Taking advantage of the lockdown
At the end of 2019, a pandemic occurred that devastated the world. COVID-19 has so far infected more than three million people around the globe. Countries around the world have taken different measures in order combat the pandemic that has wreaked havoc. Many governments have imposed restrictions on gatherings, schools, religious places and other activities have been ordered to close.
Now, many people around the world are becoming restless and longing for things to open up and go back to normal as scientists are rushing to find a vaccination for the virus. This has been seen in many countries where people protest in hopes of opening back their respective countries.
However, some say that there are any benefits to this lockdown.
One of the sectors that are using this time to their advantages and help people do various things are digital services such as apps, and delivery services. Digital services and delivery services can also use this as trial grounds for their business and how they can grow in the future.
Feleg Tsegaye, founder of Delivery Addis told The Reporter that businesses have been good and challenging; good in the sense that people are looking more and more in to delivery services and challenging because restaurants are losing business as they do not have many customers. However, he added that business is a bit better now after Easter because the fasting season is over.
Feleg, who has run this business for the past five years, told The Reporter that all the employees are taking precautions. All the drivers wear mask and gloves. They have also made mobile payment an option so there would be less interactions with the customers as well as cash transaction can be avoided.
He said that there have been more customers because of the lockdown. “Since economy for many people is tight, we have reduced the delivery price to make it more appealing and affordable to customers and restaurants have also opted for a more affordable menu.”
Delivery Addis has also added delivery from different supermarkets and are also adding many other supermarkets partners this week. Feleg said they decided to include supermarkets in order to help the community to reduce the amount of time that they would have to spend outside risking their health by leaving their house and interacting with people to buy foods or other necessities.
He added that in the long-term people will also get used to the idea of delivery services. He added his company is also doing volunteer work as part of their corporate social responsibility by helping to track emergency care packages. There are many donations that are currently being given to underprivileged communities because of this lockdown so what Delivery Addis does is track where the donations are being sent and what the donations include.
“Everyone is learning as we go. So far things here are okay. It feels that Ethiopia has been spared from the worse situation compared to the US and European countries but there is still a lot that we don’t know so we have to wait,” Feleg said, adding that he is still cautious but feels optimistic for the future.
Lastly, he added that people are becoming more open-minded to delivery services. Ethiopians, who are still tradition-oriented, are more prone to going out and interacting with people and negotiating the prices and buying what they need; however, people now can start trying alternatives such as delivery services and understand that some of the alternatives can prove to be a viable solution.
Another positive thing from this lockdown is that it gives people the time to get close to their family. Globalization and economic reasons have made people rush through their time working in order to make economic means without having the time to be relax and spend time with family. This lockdown gives people the time to think about their life and analyze their decisions and how they are living and to learn skills they have always dreamed to learn.
Kidist Tadesse spoke to The Reporter in regard to this matter. She said that “the positive outcome is you will have a break from your busy lifestyle that will give you the opportunity for your mind to be at ease so it will lead you to think more about your life, as you usually don’t have a chance to do so because life is busy”. She added that it has given her more time to spend with her family.
Kidist also told The Reporter that she has gotten time to acquire more knowledge as she is reading books and watching videos. She has finally gotten the time to read books that interest her other than her studies. She said that she and her family hangout a lot when compared to before the lockdown. She said that her siblings are usually busy with their school and she herself is an engineering 5th year university student as well as her parents are busy running a restaurant but now it has given them all a break for a sweet family reunion. She noted that she has also started to improve her cooking as she has the time to practice and learn from her mother,
She concluded that you have all the time in the world so you can be calm and think about life, to analyze what your passion is and discover your interests. “We will never get a chance like this in life to just settle down analyze your life and catch up with family.” It can be seen as a blessing in disguise in terms of the opportunity you get to spend with you family and work on yourself by reading books.
Consequently, the lockdown has become a huge burden economically on many countries. While many are suffering from the lockdown especially the economy that might not be the case for environment. Many studies show that the environment is healing because of the less pollution caused by traffic jams and industries. One study reported by the Forbes show that the Coronavirus lockdown that consequently reduced pollution has likely saved tens and thousands of lives. Additionally, National Geographic reported findings of new evidence that have not been peer-reviewed, shows that COVID-19 may have been more lethal because of pollution.
At least for now there is less pollution and many cities can enjoy cleaner air and nature is healing. One of the dramatic evidence in regard to this was that people in some parts of India where finally able to see the Himalayas for the first time in a about almost 30 years as the lockdown had decreased pollution as reported by CNN.
Contributed by Sesina Hailou