Living with Uncertainty

As it appeared in the Daily Nation on March 24th 2020
Dr. Lucy Kiruthu

In a flash, everything seemed to change so fast. Schools closed, social gatherings were banned, our physical movement was limited, and working from home was encouraged. These were among the many measures that the Kenyan government took to control the spread of COVID-19. Even though we had witnessed Wuhan – China the Epicenter of the Coronavirus lockdown for weeks, we were certainly not ready for such measures. Already, there were myths about our genetic composition and our weather hindering the Coronavirus spread. Some believed in the myths, others decided to wait and see. In all this, we found ourselves living in uncertain times. We continue to live with uncertainty, not too sure about tomorrow.

Living with uncertainty in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic means many things. It means we are not sure when normalcy will resume. It means we do not know whether it will get worse or get better. It means we do not even know how to prepare for the next day or the next week. We are not even sure about the extent of the spread both locally and globally. Not many people have been tested and its resemblance with a common cold or flu makes it even more difficult to tell apart. The number of infections in Kenya could remain as they are, could go up slightly or it could grow exponentially. We are not even sure of the extent to which the pandemic will affect our economy. Some are preparing for the worst yet others are praying for the best. We crave for certainty, yet in the face of this uncertainty, anything and everything is possible.

Reflecting on the past week makes me realize that life has indeed all along been filled with uncertainties. Life in itself is uncertain; a change could come at any moment. We can lose our jobs, we can suffer a disability, our businesses can shut down, our houses could catch fire, and the like. Such happenings can cripple our efforts to go through another day or they can make us more aware of life’s uncertain nature. This means that it is best to live life as it unfolds, one day at a time. Dealing with life’s uncertainties is not easy. However, by embracing the uncertainties of life with hope and courage we can make life meaningful. We do not know for sure what is going to happen tomorrow. We can, however, choose to get a little more comfortable with aspects of life that we cannot control. Having faith helps us live in an uncertain world.

I believe that the COVID-19 Pandemic will transform some people, some workplaces, businesses and even some industries forever. Are we ready for the change? Have we identified possible permanent changes? Are we taking time to reflect on the meaning of life? Have we considered aspects of life that are especially important and those that can be said to be vanity? Even without knowing what is going to happen the next day, we can take every day as it comes and make the best of it.

Dr. Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer. Connect via twitter @KiruthuLucy

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