Baptista Sarah Gebu’s The Future of Work Capsules (2) … Learning from the past to prepare for the future: Would COVID-19 be remembered soon in history?

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Do you think the world economies will continue to maintain social distancing, avoid hand shake, ban social gathering, and keep children away from school, among its many protocols now and into the distant future in observance of the novel corona-virus?

Will covid-19 and all its announced protocols be remembered soon in history? It appears too earlier for the world to conclude if this novel corona-virus pandemic would be remembered in history soon. Available research from previous pandemics will suggest the solution.

Continuing from last week’s feature; my curiosity in finding out if the Spanish flu was able to change society 100 years ago;

According to a documentary aired by the BBC; there was a jump in life expectancy in the short term, because a lot of people who were very ill with, for example, TB, which was a massive killer at that time, were eliminated from the population. They were probably the first to die of the Spanish flu because they were already in a weakened state. The people who were ill died and the people who didn’t stayed healthier. It’s obvious COVID-19 pandemic is killing most peoples with underlining health issues. Most rolled out safety COVID-19 protocols call for the elderly and persons with existing health issues to stay at home. In our time, technological advancement is enhancing our day to day and business activities. Most families are organizing virtual events to include virtual memorial and burial services for their loved ones. This is how covid-19 and the future of work will change society.

There was also a baby boom in the 1920s, with the argument that the flu could have been a contributing factor because it left behind a smaller healthier population that were able to reproduce in higher numbers.

Coronavirus lockdown now is rather putting people OFF having children rather than leading to the predicted baby boom, study suggests. The daily mail reported that in Europe, the uncertainty and fear with covid-19 is leading to an unlikely baby boom post covid-19. The research led by the University of Florence found over 80 per cent of people does not plan to conceive during the COVID-19 crisis. However, by observation for Africa, it appears the baby boom predicted could support the argument. In my little way, I rolled out a twitter poll to find out. 83% of the limited respondent voted very likely with 17% voting very unlikely to Covid-19 baby boom. This change may not be achieved over board.

Among those very vulnerable to the Spanish flu were those between the ages of 20 to 40-year bracket. Normally flu is most dangerous to young children and to the very old as evident with COVID-19, but in 1918, strangely; it was this middle age group. There wasn’t much of a social welfare net, even in wealthy countries, so lots of dependents were left without any means of support because the breadwinners were taken out by the flu. COVID-19 ironically, has not been a respecter of persons, positions, age, and social class. Study shows, it’s affecting the young, day old babies, the elderly, youth and children.  Stimulus packages are being rolled out in our time to support businesses and individuals rendered redundant due to COVID-19 pandemic. The effective implementations of these schemes are left with much to be desired. A possible research area worth investigating.

One of the great tragedies of 1918 is that those dependents just vanish into the cracks of history. We don’t really know what happened to them but we get the occasional glimpse, for example, from a study in Sweden we know that a lot of old people moved into workhouses and a lot of the children became vagabonds. Covid-19 aside all these is introducing to the table, issues of stigmatisation. Join our social enterprise ProHumane Afrique International as we address issues of stigmatization and the way forward in an online zoom event. Register freely today.

Men were more vulnerable than women overall globally, though there were regional variations. Pregnant women were particularly vulnerable and had miscarriages at alarmingly high numbers because, to fight the virus, the body took resources away from the womb and the growing foetus. Some of those babies survived and we know now there’s a lifelong effect called foetal programming. That generation was physically and cognitively slightly reduced. They were more likely to suffer from heart attacks and to go to prison – and came of age just in time to go and fight in the Second World War. Covid-19 a non-respecter of persons makes everyone vulnerable. However, the Taxes Medical Association graph below explains the level of risk one is exposed.

How did healthcare change after the Spanish flu?

In many Western countries, there was a turning away from science after the pandemic because people were dissatisfied with it. From the 1920s, for example, in America, alternative medicine took off in a big way and spread around the world. But at the same time, in countries that had not really embraced the scientific method, you see the opposite effect. China becomes a little bit more scientific after the pandemic. There’s a move to better disease surveillance, better public health, more organized collection of healthcare data, because they saw that to prevent future pandemics they needed to turn towards science.

