The perilous Covid-19 pandemic is a revolutionary multifaceted health problem that has affected every country across the globe. According to the World Health Organization the pandemic has affected over 5 million people and has claimed over 362 Thousand lives globally as of 30th May 2020. Malawi is no exception as it has 279 confirmed cases and 4 deaths, with this seemingly small statistic it is easy for one to say we are lucky when compared to other countries.
If you ask me, the multifaceted nature of the pandemic in terms of its colossal effects, has made it a difficult threat to tackle, even for the brilliant of experts in all sectors of society. Covid-19 has not only affected the already stifled health systems in Malawi, but also those who struggle for survival on the streets, business owners, security systems and the daily lives of individuals like you and me.
Of all these effects, one which is profound from my lenses, is the uncertainty that comes with the pandemic that has caused us to reflect and question our ways of living which we have historically considered normal in our cultural, business and professional contexts.
Before the pandemic it was tempting to believe that leaders exclusively controlled the fate of their constituents based on cumulative decisions and activities made on a daily basis. However, I came to a quick realization that this exclusivity notion is false and leaders cannot control every aspect of their environment and some things are beyond human control. As evidenced through the reality Covid-19 which kicked in by the president’s declaration of a national disaster on 20th March 2020, which was followed by a proposed three week national lock down from 18th April to 9th May 2020. Even though the lockdown was challenged, there and then I knew that my common opinion that Covid-19 pandemic would have little influence on our daily lives and business was off the mark, the pandemic has in fact caused life as we know it to radically shift in important ways that will still be felt in the days to come.
Numerous examples from world history document the long term effects of phenomena in the redefinition of cultures. Our way of living as I know it was changing right before my nose. Suddenly I could no longer shake hands with friends willy-nilly, washing hands before carrying out any task was quickly becoming the new norm, hand sanitizers were the new house hold favorite, whispering in a friend’s ear was quickly becoming a taboo all in the name of social distance, travel plans were deterred.
As hopeless and as redefining the situation may seem, Covid-19 has given us an opportunity to have introspective discussions with ourselves about our global view of life. As we are maneuvering through these difficult times it will be essential to embrace the change it brings in our personal and professional lives. Most importantly let us remain hopeful, for hope is the only way we are going to sustain ourselves and edify others.