Coronavirus and our social responsibilities
The world is shocked since the uncontrollable spread of coronavirus / covid 19 and its spread is going to teach us a lot of things and our life styles may change forever. However like any other pandemic in the history this will be a temporary phase and we will eventually go back to the usual world we are accustomed to.
Social distancing and self isolation are two most effective ways of saving yourself and others around you from coronavirus. As more and more businesses shut down temporarily, the self quarantine we are going to impose on ourselves will be our best defense against this corona virus until the world finds a cure or a vaccine.
However our situation in Pakistan may be different from other countries. There is a lot of optimism that summers will reduce and may even stop the spread of coronavirus specially in warmer countries, however it may again spike up in next winters. While we should hope for the best we need to take precautions never the less.
“Prevention is better than the cure”
Pakistan has its own socio-economic model and we need a custom set of rules designed to safe guard our country from this pandemic and its effects. We all must step forward to take responsibilities and do what we can, where ever we can and help our country through this crises.
Charity for the under privileged
The first thing we need to do is take care of under privileged members of our society. Unfortunately the people who earn day to day are going to suffer the most and if we do not take steps to take care of our poor class, it can have devastating effects on our country. Hunger can cause social unrest and we may see a soaring crime rate if things are not taken seriously.
In days ahead while businesses suffer, millions may loose jobs and while we all must hope for the best we must prepare for the worst.
Let me remind you that coronavirus is not going to distinguish poor from rich and vice versa. Health and well being of the poor people around you is as important as your own, if you want to stop the spread. So it is time for us to rise as a nation once again and open our doors to charity and ensure that no one goes to sleep without being fed and every one gets equal medical treatment.
There has never been a better time to give our charity than today, so please ensure that you take care of the poor around you and support them with an open heart during this crises.
Help small businesses and tenants
This crises is going to effect a lot of buisnesses around us, specially the small retailers. While Government is planning a stimulus package for industries and state bank is going to give out loans, we all must put our share in the pie as well. No one is sure how long the lock down is going to be in place and imagine all those small tenants who need to pay rentals every month from there monthly earnings.
let me tell all the land lords out there, you really need to look after such buisnesses if our country suffers a lock down because if they are unable to survive, there will be no tenants to rent out your properties after the crises is over.
I would hope that the Government will produce some tenancy protection bill during this crises but until than it is our duty to talk to those we have rented out and give them a partial or temporary relief till things settle down.
Help your employees
Economic impact of coronavirus is going to be global and small businesses are going to face the blunt. If your business is shutting down temporarily and you are unable to pay for the employees. Do not fire them, remember this is not going to last forever and things will go back to normal sooner or later. We may go through a small period of recession but the recovery will be swift as well.
So, it is time to make some changes to your budget and as long as you can support things for a few months there is nothing to worry. Even if you are unable to afford to pay them, supporting there household through this crises should be your priority.
This is even more applicable to corporates and business leaders in Pakistan. They must be on the forefront of this war and help the society to recover from this crises.
Educate and spread awareness
Last but not the least is to educate and create awareness among the people. Remember not all of you have the access to social media and there is a huge population in Pakistan who have no idea about the severity of things. I have even seen educated lot taking things very lightly and that is troublesome.
It is therefore our responsibility to talk to everyone around us and educate them about this matter. Special attention should be paid to those who do not have access to sources of information including social media. So talk to your office boys, drivers, servants and maids and ensure they communicate it with their families.
I hope and pray for every ones safety and wish you all good luck through this global crises. Remember every cloud has a silver lining and this will be over soon as well. Till than let us all stand united to fight against this threat for ourselves, our children and humanity.
Captain (Retd) Shahnawaz Yaqub Bhatti
Investment Consultant and CEO at Imlaak
Mob : +92 333 1616160 ( WhatsApp)