COVID-19

#covid19: When can the world return to work?

As the WHO warns the world about the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, many countries are still overwhelmed with the first wave. The world economy loses a lot in just a single day of lockdown. However, pre-mature lifting of the lockdown could bring a second wave of the infection.

When it comes to covid19, it seems each world works alone. However, when it comes to trade, countries work together. How ironic! Each country has implemented internal preventative controls including stringent international border restrictions to reduce imported cases. But what is next?

  1. How can the world return to work, amid the coronavirus problem? People are tired of staying at home, just as they are scared of catching the virus. Though the lockdown period has so far given a lease of life concerning climate change, people are struggling to survive. And many more could be dying in their homes alone due to poverty and hunger. How are countries monitoring such cases?
  2. Just as patients with underlying medical conditions like cancers, diabetes, and blood pressure to mention but three give-in quickly when infected with coronavirus, companies with underlying problems like poor liquidity, leadership, high fixed costs, negative jaws ratio, and bad business model have closed within just a month of the lockdown, and many others are on the drip. Every leader is exploring ways to ease cash flow pressures. Companies, especially those without a digital strategy, need liquidity or cash to operate. After almost a lost first quarter of 2020, ‘hand to mouth economies’, without any reserves of some kind are gasping for fresh air. Even the developed economies are feeling the pinch. Almost every business needs a bailout. Some Airlines have started filing for bankruptcy. This is not good. At what point should the lockdown be lifted?
  3. Will the covid19 create a utopia kind of scenario where the countries shall continue to quarantine known cases in a specific city and fast track testing such that every case reported is instantly transferred and quarantined in the “coronavirus city” of sorts? If that shall not be the case, why are countries seemingly fighting on their own when it comes to this virus?
  4. It is a battle of life and death: the leaders want to extend the lockdown period further to “flatten the curve” by reducing new infections and therefore fewer cases. Few cases mean available health systems are not overwhelmed as many infected people die due to failure to access the required care.
  5. But many people have been locked down in their homes now for more than two months. Unlike the few employed salaried officials, who have continued to receive monthly pay-cheque thanks to tax-payers, most of the people under the lockdown have no way to earn. Others are small business owners whose businesses are chocking in costs like rent and staff salaries.
  6. Should the lockdown be lifted? For how long can the people wait before the lockdown is lifted? If you are to vote, which side would you vote? Lift the lockdown or extend it further? What if #covid19 is here to stay, for how long can you survive?
  7. What is the best way to lift the lockdown?

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.

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