This was going to be a blog summarizing what we’ve been up to since the pandemic upended life as we know it. For anyone keeping score, it’s been 14 months and only one blog post to our website.
In fact, this is my fifth attempt to write this blog. The other four blogs are still marked as “drafts” here on our website, that holding place for incomplete ideas. Let’s instead talk about those…
The first incomplete idea was penned in April 2020, when the planet was in chaos and there was no certainty. Across the nation, grocery stores were empty. Hospital infrastructures were collapsing in NYC and Italy. We were all introduced to the idea of “flattening the curve.” Terrible things were happening and people needed hope amidst the uncertainty. I had sketched out a few probable paths forward in the coming months. These were timelines noted with variables and potential outcomes. It was my feeble attempt to provide some sort of control, some sort of map when we all felt so lost.
The second draft of this blog was from June/July 2020, and it was a list of problems that we solved for clients in the first three months of the pandemic. This was the work we completed while America went in lockdown. We helped an in-person conference pivot to a virtual conference, increasing their attendance from 250 to 1250+. For another client, we created an urgent briefing for the White House, when telemedicine became an essential tool for doctors needing to care for patients from a distance. For another client, we stabilized their finances by moving all their donors online. I was proud of our work, but it was not the time for pride.
With all the suffering and unrest in the world, I instead shared a simple, human message here.
The third draft of this blog was in October of 2020. Lockdowns were, (for the most part) done, and Americans could mask up and freely leave their homes. Except it appeared that we would never re-enter the building we call “work.” The title of that blog would be The Impact of COVID-19 on the Workplace, cities, and the Rise of Mid-urban Communities. I was fascinated with the depopulation of San Francisco and New York. And even with the destabilization of major economic centers, the world continued with shocking continuity. (That wasn’t an accident. Almost everyone deserves credit for being creative, resourceful, and resilient.)
The fourth draft of this blog was in Late 2020 when anxieties were surging as COVID cases spiked (again) around the United States. We were warned about a long, painful winter. Yet there were whispers that vaccines on their way. Our clients were feeling optimistic about a new year and they all felt confident planning for 2021. It had been so long since there was good news, it seemed worthwhile to share that with anyone willing to read.
So there you have it. That was some of what I wanted to share in 2020, but my thoughts were incomplete. I could explain why I hesitated, I could point to client work that demanded our attention. But we were all there. 2020 was something that we all shared. No explanation needed.
So maybe this is 2021 is shaping up to be, finishing what we began in 2020 but were unable to complete. With this new work will be new stress, anxiety, and fatigue. But what a joy it is to wake up to new problems.