Let’s Do Our Bit

So….finally the world is in gradual lockdown. The virus has defied every logic of governments (Donald Trump said ‘calm down it will go’ – it did not), scientists (virus, medicine, vaccines, projection…all gone out the window), religion (priests and clerics claim it is under control but alas….), geographical theorists (they claim it is an Asian thing – only for China and the far East…but it broke boundaries and it is now more in Europe than where it first started) and naïve theorists (who claimed that the virus will not survive in the heat, hence it won’t reach Africa (there is now an implosion in Africa, and there is palpable fear for the people of the continent). Not forgetting the age demography theorists who said older people are most at risk and young people are immune! Young people are dying!

 

Now Italy, Spain, Germany and other European countries, as well as the world’s most populous nation – India – have imposed total lockdowns; paralyzing businesses and active social life entirely. The United States….typical US of A, with the interesting leader it has at the moment, is also in lockdown.

 

South Africa has joined in, as has Nigeria, from what I hear.

 

Now the United Kingdom……very interesting story.

 

The cases are rising, deaths increasing. They have agreed with the rest of the world that this thing spreads through social contact and hence the need to distance from one another. But the UK government does not seem to have the bottle to enforce a ‘stay at home’ order.

 

I do not get it. They imposed a partial lockdown. Government says ‘work from home when you can’. They say schools are closed, but remain open for children of ‘key workers’. They say movement is restricted only for people on ‘non essential trips and jobs’.

 

So there came a scramble for people trying to interpret, and eek their ways into categories that are exempt. Many strange concepts were formed for who is a ‘key worker’. People became ‘key workers’ overnight….just so they can send their kids to school.

 

Some decided that their businesses are suddenly essential, so they told their workers/employees to continue working. One famous Premier League club owner who also owns a sports retail chain insisted that his selling of footballs, replica jerseys and water bottles was now an essential service and wanted to stay open!

 

‘Work from home where you can’ sparked the argument of ‘well, I can’t work from home so I am going to work’.

 

Airports in the UK remain open, thus sending people that might be carriers to other parts of the world, and perhaps importing the virus by allowing some in.

 

And I ask the question of us all – what really is wrong with us?

 

Did we see all the theories that were branded around which I had referred to above? I am sure there are more. Not one has been proven right. This thing has bulldozed its way into our lives, and no one, I repeat, NO ONE knows how, where it came from, and where it will go.

 

The only thing we know for sure is that it spreads through people – from one to the other.

 

It has no respect for race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, good neighbourhood, rich or poor. The guy just strikes anyone and everyone. Once it hits someone, and that person carries it and contacts another, the other catches it.

 

Is it therefore so difficult for us to first understand, then secondly to respect that this thing we call social distancing can and is the only way we can stem the tide?

 

Why are flights still leaving and arriving in the UK up until this day? Why are people not listening and are still crowding train stations and the roads? What really are we looking for out there?

 

The virus has struck many rich and famous ones. It has kept them from spending the money, and has restricted them from the affluent living. It has taken the lives of some important and influential ones. Can we not make it a lesson?

 

Leadership is a real attribute. Not all entrepreneurs are good leaders. Not all managing directors and chief executives are good leaders.

 

Leadership is all-encompassing. It involves being able to perceive situations and acting right by them; taking into account…yes the business, but also the means of doing the business – the employees.

 

This is a message for our leaders, political or corporate. Today is not the time to score political points. It is not the time to ensure that regardless of what is going on, our pre-election pledges must be met. It is not the time to think that profits must not be impacted by this virus. No. It is time to think like human beings. To really be our brothers’ keepers. To realize that the life and survival of every man or woman under us is worth something. If we will be reluctant to send our children to the war-front, let us save other people’s children from battle.

 

The only way we can win this battle – the battle against COVID-19 – is from home.

 

It will be hard….it is a life-changing virus anyway. But let us stay indoors and stem the tide, flatten the curve and stop the spread.

 

Coming up……SMALL BUSINESSES, FREELANCERS – I FEEL FOR YOU