As businesses close to help prevent transmission of COVID-19, financial concerns and job losses are one of the first human impacts of the virus. Not knowing how this pandemic will play out also affects our economic, physical and mental well-being.
In recent weeks, we have seen the significant economic impact of the coronavirus on financial markets and vulnerable industries such as manufacturing, tourism, hospitality, and travel. Travel and tourism account for 10% of the global GDP and 50 million jobs are at risk worldwide. Global tourism, travel and hospitality companies closing down affects SMEs globally. This, in turn, affects many people, typically the least well-paid and those self-employed or working in informal environments in the gig economy or in part-time work with zero-hours contracts. Some governments have announced economic measures to safeguard jobs, guarantee wages and support the self-employed, but there is a lack of clarity in many countries about how these measures will be implemented and how people will manage a loss of income in the short-term. Nigeria as a typical example.
Behind these statistics lie the human costs of the pandemic, from the deaths of friends and family to the physical effects of infection and the mental trauma and fear faced by almost everyone. Not knowing how this pandemic will play out affects our economic, physical and mental well-being against a backdrop of a world that, for many, is increasingly anxious, unhappy and lonely.
Fear of the unknown can often lead to feelings of panic, for example when people feel they are being denied life-saving protection or treatment or that they may run out of necessities, which can lead to panic buying. Psychological stress is often related to a sense of a lack of control in the face of uncertainty.
In all cases, lack of information or the wrong information, either provided inadvertently or maliciously, can amplify the effects. There is a huge amount of misleading information circulating online about COVID-19, from fake medical information to speculation about government responses.
Sadly, criminals and hackers are also exploiting this situation and there has been a significant rise in Coronavirus-themed malicious websites, with more than 16,000 new coronavirus-related domains registered since January 2020. Hackers are selling malware and hacking tools through COVID-19 discount codes on the darknet, many of which are aimed at accessing corporate data from home-workers’ laptops, which may not be as secure as outside an office environment.
Social distancing and lockdowns have also prompted altruistic behaviours, in part because of a sense that “we’re all in this together”. Many people report being bored or concerned about putting on weight; others have discovered a slower pace of life and by not going out and socializing have found more time for family, others and even their pets.
The downside of self-isolation or social lockdown are symptoms of traumatic stress, confusion and anger, all of which are exacerbated by fear of infection, having limited access to supplies of necessities, inadequate information or the experience of economic loss or stigma.
While all of this is ongoing don’t forget that COVID-19 will end soon enough. After that what next?
Especially one that can allow you to work remotely. Skills of such range from video editing to graphics design and cloud computing. Do an internet search on remote skills for your industry and seek ways to learn one.
We often complain of lack of time to spend with family due to unimaginable workload. At least, it has been reduced drastically. Don’t just be present at home, make your presence felt.
If for any reason you lost anything during this pandemic, this is the best time to create a course of possible actions for the days after the defeat of COVID-19. Waiting till that time might be too late. Get started today. You can message us here for some brainstorming sessions.
In all you do this forceful holiday, make sure you engage in activities to improve yourself, your relationships, career, finance. Incest this time into your future
Lastly, #STAYSAFE, #STAYHOME