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5 Ways Your Business Can Boost Its Productivity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven problematic for businesses worldwide. While many economic factors are beyond the control of entrepreneurs, productivity needn’t be something that declines, too.

Working from home may not be something your company has supported in the past. But if you’re going to survive (and you’re not an essential business), you have to find a way to do it if at all possible.

There are obviously some jobs that can’t work from home. But if your business is one of the ones that can shift their workforce online, you can use the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic to build new infrastructure and productivity for the future.

Working from home can lower productivity if it’s not under the right conditions. Just ask Nicholas Bloom, the widely quoted author of a famous study supporting work from home.

Bloom is ringing alarm bells, because the study he’s best known for was conducted under carefully controlled circumstances. Ctrip, the Chinese company that implemented the work-from-home policy, had a particular set of rules: Only people with a home office could work from home –  no one could come in during the workday except the employee, and every fifth day they would come into the office.

None of those things are happening with the people working from home right now. Because children, partners, and family are all at home, there’s constant noise and distraction. And with people constantly stuck in the house, Bloom is concerned about a huge dip in innovation. There’s no aspect of choice to this either, and some employees just don’t want to work from home. Not everyone is cut out for it.

All of these factors are working against your business’s productivity. But even though the circumstances might not be optimal, there are ways to maximize work from home potential.

1. Use a video conferencing service.

The video conferencing app Zoom has absolutely exploded in popularity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with everyone from Britain’s prime minister to Silicon Valley jumping on the bandwagon. Despite privacy concerns they’re working through, Zoom has cemented its place as the platform of choice for a lot of businesses.

Video conferencing has quite a few advantages for businesses that have to work remotely, beyond the text interactions of a platform like Slack. It makes sure people are actually taking care of themselves, for one  – no one wants to show up on camera looking like they just rolled out of bed. The upending of regular schedules can disrupt routines, and cause people to stop doing the regular maintenance and hygiene tasks they usually take care of. Video can mitigate that.

Video also allows you to see the nuances of communication that are missed through audio-only communication. The most famous nonverbal communication study is often misquoted. It depends on the circumstance. The fact remains, though, that seeing someone’s face and body language helps you pick up on nuances you’d otherwise miss.

Your workforce is probably stuck in the house, but with the Internet, you can bridge the gap. Don’t discount the importance of incidental meetings, too. Be spontaneous. Steve Jobs famously insisted that the bathrooms at Pixar be a long way from the work area so employees would be forced to interact with each other, and it had a huge impact on the innovation of the company.

If you’re discussing something in a text-based app like Slack, don’t be afraid to jump on a quick call to clarify details. Keep your check-in meetings going. Throw reminders in your calendar to have semi-random video check-in calls with people to simulate the sort of incidental meetings you’d get in the hallway, at the coffee machine or water fountain.

Anything you can do to keep that spontaneity will break up the workday and keep the ideas flowing. You don’t even have to talk about work. Social fragmentation is taking its toll on people, and anything you can do to combat that will help productivity, too. 

2. Centralize your information.

If your business information is still scattered across several different platforms that don’t communicate and aren’t accessible online, the COVID-19 pandemic has probably forced you to reconsider.

Using portals and central databases that hold all your information in one place is a huge benefit to your business. CRMs and business management apps are designed to help businesses break down silos between departments, share information, and track their progress and relationships.

Most of the CRMs and other business management apps that work for small to medium businesses are cloud-based, which means they’re also easy to use when you’re working from home.

Many of these apps are rolling out benefits for an economy that’s been pounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, too. For example, vCita, an all-in-one admin app for small businesses, is integrating with Zoom for more remote capability. Appointments that would normally happen in person can now be set through vcita, with payment and reminders taken care of automatically by the platform. Other companies are following suit. Now more than ever, it’s important to make everything as integrated as possible – you don’t want to be left hanging on invoices in economically uncertain times.

It’s far too common for a business, even one of reasonable size, to have sales information in one system, client information in another, product information in a third and its scheduling in five different apps for each department.

If the coronavirus social distancing has thrown anything into sharp focus, it’s that this is completely untenable. Centralize your information now and keep your business on the same page, no matter where employees are working from. Your productivity will be leaps and bounds higher.

3. Keep a routine.

The first thing to slip if you’re working from home, especially if you’re not used to it, is routine. We touched on this earlier in the section about video conferencing. Video chat helps, because you at least have to make yourself presentable if you’re going to be on video throughout the day.

But too many people working from home will let the routine slip, and when you have kids at home, it presents an additional challenge. It’s understandable, especially with family disruptions, so you need to be flexible, but at the very least, insist on a check-in at the start of the day to make sure people are sticking to a set schedule.

Work and personal life can bleed together easily in a work from home scenario. That means you and your employees have a responsibility to be even more on top of routine than normal. Here are some good guidelines to follow.

