In The Trenches

Our separation can bring us together

Published on March 16, 2020 Back to blog

Early last week, I began writing a somewhat satirical blog post related to the Coronavirus. Way back then (it kind of feels like a different era), it seemed harmless. But, just over a week later, as businesses shut down, schools close, sports seasons abruptly end and toilet paper flies off grocery store shelves — it seems a bit less appropriate (perhaps I’ll use it for a future post).

So today, as many of us sit home, and ponder when this will all be past, I thought it applicable to share a message of hope, togetherness and humanity. Often times, It takes a shared crisis to bring people together – and, perhaps COVID-19 is the universe’s way of telling us it’s that time. So, while we are being told to physically separate (“social distancing”), let’s embrace this as an opportunity to come together. Here’s a few ways how: 

  1. Enjoy some family time. It’s not often we get this much time at home with our family. While many of us have work to do, be sure to “get off the electronics” (as I say to my kids) and spend some quality time together. Play a game, watch a movie, cook dinner together or just sit around and talk with one other. Not only can it be fun, but it will take you away from the infinite COVID-19 news/posts in your social media feed.  
  2. Give what you can. While this crisis is impacting everyone, some are much worse off than others. Consider using the time saved from your commute to help out a non-profit, make a donation (financial or other) to a charity, or even just check on an elderly neighbor (via phone, text or email) to see if they need anything. And, if your business provides essential services, consider reducing prices and/or giving accommodation to those who need the support (this is not a time to cushion the bottom line).
  3. Acknowledge those putting themselves in harm’s way.  Beyond the typical first responders and healthcare workers, be sure to acknowledge and say thank you to the janitorial/cleaning staffs working endlessly to keep us safe, the grocery clerks stocking shelves and others putting themselves in harms way to protect and serve all of us. 
  4. Phone a friend. Take a moment to call (or even better, video-call) a friend, loved one or colleague to say hi, catch up and let them know you’re thinking of them.
  5. Support local/small businesses. Whether it be using the dog walking/boarding service (even though you are home) or ordering take-out instead of cooking/eating in, remember that local businesses need your patronage/support to survive. Without it, many will be out of jobs or forced to close their doors. 
  6. Go outside. Fortunately, the weather seems to be participating (again, the universe thing…). Get outside, go for a walk/run/bike ride and say hi to your neighbors (albeit from a minimum distance of 6 feet). The fresh air will feel good, as will a shared smile with a neighbor.
  7. Don’t hoard the toilet paper. This is one thing I’m not sure I understand, but TP seems to be flying off the shelves. Get what you need, and save the rest for others. Otherwise, neighbors will be knocking at your door to use your bathroom – which really defeats the purpose of this social distancing thing. 

While it’s easy to see the negative impact of this situation, I encourage us all to make the most of this time. We have a unique opportunity to come together. So, let’s do it.

As always, thanks for reading. And, stay healthy.

Jeff Freedman
CEO/Managing Partner
Small Army | Finn Partners