This article is written by Abul Rob, CEO of UK’s Halal Eat and Head of Sales Marketing, Euro Foods Group
Just over six weeks ago, I was lying in ITU at the Royal London Hospital fighting for my life with COVID-19, gasping for air. I really thought that this was it for me and I even said goodbye to my family and categorically left instructions for DNR- Do Not Resuscitate - to my heavily pregnant wife.
My state of mind was clear, but my body was a wreck and I felt life withering away! I hadn’t given up on life, but it seemed my body and immune system had.
After a six-day stay in hospital, with litres of oxygen, IV antibiotics, watching people next to me fading away, I fought the virus to breathe another day! That was all only possible with the intervention of the dedicated healthcare professionals, the constant support from my family, and the thought of holding my children.
I returned home frail, with constant fatigue and lingering side effects. I had difficulty breathing and a ferocious cough due to severe pneumonia. In this condition, I returned to face another, new, challenge: the closure of the economy and the direct casualties of this to control the spread of the virus.
My inbox pinged, I was suddenly furloughed from work under the UK government initiative to protect jobs, and my wife was out of work with no financial support other than State Benefit. As a family, like millions of others, we have been affected by this virus and it has shaken our lives to the core!
Survival is no longer about not catching the virus but it is also about surviving the ramification of it. This pandemic will re-shape us all, how we work, play and pray. Every aspect of human interaction will be re-shaped as we embrace the utilisation of technology to interact at a social and business level.
I chose digital technology and social media platforms to warn others on the importance of social distancing and what the virus does from an eyewitness and survivor perspective. This wouldn’t have been possible unless such innovations existed and my voice wouldn’t have been amplified to over 140,000 people who saw my video post on LinkedIn.
The global virus pandemic has destroyed lives and has taken loved ones from us. It has made the air cleaner (is the virus nature’s revenge, who knows?), with decreased factory production, less air travel and fewer cars on the road. At every level it’s challenged us as human beings, it has made us think, adapt and embrace technology. The aftermath landscape will see global economic output decline and a shift in wealth with new business emerging out of the ashes.
As an entrepreneur and Senior Manager of Euro Foods Group, with an annual turnover of £100 million, our foundations were also shaken even though our business was diversified into other sectors. As a multi-national business, we have had to adapt through utilisation of technology, allowing our staff to work from home, re-model our business processes, become leaner and more efficient to remain in business in this uncertain climate.
Today is the dawn of new beginning. For me and many others it’s time to press [RESET] as we embrace the new challenges ahead.
Hindsight is wonderful and history will judge how we lived through these moments, how we survived an invisible killer, how we clapped for the health workers, how we sang from the balconies, how we integrated into the Digital Matrix, the surrender of our privacy, the acceptance of new measures such as “Immunity passport” and the social and physical interaction with our colleagues, friends and family.
I miss the hugs, I miss the greeting kiss, I miss the handshake to say hello and I really miss the handshake to close a deal! Life will continue, but it will never be same.
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