• Richard Blades

The positive of a pandemic

Many of us have experienced epidemics before however, all that the pandemic brings is new to many of us globally. There is fear, uncertainty, apprehension and a host of other negative emotions that many of us have experienced. How do I know, I've had some of these feelings however fleetingly. They challenged my ability to concentrate and I'm ordinarily a remote worker.

So when you look at this title, how can you think that anything positive will arise from this situation? Well, let's take a look at it together. Let's examine some of the things that we've seen emerge/emerging as a result.

We have been forced to a complete halt of activity, business, and everything we considered to be normal for many months. One thing that is certain is that despite the challenges of living, we are still called upon to live and the sooner we accept that the better. The question is how? What must we consider that we didn't contemplate before? Activities that we may have previously taken for granted demand that we pay them more attention.

Though the infrastructure existed before, we now have been forced to work from at home. The thing is, many of us have to be now to learn approaches to using the technology that surrounded us for quite some time now. Computers, mobile phones, the accompanying software and applications that have so long become a part of our lives are now being used with a slant to being more productive.

Let's look at the ESMEs, an area of importance for most economies, but in particular for those of us here in the Caribbean. There are new approaches to concepts that were once visited by many of us/our fore-parents. Our vocabulary becomes filled with growing commonplace concepts like remote worker, work from home, social distancing, air purification, air filtration, workspace and hand sanitizing, and we can go on.

How have our lives changed?

Well, we now require new methods of coping with curfews so that we can maintain some semblance of normalcy in our lives. This increases the need for delivery services, which spans regular groceries, hardware products, some services including education, e-commerce type activities, there are also other considerations.

How do we interact with and service potential and existing customers? What do we say? How can we go the extra distance in helping them have better experiences during this pandemic? Make no mistake about it, it is said that we have another wave coming, and it is forecasted for when the temperatures begin to get cool again.

The creativity in some has begun to shine - arts & craft, culinary skills, music, videos of various types and the list goes on. Some are using these creative skills creatively [pardon the expression] to actually earn a living.

We can no longer rely on one source of income. Farming, even on small scales, is rapidly gaining ground as people seek to feed themselves and their families. Becoming excellent at self-sustainability is giving rise to an appreciation for what you're doing by others who will be willing to pay you for your products/services. The emergence and re-emergence of businesses, some with a new twist, speaks to the resilience of the human being as we seek to support ourselves and our families.

Some governments want to help as do some private sector entities to realize a win/win combination so that society is sustained. This can auger well for the future provided neither seeks to take advantage of the situation for unfair advantage either way.

So what are some of the new trends? There are a number of forecasts being made for the rest of 2020 through to 2024 in the first instance. They don't look bad, and though we can mention some at this stage, to think the list is comprehensive would be premature. I am looking forward to the creativity that will arise from the minds of those who prove to be successful with the adaptation process of the post-COVID-19 experience.

Will this be the last pandemic in our lifetime? Maybe not. However, our lessons learned here can probably serve in the preparation processes of social interaction; especially since creating the right environment for social interaction will be the next big thing - this is a prediction I'll leave here and observe how it develops as we move into the future.

Reading this may have provoked some thoughts which can be of benefit to a number of us. If so, please share them with us. Feel free to follow through the social media platforms where I have a presence. Be polite and courteous as some of our readers span various age ranges. Sometimes what life hands you may not appear to be tasty, use your creativity to bring out the best to benefit everyone around you, yourself included.

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