It is about a year since the first Covid-19 case was reported in Uganda. Many thought this was a transient challenge with potentially short term disruptions and life would soon normalise perhaps in a couple of weeks and at the worst months.
New vocabulary progressively became the order of the day “Sanitizers, ICU capacity, ventilators and lockdowns amongst many others”. The world was suddenly filled with fear and anxiety as the pandemic ravaged through China, US, Europe and Brazil among others, with forecasts on Africa much worse as numerous models predicted a ‘grim’ outlook for the continent arguably driven by the very weak healthcare systems.
A year on, we all realise that the pandemic is bigger than we thought and the impact may at best last over a much longer period than envisaged. It has not only changed our way of working and doing business but also our interactions in all spheres of life.
A year later, these are my key lessons:
Adjusting to new norms:
The path to recovery from Covid-19 remains unclear. The general consensus is that we face a protracted period with many restrictions and challenges still in place even as vaccines are rolled out, and that even after the initial recovery phase, business may not return to “back to normal” given pre-covid contexts globally.
Transition to virtual
As a leader (both at home and at work) one of the biggest shifts has been a total transition to virtual. This was traditionally associated with teams across large geographies separated by either long distances or time differences. This is now the norm, presenting a new set of challenges – from a personal perspective, how do I ensure teams are meaningfully engaged, motivated and feel supported to excel. How do we maintain the ‘family’ atmosphere and continue building our great culture?
The people have demonstrated resilience not only to survive, but also thrive through the pandemic. Through this there have been lots of innovation with a huge momentum on digital to support and enhance business operations and service delivery across many industries taking different shapes and forms. A notable innovation in recent times has been the development of a number of Covid-19 vaccines in record time with many more vaccine candidates still being explored.
Given our experience as an organisation with digital health, this presents a great opportunity to make a significant contribution in vaccine rollout across areas of our operations
With the focus quickly shifting towards vaccination, a couple of things to still keep in mind:
1. Vaccines alone are not the magic bullet. A lot is still required by all actors to ensure production, availability and safe administration of vaccines to the last mile. Vaccines will protect within a range e.g 95 per cent efficacy (meaning some people can possibly still get sick even after getting the vaccines). Vaccination of a critical mass in any given part of the world will take time.
A couple of years to say the least and some patients will still acquire Covid 19 even if all goes as planned. The disease is still new, with a lot still unfolding as it evolves through different phases e.g. mutation and emergence of other more virulent variants.
The author is a member of the Governing Council of the Human Resources Managers Association of Uganda.
Source link : https://allafrica.com/stories/202103170103.html
Author : Monitor
Publish date : 2021-03-17 06:20:48