The recent Covid-19 was an eye opener for most nationalities and countries. The world wide death toll has come to 78,000 (07-April-2020) and its inclining by the minute. The number of the infected and the deaths, are rapidly increasing throughout the continents.
Shutting down all travel and supply chains was a massive hit to all the countries where it was a shock that anyone could not absorb either sort. Even the strongest economies such as U.S and the Europe was uprooted effortlessly by the Covid-19. The job market distress and the rapid decline of the stock markets followed by this economic feaster.
Most of the professionals and the analysts are forecasting the future with the lessons learnt from the past pandemics and disasters. Many says that this will be worse in months to come where the disease will move in to next levels as the world will not be able operate.
The Pearl was infected
While in Sri Lanka, the first Covid-19 patient was discovered on 10th March and the numbers increased as expected. As per the Health Promotion Bureau, currently there are 185 confirmed cases and 6 unfortunate deaths (upto 07-April-2020)
During this period, several parts of the country were under the curfew and lately the whole country was. All the citizens were asked to stay at home to control the severe condition. Several areas were isolated due to the appearance of new cases as the Health Ministry and the Task force to control the situation.
The life style of the Sri Lankans were different after this unexpected time period. The government and the responsible bodies had to evolve to cater all the citizens with maximum impact. Certain trends developed and kept inclining to cater the needs of the “Isolated”. Significant innovations were implemented to the system by the governing bodies for the much needed support.
New face of the Sri Lankans
The changes happened during the isolation period of Covid-19 were important as a country which was fighting back; not only with the virus but with the system too. Certain existing opportunities were developed and some were newly implemented, where some countries already had and some even not.
The provision demand of the isolated population was a massive concern with the curfew implemented. Whole sale and the retail businesses were encouraged and formalised to deliver the grocery and other items to the consumer to avoid the main Covid-19 problem, which were mass gatherings.
The ability and the potential of this extent is a great opportunity to all the stakeholders in many ways. The busy commuters will always look to save time in their packed schedule and also the businesses will always have an upper hand to expand the business in multi segments. From fruits and vegetables to domestic Gas was delivered either on demand or not. Ordering online is not a new thing for the Sri Lankans, but this time it went viral.
The state and the private pharmacies took the initiative to deliver drugs for the demand by ordering online. Hope it continues even after these devastating times.
The closure of the Universities and the schools were a primary decision that most of the governments took to control the damage by the virus. Sri Lankan primary and secondary education faced a massive hit by closing the schools and universities where they did not had the luxury, rather the opportunity to operate online much. Most of the countries practice the online learning platforms in their primary education, where only handful private organizations in Sri Lanka practice the online learning.
After the curfew and the shutdown more organisations moved in to Learning Management Systems and they are trying to look for more avenues to move forward with the online teaching. The private organisations, even the government also forcing themselves to improve the current e-learning platforms to cater the education needs of the country. Now it’s a great opportunity to the education system to rethink and strengthen the system to rebuild and operate even in the future after handling the Covid-19.
Ceylon tea plays and pays a larger chunk of the country’s GDP. During this pandemic all most all borders were shutdown and caused a full-stop to imports and exports. However the traditional 137 year old Tea Auction went online as a E-auction for the first time with imposed restrictions which secured a huge amount of money. Considering other products like cashew, coconut products and all other exports has the opportunity to discover new dimensions to change and take the country to new heights.
Want to Eat? Why not Grow?
Globally, there are certain unanswered questions regarding the future of the humankind after this eye opening pandemic. The award winning question will be that, how will the energy, specially the food and the necessary goods supply will be sustained in the world? One of the effective options are to encourage yourself to grow food. Self sustain is a must. Sri Lanka is a magnificent sub tropical country in the world which has one of the most fertile lands. It has been proved through decades and centuries of rich culture and history.
The growing trend sparked during the isolation and its inclining. Most of them are pushing their boundaries to self sustain with fruits and vegetables at least. This will lead the country to a maintain healthier citizens and to become financially healthy too. Reducing unnecessary imports and exporting the excess production from the country will not be a dream any more. Not to forget the the Agri tourism and the Green Tourism, who awaits the fruits of this opportunity, to grab.
The limited cash handling during the curfew and the isolation period is leading the masses to use more and more online platforms for transactions. It’s the best time to introduce new access or strengthen the available platforms to the public by the service providers, where it seems they are capturing the given opportunity.
This is not new to the world, even to Sri Lanka, but the percentage of the population who uses and the amount of transactions will be increased by embracing and exploring the new opportunities while changing the life styles of the citizens.
There are many institutional level changes happening within the country as it shows symptoms of a revolution where it might have the courage to change and redirect the country of its course. Irrelevant to the political agendas, the transformation and the revision of the government approach will definitely encourage all the citizens to rethink of the country’s future.
The the emerging inventions and the production of industrial goods were encouraged and practiced. The Covid-19 has given the initiative to the people to come out from the dark to light and to start the walk of their lives.
Sri Lanka is recognised as an award winning Island among the world. The rich resources, culture and the people in this country has driven it to its levels with so many barriers. Not to forget the Easter Sunday attack and the Covid-19 has disturbed the Sri Lankan Economy, several times continuously. The lessons learned will always shape the future by affirming that “Every Cloud has a Silver Lining”.
Madushan Jayathilake – The Blue Team