Since its onset in December 2019, Covid-19 has affected all aspects of human life across the world. Be it schooling or work, it is no longer business as usual.
By Shelton Muchena
The fact that Covid-19 is a social disease, with social interaction as its primary means of spread, has brought emphasis on the need to limit physical interaction. People have had to adapt their lives to live around it.
Learners at all levels of schooling have been disadvantaged. Be they pre -schoolers or primary schoolchildren right up to tertiary level. Interns are unable to be on attachment as companies have closed down and adopted a work at home policy to reduce physical interaction.
Companies have had to revisit the concept of supervision as it is limited when one uses traditional models of supervision. However, companies like Avon and Avroy Shlain are not too affected, because they have always had a decentralised international operation.
Part of a university or college degree qualification emphasises the importance of internship or attachment. It is important that a learner grasps a practical application of their theoretical work as well as the university having an assessment of how adept a student is at transferring theoretical knowledge into the practical realm. With the advent of isolationist living, the concept of attachment is impossible to properly assess.
So devastating is Covid-19 that it has changed geo-political constructs and concepts globally.
Malawi’s President, Lazarus Chakwera, recently stated that all election priorities have had to be shelved, because of the viral pandemic. In essence the country’s plans for development and growth have been essentially shelved with all focus going towards surviving this scourge. Economically, Covid-19 has cost the world as much as a global war would.
Among the most severely affected industries, a few have been as affected as the entertainment industry.
Zimbabwe has not developed to a level where entertainers can reap financial dividends of note from electronic audiences (e-audiences).
In the country, entertainers make their money from physical shows before crowds. It is now an offence under health protocols adapted to contain the global scourge. Artistes who chose to hold shows on New Year’s Eve have felt the brunt of the law. Crowds, viewed as hallmarks of success at shows prior to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, are now considered super-spreaders and taboos.
Zimbabwe is still lagging behind in terms of media technology, therefore, artistes feel the heat as most audiences cannot afford to go virtual. Traditionally, people pay to physically attend shows, and the idea of paying to watch artistes online is still a very foreign concept. In addition, it is comparatively expensive.
To make matters worse, income sources are subdued, therefore, not many people can afford to engage in wants ahead of needs.
As the dark cloud that is Covid-19, looms, the silver lining includes forcing the Zimbabwean society at large to adapt to modern virtual conferencing methods.
Employees and learners alike, have become acquainted with the use of apps like zoom and Google class.
To some extent the adaptation to electronic means has saved individuals, families and companies money, because some matters that needed physical access before, are now done virtually.
What is imperative is that Internet access be further spread out, and the responsible education ministries at all levels actively engage and come up with viable methods to make e-learning accessible.
More than ever, Zimbabweans, like other global citizens, need to embrace the information revolution with its Superhighway.