  • Insist on a regular start time as much as possible. You can adjust start times if needed and allow for flexibility, especially for employees who have kids at home and might be having a difficult time. But make sure that routine doesn’t stop.
  • Ask people to set up a separate area for work. This is a no-brainer for those who already work from home, but if they have the space, it’s important to have a home office that’s separate. If they don’t, at the very least, they need a small space they go to when they’re working that isn’t used for recreation. That helps with getting into and getting out of a work mindset.
  • Send occasional reminders about routine. Remind people to get a good breakfast, physical activity and all the regular things that help with a routine. If they’re not used to working from home the day can disappear fast.

4. Provide an equipment budget.

You probably wouldn’t even think about this if you have a good setup already, but not everyone is set up well to work from home. If they’re using subpar equipment, you’ll see a correlating drop in productivity.

Ask employees if they have everything they need. If one person’s microphone is always a little flaky, cut loose some funds for a new one. A new mouse or keyboard might be necessary. Don’t go crazy unless you have the budget, but if your employees are comfortable and not fighting subpar equipment, they’ll be more productive.

5. Use this time as a reset.

COVID-19 and its ripple effects are a disaster that the world is dealing with collectively. If it’s forced you and your workforce to split up geographically and work from home when you’re not used to it, it’s probably thrown off productivity significantly.

In some ways, a crisis can reveal flaws you might have been able to paper over in easier times. Something like the lack of proper business management software or a VPN would be easy to put on the back burner in regular times. But when stress pushes your business to the wall, you have to take care of the infrastructure you might have been ignoring.

Reevaluate your business. Are you prepared for another crisis like this if it occurs? Will you bring your entire workforce back into the office?

Take advantage of some of the business services you might have ignored if you hadn’t had to move operations remotely. Streamline your meetings. Figure out how to manage projects remotely. Who knows, you might wind up moving more of your operations outside of the office. Use the infrastructure you build through this tough period to prepare you for future success.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the entire world into disarray. But if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you might see a boost from it in the future. Maximize your productivity now, and focus on preparing for the future when you can go back to the office.

Wrapping up

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Business in South Africa is returning to normal, and the economic impact of the outbreak is still being felt

South Africa has eased further the lockdown imposed by the coVID-19 outbreak in a bid to save the economy as business returns to normal. But economists say it could take a long time for the economic impact of the outbreak and the lockdown to ease.

The South African government imposed the most stringent level five “lockdown” across the country on March 26 to slow the spread of the virus. During the lockdown, social activity almost completely stopped and the South African economy was severely hit. Even as the outbreak continues to simmer, the South African government has gradually eased controls in stages. Since January 1, 80 percent of businesses have returned to normal, and an estimated 8 million people have returned to work.

South Africa’s Finance ministry says 690,000 to 1.79 million people are expected to lose their jobs this year as a result of the outbreak and the lockdown. This is a marked reduction from the previous estimate released in April. This comes after official figures showed that between three million and seven million south Africans will lose their jobs this year.

South Africa’s central bank forecasts gross domestic product will shrink 7 per cent this year, the first contraction since 2009. The Federation of South African Businesses expects the economy to shrink by 8.8 percent to 16.1 percent this year.

Even before the outbreak, South Africa’s economy was in a technical recession. Since the outbreak, South Africa’s central bank has cut interest rates three times in a row, lowering its benchmark interest rate by 250 basis points to 3.75%. In terms of fiscal policy, the South African government has launched a total of 500 billion rand (about 17 rand per DOLLAR) of social assistance and economic support programs to help businesses and people weather the storm.

Statistics show that as of the beginning of this month, 6.5 million South Africans had applied for unemployment benefits, and the government had paid 15.8 billion rand for temporary unemployment due to the epidemic.

Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s President, said the government would pay aid for six months but would then need to find new ways to stimulate the economy, shifting the focus of its economic policy from “aid” to “recovery”.

He said that in the future, South Africa will seek economic development under the coexistence of novel Coronavirus. The new development direction includes strengthening localized production of agricultural products and medical care products, developing green economy and vigorously developing infrastructure construction.

Covid-19 gave a strong shot to e-commerce

Online retail may account for less than 2% of total retail sales in South Africa, but the covid-19 pandemic has encouraged consumers to shift to digital shopping and payments, and it has encouraged businesses to adopt online sales channels to keep revenue streams flowing.

“This epidemic is a shot of adrenaline in e-commerce. Jonathan Smit, of PayFast, an online payment processing solution, said: “habits formed now will continue in the future.”

Smit spoke in an interview with Warrick Kernes, founder of Insaka eCommerce Academy, at the PayFast e-commerce virtual summit held online on May 25 solstice 28.

SA businesses embracing online

“Online shopping trends have been happening anyway, but we are now forced to do so.” “Smith said.

According to the latest Nielsen study, 37 percent of south africans say they shop more online, and Smit adds that older people are embracing e-commerce because it poses fewer health risks than grocery shopping outdoors.

