COVID-19 has disrupted our lives in a way never done in recorded history. As I write, 81% of the global workforce or a staggering 3.3. billion people have had their workplace fully or partially closed. For each day the shutdown continues, hundreds of thousands of jobs and livelihood are lost increasing the misery among all kind of professions and jobs. As there is no medicine against viruses and the nCOV2019 mutilates at a rapid pace making it increasingly difficult to find an effective vaccine and as according to scientists, the Virus is not going to go anywhere, the possibility of us getting back to our old ways looks increasingly remote-at least for foreseeable future. Therefore, it is going to be the new normal: walking around with face masks, standing in ques but away from each other; avoiding all unnecessary travel, especially with the fact that airlines are forced to keep seats vacant for social distancing reasons which will mean that each passenger pays 3 to 4 times the normal fare which would be unaffordable to many; takeaways rather than restaurant dining; eat at home rather than eat out; family more than friends......
As consumer spending and habits change, that would surely be going to impact many businesses that would, in turn, affect jobs and livelihoods. The future ahead looks very unpredictable and unclear and it is terrifying not to know where we are headed or what is going to happen and how our lives are going to be impacted on the long run. I hear many optimists say that humans have faced all sorts of challenges and therefore we will also overcome the latest challenge. I am sure we would. However, what we need to remember is that evolution has been long and painful. At every stage of evolution, humans have learned to adjust to reality. Those who failed, perished. So I do think the current situation is no different and it requires us to accept, embrace and adjust to the new reality. Those who sleepwalk by refusing to accept the change will meet the same fate as everyone else in history.
As a business, Joscocare has been preparing for the impact since January as soon as the news of the Virus came through and the fact that our business has been ploughing on against all odds and successfully continued to supply 100% of our Clients requirement is a testament to our resilience, contingency planning, commitment and vision. When most recruitment agencies stopped work and kept their workers home, we have been actively recruiting and giving enough work to all those who wanted to work. As a Care & Nursing Agency, we wanted to play our part in the fight against the Virus and many of our valiant care staff voluntarily came forward, especially during the initial stages, to look after the residents in our Nursing and Care Homes who were the most vulnerable who displayed symptoms of COVID-19 when many of the permanent staff stayed away frightened, the Homes were panicking and for the government, the only focus was the NHS. Our brave staff still put the needs of our Clients and their clients ahead of their own and work day in and day out in the face of tremendous challenges and adversity. I am sure their sacrifice has been comforting and solace to many who are either still fighting for their lives or have succumbed to the Virus. Dear Joscocare colleagues, you are real heroes and we are all so proud of you!
We know everyone is going through hard times and as a staffing business, we never tried to exploit the situation for our monetary benefit. Our charge rates to our clients remained the same although the challenges were anything but normal. Because we believe a friend in need is a friend indeed. There is a reason why we are in Care business and that is not just for profit but to help and that is what we demonstrated and continue to demonstrate during these unprecedented times. As an employment business, our primary focus is to ensure all our star workers have enough work and money to live their lives and we will do all we can to protect our staff and help them to go through these times with more certainty than millions of others. I am sure the good work we do will help us to keep our jobs and contracts and that Joscocare will be the Agency of Choice for all our Clients and for many others out there having seen our commitment, quality, reliability and work ethics.
So our saga continues. Like most businesses, we too are worried about what the future holds. However, we are also confident that we can face the future together-adapting, adjusting and above all accepting changes.
Shaju Jose MD