With Grace, This Too Shall Pass


This is an experience unlike any in human history.  Yes, there have certainly been times of pandemic, but there has never been a time of profound tragedy with the added component of new media.  We are living history as it is being written, and we will always remember this time.

While this experience is surreal, traumatic, and scary, I believe that it is also a time that will bring us together as humans, will result in exciting innovation, and will present many unexpected strategic byproducts.

We are discovering new ways to work, new levels of camaraderie, a reprioritization of authentic connection with people over the superficial connection (e.g., social media).  We are experiencing a spiritual and mental cleansing, a reset in values, a rebirth of sorts.

[pullquote]We are discovering new ways to work, new levels of camaraderie, a reprioritization of authentic connection[/pullquote]

People are hearing from people they haven’t heard from in years.  Old friends from school, former colleagues from a past career, neighbors from 20 years ago.  We’re having deep, meaningful phone calls and video prayer groups, happy hours, church services, knitting circles, AA meetings.  The fear of being seen on video because you may not look “perfect” has mostly been erased, as it’s become evident that the priority is being present, not being perfect.

We’re all at war together.  Those of us who went through 9/11 or the Great Recession know that those difficult times created a shared experience, a kinship.  We became partners in arms.  This time it’s an even larger scale.  We are all feeling similar feelings, sharing similar experiences, attempting to wear many hats together.  We are spouses, parents, colleagues, employees, home managers, cooks, cleaners.  And we understand that we are all experiencing these same experiences, so we empathize in a more profound, more meaningful way.

We are banding together to provide support to our friends, neighbors, local businesses, and people that we’ve never even met in a remarkable way.  There are mask-making groups, people are calling on their elderly neighbors and ensuring that they have what they need, and “TP-ing” has taken on a new meaning (although don’t get me started on the absurd toilet paper shortage that has necessitated the new practice).  People are supporting the temporarily unemployed with groceries, they are supporting local businesses through delivery, curbside pick-up, and online shopping, and entire neighborhoods are shouting their thanks to the frontline medical workers from their porches and windows each day at 7 pm.

We will never forget this time and I, for one, hope that we can step outside of our circumstances and see it for the transformative time that it is.  Because the only way out of this time is through it.  And the only way to emerge stronger on the other side is to learn, evolve, and grow.  There are examples of inspired ingenuity everywhere.  I went to the veterinarian the other day, and they had already established an efficient and touchless drop-off and pick-up process.  Yesterday the spring on my garage door broke.  The repair professional came over wearing a mask and gloves, stayed 6-feet away, and had three methods of contactless payment at the ready.  [pullquote]Because the only way out of this time is through it.[/pullquote] Best Buy has already implemented order pick-up protocol on their website, so you can check-in from your phone upon arrival and tell the store a description of your vehicle and the numbered space you’ve parked in, so they can deliver into your trunk.  T.W. Bonkers Toys & Wonder in Placerville created themed Easter Baskets that you could order via Facebook and offered free delivery or curbside pick-up.  Brick and mortar stores that had no online presence (and you know they probably always meant to, but never got around to it) are quickly establishing online stores.  Are they perfect?  No.  Do we care?  No.  Because we want to support our favorite local businesses and the families that they represent.

Thank you to all of the essential service workers, continuing to work to keep us all safe and to keep the economy functioning.  To those in the medical field, in homebuilding, the grocery workers, those in the supply chain, the truckers, the handlers, the pilots, the delivery people.  You are the heroes.  And our hearts go out to all who’ve lost someone or are battling this illness themselves.  You are in our prayers.

We all have a choice of whether to have a mindset of scarcity or abundance.  Whether to live in fear or faith.  Whether to believe we can’t or can.  We are in a time of tremendous change, and I know that change is scary.  But here’s the thing.  If you don’t like change, you’re going to hate extinction.  And I am so proud of the innovation that I see around me.  I believe that we are all up for the challenge that this time presents.  We will prevail.  We will survive.  And we will thrive.  Let’s step into the light together.