The World Health Organization has now declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic in that as of today the virus had spread to at least 114 countries.

Italy has tightened its quarantines and the USA has placed a ban on flights to Europe (Kate Mayberry, Aljazeera)

Obviously over-reaction is not helpful but an under-reaction could have devastating effects. It seems the world is about to change and adapt in ways that we are yet to know but there is a magnificent opportunity here for us to become more thoughtful, compassionate, measured and grateful in all that we do, all of which could contribute to a better world.

There are many businesses that may experience a great deal of hardship and may find it very difficult to adapt especially to quarantine conditions and other restrictions. Alternative Dispute Resolution via its various processes is one business that in real and practical senses does have the ability to adapt. Because it is not absolutely reliant on public spaces like courts and other public settings, its potential for adaptability knows no bounds.

Both Mediations and Arbitrations as well as managed Restorative Justice Processes can, with the right planning and use of technology, be conducted through entirely web-based systems which means that, given the need, neither the practitioner, nor the parties need leave the office, or where applicable, home.

Let’s stay safe, be well and be mindful of how we affect those around us. South Africa can still prevent an outbreak by taking care, by being caring and considerate of others and by not diminishing something that may be a real threat to a non-issue by re-circulating the kind of platitudes and what-about-isms that are rife on social media right now.

Grace and Peace

Sheena Jonker