While brick-and-mortar retail will remain relevant for the long term, including in developed markets, companies need to use e-commerce as a distribution channel because it is the basis for future growth, he said.

When the nationwide lockdown began in South Africa, Mr. Smit said, PayFast’s transactions declined, but then exploded as people moved their businesses online to continue trading in a certain way.

As a result, the total number of new business account registrations at the online payment gateway has increased by 83% year-on-year since the lockout began. A few days ago, Smit said, it surpassed 4,000 new accounts for the first time in 30 days.

PayFast reported a 226 per cent year-on-year increase in new business account registrations in the food industry since the restrictions were imposed in mid-march. In order to keep trading during the lockdown, many local businesses have shifted their supplies to necessities, leading to a surge in the food industry.

Companies with e-commerce capabilities, such as Granadilla Swim and NetFlorist, can quickly make the transition to the supply of basic goods because they already have distribution channels, delivery relationships and sales platforms.

According to PayFast, grocery stores, supermarkets and bakeries were the retailers that benefited the most in the first two weeks of the lockout, with sales up 357%, while more subdivided product categories emerged, such as pet care and baby necessities. Significant sales growth.

Accelerating digital commerce

‘The epidemic has not created new trends, but has accelerated and expanded the business innovations that have occurred,’ Mr. Smit said.

Looking ahead, he predicts grocery delivery will become more common locally, as it provides consumers with a better way to take their products home without having to wait in line or be crowded.

In addition, he wants physical and online retail to blend more seamlessly. “Whether it’s clicking and collecting, whether it’s going to the store, whether it’s shopping online and delivering to your door, I think it’s going to be ‘retail ‘- part of the same ecosystem and part of the same machine.”



The 10 most important business trends after the epidemic

After a major crisis, two forces often determine the direction of the economy:

One is the habitual recovery, that is, the sharp rebound after a deep fall, This is a natural recovery of human economic activities, after the psychological panic subsided back to normal. There will be bread, and we will surely survive and get through it. It’s just a matter of time.

The other force is that the conditions we take for granted have changed. We are finding that the fundamentals of the economy and business, especially what we took for granted before the crisis, are changing; Or changes that we thought would come a long way later, suddenly become reality. Whether you’re a consumer or an entrepreneur, you’re in it before you know it. Not only are suppliers no longer available, but suppliers may disappear; Not only the user is gone, and the original access to the user channel is not working.

For the first force, I think time and timing are the most important.

For the second force, what we thought was constant has become a new variable, and a flood of new variables has come along, and we face too much uncertainty. The old ways don’t solve new problems. So the process of rebuilding confidence will take longer and meander.

Whether it’s a neighborhood service chain or a major international brand I’m familiar with, I keep hearing that some of their branches or factories quietly closed during the outbreak and then stopped opening.

During the epidemic, about globalization, about the country, about the family, about our environment and the planet, the individual thinks alone and learns about himself through the virus. Also, about business, like to remind you of 10 of the most noteworthy trends for businesses.

The emotional connection between people and technology

Technology is so integrated into our lives that you don’t feel it anymore. My phone and I can’t be separated for a moment. The Internet has changed from a tool to a dependency in daily life, and the collaborative relationship between people and intelligent machines has become closer in work. People and technology to establish a more trusting relationship, in the future, can be virtualized as much as possible.

Technology has gone from disrupting business to being domesticated by business. Taking conference software as an example, the epidemic has brought about a surge in zoom users, and the technology giants have also successively launched conference software, including PC, mobile, conference venue, enterprise level and impromptu, which have created countless subdivided products to serve people’s needs in various scenarios. In Africa, technology companies are pushing for universal mobile payments and timely disbursement of relief funds. The epidemic has accelerated and deepened the pervasive benefits of digital technology, which increasingly needs to be personified in terms of services and products themselves.

Sustainability of consumption

People have paid unprecedented attention to health, from personal health to family health to community health, to the whole environment, to climate change, and to re-cognition of healthy lifestyle. Consumers will personally feel the fragility of the human living environment and embody the concept of sustainability in their consumption.

Some emerging consumption propositions will emerge, focusing on the carbon emissions generated in the production of consumer goods, on the environmental responsibility of consumer brands, on moderate consumption, and on the reduction of waste and garbage generated in the consumption process.

The return of familism This is not only because of home isolation, but also because home and family are places of comfort in an insecure environment and a socially alienated world. Seal the function of the city during the family need to be self-sufficient, restart after economic and normal social life, around the family consumption and service will be increased, a large part of will to take-out from the restaurant, to the kitchen, from theaters to the sitting room, household facilities and the environment will upgrade, surrounding communities of consumption and service mode, will adjust.

Consumers and users are sensitive to identity

The social stratification, grouping and diversification basically take shape online, which is more subdivided and more distinct than offline. People are more sensitive to their identity, and also pay attention to the consumption display and attitude expression of friends and themselves in online social circle. Whether it’s the diary debate or the back-and-forth banter, it’s more sensitive to online identity. Consumers will also be more sensitive to personal privacy.

