Like many people I know, growing up, my Mum wanted me to become a Medical Doctor. It was a thing of pride. Every family wanted to have one, wanted to know that they had someone within close reach who can offer medical advice and provide guidance when needed. It was about pride, safety, convenience, and comfort. Life happened, and today I am far from being a Medical Doctor.
However, listening to the news today, I am in fresh awe of Medical personnel around the world at this time – Doctors, Nurses, Lab Scientists, and so on. In Italy alone, over 3500 medical staff are infected. In the USA, medical personnel are complaining about a shortage of essentials such as masks, ventilators, test kits, beds, and so on, which is putting themselves and patients at risk. This is the reality almost everywhere, and I can only think to myself if the USA and Europe are struggling this much with such advanced medical system, what is the fate of countries like mine?
These are tough times to be in the Medical Profession. They all have families and loved ones, children waiting for their parents to come home, parents praying for their children to be safe as they work, spouses hoping for the best and so on. They are not doing this to earn a salary, they are doing this to serve us all, save as many as possible and rid the world of this deadly virus.
Today, I want to take this moment to celebrate all Medical staff around the world. From China to the USA, the UK to Italy, Nigeria to France and the rest of the world, YOU GUYS ARE HEROES, and even if you don’t get to hear it so much, WE HONOUR YOU! WE CELEBRATE YOU! WE APPRECIATE YOUR SACRIFICE!
For those of us who are not Medical personnel serving at the frontline at this time, I want to encourage us to be kind to one another. If we can’t help, let’s not make things worse.
* If you are in a business selling essential items, please this is not the time to exploit people. The temptation is high to sell, sell, sell and maximize profit but remember, this will pass and people won’t forget your exploitation or sacrifice. Yesterday, at a supermarket, something we normally buy for N3,900 was now selling for N4,635. This can’t be the way we approach things now, let’s be kind to one another.
* If you are a business not offering essential services or even if you do but have staff who are not necessarily required in the office for it to function effectively, please get them to work from home. The more people we have moving around, the more the chances of this spreading. The more it spreads, the more the pressure on our medical system, and the longer it takes for this to be over.
* If convenient, businesses should plan to pay salaries or a portion of it early so people can stock the needed essentials for their homes and families.
* As individuals working for businesses, understand these are difficult times. If you are working from home, do your best work and don’t spend your employer’s time watching Netflix and playing games. Be responsible.
* Individuals and businesses should give. Help donate essential items such as food items, face masks, sanitizers, etc., to those who need it. We can plan to visit a hospital and give free lunch or sanitizers to all medical personnel, etc.
* As individuals, let’s follow the guidelines shared by WHO – such as wash your hands for 20 secs regularly, keep social distance, avoid crowded places, and stay home if within your control. Let’s all contribute our quota to make this a thing of the past. We are in this together and all responsible.
* As business owners, please stay strong. There are hard decisions to be made and difficult times ahead for many in the light of dwindling revenue. While it is not easy, please choose empathy over profit. In the end, you will be grateful you did.
Finally, let’s stay calm. This too will pass, and humanity will win; better, stronger and hopefully more united. Let’s spread love and not hate, peace and not war, joy and not sadness, encouragement and not fake news, helpful tips and not panic. God bless us all.
My condolences go to families who have lost loved ones at this time, may God comfort you. Stay safe out there people and once again, be kind to one another.