While Covid-19 has brought the world to a standstill, it opens up a gateway to a whole new beginning of a lifestyle characterized by innovation, resilience and optimism. A United Nations report states that this is one of the most distressing problems of the 21st century that has disrupted lives and turned our world upside down, bringing many businesses and organizations to a halt and pushing the economies into recession. Afghanistan, an already fractured economy, feels this pain more than ever before; however, it stands the chance to rise to this challenge and realize the opportunities it offers.

These lockdowns provide us with an opportunity to work on the significant priorities that we have never been able to achieve. One of our significant responsibilities is towards our family, children and elderly parents who need our attention, care and love. Often busy and immersed in office work, we totally forget these unsung heroes of our life who provide us with emotional and psychological support to face the challenges of our life. Another important priority should be your professional development. Nurture your intellect with online courses and self-study programs. 

This is an opportunity to reflect on your life and rethink your habits and routines and develop an effective and balanced approach to your work and life. You might have been doing things that may not be effective and constitute a major portion of your time such as extended hangouts with friends and excessive indulgence in gossip, gamble and others that are harmful to your reputation. It is therefore wise to revisit your lifestyle and make necessary adjustments.

This physical distancing has triggered amazing ways of connecting and social bonding through different digital platforms including WhatsApp, Facebook, Zoom and others. Thanks to technology!

You might also see people who in fear of food shortage have started hoarding food, which in turn has skyrocketed the prices of commodities. This has further aggravated the problem of wage laborers and poor and vulnerable families. However, thousands of amazing acts of heroism are on display who put others before themselves in such a critical time. There is a collective effort of food donations and a growing sense of altruism among communities across Kabul and other parts of the country.

On an enterprise level, as some organizations are closing their doors and struggling with financial hardships, others create innovative ways of moving online and digitally transform their operations. This outbreak provides an opportunity to be future-oriented and harness smart technologies to revamp operations. Organizations with slow and cumbersome procedures will either shut down or will break through their rigid system and act instantly to come up with remarkable and innovative ideas of developing fast-tracked systems to ensure survival. Many organizations across the globe have already moved online and there is a growing trend in Afghanistan too. Industry leaders such as Kardan University and the American University of Afghanistan were the first to launch online education and many others are now following suit. Restaurants and supermarkets are also considering shifting to delivery mode. This momentum of innovation will continue to permeate many parts of our life even after the crisis.

Like the rest of the world, the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan began partial easing of the lockdown on May 28 in Kabul and major provincial centers. To control the Covid-19 cases, the government of Afghanistan has introduced precautionary and safety measures that include a reduction in working hours, even and odd days of work schedules and following the latest guidelines of the Ministry of Public Health.  

Likewise, this pandemic has forced the world airlines to revamp their operations by introducing new measures. While this has adversely affected industries, it has significantly reduced pollution across the globe. The environment is now cleaner than ever before. This has cautioned us to reconsider our way of living and decrease our footprint on the planet.

Despite these pervasive repercussions, it is our hope that we will emerge out of this challenge with strength, resilience and optimism and with more efficient and effective management practices and digital capabilities.

DISCLAIMER – The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Khaama Press News Agency. We welcome opinions and submissions to Khaama Press Opinions– Please email them to info@khaama.com.

Author

  • Sayed Saleem Sadaat is a former lecturer of Kardan University and a Human Resources Development Practitioner. He has a demonstrated history of working in education management, capacity building, Human Resources and program management with national and international organizations in Afghanistan.