Flexible office style, new collaborative style, new organizational style

Some tech giants have already announced that they won’t consider returning employees to the office until 2020. Home working combined with office work, including third space work, flexible work, telecommuting will become the norm. This, in turn, will drive the new design and construction of traditional offices, office buildings, and even business buildings, parks and central business districts. Behind this is the change in the way enterprises collaborate with their eco-partners and within enterprises, seeking new efficiency boundaries and innovation possibilities.

The organization and management of enterprises will also change. The performance and performance measurement of the team and employees, as well as the internal management of the company, including the sense of belonging and culture of employees, all need innovation.

Virtual contact

The dynamism and opportunity of business comes from contact. Online contact will replace a large part of offline human contact. Innovations in online contact will erupt. The most obvious manifestation is exhibition, seminar, forum, etc. All large crowd gatherings are unlikely to return to pre-epidemic levels, and in particular large-scale cross-border movements of people will be difficult to recover for a long time. International trade shows will be affected the most, as services related to international trade will move more quickly online.

China’s Canton fair has moved online, while Alibaba’s international virtual fair has become the norm. Virtualization offsets the line and creates new contacts, bringing new results and efficiencies to the entire business and the exchange of ideas.

Redefining the city

The hardest hit areas are in cities, especially international and metropolitan areas. Changes in people’s understanding and behavior of social interaction, public transportation, central business district, and consumption will affect the function and planning of a city. And cities will react very differently.

In London, for example, because people are reluctant to use public transport, the city will open up more sidewalks and bike lanes. In Beijing, people will drive themselves more, resulting in more congestion. These are all for health reasons. Public transport should ensure public health and integrate with intelligent sharing networks.

In addition, cities also need new growth drivers, and China will lead an urban revolution in the field of smart travel, which is a huge industrial cluster: 5G – self-driving/electric vehicles – smart/green/healthy travel – Internet of things/energy system.

Intelligent manufacturing and industrial Internet of things

China is home to the world’s largest manufacturing sector and a hub for global supply chains. The disruption of the supply chain during the epidemic and the difficulty in resuming work will accelerate the process of intelligent manufacturing. Higher degree of automation and intelligence, can cope with supply chain shocks, can maintain the continuity of work. The factory becomes the biggest scene of digitalization, and the use of more sensors, big data, intelligent prediction, detection, operation and maintenance technologies, the coordination between human and robot, the control and coordination between machine and machine, mutual learning and decision-making will speed up the development.

Accelerating change

The impact will accelerate changes in business, which are already evident in some industries, particularly services. Mainstream education became online almost overnight. During the epidemic, some university professors told me that the school required every teacher to master various online teaching tools quickly, because online teaching would be the norm in the future.

After the outbreak, some Chinese cities have become world leaders in the online delivery of government services. The health industry and public health management will depend entirely on big data in the future. Apple and Google have teamed up to create an international health code for billions of users.

Because of external challenges, those enterprises that hesitate to change or look ahead and behind will be pushed forward by The Times, and the boundaries of innovation will be constantly redefined. In the media industry with which I am most familiar, the innovations in marketing of social and short videos in China have inspired some of the world’s biggest brands, some of which have already begun to adjust their marketing strategies. In the field of content, the transition from offline to online has accelerated. For example, Disney has stopped paying salaries to 100,000 employees, but the number of online users of its entertainment programs has exploded. Advertising revenues have collapsed and subscribers are growing fast in traditional media that insist on exploring a paid model for premium content.

Leadership in the epidemic era

Survival: the best leadership, like the great expedition leaders and generals in history, can survive a life-or-death test and lead the team to continue the mission of the enterprise.

Change: good business leaders identify new trends, new directions, and new opportunities in the context of their business mission, and act decisively to initiate change.

Organization and coordination: good managers will adjust the internal and external coordination of the organization in time, grasp the emerging innovation boundaries and technology enabling, and launch new products and innovative marketing methods.

Final summary:

Every business is a health business, every company is a technology company, every virtual business is real.

Guidance for COVID-19 prevention and control in schools

The new coronary pneumonia epidemic has been declared a public health emergency. International customs (PHEIC) and viruses have spread to many countries and regions. Although many of the viruses that cause COVID-19 are still unknown, do we know that it is spread directly? Individuals who come into contact with respiratory droplets of infected persons (caused by coughing and sneezing) can also infect their faces (eg, eyes, nose, mouth) by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and touching their skin. While COVID-19 continues to spread, it is important for the community to take action. Take action to prevent further spread, reduce the impact of the epidemic and support control measures.

The protection of children and educational facilities is particularly important. Precautions are to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 in schools; however, care must also be taken to avoid stigmatizing students and staff who may have been exposed to the virus. It is important to remember this, COVID-19 does not know national boundaries, race, disability, age or gender. The educational environment should continue to be an environment that welcomes, respects, embraces and supports all people. The measures taken by the school can prevent students and staff from entering and spreading COVID-19 has been exposed to the virus, while minimizing interference and protecting students and staff from infection and discrimination.


