Be COVID-19 creative


Be COVID-19 creative

Warrick Lattibeaudiere

Monday, May 04, 2020

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“Need teaches a naked woman to spin (wool).”

— Danish proverb

BUSINESSES are closing their doors and jobs are being cut by the minute. The price of oil has collapsed, and consumer confidence is at an all-time low. In fact, the words from the mouths of many are: “Brace for a depression.”

COVID-19 has literally turned lives upside down.

This sharp change, arguably, is difficult for some because humans, being creatures of habit, will scarce leave the comfort zone of a routine. Now, that routine has changed, and while we can do little about the physical change, we surely can change our mindset.

With survival as topmost on the human agenda, necessity will force us to be inventive — the very thread of the Danish proverb above.

Creativity is a healthy lifeline.

Eat what you grow, grow what you eat

Comparatively, few are inspired by the agricultural industry. This is ironic since the staff of life is bread. Measures implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19 have crippled the tourism industry, forcing many to look closer at the black sheep in the economy: agriculture. Be it cash crops or subsistence crops, we may be able to make space to eat or sell some of the produce of our own hands, especially if COVID-19 has axed our nine-to-five jobs. Get planting!

Make your hobby make you money

It's always good to start small to test the waters with a new venture. The good thing is, a hobby is something you like. Think it through; do a feasibility study.

Social media is an excellent platform to use to find out who is buying. Use the Internet and scholarly sources to learn more about your hobby. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and WhatsApp contacts allow for good networking and spreading the idea. One colleague has called up business prospects to pique their interest, so get thinking.

On that law of demand and supply

Market forces change but laws remain the same, such as that of demand and supply. COVID-19 has shut down bars, clubs and restaurants. Many Jamaicans, though, have ventured into business, not so much because they like it, but because it is profitable and in demand. In this regard, many vendors have gone into spray bottles, handkerchiefs, sanitisers and mask-ware. People a 'tek han tun fashan', and what a fashion statement these masks and face coverings are making!

A healthy appetite may be unhealthy

Our culture, with its stomach-stuffing agenda, says a “good eater” has a healthy appetite. How misleading, since healthy eating rests more on quality than quantity. Creativity requires cutting back — eat smaller portions, drink more water. Make use of fruits and vegetables, especially the ones in season. Try not to live the life the Joneses seem to be living.

The aim is not to maintain standard of living, but more so to survive. Waste not, want not. Once more, cut back, conserve – the days ahead are yet unsure.

Creativity — a healthy lifeline

The online magazine Psychology Today links creative activity to reduced stress, and observes how getting creative juices to flow helps regulate emotions which are so needed in these unstable times.

Stimulating your brain cells with a new business challenge is well worth it. Your efforts may just be able to sustain you emotionally, physically and economically. It may go further, for many big ventures started with an ounce of creativity.

And, what of the positive spillover effects such creativity may inspire in others?

Whether it be marketing a product in demand, planting a field or garden, writing to inspire self and others, creating a recipe, becoming a blogger, or just finding ways to cut back, be creative and turn the COVID-19 onslaught around and attack COVID-19.

Warrick Lattibeaudiere (PhD), a minister of religion for the past 22 years, lectures full-time in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Technology, Jamaica.

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