World is changing, don’t be left behind

Tuesday May 12 2020

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Several companies have asked their staff to work from home to minimise social contact. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

By The EastAfrican

During and after this pandemic, many things will change including how we interact and socialise, or how we view public health and access to it.

Perhaps universal health care is important, because the world has failed at handling a rapidly spreading disease. Time will eventually tell whether we learnt or simply forgot how difficult things were and cross our fingers and pray that it doesn’t happen again.

Even though there has been this push to work online from home, organisations have had to find ways of coping with the pandemic, remain relevant and sustain operations.

Suddenly, organisations have to navigate in the technological space, find their niche, and yes involve that overlooked intern who often talked about social media in meetings.

During this crisis period, those with access to basic needs are ahead of the pack.

Access to electricity or data shows the disparity between the rich and the poor.

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A child in a ‘good’ school learns daily even if it is for an hour online, compared to those in schools that lack the financial muscle to acquire technology.

An earlier announcement that schools would reopen next month, and that the August holiday will be shortened by two weeks, proved that children have not being doing much at home and would still need to catch up.

A walk through urban neighbourhoods, children may not be going to school, but they still mingle freely. They are not observing social-distancing as they are playing and enjoying the company of friends.

Even if schools open and stress children wash their hands and keep a distance of more than one metre from each other, how realistic would that directive be? Children may not be able to strictly observe hygiene protocols. Who will take the blame?

Restaurants have opened doors on condition that they have sanitisers or water and soap at the door, practice social-distance and take temperature when one walks in.

Despite this measures Covid-19 numbers are rising as was expected.

Before the pandemic, online work was not considered as work. Social media communication work was often underpaid and underutilised. People who worked from home were not considered to do real work.

I remember how crucial it was to get an office, because without one, people didn’t think that an organisation was real.

Gone are days when online communication was highly recognised and effective in only marketing.

The speed at which the world moves today in the technological space means those left behind must work harder to catch up.

Nerima Wako-Ojiwa, executive director, Siasa Place @NerimaW

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