Today, children and young people are global citizens, powerful agents of change and the next generation of caregivers, scientists and doctors. Any crisis provides opportunities to help them learn and cultivate while building a safer and more caring community, while increasing compassion and resilience. Information and facts about COVID-19 will help reduce students ’fear and anxiety about the disease and support their ability to cope with any secondary impacts in life.

This guide provides key Communicate messages and precautions with school administrators, teachers and staff, parents, caregivers and community members, as well as children themselves in schools that promote safety and health.

The purpose of this document is to provide clear and actionable guidance for safe operation on prevention and early detection and control of COVID-19 in schools and other educational institutions. Although the guidelines only apply to countries that have confirmed the spread of COVID-19, they still apply to all other situations. Education can encourage students to become advocates of disease prevention and control at home, at school, in their communities, by talking to others about how to prevent the spread of the virus. Maintaining the safe operation of the school or reopening after the school is closed requires a lot of consideration, but if done well, it can promote public health.

Basic principles

Following basic principles can help keep students, teachers, and staff safe at school and help stop the spread of this disease. Recommendations for healthy schools are:

  • Sick students, teachers and other staff should not come to school
  • Schools should enforce regular hand washing with safe water and soap, alcohol rub/hand sanitizer or chlorine solution and, at a minimum, daily disinfection and cleaning of school surfaces
  • Schools should provide water, sanitation and waste management facilities and follow environmental cleaning and decontamination procedures
  • Schools should promote social distancing (a term applied to certain actions that are taken to slow down the spread of a highly contagious disease, including limiting large groups of people coming together)

To stay healthy, teachers and administrators should:

Ask sick students and staff to stay home (and to seek medical attention when necesssary).

Keep a supply of alcohol-based hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes.

Teach good hand washing practices.

Clean and disinfect classroom materials and surfaces.

Provide reminders in daily announcements about preventing the spread of germs and illnesses.

Adopt healthy practices, such as safe handling of food and the use of standard precautions when handling body fluids and excretions.

Encourage students and staff to get an annual flu shot.

To stay healthy, parents should:

  • Keep your children home, if they are sick.
  • Send your child in with tissues and wipes for the classroom.
  • Teach your children to wash their hands.

The WTO report focuses on the role of e-commerce during the covid-19 outbreak

The world trade organization (WTO) secretariat recently released a report on the impact of the covid-19 outbreak on e-commerce, including cross-border trade. The report notes that the use of e-commerce is increasing as consumers adapt to measures of blockade and social alienation. The report also draws attention to challenges such as the need to bridge the digital divide within and between countries.

In addition to highlighting the growth of e-commerce during the covid-19 crisis, the report explores the measures governments are taking to promote e-commerce and some of the challenges they face. Governments have worked to increase network capacity, encourage the availability of expanded data services at low cost or for free, and reduce or eliminate transaction costs for digital payments and mobile remittances. The report also explores the ongoing wto discussions on e-commerce and how continued implementation of the wto trade facilitation agreement will address some of the challenges posed by the covid-19 pandemic.

According to the report, lessons learned from the covid-19 crisis can further promote global cooperation in e-commerce, which will help facilitate cross-border flows of goods and services, narrow the digital divide and level the playing field for small businesses.

Key points of the report are as follows:

Social outreach, lockdowns and other measures in response to the covid-19 pandemic have led to an increase in consumer online shopping, social media use, voip and conference calls, video and movie streaming.

This has led to a surge in business-to-consumer sales and an increase in business-to-business e-commerce. The growth in B2C sales is particularly evident in online sales of medical supplies, necessities and food.

Demand for Internet and mobile data services has also increased. Both operators and governments urgently need to adjust network capacity and spectrum to accommodate the shift to online activity. However, demand for some services, such as travel services, which have a lot of online content, has fallen.

E-commerce for trade in goods and services has also been adversely affected by the same factors that have contributed to the overall disruption in supply and demand. This interference results in delivery delays or outright cancellations. Other challenges related to e-commerce have emerged during the pandemic, or have been exacerbated. These include price fixing (that is, raising prices to unreasonably high prices), product security issues, deceptive practices, cyber security issues, the need to increase bandwidth, and development-related issues.

The pandemic highlights the need to bridge the digital divide both within and between countries, given the central role played by the digital economy during the crisis. In developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, many traditional barriers have become more prominent and continue to hinder the greater participation of small producers, sellers and consumers in e-commerce activities. This highlights the need to provide effective and affordable information and communication technology services, such as telecommunications, computer and other information technology services, as well as emerging technologies.

Governments are taking new steps, and the private sector is taking action to address and ensure that e-commerce can help mitigate some of the challenges in the fight against the virus. These measures include increasing network capacity, expand the data provided in the form of little or no charge service, reduce or cancel the digital payment and mobile remittances of transaction costs, improve service delivery and other logistics, using digital tools implement measures and spread information, promote the remote medical care, and using mail tunnels technology monitoring.

