Letters & Opinion

Coping with COVID-19

Image of Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant
By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant

Even as our officials plan to gradually remove the emergency restrictions on our non-essential movement and business activity and look ahead to some shadow of normalcy as we cope with COVID-19, there are some early lessons that may prove useful and perhaps advantageous to maintain.

Looking into the future, we can make some predictions that must inform how we lift our state of emergency and restore our social and economic activity to near-normal levels. Here are a few, which support the prediction that COVID-19 is here to stay.

* developing a vaccine requires approximately eighteen months;

* scaling the vaccine production may take some months;

* distributing the vaccine may take more months;

* vaccinating the global population will take several years!

Depending on our good fortune and our negotiation skills, our own mass vaccination programme is unlikely to start before the year 2023. Since we can look forward to a few years while we cope with COVID-19, what can we do in the meantime to make our lives, and standard of living more bearable? Working from home has allowed many of us to still be productive despite physical distancing protocols. New electronic services have been deployed by banks, restaurants, and churches too.

What about you at home? What experiences have you had over the past several weeks, that may be attractive to maintain beyond the safety of vaccination? Interestingly, a recent survey (IrishJobs.ie in April 2020) indicated that 44 percent of people work longer hours than normal when working from home, and they miss proper desks, their colleagues, and the usual workplace facilities. Notwithstanding, working from home does have some benefits including:

* No more rushing in the morning to leave home and beat the traffic;

* Ability to do the laundry and other chores during work breaks.

Additionally, the ability to work under more relaxed conditions at home may have health benefits. Likewise, the reduced cost of travel, parking, and related services may also be attractive.

For those who have been unable to work from home, there are some advantages to be grasped. Some book publishers have made available for free download, several of their e-Books and other materials. Even those not actively working may enjoy sprucing up their skills and improving their CV, instead of binge watching their favourite TV shows!

Despite the cabin fever that we may experience, it is important to keep an optimistic outlook, even while the practicalities, logistics and pressures may threaten to swamp our mood. We may not all feel as useful as the hard-working frontline workers, but even in the midst of this health crisis, we should identify something useful or interesting to do. We may surprise ourselves.

To share your views, contact the author at: www.datashore.net or via The Voice.

Editor’s note: Lyndell St Ville is an ICT Consultant with a background in environmental and resource science. His expertise includes systems analysis, planning, and capacity building.

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