The experiences of the last few weeks have been a real whiplash with the promise of more turmoil to come. CSR’s expertise has always been in solutions for your professional AND personal success, but those two realms are mixing in very new ways due to the coronavirus pandemic. Our clients are balancing the challenges of business in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, while working remotely, many caring for children all day at home, monitoring teleschooling, and worrying about health and safety. Despite the extreme stress, it has been truly heartwarming to see how families and communities are coping and reaching out to one another.
When the weather is good, we’ve tried to get out as a family for a walk or bike ride. It’s a chance for some fresh air, a change of scenery, and a look at what makes Atlanta beautiful in the spring – dogwood blossoms, azaleas, and other new blooms. We aren’t the only ones. We run in to lots of couples and families enjoying walks together. Others are planning fun in-house family moments – game nights, cooking/baking marathons, intricate puzzles, art projects, and DIY projects.
Community apps and sites like Nextdoor are full of neighbors asking for help and offering assistance. We’ve seen daily posts for the stores with a new stock of toilet paper and offers to drop off supplies for seniors. Community members are mobilizing volunteers to sew masks with their neighbors offering fabrics and supplies for the effort. Several pop-up pantries have blossomed to serve the growing needs of hungry families who are out of work. There’s a genuine “we’re in this together” mentality.
Families and friends are also using “business” tools like videoconferencing in new and creative ways. My 7-year old niece meets her friends via ZOOM for card games and fellowship. There are virtual Happy Hours. Younger generations are teaching grandparents new tools for cyber gatherings and check-ins.
Businesses and institutions are reaching out with free learning opportunities and experiences – live streaming concerts and tours of museums and gardens, online professional development webinars, fitness and wellness classes. My daughter is obsessed with the daily book readings and sketching classes with Mo Willems. It’s skill building and cultural exposure in the comfort of your pajamas.
Let’s face it – we’re all adapting the best we know how, but it isn’t without missteps. Last week a friend saw a colleague naked on a team videoconference – he didn’t realize his video was on! But we’ve got this if we work together, offer grace and patience, and help each other. We can’t wait to see how these silver linings solidify and how our adaptive worlds will thrive. If CSR can help you, please reach out to us.
By Catherine Fuss and Betsy Wallace