I don’t have any answers, just pondering the lessons we have learned already from this life altering quarantine / virus. Life will forever be different on the other side. Our priorities changed overnight. So my question is what do we want to keep in place that we are now doing? What do we want to invite back into our lives? What does life look like after the quarantine ends?
I too am struggling as a small business owner. Like everyone else, this world changing virus has impacted our firm, employees, and clients. It will continue to impact us for weeks, months, and years. I should have met with two potential new clients this week – those meetings did not happen. I should have several meetings scheduled with potential new clients in the coming weeks – I have none. This is bad for us like so many others. Unfortunately we are not an industry that will be “bailed out” like airlines, hotels, and the stock market. Unlike our employees I am not eligible for unemployment benefits no matter what happens to our firm. This is a gut punch for me, our employees, and our industry.
It is also a gut punch for so many others in our community. The first hit are those that live paycheck to paycheck. The people that serve food, entertain, own restaurants, massage, teach yoga, own retail shops…. were all hit first. The impacts will touch everyone in our community.
There is good happening. In our firm, we now have systems in place to work remotely, to communicate virtually with our clients and staff, and we still have work for a few weeks in front of us. We are now more resilient than we were two weeks ago. It is not perfect, but it is working. We will take these lessons into the future and be able to better serve our clients.
Some other positives I am seeing emerge in our community:
- support of local business
- families spending quality time together
- appreciation for our teachers and the work they do
- appreciation for each other and a focus on the need for quality social interaction
- awareness of the hunger problem in our community and the important way that schools feed our children (and a focus on the need to solve this problem)
- An online Tip Jar has been created to help support service industry workers
- Non-profits are doing what they do and serving as a safety net for our community – it is not new, but I want to make sure to highlight their work
- the importance of art, music, and literature is being seen by everyone as they celebrate beauty and creativity online
What else should be on my list? What will you want to keep in place as we emerge from this crisis? What are you most looking forward to having back after the quarantine is lifted and “normal” life resumes?