Society

Is there a life after a pandemic?

Coronavirus Russia

Social standards must be changed significantly after the quarantine. The state needs significant courage for non-standard decisions, weak points identification and the fundamental changes that support the state institutions returning to normal economic life and work – all this with the epidemiological danger decrease simultaneously. To make the society and citizens to feel safe, it is necessary to finally establish communication “state-society”. Promote Ukraine learned from the experts how the lives of Ukrainians should change after the pandemic.

Sofia Araslanova, General Director of the Home Appliances Ukrainian Importers Association, Member of the Ukrainian Business Counsel Supervisory Board

The coronavirus has ruthlessly exposed the failure of several government institutions.

  1. Ukraine’s medical system has needed the reforms for a long time and they cannot be postponed.

The state medical institutions condition, the medical workers’ provision with the necessary means of protection, the lack of the appropriate recommendations of the relevant ministry for both state medical institutions and commercial ones are under critical conditions – all this indicates that the Ministry of Health in its current form is a profanation. Such a kind of «Potemkin village», when de jure it exists, but de facto the functions have not been performed by it for a long time.

Today, the issues of creating an epidemiological monitoring system, the need for extensive testing the citizens for the virus, funding of medical institutions, the development of critical situations protocols are really crucial. The Ukrainian physicians’ skills have to be developed and improved, so the access to the latest developments in medicine and regular professional trainings are to be provided by default.

Epidemiological surveillance and extensive testing will give an opportunity to have a reliable epidemiological picture. Based on this the state will receive the possibility to take decisions and not to make mistakes at the expense of business bankruptcies and economic collapse.

  1. Ministry of Education.

We live in the 21st century, in the age of the Internet, new technologies, virtual reality, etc. Nowadays, one can get on a tour of the Louvre, the Hermitage, use the materials of world-famous libraries, get anywhere in the world with the help of the Internet, without leaving home.

Tell me, if our children can do this by attending the classes in our schools? Are our schools properly equipped, do teachers have the technical ability to show and explain this in class? What do you know about digitalization at school?

Meanwhile, online learning gives all the opportunities for quality education to the children who have a high degree of self-organization and do not have the ability or desire to spend the most of the time in the school building due to different reasons (eg. athletes, dancers and introverts, who find it easier to concentrate without foreign objects). Now one of the problems that children and parents appeal to when criticizing standard education is the passive, even apathetic attitude of both parties to the learning process. Teachers are motivated to transfer children to private lessons, most children complain that «boring, uninteresting, teachers miss lessons, do not explain anything and immediately announce a seatwork.» This was confirmed by quite a persuasive situation of unavailability of online training during the quarantine. Only 20-30% of teachers now perform their direct duties with clear regulations (material control).

  1. Official employment.

According to the latest polls, 75% of Ukrainians have lost their earnings during two months of the quarantine. Some because of a job loss as a such, some – because of wages cuttings. And the question «if I were officially employed, would I have been more protected under this situation?» is worth responding sincerely, first of all, to myself. If so, perhaps, we will give a priority to the formal employment and a socially responsible employer when looking for the next job. The taxes are usually deducted from the official salary. But maybe even our society’s perception that «avoid paying taxes is great» will be changed. And we start to respect the enterprises that provide us with official jobs, and the budget – with revenues more. After all, this is the necessary mechanism for the income redistribution in any society.

  1. The State bodies’ information and communications of the citizens.

Any lack of information causes fear and panic. This means that it increases the probability of errors. Fear blocks consumption and the economy. Our government agencies have had a habit of «keeping quiet» about what was happening, patient statistics, forecasts and exit strategies since the Iron Curtain. So to make society and its citizens feel protected, it is necessary to change the customs and establish «state-society» communication. Moreover, the understanding of the state further strategy will allow entrepreneurs to plan their activities and reduce unemployment.

Today, the whole progressive world is preparing for a new wave of epidemics in the fall. And it is necessary both for society and the state to get ready for this fully armed, in particular, address current shortcomings in governance systems and strengthen the institutions to minimize the restrictions on economic activity.

It will also take courage to make non-standard decisions taking into account the Ukrainian realities, e.g. the absence of financial security cushion, and the impossibility to support the business. After all, no business can withstand the blower «turning off/turning on» the economy, it just cannot adjust or it will take titanic efforts and costs that will not remain an economic efficiency to either business or the state.

And honestly: some of the quarantine’s first wave restrictions were stemmed from our national characteristics, mentality, disobedience and weak social discipline. The society should be sobered up and tested for its social activity to reduce the number of contacts, to evaluate their risks and analyze all the habits, desires, consumption. Our amazing national feature is the ability to unite ourselves in difficult times for Ukraine. So let’s help the economy survive with our public awareness.

Vadym Volodarsky, Credo Law Firm

The processes of combating queues and crowds should be a national priority. The efforts to avoid queues should be everywhere: in public institutions, medical organisations, private shops, in utility services companies.

Everyone who has not used public transport made a step towards reducing the number of infected people and deaths. This direction should become an important focus for the state. To make public transport not overloaded by those who already have their own, the harassment policy of car owners should be changed. Particularly, unjustified limitations on stopping and parking should be removed, as well as fencing posts where it is possible to enter the sidewalk so that there is room for pedestrians. Those «aesthetes» who do not like the look of parked cars, as well as kiosks, can not enjoy their whims at the cost of other people’s health.

Providing personal space wherever possible and respecting other people’s personal space should become a national idea. It is a matter of survival. Especially, taken into account the state of our medical system, which is unlikely to improve quickly.

The E-government would help to reduce the citizens’ need to be present in the public and post offices. It requires the release of electronic digital signature receiving, including remotely.

Secondly, the state institutions should be obliged to communicate with citizens by e-mailing, to identify the cases when citizens’ appeals should be added with attached files signed with electronic signatures. Any e-mail account of a public authority should have an automatic function of notification of e-mail delivery. All this is to be applied to the pre-trial investigation bodies as well.

Third, the existing E-court system, which cannot be launched properly, needs to be replaced. Courts must accept any documents from the participants in the process, including claims and other procedural documents, by e-mail (for this a form on the courts’ websites can be implemented), provided that an electronic digital signature can be used.

Natalia Tolub

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