When Waynette Goodson and I discussed her Covid-19 feature before starting this issue, we wondered if people were tired of reading about the pandemic. I know we’re tired of living in the pandemic.
But I am so glad we went ahead with the story (see page 45). It hit me afresh that we have been living in difficult times and the lessons we’ve taken away — both professional and personal — are countless.
First, we’ve learned the beauty of agility and gained the ability to pivot. (Does anyone else think of the “Friends” episode where Ross, Chandler and Rachel are trying to maneuver a sofa up two flights of stairs and Ross keeps yelling, “Pivot!”? If you’ve never seen it, do yourself a favor and look it up on YouTube. It makes me laugh every time.) In all seriousness, being able to navigate everything the ’20s have thrown our way requires a shift in mindset and a shift in practice. Those who have done this successfully have much to teach us.
Second, we’ve learned to be prepared for anything. I doubt any of us anticipated what 2020 would bring when we rang in that new year, but now we understand that things can change in an instant. Julie A. Palm has frequently written about the need for contingency planning — an example would be last month’s cover story on weathering the weather. (See BedTimesMagazine.com/2022/06/Weathering-the-Weather for a refresher.) We’ve also written about cybersecurity and disaster planning. While those may not directly correlate to Covid-19, the central idea remains the same — have a plan.
Third, we’ve relearned the importance of relationships. I don’t think anyone would say relationships with customers and employees were unimportant before the pandemic, but the past several years have shifted their priority. As Rion Morgenstern of Pleasant Mattress said, “Covid fundamentally enhanced our responsiveness to customers’ needs and our own flexibility. It’s not that we didn’t listen, or weren’t responsive before, but we might not have understood just how important those things really are.” Others in Goodson’s article talked about workplace unity and deepening relationships.
Obviously, Covid-19 has taken a toll on everyone. In some places, it has left a mark that we might not understand for several years. Taking time to reflect as we move forward helps us piece together what is worth remembering. Thank you to those who took the time to answer our questions. Your thoughtfulness and willingness to give us a snapshot of the pandemic’s impact on your businesses and lives are greatly appreciated.
Do you have lessons you’ve learned since 2020 that you would like to share? Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.