We have been dealt a blow in our diverse ways and means as a people of the universe by this pandemic. We may cry foul and whine all we want but that is life’s curve ball thrown at us. We have a duty for our own posterity to do what it takes to mitigate, control, alleviate and extinguish the adverse effects of the corona virus in this time and age. As a pragmatist we have to look at the new normal going forward. This is a preview of the main feature that we yet do not know when it will open up in our world theatre stage. So as such we have to prepare and inculcate lessons learnt and good practices acquired long before and during this period. I agree with many clean freaks now that there can never be too much cleaning or sanitizing or even disinfecting of ourselves, surfaces, items and spaces around us. Truly cleanliness is divine and since it is next to godliness then no disease survives when we pursue cleanliness.
I believe strongly going forward the following need to be our new normal as responsible citizens of the world.
- All airports, border points and passenger terminals require disinfecting stations – medical checks booths and quarantine protocols of any disturbing discovered vitals for passengers. There should be no exceptions.
- Sanitation points should be mandatory for public space, restaurants, food courts, sporting facilities, religious spaces and learning institutions.
- Personal Hygiene policies should be adopted into laws and by all entities to safeguard those that patronize their premises. The distance of 1.5m or 2m between queues is a great gain of order and safeguarding each person’s hygiene. It would be a natural antidote to pickpockets. Anyone who is unwell should have a facial mask of N95 standards – this would end the cold and flu outbreaks we witness every other season. People that have a cough or sneeze should be held responsible if they infect others when they do not protect themselves by regularly sanitizing and wearing of a facial mask.
- Embrace Digital transformation in how we work, relate and socialize. We can save a lot by using technology. Many meetings that would have ended up in a long trip that deprives families of their loved ones time can be done online and leave travel for the most critical and confidential ones. Let travel be about holidays.
- Have regular disinfecting programs for public and private spaces. This will help deal with the clutter, garbage and sewage problem that burdens our societies. They are the source of many diseases.
- Regularly review our business continuity plans as governments, government related organizations, religious organizations, learning institutions and private institutions including families. Each government (main or regional) and other public and private organizations need to have dire measures protocols they can enact in combating issues of great disruption like this pandemic. This means governments need to create incentives for the populace to save and invest but more keenly develop resiliency for at least one year lockdown eventualities. How can we be creative so that taxes are not seen as burden and as such have more people be capable and willing to pay them? How can we show value so that taxes generated end up doing more good to the people and thus enhance their resolve to support good governance? How can we individual be now intentional in building reserves for our families starting with a month’s provision then build to years of essential provisions? Can education be more affordable if we adopt technology? Can government and business be less expensive if we genuinely implement systems and use technology? I still don’t understand why we use email and cannot use the same technology for public participation and tenders submission in totality not partial enforcements.
- Leaders’ responsibility over their units of mandate need to go deeper. We have seen leadership from leaders once perceived as weak or non-discerning. While the eloquent and loud have been embarrassingly shooting their feet by queer non-stellar interventions that are a show of nothing short of foolishness. The reliefs governments and businesses have given people across the world should continue. The goodwill earned therein will catapult those countries and businesses even higher. The key word here being “implementation” many declarations will not see the light of day. But a day of reckoning is coming. The internet does not forget – many leaders will be quoted in days to come and held to account over the declaration of relief that will not have been implemented. Here in Kenya we have seen how election promises made in the high of campaigns are being replayed. The disdain and doubt now dealt on those that made their election promises is appalling. Let the relief declarations made in the wake of COVID-19 not be akin to unmet election promises.
By Lunani Joseph
The writer is a technology solutions architect and works with Insynque Solutions as the Managing Director and Lead Consultant. Pictures are courtesy of tipsmake.com and Twitter handle @ThikaTowntoday