COVID-19 — the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — has put life into perspective.
Grocery store shelves are blown out across the U.S. Weddings, birthday parties and other milestone celebrations are being cancelled. People are fearing for their loved ones in the high-risk demographic.
As small business owners, the spread of COVID-19 can have an impact our very livelihood. But today, we want to take a break from the panicked headlines, shining a light on something far less talked about:
Overcoming our fears, and keeping our balance amid the outbreak.
Here’s our message of hope, and better times ahead, for all of us.
The disruption may feel jarring, but it will save us in the long run.
Americans watched in shock as one multimillion-dollar organization after another announced it was going dormant (the NBA, Disneyland and Apple, to name a few).
But as shocking as these drastic measures feel, there is a method to the madness: Flattening the curve through social distancing.
According to livescience.com, “Flattening the curve refers to community isolation measures that keep the daily number of disease cases at a manageable level for medical providers.”
The U.S. is on the path to avoiding what has happened in Italy: A devastating overflow for the country’s healthcare system which has led to thousands of deaths in a short amount of time.
We are doing the right thing by socially isolating.
This too shall pass.
When we talk about the science of viruses, we should take comfort in the fact that, just objectively, COVID-19 will eventually stabilize — and life will return to normal.
According to Dr. Andrew Sales, a neurologist at The Polyclinic in Seattle, WA:
“The only thing new about [COVID-19] is that it is a novel virus. But this is how all viruses start, and they have all achieved evolutionary stability by some means. Whether because the animal vector has been contained (like it was for SARS), we develop a vaccine (like we did for Influenza), or we change the culture of an entire society (like we did for sexual health practices in the case of AIDS), the virus reaches stability as a community disease.”
There is still a way to do business.
Economic fallout is on everyone’s minds, but businesses are finding ways to keep serving customers while practicing social distancing. Restaurants are switching to take-out only. Medical offices are leveraging telehealth to treat patients remotely. Behemoth companies like Amazon are still up and running, shipping only high-priority items. Even smaller retail businesses are leaning on e-commerce to continue to get products sold and out the door.
While some business models may not have this luxury, on a macro level, buyers still have ways to stimulate business throughout the country (even if those ways aren’t ideal).
We can stay connected to our customers.
As small businesses, this is our moment to be transparent, authentic and empathetic with the people we serve. Using digital communication tools (such as email and our social media channels), we can be open and real with our customers about how we are dealing with the outbreak, which will provide some level of comfort during this time.
We’re all in this together.
Despite the disruption that a virus like COVID-19 brings, it is literally the one and only thing that is uniting the entire planet right now. That’s a jaw-droppingly big deal. And because of the magnitude of that, we continue to rally our resources, leaning into science, technology — and each other — to get through it all.