Let’s be honest, 2022 has not been all sunshine and roses. The ever-present Covid19 virus, coupled with Loadshedding, has not made life any easier for South Africans. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Surprisingly these events have produced some positive reactions that can benefit our lives heading into the future. Which also may hold similar arduous times. However, the fact remains that we have managed to survive this challenging period. This in itself is a positive, knowing that we are resilient and quick to prepare for what’s to come. Here’s how we can turn South Africa’s year into a positive.
Building Genuine Relationships
We all have been so busy living the ‘life’, that many of us have lost those real, genuine moments we share with our loved ones. It could have been the busy schedules or just trying to make ends meet. We all had our reasons, but the majority of us took this time for granted. Covid19 and Loadshedding have impacted the way we emote and maintain relationships. We’ve realised that life is short and unpredictable. We need to appreciate each other while we can. An uneasy feeling about the future lingers in everyone’s subconscious, but the best way to process this is to talk about it with friends and family.
A New Wave of Tools, Software & Routines
The Coronavirus pandemic has driven many companies to relook into their preset structures. To change their practices from the physical realm to the digital space. From virtual offices to online teaching, many businesses found ways to continue work during the lockdown, thus making a positive adaption. How is this adaption positive? Well, let’s break it down.
1. Reduced Costs: A vast amount of companies no longer have to pay for office space as their employees now work from home or in smaller hot desk workspace areas. Not only does this reduce the cost of maintaining a physical workplace and having to pay for the likes of water, electricity and internet, but it has also improved the overall mood and mental state of the employees, who like to work from the comfort of their own homes.
2. Better For The Environment: A greener environmental impact has occurred. Less paper is being printed. Fewer fuel-consuming transportation vehicles are being used. Less electricity means fewer resources are being burnt, and finally, less human contact means fewer chances of the virus spreading.
3. New Software: Multiple new online and cloud-based software have been developed that are streamlining workflow and making business more efficient. Gone are the days of being physically present. We now welcome real-time online interaction. Global connectivity is the name of the game, which could only be positive as we open up more business avenues and a better understanding of people and cultures.
Now I know what you’re thinking. How is working from home a positive in SA while it is constantly being starved of electricity? Well, if you think about it, Loadshedding is driving South Africans in the direction of going green by seeking sustainability. Many people are converting to solar, wind and other sustainable energy sources, reducing their carbon footprint and ultimately preparing us for the inevitable. Private electricity-producing companies are waiting in the wings. Different people have turned to use devices called Inverters or Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) that store power in batteries for you to use when the dreaded blackout strikes. This has dramatically increased revenue for appliance companies and other online businesses that sell and repair these devices. Finally, some people might prefer to head over to a local coffee shop to make use of the wifi and backup power outlets, which again is increasing income and improving the overall economy in our home towns. As South Africans, we tend to have a strong backbone and don’t let these things get us down. The potential of this country is immense, and we need to take comfort in knowing that our best years are still yet to come in this beautiful land we call home.
Better Hygiene & Health
We briefly ‘touched’ on this earlier. Being hygienic is no longer just a good habit but the key to survival. Times have changed, and so have people now being aware of how important it is to keep yourself clean. As social creatures, the very make-up of humans is the ability to emote and connect with our fellow beings. That’s not going to change. From shaking hands to sharing items, we’ve had a lifestyle change for the good. We’re going to remember to cover our mouths when we cough, sanitise our hands after touching anything, avoid too much contact with others when feeling sick and generally be aware of our hygienic habits. This is a good thing!
Funny enough, Loadshedding also has some positive impacts on our health. Mentally we now spend less time on social media and devices. Growth through reading, learning and talking to each other outside of text, GIFs or memes. For some, it is more of a spiritual connection, e.g. time to pray or meditate. There’s also less noise & light pollution, letting your brain have a chance to rest from the overstimulation of the ever-going buzz of the active world. Either way, we are giving our brains a much-needed break and removing the problem of too many options that deaden the mind. Physically speaking, we tend to go to sleep at an earlier time which has proven to lower your risk for serious health problems like diabetes and heart disease. Finally, we spend less time sitting and staring at a screen, thus reducing eye strain, producing fewer headaches and preventing back and neck pain.
Medical Discoveries & Innovations
Innovation & improvements to vaccine development, remote healthcare, and digital medical technologies. Traditional vaccines take months, if not years, to develop. Now scientists can design a DNA or RNA vaccine in days, identify a lead candidate for clinical trials within weeks and have millions of doses within months. Technologies range from epidemiological surveillance and contact tracing to individual patient care. The implementation of these technologies has helped monitor and manage the spread of Covid19 and other viruses. These apps inform others, reducing the risk of ongoing transmission. With fears around transmission, many face-to-face GP and hospital appointments have now moved towards online booking, prescription services, and healthcare apps empowering and encouraging individuals to be more proactive about their healthcare and treatment plans. Lastly, researchers have taken full advantage of developing advanced wearable devices such as smartwatches, smart rings and other wearable health and wellness technology. These advances could have a long-lasting impact on tracking future pandemics and relieve pressure on hospitals overall.
The underlying positive of this all is that humanity as a whole has gained strength in the ability to adapt. We collectively have found ways to persevere and overcome some pretty drastic obstacles. Our generation must pave the way to a brighter future for our kids, even if it takes a difficult learning curve to adjust our ways. If we focus on the positives rather than the negatives we will find we are much more capable than we thought possible. Hopefully, this has brought you some peace of mind and given you a better outlook on a challenging year.
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