Humanity, viewed from here, has undergone massive changes. While we look back and see the inflection points, and the accompanying shifts, our daily lives are much less interesting with work, school, shopping, going to the gym, etc. That’s not a bad thing.
Life goes on, and then something happens that causes massive global change. The Spanish Flu of 1918, Prohibition, the market crash of 1929, Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assassination, 9/11. All of these created moments of change that altered the course of our daily lives, adjusting our trajectories in varying degrees from the previous course.
We are in the midst of one of those changes now. From our current point of view, it’s impossible to see how this will all come to a close, but we do our best to keep the faith and look for the light in the darkness. This too shall pass.
But as the great glaciers of the ice age leveled mountains and carved valleys, so too will the coronavirus leave massive change in its wake. We will all adjust, some with purpose, some with regret, and many unconsciously.
Five or ten years hence, today will be a topic of conversation. What will we call it? The great Covid-19 blight? The plague of 2020? Someone will coin a term that will go viral (sorry) and become the accepted term that Google will use.
Each of us will carry moments in time that will become the stories we tell. We will remember working from home, the toilet paper hoarding, and schools closing. We will tell our grandkids about the market crash, the cancellation of the playoffs, and the closing of Broadway.
Our habits will change: some of us will continue to work from home; some will never do it again. Some of us will stick to grocery delivery; others will be happy to get back into a store and pick our own bananas. Some of us will become less fearful, some more so.
Businesses will change as well. They will have to adapt to the changes in customer expectations. They also adapt to changes in employee expectations. The companies that successfully transition to the new world are already thinking about what that might look like, and what they need to do to adapt and mold it.
For now, the best we can do is wait it out, be kind to one another, and think about how precious this life is. And then, when the storm begins to abate, we can move into the new reality with purpose and calm, knowing that we have overcome adversity and become stronger because of it.