Dr Innocent Nahabwe
We are already changed completely by COVID19.
A few years back, one wonderful lady Carol, who I didn’t know personally came out suffering from Cancer.
People mobilised by my friend Muhereza Kyamutetera, came together and collected money to send her to India for treatment.
Unfortunately, she passed on (RIP). Months after, a friend got cancer, we were worried. She went to India and returned cancer free. 100% cancer free. She had defeated the monster – Cancer!
Now she is an anti-cancer activist.
Asked what the difference between her and Carol was, she told me, “Early diagnosis!”
When you catch a disease early, you increase your chances of beating it. Since then I got a habit of checking regularly every quarter.
The tests will be a story for another day.
Today, I wanted to take my routine check-up at Lancet so I called to find out if they were open.
The gentleman at the reception told me, I shouldn’t worry.
They can come pick the sample and do the tests, send me results on mail.
Well I always get my results on mail but I had never ever thought it was going to be possible to have these guys come over to pick samples.
I almost stopped going through these tests because of the process, this is a welcome move. So, essentially these are ‘Safeboda’ of medicine.
I am informed Guardian Pharmacy is also now delivering drugs via Boda boda if you WhatsApp the prescription.
The silver lining of Corona
This monster that is epidemic #COVID that has essentially brought the world business into coma maybe changing us forever- in some ways for the better. Here are the few things I believe will definitely change forever.
Physical meetings maybe a thing of the past:
Who hates long meetings? Me! Often people will insist that you have a physical meeting for things that can be done online.
One time, I got stuck in the jam for 3 hours, arrived at the meeting late, sat in it for 20 minutes and got stuck again the jam for another 3 hours.
I had wasted have a day for a 20 minutes meeting. With Corona, the use of meeting apps such as Zoom, Skype and Stack increased exponentially.
Eric Yuan , founder of video conference app, Zoom has grown to over 200M users in weeks.
Albeit the security concerns, many churches, meetings and party goers are now connecting via Zoom for a meeting or a house party.
Soon, I hope the lock down will end but I don’t see that e-meeting trend stopping. I see more and more people meeting over cool apps.
The 40-minute limitation for the free version means, meetings will be shorter and to the point as you can show your screen and cut out pleasantries.
Food, Groceries and delivery business
Here, I might be over optimistic but most of us grab a boda to go to a supermarket or to the market or to a hangout. The lockdown has seen bodas zooming all over town delivering food, merchandise, etc.
This, without the passengers. I think that would be great, Some restaurants like KFC and Café Javas have their own Bodas.
So when the kids demand for KFC, you simply go to Jumia or Safeboda app and order, in minutes, your food will be with you.
There is a saving, their delivery fees are a lot smaller than bodas would cost and you can use boiled water at home instead of adding a soda. It also saves us on the accidents.
The casualty ward in Mulago is full of boda boda accident victims- let them fall alone.
So, I see supermarkets continuing to have delivery systems and changing shopping and food business completely.
Walk to work
After the offices were closed completely and transport was stopped, many people are simply walking to and from work- people have taken to the streets.
Our roads are now decorated with people of all shapes and sizes working out.
My brother who used not to work out because he does a full time job, a gig and studies in the evenings now does 10Kms daily. Psychologists say you need 21 days to form a habit.
People are making habits and it appears the lock down will last more than 21 days. Soon, we shall realise that those hours stuck in the jam are not worth it. If we plan well, we can walk to and from work.
This will be a healthier and cheaper option. Our cars will be for showing off on the weekends. We may keep them to only picking kids maybe.
I anticipate a drop in the traffic. (sorry fuel station owners) Beyond this, I see running, walking and dance classes getting more subscriptions.
There lies opportunity if you can have people subscribing to your dancing class and streaming it via Zoom etc. There is money, made simply and cheaply to set up.
Talking about health, I also anticipate a bigger push for healthier eating. Information available that has been all over TVs, phones etc. was that healthier bodies stand a better chance against the virus.
My daughter who hates cabbages now eats them because the message on TV got to her (and trust me TV takes a lot of our lockdown time). Children are good students but many adults are eating oranges and lemon to increase our immune system.
Obesity is also suggested to be a risk. If a person can do a “KFC” of salads and healthy smoothies, I am sure they will do well. More so if they had an app and can deliver. Cashless the way; Money is now known to be dirty.
It has always been but we never cared. Some keep the money in their socks other in their bras.
Many years ago in high school, a classmate used to keep his money in a pit in the school farm.
He would dig a small hole and after selling his “treasure” , put the money in a kaveera, bury it in the pit and deposit excreta over it.
That way it was safe. That’s how dirty money can be! We knew it was dirty but didn’t worry. Now we know it can give you a virus. People are scared of paper notes.
Most supermarket workers are putting on gloves and disinfecting often after touching money.
The artistes that used to wallow in cash after singing in South Sudan may not do the same anytime soon. That coupled with the increasing need for cashless money to pay for online services such as Jumia and the improved flexibility of movement of cash from the account to mobile money, I see more people going cashless.
No more handshakes:
Who came up with this by the way? What were they thinking? Yes, I miss the bear hugs by my kids as we have agreed to new ways of greeting.
I see us more used to Hello Daddy and good night daddy instead of the peck from the girls. Definitely Corona won’t leave us the same.
Ther author is a serial entrepreneur and author of the book: Treating Small Businesses