Learnings From One Year in a Pandemic

Just over a year ago, we all started talking to each other throughout the day, everyday, about the looming pandemic. I wonder if any of us have experienced one day since during which we can definitively say that we didn’t give one moment of thought to COVID-19. I know that I’ve had hours pass, on a Sunday afternoon or on a Saturday evening, when I’ve given it no thought. Have I gone an entire whole day free of pandemic ponderings? I’m positive that the answer is no.

When we look to implement a strategy in an organization, we first identify the goal then generate possible strategies, and evaluate them. We then select one, execute it, and then assess its efficacy. This strategic process can be applied at a personal level.

I like self reflection. It helps me develop professionally. I look at where I am and compare it to where I was. There is knowledge to be gleaned by this assessment and I find it rewarding.

A year ago, I understood the concept of a black swan. Now we all understand it from an applied perspective. Both contingency planning and crisis management planning, consciously or not, personally or professionally, are at the forefront of our brains. Whatever crisis we thought we might have to mitigate in the past, we now imagination circumstances way above and beyond in scope.

I’ve also learned that it’s important to stay in touch with your peer network. A humorous post here. An inspiring or encouraging blog there. A quick text or email that quickly reconnects me. These things help me to touch base with the capable people to whom I give support and from whom I receive support. These quick points of contact remind me that we share this collective experience and will move through it together.

Words matter. I measure my word choices even more carefully these days. I believe that the insurrection in January, South of our border, showed that words matter more than in normal, unusual times. Not every person is at their best right now. Many people have suffered devastating losses. Others have had long term, low grade insecurities become amplified. People might not hear what we are saying and might even hear things that we never said. It’s necessary to be clear and concise in message.

One year in. More months lay ahead before we can all feel some sense of putting this behind us. More learnings will come as we move through those stages.

Learnings From One Year in a Pandemic
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