Do not lament, draw lessons from COVID-19 pandemic

The Vice-Chancellor African Rural University (ARU) Dr. Mwalimu Musheshe’s article in The New Vision news of 29th June 2020 page 19 giving guidelines on COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic should not only be discerned as a negative phenomenon with lamentations, regrets, and frustration, but something Ugandans and the government can learn from.

The Coronavirus has taught Ugandans how to save meager resources and invest in productive ventures contrary to what they had been doing before the lockdown. It is a lesson for some Ugandans with a poor saving culture, which leads to low investments, low income, and a high level of poverty as a result.

Ugandans need to wake up and not to take things for granted and change their mindset. As a result of what is happening today, things are being done differently. For example, we have scientific weddings, electioneering, preaching/teaching through media platforms, celebrations, anniversaries, burials, among others.

The presidential directive on social distancing, handwashing with soap, wearing of face masks and gloves, as well as staying at home, teach Ugandans the need to observe personal hygiene, sanitation and prevent other contagious and infectious diseases apart from COVID-19 such as cholera, dysentery, ebola, common flue, and other intestinal and bodily illness.

COVID-19 is a lesson to Ugandans they should be creative and enterprising while adhering to stay at home directive from President Yoweri Museveni. Married couples should learn to stay together amicably with tolerance amidst economic hardships and other life challenges. COVID-19 has raised consciousness with a reflection on a philosophy of falling back on agriculture which some people like business community and public figures had been doing differently.

People need to engage in horticulture, floriculture, viticulture, and the government should be analytical on the forward and backward linkages in agricultural production as well as agro-based industries. Ugandans need to take up every opportunity that unfolds during this lockdown that was put in place as one of the ways of fighting COVID-19.

The Government should use this period to invest in big strategic areas and industries based on Macro economies as well as the private sector to enable workers like teachers who are not on the government payroll to be paid their monthly remuneration. The government can also give certain sectors tax waivers to rejuvenate them. Those affected by the pandemic, such as boda-boda cyclists should not just fold their hands. They should use this hardship to seek alternative ways of survival.

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