The COVID – 19 crisis has brought the entire world to its knees. What started in the city of Wuhan in China in December 2019 has quickly escalated into a global pandemic that is testing the social fabric of societies across the world.
As the crisis escalates, perplexingly, we are seeing startling differences in the way the crisis is being managed. Eastern governments have taken the aggressive approach with early intervention, extensive testing, mandatory lockdowns (as in China) as well as rapid upscaling of critical infrastructure (as seen in China with the construction of two hospitals in 2 weeks). Western governments, on the other hand, have operated at a pedestrian pace and have been laissez-faire in their approach, which has resulted in COVID – 19 cases spiralling out of control.
It is in these challenging times we must keep the human spirit alive. Below are 12 quotes that put the current crisis into perspective, and offer some insight into how to cope during this time of duress.
“Reduce transmission. Do not just let this fire burn.” – Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization
“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa
“The COVID – 19 outbreak is having serious consequences for factory and gig workers, and global supply chains. Let’s learn the lessons of the 08-09 financial crisis and design income support that working families and businesses need.” – Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Federation
“Social distancing is our current best defence against COVID-19.” – Michelle A. Williams, Dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, USA
“A significant proportion of the global population could be infected” – Professor Yik-Ying TEO, Dean, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore
“Over-reacting is better than non-reacting” – Xifeng Wu, MD, PhD, Dean and Professor of School of Public Health, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.
“Focused, effective communication and shared trust are essential.” – Landon Myer, epidemiologist, University of Cape Town
“If we continue with business as usual, this will blow up really quickly.” – Michal Caspi Tal, PhD, Instructor at Stanford Medical School
“I genuinely believe the responsible thing to do right now with the Coronavirus is to stay home from work, so we don’t all spread it. One boring month working from home and watching Netflix inside after hours is worth it if we can slow down the spread of the virus like China did. It’s time for us to be responsible adults and own what is happening. The virus is not something to be feared; it’s something to contain as soon as possible through responsible action.” – Tim Denning
“In this information age, fear and concern around health issues like the Coronavirus can be amplified. It is more important than ever to check in with yourself and assess how you are doing – not only physically, but also mentally.” – SHRM
“If I were in office today. I’d pick up the phone to Washington and seek a meeting of G20 leaders, Health Ministers & Finance Ministers. Markets need to see the world’s 20 biggest economies are acting together in solidarity and will use stimulus as needed to overcome Coronavirus.” – Kevin Rudd, 26th (Former) Prime Minister of Australia
“If the Coronavirus has taught us anything, it is the lengths some people will go to when desperate. Next time you want to judge boat people, refugees, migrants fleeing war-torn land – remember we fought over toilet paper.” – Fraz Butt
Let’s hope that things take a step in a positive direction, and we can get on top of this crisis soon. We stand to lose a lot if we do not work together collaboratively, compassionately, and in solidarity as a global community.
Whatever you do, look after yourself, your friends and your loved ones.