The COVID-19 pandemic has come to stay. Everybody is saying it. Most people have accepted this fact after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that this pandemic would be with us for a long time.
For you and I, the issue now is how to survive. God is so good, the Internet was already in place before COVID-19 struck last December. We were already getting used to life online before the lockdown of the economy.
The challenge for you and I is how to find relevance in the virtual space. We must now get used to life under the new regime of social distancing and all the safety precautions needed to keep COVID-19 at bay. That’s what ought to be on everyone’s agenda.
If the pandemic has come to stay like malaria, cancer, high blood pressure, and other ailments, medical experts have told us to live with it: maintain social distancing, and take all the safety precautions like regular washing of hands, and wearing of face masks. It is now left for you to shift focus and move your business online.
Most young people are hooked on entertainment, unproductive exchanges and other funny stuff that are trending on the social media, instead of looking for how to leverage on this virtual space for self enhancement. There are people who are online twelve hours a day, chatting with friends, reading hate mails, listening to music and watching video or pornography.
Beloved, if you fit this bill, I advise you to do some self-appraisal. Discipline yourself fast before life gives you a severe beating. Life is never kind to flippant and foolish people who waste their precious time on frivolities. COVID-19 is no excuse for you not to work. To survive, you must work. That’s the standard rule.
Men will always survive scourges. Previous serial killers like the Spanish flu, the Bubonic plague, and yellow fever came into our world, caused great havoc and, were ultimately tamed by medical science. COVID-19 will be tamed sometime in the near future.
Nobody should sit back and wait until the pandemic disappears. Whoever does that must be living in a fool’s paradise. You have to live through COVID-19 and relaunch your business. Most nations are easing the lockdown; people are getting back to normal life again. It may not be business as usual like we used to know it; but things are getting better.
Social contacts can never be completely eliminated. We must still gather, interact and do things together, provided we take all the safety precautions. I want to encourage to do the needful; reach out, move out and find your space in the virtual economy now shaping up worldwide. That is the right thing to do.
Young folks should not live with the idea that the internet is a medium to commit cyber crime and perpetuate other criminal activities. Every young person reading this piece should realise that the virtual space has no limit. Its opportunities are limitless. There’s little you cannot accomplish on the internet, regardless of your area of specialty; or where you live in the world.
Most youth want to live in the cities, because that’s where the opportunities are in abundance. Not anymore. Once you have a skill, product or service to sell, you can even live in a remote village; if you are online, people would connect with you. I write this column during my trips, sometimes in my hotel room, or at the reception of an office whilst waiting for someone. Once I finish writing, I send the article from my laptop to the relevant SUN editor. That’s what most journalists do nowadays.
With the advent of the Internet, I believe that full employment, which we could never be achieved in our normal economy, is now possible online, if every employable person knows how to utilise the virtual space to their advantage. Business opportunities are endless in the virtual economy.
Unfortunately, most folks focus more on foolish pastimes, instead of seeking legitimate business opportunities. It is to this group I am speaking today. Don’t yield to youthful passions; find “your level”, as we say in local parlance. Even at my age (65 plus), I am trying to start a new business online. I am not satisfied with living debt-free and in good health in semi-retirement. If anyone has a job for me, I reach out and see them.
Age is never a barrier to success. A lot of opportunities abound for the hard thinker, even in very tight situations. I started this column in the middle of the 2017 recession when Nigerians suddenly faced the nightmare of a distressed economy. Like most people, my businesses were grounded; for want of something to do, I started this column. If you have suffered like most people from the lockdown, look for a way to unlock yourself from the prison of economic stagnation and get going again.
Many optimists know that every bad thing has some positive side to it. Even if you have lost some loved ones to COVID-19, it is not the end of the road. People have been dying before this pandemic and people will continue to die after it has been tamed. Life must go on. While we mourn the dead, let’s remember that the Spanish flu killed about 50 million before it went away; we pray COVID-19 won’t kill as much.
Weekend Spice: Hollywood is one of the mouthpieces of the god of this world
– Rev. Chris Okotie.
Ok folks, thanks for reading. Let’s connect again next Friday. Stay motivated.
•Ayodeji is an author, rights activist, pastor and life coach. He can be reached on [email protected] and 09059243004 (SMS only)