Although it’s only been a few short months since the novel coronavirus (COVID-19, or COVID) public health crisis began, we’ve already seen dramatic changes in social and economic structures across the globe. “Business as usual” has been pushed aside, replaced by a large-scale call for social distancing in an unprecedented, collective effort to slow, and eventually halt the spread of the disease.
This is one of those extraordinary moments in time when our community, our country, and the world is asking us to rise together. And despite valid fears and certain hardship, individuals, families, and organizations are stepping up in response.
It’s been incredible to see dispersed populations taking unified actions – oftentimes at great personal sacrifice – in a coordinated effort to protect the most vulnerable among us. People are changing how they work, how they socialize, how they school, and how they worship.
Gym workouts have been replaced by morning jogs. Vacations have turned into staycations. And more and more tasks are being digitized and optimized for remote performance. Sadly, some businesses have even closed their doors – at least for now – for the sake of preventing a far grimmer fate.
Even in the toughest of times, we’re seeing heartwarming and inspiring acts of heroism at every turn. Enough to restore one’s faith in humanity and envision a future in which we emerge even stronger than we were before. (These stories will be shared in upcoming articles.)
Going Back to Basics
America’s cultural mindset has shifted from one of growth to one of endurance. We’ve found ourselves revisiting Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, gaining a whole new perspective on industries without which we could not survive. Luxury purchases has been put on hold, while we look to hospitals, grocery stores, and delivery service providers to carry us through in the fight against COVID.
Caring for ourselves, our families, and our businesses requires a delicate balance, taking extreme precautions to minimize the chances of catching and spreading the virus. Although a few bad actors have yet to display an abundance of grace in the face of adversity (hence, the “great toilet paper shortage of 2020”), the vast majority of Americans are committed to a life of temporary minimalism, until such time as the threat has passed. At which point we’ll once again be free to invest and indulge to our hearts’ content – with the additional advantage of the lessons we learn today.
Strength in Numbers
Despite limited resources and proximity restrictions, communities are pulling together in a way we’ve never seen before. Distilleries are manufacturing and donating hand sanitizer to local hospitals. Neighborhoods are making sure their elderly neighbors get the supplies they need. Parents have set up communication chains to ensure every child has access to hot lunches during school closures. Doctors and nurses are coming out of retirement by the tens of thousands to help ease the burden on our over-extended medical workforce.
It’s a powerful reminder for those of us who are healthy enough to do what we can – what we must – to help our fellow man. The decisions we make each day have a direct impact on the spread of COVID and the ability for medical professionals and first responders to protect us from worst-case scenarios. Whether we see the direct consequences or not, our actions can and will change lives forever.
We have the power to make or break this epidemic. The sacrifices we’re making, though not easy, are temporary, urgent, and critical for the eventual return to our normal way of life. The good news is, despite physical distance, none of us are alone. We’re all in this together, and we will continue to rise together as we work diligently to overcome this challenge. Together.
This article is part of our ongoing Business Continuity & COVID series. Our goal is to provide information, inspiration, and resources to help insurers get through this time of community crisis, social distancing, and economic uncertainty. We are not medical professionals. However, we have been lucky enough to experience business continuity in the face of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We’ll be sharing some of the experiences that have helped us, in the hopes that you, too, can find creative ways to grow and build strength in your organization and policyholder relationships, even during these difficult times.
More resources are available on our Business Continuity page.
Disclaimer: All information provided is meant for educational purposes only. For medical advice and regulatory information regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19, or COVID), please contact your healthcare provider or local health department.