The global nature of the covid-19 outbreak and its impact on e-commerce may encourage greater international cooperation to further develop online procurement and supply policies. The pandemic has shown that e-commerce can be an important tool/solution for consumers. E-commerce can also support small businesses and become an economic driver of domestic growth and international trade by increasing economic competitiveness.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of digital technology, but it has also exposed weaknesses around the world. The resulting experience and lessons relate to various discussions within the wto, including those relating to e-commerce. These discussions could benefit from strengthening international cooperation to facilitate the cross-border movement of goods and services, to narrow the digital divide and to create a level playing field for micro – and small – and medium-sized enterprises.

14 easy ways to improve your health during lock down

From eating more pulsations to spreading love, a nutritionist provides a series of suggestions to help you improve your health during your isolation.

Health is not a specific behavior, but a series of exercises, which together can make your mental and physical health. Here are 14 habits that not only make you healthier, but also make you feel good. You can start one at a time, and when you develop a sustainable habit, add one more. As you absorb more and more things, you will eventually establish a comprehensive set of habits that will benefit your body and mind in a variety of ways.

Drink more water

In one study, when people who drank water were forced to reduce their intake, they felt less calm and satisfied, and their positive emotions also decreased. But when people with low water intake are forced to drink more water, their physical and mental fatigue will decrease. Another study supports these findings and concludes that frequent drinking of water may make you feel better.

Eat more pulses

Beans are plant-based proteins such as beans, legumes, chickpeas and peas. Most likely, you have some dried or canned beans in your pantry. These foods are not only convenient and durable, but also have many health benefits. Pulses are filled with fibers, so they are slowly digested, which helps you feel fuller and longer. They also provide several minerals that boost immunity, including magnesium and zinc. Research on people with the longest lifespan and the healthiest lifestyle shows that these people tend to eat foods rich in beans.

Cook a meal

Being trapped at home may force you to cook more dishes, and if this seems tedious, there is a silver lining here: research shows that people who cook at least six nights a week eat healthier-whether at home or eating out Time-even if not consciously trying to do so.

Add dried herbs and spices to the meal

These master chefs can add effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds to your diet and snacks, plus herbs and spices to add flavor. The health-promoting substances in these seasonings are associated with a low risk of certain chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease. The polyphenol compounds they contain are involved in protecting the inner wall of your gastrointestinal tract, which helps keep your immune system healthy.

Eat two fruits a day

Only 12% of American adults have reached the recommended daily fruit intake, which not only means that you may miss some important nutrients, but also that your mood may be affected. In one study, young people who ate two more fruits and vegetables on a normal diet reported that their emotions were more positive, and curiosity, creativity, and enthusiasm also increased.

Eat at least three glasses of vegetables every day

About 90% of adults do not meet this recommendation, so if you are one of them, try to find a simple way to add more vegetables to your daily diet. Perhaps this will inspire you: A large study of middle-aged and elderly adults in Canada found that people who consumed more fruits and vegetables had a lower rate of anxiety. You can add some green leafy vegetables to the milkshake or scrambled eggs to make a vegetable soup, or stir a stir-fried vegetable with a frozen vegetable mixture to increase the intake of vegetables.

Focus on healthy plant fats

In addition to using vegetable cooking oils such as extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil, nuts and seeds (and their butter) can also be added to the menu. Although they are high in fat, they contain biologically active compounds and seem to be easier to maintain a healthy weight.

Eat less snacks and grass

Better eating patterns include three meals a day, with an average interval of 4 hours. If you find that you often eat snacks or snacks between meals, this may be a sign that you are not eating enough during meals. Make sure you have at least half a plate of starch-free vegetables and some vegetable fats in your meal, a satisfying amount of protein and a small amount of starchy vegetables or whole grains.

Limit addition of sugar

A new study of nearly 500 women found that insomnia is related to poor diet quality, and excessive intake of added sugar increases the risk of sleep problems. When you open the food package, check the food label to see how much sugar is added to products such as yogurt, cereal, bread and condiments. Your goal is for women and children to consume less than 25 grams per day and men to consume less than 36 grams per day.

Spend time exercising every day

Although 30 minutes per day and five days per day are ideal, the Centers for Disease Control says that some physical activity is better than no exercise, noting that even a small amount of exercise can bring some health benefits. If you can walk around your driveway, house or apartment for 10 minutes, then do so! Staying active can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Think about something that you are grateful for

Gratitude helps develop a positive attitude, and research shows that this may help you become a healthier eater. Every day, write down or write down something you admire in your heart, regardless of size.

Develop the habit of meditation

Many paid meditation apps have added their free content library, so it ’s time to adopt meditation practice. Not only can it help you reduce stress, research shows that it can also help reduce mood and overeating.

