Masters of Our Own Fate?
Over the past week, we have seen the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions in a number of countries, including Zambia and Tanzania in Africa. But the opening-up of business is going far too slow for many, resulting in growing depths of despair and anger as business-owners face permanent closure and financial ruin.
But what of the entire argument around lockdown? As Sweden has shown by not having a lockdown, countries that have implemented one are showing no better results in terms of reducing transmission or deaths, so why the overall 'panic'. Yes, saving lives is an important and noble reason for deciding to close a country, but the economic price that has been paid by for example, the United Kingdom, South Africa and others, far outweighs the reduction in transmission or death in the opinion of experts in finance and health.
But in spite of the argument - and the delays, I daily hear from business owners who feel the rules, lockdown and delays are 'killing' them, but when I ask if they are ready to reopen tomorrow in the event government recant, they are not. Just like any business, re-opening a closed business - let alone an industry, requires preparation and this is the time to get it done. Ensure that you are ready to meet any possible regulation or standard that may be imposed before you are able to operate, and start today to implement your SOP's and standards that minimise and avoid transmission of the virus for employees and clients.
Waiting for the other shoe to drop is a waste of time and quite honestly, adding to the problem. The isolation will not last and as we are starting to see, there is a building avalanche of opinion towards dropping lockdowns as fast as possible. Will people die if the situation is normalised? Yes, almost certainly, but as Sweden has shown, no more than if the country has shut-down altogether. As a recent commentator so aptly said, "that virus is standing outside your door, but cowering inside is not going to make it go away". At some stage, we are going to have to meet it face-to-face, but with simple, common-sense precautions and measures, we don't need to fear what we don't fully understand while watching economies collapse - and thereby creating even more hardship and death.
Get our business in order now. Don't wait for the starting gun.