As I write this, we began our first day of Level 4 – a very minor (indeed, almost imperceptible) easing of lockdown restrictions. There’s still no way of knowing how long it will take before some semblance of life – albeit in a totally new way – resumes. The COVID-19 infection rate is largely unpredictable, and – in the case of SA, with its glaring divide between haves and have-nots, formal and informal economies, privileged and deprived communities – its trajectory will not resemble that of other countries.
It’s easy to succumb to depression and despair. However, what’s essential is beginning now, despite the lockdown, to shift into a mental mode that prepares us to return to work. Without that attitude, we’re colluding in our own psychological defeat.
There’s an old, deeply wise adage: “Work is the best remedy.” It remains as true now as it’s ever been. Shifting into action is the first and most important step towards healing, whether it be from grief, trauma, illness or prolonged depression. I call on all our readers, whether they’re executives or entrepreneurs, to wake up tomorrow morning and, even if only metaphorically, get up, get dressed and get ready for a day of hard work. Those of us who’ve been working from home need to jump in and get busy, making no allowances for in-between hour-long breaks of mindlessly watching TV, eating, or commiserating with friends on the telephone or via video-calls. Those waiting to return to physical workplaces nevertheless need to be on mental standby. When the time arrives for us to actually do that, the rate at which our economy recovers will depend on how proactive we are in jump-starting it and staying the course until it’s functioning without life support.
At this time of uncertainty, the best favour we can do ourselves and our country is resisting a mindset of defeat. We’re South Africans. We can do this.
The features in this special online edition of DESTINY all remind us that there’s a massive reservoir of resources, energy, goodwill and hope to be utilised out there, and a future to work towards. That future starts now, even during the lockdown. Let’s get going: we have lives waiting for us and we need to ensure we still fit them.Yours in recovery and resilience –