We shall prevail
It is a time of uncertainty and anxiety. As phrases like “social distancing” and “significant disruption” and “self-quarantine” are becoming more commonplace, there are other words that keep coming to my mind. Resilience. Perseverance. Determination. The current pandemic is a global humanitarian crisis that is deeply impacting the world’s economies. While we have never seen anything like the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, we have been through crises and catastrophes before. I am reminded of the refrain spoken by leaders during a few of those catastrophes – King George, Winston Churchill, and presidents George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush and Barack Obama: “We shall prevail.”
In 2008 the collapse of the international economy crippled countless businesses large and small. Many people thought we could never recover from such devastating economic losses. I know industry leaders who were suddenly facing major losses of revenue, and all they could think about was providing for their employees and clients. I know many people are thinking that way now, too.
From supply chain disruptions to labor shortages, American industries are currently facing challenges across the board. The food and consumer goods industries are actually dealing with the other side of that coin–increased demand and the need to keep shelves full. Everyone in every industry needs to be flexible, resilient and to persevere.
Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to lean in to that flexibility. It also allows us to follow the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s recommendations on social distancing without allowing business to grind to a halt. Working from home is a safe and viable option for many in a way it would not have been even five years ago. We have seen so many companies find fast, viable ways for their employees to work remotely, and I think that is a change that will stick long after the danger of this virus has passed.
In the face of social distancing, we are, perhaps, seeing a new form of connection. We cannot give our friends the hugs we’d like to, or provide our clients with the hearty handshake they deserve, but we can connect intentionally and deeply with people as we persevere together through this difficult time. Despite the uncertainty and anxiety, this moment and the challenges it brings offer the opportunity to change, to refine how you live and work. It is a time to focus on deepening relationships, both personal and professional.
The world is changing, but we shall prevail and grow and learn as we always do. We have survived disasters both natural and man-made. We have survived world wars and global pandemics. We have built and rebuilt, and we will rebuild again. We have never seen anything quite like COVID-19, but we will prevail. We, as a nation and a species and a society, have made it through the dark times that have come before. Our faith is our fortress during times like these. Wash your hands. Stay home. Love your neighbors. Take care of each other. We will make it through this one.