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Act like there is hope after coronavirus:- three things we all must do now as global citizens

There is hope after coronavirus. It is amazing to see how the entire world has banded together against this unseen and brutal enemy called the coronavirus. I would like to congratulate my fellow world citizens, and in particular my fellow Australians and the Australian government on how we are handling the current coronavirus pandemic. I am so deeply affected by all the people that have already lost their livelihoods, their loved ones and those that are still to come.

There have been a range of responses from governments and people around the world. Not all of these have been equally good. Many lessons will be learned through this. Government responses ranged from coverups and denials to knee-jerk reactions and complete lockdown but also massive stimulus programs when it is most needed. It is also true that what is appropriate for a developed country may not be practical for a highly populated and poor country. However, cover-ups should not be tolerated by the world’s citizens as this puts our entire human race at risk. This virus is very deadly and we are still yet to experience its full extent. However, it could have been another virus that was even more deadly. Earlier responses on this could have saved many lives globally and may even have averted the entire crisis.

We can already learn from other countries on what works and what doesn’t. One thing is for sure, and is to do nothing is not an option. What is an appropriate response? Many countries declared a complete lockdown. The question is when are governments going to relax the lockdowns?

Many countries are doing what they can and what they think is best under individual circumstances. In my opinion, Australia’s response, to date, has been humane and measured. Information is flowing with daily updates and progressions while treating the citizens like well-informed and sensible human beings. Australia’s economy did not stop overnight and many businesses can still keep going. Australia has already proven to be “the lucky country”. Australia makes our luck by having a great combination of democracy, capitalism, and socialism. This system works and I would not want to be anywhere else at the moment. I would encourage other governments to learn and learn fast. Don’t be afraid to admit where mistakes have been made, and correct these as soon as possible.

This may be too difficult for many governments and they probably won’t read this article. We can get through this crisis by taking individual responsibility as world citizens. We should apply our collective ingenuity to defeat the virus, innovation to re-invent ourselves while having empathy and being reasonable, fair and compassionate. These have to happen concurrently and not in series. There are three things we need to do to get through this:

1. Through democracy, we need to defeat this virus through detection, treatment, immunisation and preventative measures to stop it spreading. Each individual can make their vote count by acting in a way that will stop this spreading.

2. Through capitalism, we need to repair the world economy. Each person has the responsibility to think about what they can do. There are many things people can do, including improving their skills. I urge my fellow global citizens to be innovative and start new businesses.

3. Through socialism, the world can band together by helping our fellow human beings by offering your time and resources. Offer to do the shopping for your elderly neighbour, giving to charities, reaching out to friends and family. I have seen examples where people make face masks in your free time at home.

The answer to this is not that “someone” has to do these things. Each of us has a responsibility to themselves and the whole world to help. In this time of severe business conditions for many people, please “pass it forward”. If someone helps you, help another.

There is no doubt that the economic fallout of this crisis globally is unprecedented. We have to ask ourselves what is the worst-case scenario. However, I would urge people to also think of the best-case scenario. Let’s hope for the best but plan for the worst.

Before we can continue with life after coronavirus we have to get through it today. How are we going to be able to do this? What are the people globally sitting at home supposed to do during this time? Is everyone supposed to watch depressing news, streaming movies, or watch mindless tic-tocs? How about consuming huge amounts of alcohol while you’re at it?

One thing to remember is that the world is going to come out differently out of this crisis. Will the world be “Open by Easter or the 30th of April” as President Donald Trump wishes for all of us? This sentiment suggests that it is going to be: “life as usual” and “very soon”. It would be wise to consider the possibility that things may get worse before it gets better and we may be shut down for much longer than many politicians care to admit at this time.

In Lord of the Rings, Frodo said: “I wish it need not have happened in my time”. Gandalf replied: “so do I, and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that was given to us”.

So what are we going to do with the time that has been given to us? Those of us that can work we should do that better than ever before. Can we be innovative and do things better and do more than we have done before?

But for those of us who are lucky enough to have time. Can we do something constructive with our time? How about taking on an online course to prepare for the brave new world? How about writing an encouraging letter to someone or call a friend? How about making a start on that business plan you were toying around with or if you’re not going to do it share it with someone else?

If we all work together we can win this war and come out the other end as a better world citizens that are more responsible, more innovative and more compassionate.

Pieter Strobos – Business Director, Process IQ