‘Covid-19 only hastened process already underway’

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Embracing the New Normal;

By Tariro Ndlela; Harare, Creative Genius Publishers, 2020.

ISBN: 978-1-77925-333-0 (Paperback)

126 pages

Reviewed by Eddie Zvinonzwa

IT IS not an understatement that coronavirus (Covid-19) will perhaps leave one of the most remarkable footprints of the century, something that will definitely have lasting impressions on human history.

While the Covid-19 pandemic may be with us for some time with the World Health Organisation warning this week that it is dangerous for countries to open their economies without enough safeguards.

WHO director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus said coronavirus was still a threat, although “Stay-at-home orders and other restrictions are something that some countries felt they needed to do to take pressure off their health systems. But they have taken a heavy toll on livelihoods, economies and mental health. WHO fully supports efforts to reopen economies and societies.

“We want to see children returning to school and people returning to the workplace, but we want to see it done safely,” Ghebreyesus added.

Zimbabwe as of Thursday had recorded 6 638 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 206 deaths and 5 250 recoveries while global total were 26 211 413 positive cases, 868 068 deaths and 18 470 179 recoveries. (Source: www.worldometers.info)

What is important probably remains the issue of responses countries should adopt in the face of the pandemic. Likewise, companies worldwide have had to self-introspect and redesign modes of operation that offered the most appropriate response strategies to the challenges brought about by Covid-19 to their survival.

Some organisations actually went under as a result of the pandemic while the general costs on corporates which tried to keep their heads above the water were so high.

Young Tariro Ndlela in his small way, tries to explore, in The New Normal: Transitioning to the Post Covid-19 Pandemic, new ways of operating for entrepreneurs. Ndlela says he hopes the book “will help you as much as it has helped me and thousands of others find ways to survive and grow in these trying times”. (p11)

The writer also says the book has “a step-by-step process … strategy for success is so logical, so inviting, and ultimately so fulfilling and omni-beneficial that it is virtually a breakthrough in personal performance, enterprise success and effective governance”. (p13) Whether readers will indeed respond in the same manner is neither here nor there, as these remain individual subjective processes.

Today, Zimbabwe is toying around the possible reopening of schools for examination classes as well as reviewing the curfew and other restrictions that have been hampering the smooth flow of business.

What Ndlela does is explore possible ways in which individuals and companies could respond to the calamity at hand. His contribution has been quite phenomenal. The book is a way of fostering resilience in individuals on how they should go about their careers and businesses among others.

The author said in an interview with the Daily News: “I was working on a different project which I had to shelve after realising the urgency presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

We are in a situation where everything has been affected by Covid-19 and there was need for ways of responding to this situation. With development in technology, change was still going to happen in the way we live, how people go about their careers and how businesses operate among other things.

‘‘Covid-19 just came to give a jolt to a process that was already underway and as such, corporates have to adjust to the ‘new normal’.

We can talk about face masks, social distancing — things that we never used to do in normal circumstances — but Covid-19 has brought new imperatives for survival. We were eventually still going to be separated from the way we operate through geo-politics, ignorance about climatic issues or some other development but Covid-19 hastened all this,” said the young author.

The book becomes a must-read for those enthusiastic about contemporary issues who are keen to listen to other people’s guidelines on how to survive in the face of pandemics.

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