According to Professor Karol Sikora, an oncologist and chief medical officer at Rutherford Health; it is very likely we have immunity than previously thought and covid-19 could end up “petering out by itself”. There is a real chance that the virus will burn out naturally before any vaccine is developed. “We are seeing a roughly similar pattern everywhere”.

I believe fighting COVID-19 pandemics will not only be effective with the use of vaccines. African centered solutions to our problems could be explored as Madagascar and some local Ghanaians and Africans are reported to have come up with some solutions in place of the use of a vaccine. Local herbs can equally contribute to the fight against the pandemic.

The greatest challenge we face as a generation as put forward by Dr. Sebi is that, in our time now cure is kept secret because of huge profit. “A society that keeps cures a secret so they can continue to sell medication for huge profits is not a real society but a huge mental asylum”.  We are fed by the food industry now that pays no attention to our health and same way we are treated by the health industry which pays no attention to our food. I will encourage you all to make food your medicine other than making medicine your food.  Remember; if the food comes from the plant eat it; if its manufactured from the plant (machine) avoid it. Let’s return to Eden, be agile. You can also join the “my body the temple” campaign as we work towards healthy living with ProHumane Afrique International.

Be guided by Genesis 1:29 when God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed: to you it shall be for food”.

Are there any lessons to learn from one of the world’s most overwhelming diseases in recent history? The world has undergone many pandemics in the past years; at least three serious flu outbreaks – but no pandemic has been as deadly, or as far-reaching. The public health measures we see being legislated today across the world as efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus are one of the Spanish flu’s most enduring effects.

Since influenza or flu, is a virus that attacks the respiratory system. The flu virus is highly contagious: When an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, respiratory droplets are generated and transmitted into the air and can then be inhaled by anyone nearby. Additionally, a person who touches something with the virus on it and then touches his or her mouth, eyes or nose can become infected. Treating people on a case-by-case basis would not be enough – to deal with pandemics in urban settings, governments would have to mobilize resources as if they were at war, quarantining those showing signs of the disease, keeping minor cases separate to those suffering more serious illness, and limiting people’s movements so the disease would burn itself out. Covid-19 is no respecter of person.

It can affect anyone. Valuing the lives of citizens during times like this, should be every government’s priority but not to rather expose the citizen to political events such as electoral registration exercise where the evidence clearly shows poses more challenges and risk to the nation. According to the Ghana Health Service, Ghana currently records 400 average cases daily due to non-adherence to safety protocols. Please take your safety into your hands and be concerned. Let’s prevent touching our mouth, eyes and nose) and embrace washing our hands often with soap under running water, observing social distancing, eat well to boost our immune system and wear our face masks.

It’s too early to know if we’ll remember covid-19, but the precedents suggest we won’t. There were two other flu pandemics in the 20th Century: the 1957 Asian flu and the 1968 Hong Kong flu. About 2 million and 4 million people were killed respectively. We are nowhere near those numbers yet as global death figures as at today July 9, 2020 stands at almost 553,166 deaths according to worldometers.info with total reported cases at 12, 21,962 as the world records 7, 104,758 recovered cases; and yet we don’t compare this pandemic to them. We immediately head for the gigantic one in 1918, which is strange in itself. But they were much worse than this one to date, and we don’t remember them.

Cheer up! Remember today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

Baptista is the C. E. O of FoReal HR Services and manages its social enterprise ProHumane Afrique International. She is a human resource professional with a broad generalist background and a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). Building a team of efficient & effective workforce is her business. Affecting lives is her calling!. You can reach her via e-mail on [email protected]  or follow on our social media pages Linked-In / Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram: FoReal HR Services. Please Call or WhatsApp for all your Recruitment, Training and Development as well as your Relocation Support Service’s needs: +233(0)262213313. Follow the conversation with the hashtag #theFutureofWorkCapsules #FoWC

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