From the Top Desk, Waterpas 2021 (updated 29 March 2021)

By Jannie Moolman, Moolman Group Chairman

A year later, hope beckons

At the start of 2020, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would be writing about the global impact of a pandemic caused by a virus. Now it’s already a year later.

Although warnings about a possible viral outbreak were forthcoming for some time from thought leaders such as Bill Gates, this particular corona virus still managed to catch us completely off guard. In some ways I think us as humans are programmed to avoid thoughts about our own mortality. You don’t wake up every morning fearing every peril or danger lurking out there.

That is why we were surprised that something like COVID-19 could impact our lives so severely over the past 12 months.

In context though, we have to remember that mankind has survived many outbreaks of pestilence and pandemics over the years. Yet, sizeable portions of populations were decimated throughout history, mainly because of bad hygiene and ignorance.

Edward Jenner discovered a vaccine for smallpox in the late 18th century. Louis Pasteur developed a cure for rabies, anthrax and female birth mortality much later. Penicillin was only discovered in 1928 (less than a 100years ago), while cases of polio, leprosy or typhoid are rarely seen nowadays.

In modern times, medical science has progressed in leaps and bounds. So much so that a number of COVID vaccines are already being rolled out globally, including in South Africa.

This means, just like with previous global health emergencies, our lives will improve again over time. I always remind myself that, although things are still pretty challenging, all things considered we actually do live in the best of times, as hard as that is to imagine right now. There are way too many things to list here that we are humbled by and grateful for.

Having said that, our thoughts remain with the families and friends of those we know and love that have passed away in the wake of COVID-19. This includes a partner, professional engineer and senior executive of one of our major tenants. A dozen people in our own business and members of our family have fortunately recovered from the disease.

So, for the rest of 2021 and beyond, let’s continue to look forward to a future in which life will return to normal, albeit a new normal in which the digital transformation of all our lives will continue at pace. The virus will be around for a long time still and could even become endemic, as others have.

But beat it, we will! In the meantime, let’s focus on what we can control in our own businesses and personal lives. Take all necessary precautions please and above all, stay safe.