Are we reaching a tipping point here ? Corona pandemic is coming harsh on india with it’s different faces like lockdown, economic slump and now unemployment. With no approved corona virus vaccine or drug therapy to stop this pandemic so far, it’s time to introspect and decide what we can do best in the present situation. Corona is not only hitting us hard on healthcare front but also on economy and it’s far reaching implication.
Examples are many, but announcements like 25% job cuts by both Ola & Uber show us a glimpse of the gloomy future ahead. Unemployment was almost 9% in march and but now it has gone up to approximately 25% as per latest statement by Centre for Monitoring of Indian Economy (CMIE). Surprisingly, Urban unemployment picking up faster than rural unemployment in current reports.
With unemployment rates escalating sky high even for countries like US and Britain, India will be no exception in coming times. With GDP falling to 3.1 % in FY 2020, It is worth noticing here that the ‘salaried class’ is the worst hit , as it is most difficult for a full time salaried employee to quickly get another reasonable job with comparable salary (The New Urban dilemma).
Today, what it looks like is that covid-19 is going to stay with us for a long time or at least for a near future. As per the recent medical developments, we are at least six months away from any concrete vaccine or cure which can halt this pandemic. Currently the world does not know what is the best way out and this fact is well exemplified by the fact that world leaders and WHO are moving from hydroxychloroquine to Azithromycin to anti-viral medicines to vaccine without any success.
We can hope time and again that someday a miracle medicine or vaccine would fall into our lap and the entire situation across the world would come back to normalcy within no time. However, pragmatism tells us that now is the time to learn to live with Corona, sick businesses, unemployment and salary cuts.
Though the Indian government has already announced a package of 20 lakh crore to revamp Indian economy, but we all know that is going to be too little for a country with population close to 130 crores and majority unemployment expected in unorganized sector.
Slump has worst hit industries are aviation, travel, tourism manufacturing and hotel .This situation is not going to improve soon as Indian economy by large will always have a far reaching reflection of the global economy.
It goes without saying here that the stress of salary cut, unemployment or sick business can lead to insomnia, elevated blood pressure, raised sugar levels, headaches, irritability, impotency and what not. Thus it is important here not to allow this stress to get over you.
Thus it’s time now to concentrate on your mental and physical health and make sure that in spite of all adversities we come out strong at the end of this pandemic and survive its economic implications.
Few steps in this direction can be –
1) Understand the fact that this is a temporary situation and it will change within few months.
2) Focus on survival for next 6-9 months rather than chasing goals or making career plans.
3) It is most logical to focus right now on just securing a job or business even at the face of a salary cut or low income.
4) It’s high time to concentrate on your health. Set fitness goals, keep a healthy diet and be regular in your efforts. Remember that health is your most useful asset.
5) Check your thought process, be positive, keep away from negative people and negative influence. (Also…..Sometimes cutting watssap/Facebook can prove to be really helpful)
6) Cherish this time with your family members and interact with them as often as possible. Remember…they need you as much as you need them in this hour.
7) Pick up a hobby like painting or guitar or singing or any other activity which gives you a chance to be creative and enjoy at the same time. (Researchers has proved that learning a new trait or engagement in recreational activities lowers the stress levels and boosts immunity.)
8) Try focusing on the larger picture of life which includes your family, friends, health and purpose of your life (Not ‘Aim’ of your life).
9) Accept the fact that worrying about the future is not going to make it any better. Be pragmatic about the situation and set the future goals practically.
10) It’s high time to get enrolled in any self help session or training or education program for which you never had time earlier. Join any weekend or online course which interests you and adds to your CV/expertise.
11) Maintain your cool, avoid getting involved in confrontations or indulged into conflicts over petty issues. (A battle avoided is a battle won).
12) Avoid the temptation of chasing the future. Don’t try to keep a track of every movement movement around (professionally). ‘Too much’ knowledge can be sometimes ‘too little helpful’.
13) It is a golden period for making new relations and rejuvenating the old ones (friends,relatives, professional, cultural &emotional). Catching up old college & school friends over a beer might be a good idea.
14) Embrace the change. Take life as it comes. Life may have given you a different ‘question paper’ this time….but marks are awarded for ‘attempting’ this time….
15) Prioritise your time and effort. Everyone in your life expects your share of time and attention during this period.
16) Maintain your confidence and be hopeful for a brighter future because tough times don’t last, but tough people do.
Author’s recommendations –
This article is specifically useful for those who are between the ages of 30 & 55 ( ambitious, career oriented, high fliers, focused and with go-getter attitude).