Go to bed at the same time every night

The coronavirus crisis forces us to give up everyday life, such as going to school and working, which makes it hard to remember time. Since sleep is essential to maintain the health of the immune system, it is important to adhere to a consistent sleep plan. Try to go to bed at the same time every night to ensure at least seven hours of sleep.

Tell someone you love them

Hope you are doing this anyway, but if you need another reason to spread love, this affectionate exchange has health benefits. Research shows that it can help you stay calm and manage stress better.

ShopShipShake donates 10,000 masks to medical facilities in South Africa

Affected by the covid-19 outbreak, South Africa has closed its cities since March 26. Shopshipshake, a platform that specialises in sourcing between China and South Africa, has empathy for the people of South Africa. Employees of shopshipshake donated 10,000 masks to the South African medical system.

We wish South Africa recover and kepp safe during the COVID-19.

The post-pandemic world: will we never be able to shake hands again?

Under novel coronavirus, people keep a distance from each other to avoid physical contact. After the blockade is gradually lifted, will people start to shake hands again?

Handshakes are everywhere in our society, from strangers shaking hands on their first meeting to billions of dollars in business.

The origins of the handshake vary, but it may have originated in ancient Greece, when two men held out their hands to each other as a sign of peace, indicating that no one was armed.

The handshake may also have originated in medieval European societies, where knights held each other’s hands in an attempt to shake off hidden weapons.

In more recent times, many believe that the ritual of shaking hands was popularized by the Quakers, who believed in equality and therefore held handshakes to symbolize equality of status.

‘The handshake is a symbol of our evolution as a social animal, a tactile animal, a gesture of connection,’ says Cristine Legare, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas.

The culture of the handshake has been around for thousands of years and may not be easily discarded entirely.

No handshake etiquette

However, in human history, there are also many cultures that do not shake hands, such as the Indian namaste, which is widely known in the western world as one of the etiquette of meeting in the east.

One of the most famous incidents in modern China is that when Chris patten, the last governor of Hong Kong, wanted to shake hands with Chinese officials stationed in Hong Kong, they refused to do so.

In Muslim countries, one hand on the chest is also a sign of respect and is part of the etiquette of meeting people.

In Hawaii, people greet each other with the “shaka sign,” which is similar to the six-to-six gesture used by Chinese people. It is often seen in the surfing culture of the United States, and was also frequently used by former President barack Obama, who was born in Hawaii.

In Samoa, people greet each other with “raised eyebrows” and a smile.

Resistance to shake hands

Val Curtis, a behavioral scientist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says shaking hands and kissing on the cheek are part of the greeting because it shows trust enough to risk swapping germs.

In the 1920s, an article in the American Journal of Nursing warned that the hand was the medium of transmission of bacteria, and suggested that Americans bow and bow as the Chinese did at that time.

Before the novel coronavirus outbreak, there were medical recommendations against handshaking. In 2015, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) hospital set up a “no handshaking zone” in its intensive care unit, but the policy lasted only six months before disappearing. But despite the overwhelming medical and scientific evidence supporting the campaign against the handshake, it is still practiced around the world, especially in professional and formal Settings.

No handshake in the future

But now that the novel coronavirus pandemic has prompted a radical rethink, the gesture is likely to fall out of favor in the foreseeable future.

“Frankly, I don’t think we should ever shake hands again,” said Anthony Fauci, a U.S. health expert. “It’s not just that you can prevent novel coronavirus disease, but you can dramatically reduce the transmission of influenza.”

Reaching out to touch is a human instinct, and shaking hands is also based on this psychological factor. It is estimated that the President of the United States shakes about 65,000 hands each year.

‘it’s hard to change your nature,’ says Elke Weber, a professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University in the U.S. ‘when there is a major change in society, economy or public health, habits and social customs that have accumulated over time can change, as can the ancient Chinese custom of foot-binding.’

Shaking hands can also be the next custom to be abolished. In addition to the above-mentioned etiquette of clasping hands, bowing, putting one hand on one’s chest and “shaka gesture”, there are many alternatives. For example, bowing, waving, smiling, or nodding your head can all be used in place of a handshake, while tapping your fist, touching your elbow, or touching your foot is not the same as shaking hands, but still involves physical contact.

Shake hands or not

Professor Ligal said the novel coronavirus outbreak brings the cruel reality that the more desperate and stressed we are, the more we rely on physical contact for comfort, which is the way to spread the virus.

Giving up handshakes and rejecting physical contact is unnatural, but far from overreacting, it’s the opposite, says prof weber. “Survival is one of our instincts.”

But let’s not give up hope that we’ll one day be able to shake hands again. As Arthur Markman, another psychology professor at the University of Texas, says, avoiding disease is a human survival instinct, as is living a good social life.

“Maybe we can focus on washing our hands frequently and not touching our faces, instead of eliminating physical contact altogether.” The reality is that for some time to come, we will be facing a new normal of life without physical contact, and we may not even find ourselves shaking hands anymore.

