The Minister of Health is crying.
The Prime Minister vacillates between bouff and his version of softened communications.
The population is suffering from pandemic fatigue with no end in sight.
Women continue to be abused, murdered and raped.
All of this is on display on nationwide television and social media, and all these are ingredients for a recipe for a psychosocial explosion which will impact us for years to come. The pot is starting to boil, and no one is moving to turn off the stove.
Now is the time for our leaders to collaborate to overcome the healthcare, social and economic challenges created by this pandemic. Collaboration is our only solution. In the absence of joint efforts by our leaders, the economic loss we have experienced will lead to a catastrophe of incomparable proportions.
Of course, the times are uncertain. Intellectually we know that some measure of stability will occur when we reach herd immunity or have vaccinated one million persons. Until then, we have to live with COVID-19 and the death and destruction which it is bringing.
How to minimize that death and destruction is not even a million dollar question. It requires a comprehensive plan with a communications strategy to engage the population in what is being implemented.
DJs, communications practitioners and gurus offer their suggestions and proposals both publicly and privately. From my observations I have no evidence of the roll-out of a comprehensive, planned, sustainable Communications Plan. Weekly press briefings do not constitute a communications plan and strategy. It is just one tool used to brief the media, to disseminate data about parts of a strategy and announcing upcoming stages of the strategy and how they will be implemented. Like the virus, the strategy seems to be invisible.
In times of war, leaders park their politics aside and collaborate to fight the war to the end. Why haven’t we taken the same approach to COVID-19? It is a war which we must win. Maybe if the population sees our leaders collaborating to find solutions their behaviours might change.
We accuse the population of being lawless and disobedient and try to treat them like children who must be grounded. Well IT IS NOT WORKING! If your cupboards and wallets are bare, you will not remain indoors and hope for a saviour. If your choice is between purchasing a mask or some rice, the rice will take priority. People are forced to find every available coin and to satisfy their basic needs.
Keeping us all safe requires an improved level of trust of both the system and the people who operate the system. Approximately 350,000 citizens voted against the Prime Minister, so this might not be the best time to implement traditional methods of trust-building. Some unconventional methods need to be employed. It is possible that those persons may respond differently if they see collaboration between the two political parties.
For us to win this war the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition must come together to engage their communities and the population. We are losing the war against crime, we cannot afford to lose the war against COVID-19 because our leaders are unable to collaborate. The time is right for collaboration and you have a collective responsibility to do whatever is necessary for our country in a manner that doesn’t destroy it while trying to save it.