With so many norms taken away during social distancing, due to COVID-19 some services and values that were taken for granted have come forward. Changing our view of what’s “essential”.
Here are five ways the global pandemic has had a positive impact on our lives here in Botswana. Redefining some of the things we considered to be essential.
Lockdown has taken many things from our grasp. Keeping us from offices, engagements and even people. But at the same time, the distancing has highlighted what’s more important. Families have come closer, physically and through technology.
Experiences may differ, some being more challenging than others. But at the end of the day the time spent with loved ones cannot be replaced as parents have learned more about themselves, their spouses and children.
A Cleaner and Healthier World
Cleanliness has never been as important as it is currently. Now that lives depend on it. People are intensely washing and sanitizing hands. Studies have shown that COVID-19 can survive on some surfaces for hours or days. Making transmission possible from touching infected surfaces then touching eyes, nose or mouth. Homes, shops and public places now are constantly being disinfected.
As the country prepares for the gradual lifting of lockdown conditions, face masks, sanitizers and alcohol-based disinfectants are a new must-have in all public spaces. A huge benefit as this means schools, offices and public spaces will have easy access to water, be cleaner and healthier.
COVID-19 Essential Workers
It goes without saying that shop assistants, doctors and nurses, security services, the police and national army – all the professions that risked their lives daily while we stayed in the safety of our home – they have shown us the true meaning of “essential”.
There truly aren’t enough “thank you’s” for those who helped us overcome this global pandemic. And the businesses that continued to make sure all our needs were met during the lockdown.
Parents became home teachers overnight as schools shut down to protect kids. This did not mean the workload became any lighter for teachers. Schools and teachers worked hard to prepare educational packs, switched to online teaching and made sure parents and children are supported at home. Teachers remained interactive with parents and children through WhatsApp chats and online teaching platforms. It is safe to say the value of teachers has been recognized. More and more people have realized the important role and amount of effort that goes into learning and teaching.
Small businesses took a hard hit, with many people being out of jobs overnight. Local talent and creativity emerged as businesses used social media to market and sell their local produce. Helping them to stay afloat.
The Local Slice BW continues to be a backbone for small businesses, making sure they stay visible. Their sites offer up to date news, features and articles, supporting local businesses through the lockdown. Our Family Gems Facebook page has also highlighted family-friendly small enterprise.
Government and parastatal organisations offered relief programs to cushion losses of income. Botswana Innovation Hub offered funding to Batswana with solutions to overcome the pandemic. While the Botswana Government offered food packages to homes, that lost salaries. Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) paid salaries for businesses that could not afford monthly wages for their workers.
These economic responses, along with the millions worth of donations from private donors, put Botswana in second place in Africa for good economic and social initiatives to help people during the lockdown.
The trend to buy local continues with the promotion of local businesses selling face masks that capture and celebrate the beauty of Botswana culture. This will create more job opportunities, supporting individuals, families and communities.
“Staying home today means travelling tomorrow” – Botswana Tourism
Many are longing for the outdoors and looking forward to travelling. Local is the first place to look as many places have been highlighted on social media, gaining interest from wanderlust followers.
In favour of local travel, are the current uncertainties around international travel. Ironically the Okavango and north started water started flowing during the lockdown. The flooding of the area brought in much-needed hope, life and restoration.
We understand that COVID-19 has brought with it endless challenges for all. We can, and have to try and find the positive changes in our country. As the lockdown lifts let us hope for a different, a new normal and one with different values.
** This article is proudly sponsored by CleanAll Services**
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