The blockade may end, but life goes on

A phrase that has been used a lot lately is the new normal in the post-epidemic era.

The latter is based on the sense of relief that we have experienced shock, fear, hesitation, loneliness, understanding and growth in the face of this worldwide disaster.

New is the gradual restoration of new social norms in the face of the impending lifting of the blockade, which may not be what it used to be because of the sudden blow to humanity.

South Africa has been shut down for 42 days. Let’s take a look at the personal life and feelings of one of SSS clients during the lock down.

“Life on the balcony”

Since the blockade, people have made it a daily habit to go to the balcony and roof.

On the one hand, the balcony is the window that is closest to the street and the outside world, on the other hand, look outwards from the balcony space as if observing the life of others, also can feel they are observing mine at the same time.

It was a little stiff at first, but gradually we got used to it and focused on our own lives.

As long as it’s sunny, everyone will gather on the balcony to eat, read, exercise, work, talk on the phone, or simply photosynthesize to the maximum extent possible without wearing anything.

Basking in the sun is very effective for mood adjustment, the warmth of flocky will be the whole person wrapped in a group, the road is not the sound of cars, accompanied by chirping birds around, close your eyes can forget where you are, too healing!

It’s a real addiction, but not long ago I suddenly realized that I seemed to have gotten a premature tan…

“Learn to be alone”

After retiring at the age of 65, the old lady of the landlord chose to return to school to study history. In February, she just transferred to a school in southern South Africa to study courses. She applied for this arrangement long in advance. Before leaving every day happily hummed a little song, excited like a child, to after going there is also happy, every day in the new exploration through.

When we watched the video as usual after the epidemic was suspended, the first thing the old lady said was “fortunately, the teacher still left some homework. I can still read and write at home during this period of time!”

At that age, her thirst for knowledge was even more intense than that of a young man like me. What I was thinking at that time was that I would finally have plenty of time to watch TV series, cook and relax.

To tell the truth, at home this time, in fact, he had a quick look at several grass long movie, TV, try for a variety of food, didn’t do before found several treasures UP master, focus on Ins a big Bob blogger, found some interesting and free of course, the quantifiers into several series of time, a few meal, a few games live… There are also plenty of small talk and videos with family and friends.

For impetuous me, being alone feels like a kind of creative practice. In the age of Internet, even if I am forced to be at home, it is not a real sense of being alone.

“A new way to get along with your septuagenarian roommate”

After all the classes were confirmed in mid-april, there was no reason for the old lady to stay any longer, and after more than a month under the high walls of the convent, she packed up and took the train home.

Although South Africa remains under lockdown, the old lady is allowed to return to her home. But for me, the blockade ended early with her return from the south.

I’m a little worried about the impending closeness. After all, we’ve both worked out our schedules to give each other some alone time, which can be a little stressful now.

As a result, we didn’t see each other for more than two months. On the night when we first met, we chatted nonstop and realized that it had been a long time since we talked face to face.

A few days later, she talked with her friend and learned that more than 100 elderly people had died in the two nursing homes near her friend’s home. The old lady felt the horror of the disaster. According to the official data provided by the newspaper el pais, 94.5 percent of the deaths were caused by men over 60 and 96.5 percent by women. Nursing homes, which operate like a death train without medical help because of understaffing and poor supervision, account for more than 67 percent of all deaths.

My relationship with the old lady changed after the reunion.

To get up early, I join her in online meditation every morning at 8 a.m. After breakfast I was in the living room and she was reading and studying on the balcony. At noon sometimes I cook more, we have lunch together; The applause at 8 p.m. was her most anticipated event. At the Abbey, we could only hear the applause, but no one could see the applause. Now we wave hello to our neighbors. Then I ate some ham and cheese bread, played some music, talked to each other, went back to my room at ten o ‘clock, and played with each other.

More than a week to get along, unexpectedly imperceptibly established the common routine schedule, these daily rituals let us feel at ease, but also let a day of life more sense.

Not embarrassed by doing different things under the same roof, which I didn’t expect at all, since she used to be in the living room, and I stayed in my bedroom to try not to come out.

The key to summing up the shift may be to talk more, and as you get to know each other, your personality becomes more familiar. There are many reports that the epidemic has led to a rise in the divorce rate. It seems that the epidemic has really changed the relationship between people. It is undeniable that this change is nothing compared with the political and economic impact.

“The horn of economic recovery has sounded, and life goes on.”

However, the old lady is still the old lady, naughty and capricious is no less. Ever since the government announced signs of lifting the ban, free souls have been making two trips a day, wearing masks and gloves, despite fears about the outside world.

The applause was a little different this evening at eight o ‘clock, because people could go out at the beginning of the day. The neighbors were excited, and an uncle from galicia played his bagpipes, as if to announce that the end was near.

Well, it’s May, and we’ll probably be living in the shadow of the virus for a while yet. I hope everyone is safe for the rest of the year.