for everybody’s need, but not enough for everybody’s greed. It’s the time to abandon this destructive system and find sustainable ways to inhabit our planet, if not now than when will we hear birds sing?
3. Time to move on to digitalisation and working from home
During the pandemic situation, many of us learned to go digital and found that their jobs, in fact, can be done from home. The new era is to start working from home and once the virus outbreak ends, it might be worth having a chat with your boss about remote working possibilities, when necessary.
I am sure it is a win-win situation for employer and employee, reducing the commuting hours, vehicle pollution, overhead cost and thereby enhancing productivity. Most jobs have certain amount of work that can be done remotely, maintaining work-life balance.
4. We badly need a truly global leader
There is a huge difference in human being and being human. So far, we haven’t been able to find a global leader who can guide and unite all the countries to lead the whole humankind.
It is very unfortunate to observe that every country was trying to overcome the situation by their trial and error methods and sacrificing the lives of many. However, all the governments are forced to choose between containing the spread of the pandemic at the cost of destroying the economy, and often find themselves in a dilemma.
5. Globalisation can’t be supported by dependency
It is still too early to speculate about the political and economic impact of Covid-19. Crises will also dramatically reshape the response of worldwide intra-relationship. True globalisation cannot be achieved by depending on one country and there could be negative and reverse reaction in long term. Thus, diversification and independency is much needed by each continent to achieve and handle economic challenges.
Today we cannot be sure of Political, Social and Economic globalisation. We are moving away from self-contained countries and towards a more integrated world. Some of the foreseen consequences are jobs insecurity, fluctuation in prices/currency, terrorism, capital flows and so on.
All of us are vulnerable to crisis, though unequally and it is for sure that life will not be the same after corona, but that’s okay.
Vinod is a judge at the Gulf Sustainability and CSR Awards 2020.