The impact of lockdown due to corona pandemic has been devastating for all sectors of economy with disruption of business enterprises and huge job losses resulting in migration of workers. So far there has been no solution for treatment of corona flu and it might take a few years to revive the economy. In such a situation, rather than living in fear and anxiety and locking ourselves at home, we should accept it as a normal part of our day-to-day life and move ahead confidently to face regular work routine after taking necessary precautions of maintaining hygiene, wearing masks and gloves and maintaining social distance at all times. Instead of focusing on endless negative discussions on TV news channels and social media, build your immunity by enhancing your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual strength through exercises, yogasanas and meditation.
Invest in a health insurance policy to meet the prohibitive hospital expenses in case you fall sick and a term life insurance policy to protect your family in case of your demise. Ensure that all investments and bank accounts are either in joint names or with nominations. Execute a will to leave your investments to your family members as you desire.
If you are a permanent employee with a secure job or a successful professional or a high networth individual with a regular income flow, then you should liberally spend money on all good things of life. This will inject more money in the economy resulting in increased demand for goods and services and trigger economic revival. Do not bargain when you buy from street or local vendors. Their earnings are marginal. Support your neighbourhood stores who meet your needs during the lockdown, instead of buying online. Increased spending will be a great service to the nation.
However, those with uncertain jobs or business should conserve cash by minimising their needs and spending on bare essentials. At the same time, you should explore an additional source of income using your skills, competence and enterprise.
These days employees should not criticise or complain if they don’t wish to be retrenched. They should willingly accept a restructured pay package and improve their competence to contribution to the business of the employer which will make them indispensable. Those who are out of job should enhance their skills and competence to be more useful to the business and use possible contacts and other networks without hesitation to get a suitable job.
Small and medium business enterprises should find ways to redce costs and increase productivity and efficiency by using technology and innovation. Negotiate and restructure salaries and wages of staff till business revives. Enterprises which have liquidity should pay their suppliers promptly and if possible, give them advance. This will help them to survive and build a strong relationship. Builders and real estate developers with borrowed funds having unsold inventory should dispose the stocks with less margins or even at a loss to have liquidity and to prevent action by financial institutions.
Senior citizens should empower themselves with digital knowledge and skills to manage their affairs from the comfort of home with their smart phones. Learn internet banking for fund transfers to pay utility bills; learn to use applications for online ordering of food, medicines, goods, taxi booking; operate email accounts; participate in webinars, conferences, meetings through internet applications. The best way to learn is from your grandchildren.
Women good in knitting, embroidery, artwork, cooking, teaching, grooming, music or any other skill should market their services through online social media or self-help groups to support family income.
Remember these are very challenging times for everyone, which will not last for long. Face it proactively with a positive attitude. Explore every possible opportunity and make the best use of it.
The writer is member of RC Mapuca, RID 3170