Well, it finally happened last night – I have Coronavirus-fatigue, how about you? I’ve taken it seriously, for sure; we’ve prepared at home and the office, and paid attention to local and national news. But man, now I’m tired of hearing about The Big Bad Ick.
We live in a time of information overload, including push notifications from news and social media. It makes everything seem like a scary alert, and the scary alerts seem unending.
I don’t feel cavalier about The Ick (or any ick, for that matter, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and take an immune-suppressing medication), but I also don’t want to live in a state of panic.
My Florida roots have provided me with an even temper – I come from that hardy stock of Floridian who watches and waits until the storm is truly imminent to hang the shutters on the house. It’s a lot of work, and it had better be a direct hit if we’re spending a day toiling in the humidity.
Then, we’d be outside with neighbors, all hands on deck, helping each other out. If one of us were short on something, someone else would share – there’d be a thank you in the form of a cold beer later in the day. Some of the guys would get together at an elderly neighbor’s house down the block and trim her overgrown tree, so it didn’t wind up in her living room. We took care of each other.
And, we almost always had extra batteries, food, and water stowed around the pantry and in the garage. By the time the storm finally hit, we were having a “hurricane party.” We’d tell ghost stories by flashlight, eat peanut M&Ms, and listen for the rain to die down so we could play in the eye of the storm. Once we’d prepared for the worst, all we could do was relax and try to enjoy ourselves a little.
So, what does this story have to do with The Ick today?
First, it reminds me that we don’t have to make any big decisions until we know it will be a “direct hit.” This isn’t the zombie apocalypse. We’re not clearing shelves of toilet paper. Now isn’t the time to let emotion take over, or to make knee jerk decisions – that behavior causes long-term problems in a business.
But, we’re making sure that we have everything we need in case we decide we want to ‘weather the storm’ at home for a while. We’re also practicing work-from-home days so that we can smooth out logistical kinks with our teams and software now. Planning well now means having more options later.
Next, we’re taking care of our neighbors – we’re in this together. We’re asking how we can help, including our employees, clients, and vendors. Do we need to change things up if someone is sick?
Finally, we’re also not perpetuating fear about an economic downturn. REMINDER – this is not the Great Recession Part Deux. It’s business as usual over here. I hired three new vendors this past week (all women, BTW) – we have to keep the money flowing and keep people working.
Remember, storms are temporary.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry – keep the plywood, and nails, and batteries, and peanut M&Ms (and yes, maybe some TP) on hand. But don’t panic. Ask how you can help. Get informed and then turn off the news for a bit. You’ve prepared for the worst, now relax and try to enjoy yourself a little.
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