The COVID-19 global pandemic has brought with it a long list of challenges to countries all over the world. Of the close to eight billion people living on earth, only those over the age of 101 experienced something even remotely similar, the Spanish Flu at the end of the first world war. For modern governments, dealing with the pandemic has been an exercise of trial and error, one filled with great accomplishments but also enormous mistakes that have cost millions of people their lives. Still, if we were to look at any previous society, we would identify four key areas that make communities thrive, and people keep on living. They are business, health, public services, and education.
Business as Usual
As straightforward and ridiculous as it might sound, the worst part about not being able to do business is not being able to do business. If companies cannot continue with their day-to-day operations, they will not make a profit. And if they don’t make a profit, they will not be able to pay their employees. Once this happens, the entire enterprise will collapse.
As such, one of the most important things governments can do is work hand-in-hand with corporations to make sure businesses continue running as smoothly as possible. Of course, it is unrealistic to expect that things will work the same as before the pandemic. Still, those in charge should put in place business continuity and disaster recovery programs to ensure firms don’t go bankrupt and national economies survive, if not continue to grow.
Health Above Wealth
We mentioned how important it is for a country, business owners, and employees themselves for companies to continue their operations. But this should not come at the expense of public health and safety. After all, there is no point in going to work if you will get sick, infect others, and be unable to do your job for days and weeks on end.
So, how can government institutions and public and private companies balance a dwindling economic outlook with the need to preserve the individual health of its citizens? How can we work if we know that every day we go to the office we are putting our lives at risk?
Unfortunately, answers to these and other questions are not as easy as one would hope for. Yet, it starts by providing citizens with the appropriate education concerning social distancing, isolation, protocols when in public, and personal hygiene.
Some of the most common public services in many developed cities are transportation, access to healthcare, post offices and banks, and the shopping of essential items. From a consumer perspective, the changes the covid-19 global pandemic has brought with it have not been as radical as one would have expected. For instance, most people in most areas can still go to the supermarket, albeit in fewer numbers and following established protocols. If you need to take a bus or subway to work, there are still plenty of them running on the streets.
Nevertheless, the issue with public services is more related to functionality and management, namely what is happening behind the scenes. Bus drivers, subway conductors, post office staff members, supermarket managers, and cashiers are also human beings with families of their own and basic needs. Thus, the challenge lies in establishing clear policies that protect these individuals while allowing basic services to continue.
Our children are the future. It is true both from a biological and a societal perspective. They will be the ones to carry on our legacy and make sure existing communities continue to function as they now do. Hence, we should not only protect them but also grant them the tools to survive and make appropriate decisions once they grow up.
When it comes to education, there has never been a more challenging time than the one we are experiencing at present. Sure, most kids can use Zoom, Google Meet, Skype for Business, and other presentations and video conferencing platforms, and classes do not need to come to a halt.
But what about physical education lessons? What about the social skills that only come through face-to-face communication? Worst of all, how can parents tackle the anxiety and heightened levels of stress that come with having kids being always around?
As with most things, governments should collaborate with public and private educational institutions to develop programs that educate kids while at the same time keeping them safe.
As we have seen, covid-19 has created major obstacles for governments in four specific areas of society. Still, there are solutions to every single one of them. Through collaboration, proper decision-making, and decisive action, the world can continue moving forward and ultimately put this dark period in our history behind us.