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2012 has been a year of mixed emotions for many people. It ushered in a pandemic that drastically changed the world. As at the time of writing this post, over 50 million people across the globe have contracted the covid-19 virus, of which over a million deaths have been recorded. Most countries have had to implement a lockdown at the expense of their economy. These are some of the negative impacts of the pandemic. However, there have been some positives. Irrespective of the uncertainty and fear surrounding the pandemic, many people have found ways to turn this dreadful experience into something positive.
THE PANDEMIC SLOWED DOWN EVERYTHING.
There were few individuals and businesses could operate at full capacity due to the restriction on movement in various countries. This did affect productivity and the income of many individuals/businesses but it did slow things down--in a positive way.
The world we lived in before the pandemic was moving at a frantic pace. I live in one of the busiest cities in Africa, Lagos, which is notorious for its fast-paced lifestyle. People are always on the move, even at odd hours. The average Lagosian spends roughly 10hours at work and 4hours in traffic, which does not make for a healthy lifestyle. The lockdown made it compulsory for individuals to stay in their homes, giving them the requested rest they needed. Also, most people had the unique opportunity to bond with family and friends they had so neglected for a long thing. So the pandemic didn't just improve the well-being of many (who were not sick), it also restored relationships.
IMPROVED BUSINESS PRACTICES AND COMMUNICATION
One of the many things the pandemic exposed was that a lot of things could be done from home and done effectively. My girlfriend who works for an insurance company as an underwriter was able to carry out her duties from home. At some point, we began to question the need to be present at work everything. If she could easily do what was required of her from home, why undergo the stress and cost of commuting to work every day? Unfortunately, her request to work occasionally from home was declined.
Asides improved business practises, we did see a growing need to engage virtually. People became more creative with their means of communication. Most shows, meetups were done virtually. Even virtual reality became a thing of some sort. During the pandemic, the only way I could connect with friends was via video chat and calls. Although that did not compensate for physical gatherings, it was good to know that such an option existed
CREATING NEW OPPORTUNITIES
The pandemic led to the loss of jobs which significantly impacted the lives of many. Due to this setback, a lot of people had to think outside the box to figure out new ways of generating income. I have friends who become entrepreneurs during the pandemic. Even i had more time to focus on my creative endeavours which significantly boosted my income.
EXPOSING THE INADEQUACIES OF THE GOVERNMENT
The pandemic exposed the inability of the government in certain states to cater to its people. In the United State, we saw the President trivialise the impact of the virus which led to poor management of the situation. In this part of the world, there were cases of palliative being hoarded by the political elites. This for me, was a wakeup call to the people to chose their leaders wisely without sentiment.
On a macro level, the covid pandemic was a wakeup call for many countries to improve their healthcare. There were many efforts to improve capacity and upgrade medical facilities across the globe. Several isolation centres were built in Nigeria where I live.
These are some of the positive consequences of the pandemic. This is not to negate the negative impact of the virus but to show a balanced view of things. Hopefully, this pandemic is brought under control so people can go back to their normal lives without fear or restrictions.