We need to act now on rebuilding after Covid-19 so that when the time is right the plans and groundwork has begun.
Although this article is based on the positive effects of the Covid-19 virus it is not meant to belittle any of the negative effects people are experiencing. In this article I am attempting to give an opinion (personal observations) on the learnings society, individuals and organisations can glean from the current crisis.
I understand everyone has experienced different emotional states during this difficult time where our way of life has been changed dramatically. I personally have had the feelings of isolation, anger, hope, pride and horror (to name but a few) over the last couple of weeks at myself and some of the behaviours of people in different countries/cultures.
Being Irish I am going to praise our government, who are an interim government awaiting formation of a new government post elections, who have pulled together, taken some hard decisions and communicated openly with a nation in a state of change.
So, if you have managed to get this far you might be saying what the hell is he on about, so let’s go with my thoughts and opinions.
- The current global crisis has opened a number of people’s eyes to what is possible when there is a will to make something succeed and to give an example
- Over 65,000 people (1.5% of the population), in a week, volunteered to support the health service with the care needs of the nation. Some of them are healthcare works who have re-upped to support in the time of need while many other are just seeking to support.
- Within 36 hours of the request to social distancing thousands of people were heading home with a laptop to work from home, some of whom have never worked form home before. Many of the employers were technically, infrastructurally or mentally ready for such a move.
- Families are sitting down to a meal 7 – 14 times a week together without being stuck in a screen. Families are conscious of medical histories of their family and supporting the protection of loved ones.
- Universities, High-Schools, Primary Schools have gone online to teach classes, assign homework, preform exams. Many didn’t have a contingency plan including mass distance learning but have gotten behind it fully. I have seen music lessons and lectures being taught via Skype.
- Apps for phones and computers that normally take months to design, build and test were available within days/weeks of the need assisting governments and authorities to implement new social distancing or crisis management measures while keeping the public in the loop.
- An Irish commercial passenger airline flew its longest ever flight to bring PPE back to the needy health care professionals. Food and Beverage industries switched from producing high profit drinks to hand sanitizers.
- Retail establishments and employees have picked up the “Olympic Torch” to keep us all fed, cloth, medicated and in essentials. There tireless approach to education, social distancing, recruitment, home deliveries, stocking shelved.
- The National Broadband Plan of Ireland has taken a leap forward as many of the 5G and Fibre organisations have supported the working from home requirements by escalating their efforts to get people connected.
What are the positive consequences of the current crisis in your area or business, I know there is a large number of people being made redundant, kids are missing out on their socialisation, school curriculums have been strained and people have been put out.
I personally see this as an opportunity to reach out and take advantage of some of these forced changes to lead us on a recovery, rebuild and creation of a new norm. I have some examples of what I see as possibilities;
- I know my friends in the oil industry will not like this but there has been a dramatic reduction in the use of cars as people are thinking before they go anywhere, and many are working from home. Why can we not continue to keep this in mind while we rebuild how much will this save organisations in fancy office spaces alone?
- Working from home for some people is more efficient and allows for less time lost in traffic/commuting or idle time in the workplace. The experiment was a partial success, the jobs got done why can we not continue to support this.
- It has brought communities, professional and social, to a place of support each other, yes, the social interaction is from a distance, but it is more meaningful by the fact that it is there and people who want to support each other. A sense of solidarity across the country and world to reduce the speed of spread is to be commended. What is the next step in this? How can we continue? Learning to step back a little take more time be less frantic is never a bad thing for personal and societal health.
- Many retail outlets around the world have run short of essential items during the crisis period in some cases because of human nature of “protect your own tribe/self”. Other communities have been respectful and looked as the “tribe” as being the larger community i.e. county, state, country, world. I have heard many people say, “isn’t Iran/China/Italy in dire straits” what can be done to support them or “these restrictions are a pain in the REAR but it protects the people and healthcare system”. This sense of global solidarity must be continued, lets reach out to our global friends and help them rebuild on a basis of mutual respect.
Earlier I praised the Irish government for their efforts but there is praised to be given to every government and NGO across the world. There is thanks to be given to all the people who have worked tirelessly to manage this crisis.
Here is the crux of it, Now I call to the international community who are not focused on maintaining the health of our nations to stand up and begin to support rebuilding the world where people are supported to work from home, communities are supportive, family units become important and we use this crisis to work on the future of our environment.
Don’t leave this to the world leaders or the big boys out there. What can we as individuals do to support this? I would love to support a platform for discussion allowing ideas to be shared.