Crisis as a time for opportunity

“There are decades where nothing happens,
and there are weeks where decades happen.”
-Vladmir Lenin

Of course everyone is talking about how the corona virus situation is an opportunity for so many things. It’s an opportunity for nature to reclaim some of its past glory – with everyone cooped up indoors mostly, our world is less polluted and animals that shunned away from seething human spaces are returning to enjoy their freedom. It’s an opportunity for people to pause and spend time with whoever they are cooped up with or make time for some of their hobbies – my Instagram and Facebook feed is replete with such stories. It’s a time for us to reflect- just as a very popular image is doing the rounds on our Whatsapp statuses – “if you can’t be outside, go inside”. It’s also probably an opportunity for humans to slow down – though there are reports of chances of population significantly increasing and the term “coronnials” catching up :).

Being cooped up with your closed ones can also be detrimental as some rumours of divorce rates going up in China after the isolation period shows. However, data in isolation is dangerous. This has been proven many times in the last few weeks when “news” was refuted often. Again here is an opportunity – many people have been forced to realise that what they so generously spread through forwards are mostly fake and they are better off not pandering “news” or to be prepared of being accused of “covidiot”.

The word “opportunity” has always been associated with capital mindsets. And I must mention businesses trying to make use of this opportunity. There have been many examples of businesses playing to the short-term – establishments over-pricing sanitizers and profiteering through creating scarcity. There are also examples of organisations trying to play the infinite game.

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2020/03/17/50-ways-companies-are-giving-back-during-the-corona-pandemic/#170f92774723 (mostly American examples – but companies can look at implementing some of these)
  2. https://www.theblaze.com/news/bayer-donates-millions-of-tablets-of-malaria-drug-that-could-fight-coronavirus-to-u-s-government (hopefully news is true and not just a publicity stint)

While the “work” we need to do is to stay quiet and away, the pressures to businesses is immense. Naturally, this pressure has short-term and long-term impact. In the short-term, executive decision-making can be extremely flawed due to the stress. In the long-term, funds the company may have managed to accumulate would have depleted considerably (unless you are into the business of making masks, etc). For businesses that have just set up, the ROI seems very distant in the future and it may prompt some of these to give up and close.

As we wait for this state of affairs to pass, let’s not forget the learnings from this opportunity: For each of us – as individuals and for society as a whole.

I would love to hear about your learning and/or favourite meme (since that has had no slowing down :)).

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