The pandemic is a tightening noose

The period since March 2020 has not been an easy sail for majority of the people. Surviving before the pandemic was already hard. When

The period since March 2020 has not been an easy sail for majority of the people. Surviving before the pandemic was already hard. When the world was put under lockdown, the situation worsened. What started as a joke suddenly became a game-changer. When the Coronavirus was declared a global pandemic, some people did not take it seriously because they had heard that the virus originated from Wuhan China.

Before you travel to China, one tends to believe the news they have always received that the country is a copycat capital of the world and that many things from there are fake stuff. But China moved ahead a long time. So, some folks in Africa, especially the planners did not bother to prepare for the tough times by building institutional capacity and capabilities to handle the pandemic. They thought, wrongly, that since the virus is rumoured to have originated from China, a country said to be the origin of mostly fake things, the virus was also fake!

They were wrong.

Now I hear World Health Organisation (WHO) continues to ask Chinese authorities to be open and transparent in the investigations of the true source of the virus. Since this virus has indeed been tough on lives, it means it was real. And we know real and original things where they come from. Is WHO now recognising China for making real and original stuff?

Of course, I know you are thinking that Coronavirus is intelligent. It keeps re-imagining itself, into new variants in response to the environment and the hosts it finds itself in. If the original version were fake, I am sure you agree with me that it would not be that intelligence to repurpose itself to achieve its mission of causing global disruptions. However, you may look at it the initial virus was original.

The first outbreak in early March 2020 was a warning sign. When the lockdown happened, some people were excited that finally, they do not have to work. When you have a routine to follow, anything that breaks is usually welcome. However, for the managers of businesses, the lockdown meant no incomes, as fixed costs kept rising.

The way the financial systems have been set up are interdependent. The building owner has a loan from a bank. He makes monthly repayments from the rental income. The bank got a loan from its depositors or other investors. It must pay interest on that money monthly. This means the bank cannot forgive the loan. It must be paid by the building owner. And accordingly, the building owner cannot forgive you rent, since s/he must service the loan. Now if you are a business manager, how do you make money to meet those fixed obligations?

Two options:

  1. Make measures to reduce the costs.
  2. Increase revenue.

When you respond to a victim of an accident, the first thing you do is to do a thorough diagnosis to see whether the victim is bleeding or not, and or find out what is not within the normal range. If the person is bleeding, the first aid you apply is to prevent the bleeding. In this case, when the business is not earning, the first thing is to reduce the costs. Sit down with the team and agree on the costs to cut – reduce office space, headcount and subscriptions like pay-tv at the office for which no staff will be watching it, etc.

The key question is how we sustain operations and ensure that by the end of the month, we have food on the table.

Life is tough. The first outbreak was a warning sign. Now, the pandemic has been more destructive. So many people have died. And indeed, the virus is original.

Now is the time to prioritize yourself. For the few people you have on your team, you must put in 100% to increase revenue and live a worry-free life. Being sick and not having some money in your bank account and some cash on you is one of the worst diseases.

When you have some cash, you can survive. So, when you are still healthy, do your best. No one can hide an elephant. If you do great stuff, everyone will see it is fantastic. Go, thrive.

Copyright 2020 Mustapha B Mugisa, Mr Strategy. All rights reserved

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