Lessons from the Pandemic

November 17, 2021

It’s hard to believe.

This week marked 20 months since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. We are past the initial shock and fear, past the stage of tight lockdowns and restrictions, and past those first predictions that it would all be over soon.

We’ve had to realize that there would be no quick return to what life looked like before March 2020. In fact, our lives will probably never be the same.

That’s not such a bad thing.

In the past 20 months, you’ve probably learned…

You are resilient – You have adjusted as restrictions were imposed, then lifted, then imposed once more. You have changed how you work, where you work, and even what your business offers to your customers. You’ve learned to take changes in stride and keep going. And for many of you, business is better than ever.

Boundaries are essential – Boundaries are ways that you protect yourself and protect others. Whether it’s the six feet of social distance, quarantine, or a face mask, you have done what you can to prevent catching or transmitting the virus. When home also became your workplace and your children’s classroom, setting boundaries with time, space and access to electronic devices became essential to maintaining family harmony while meeting work and school responsibilities.

Connections are critical – In the days when you were locked down in your own home, you had to learn new ways to stay connected with your co-workers and your customers. Without the opportunity to have casual, spontaneous conversations in the hallway or to brainstorm over a working lunch, you had to become much more intentional about communicating and sharing information. Zoom became a lifeline for many of us, maintaining the connections that kept our businesses running.

Family matters – You already knew this, but the pandemic has made us even more conscious of this fact. You may have gained a new appreciation for family time in the early days of lockdown. It felt good to slow down and really share time together. For families living far apart, the distance was magnified by pandemic restrictions. Holidays and special celebrations felt less festive when loved ones were not there to share in the occasion. As some of those long-delayed reunions are finally happening, cherish the moment and celebrate family.

Perspective is powerful – If you’re like me, the pandemic brought out a whole range of emotions. Fear, uncertainty, grief, boredom, longing, and anger were some of the negative feelings that came up. But there was also relief, comfort, hope and even joy. While it’s important to acknowledge those negative feelings, letting them pass through and allowing the positive perspective to prevail has allowed us to stop resenting and resisting our current reality and reminded us that life is good.

Whatever the future brings, things won’t go back to the way they were before COVID. Like me, you’ve learned some important lessons. And that means now, more than ever, you can

Go forth and do great things.

Martha & Chris