Are there really silver linings in a pandemic?
While we adapt to the new normal of social distancing, working from home, and shelter in place, fears abound about health, safety, and finances as do frustrations about isolation, schedule disruptions, and uncertainty.
It proves to be a very difficult time to be optimistic and have a positive outlook under the circumstances; however, with some squinting, silver linings can be found.
One of the unique aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic is that, while the impact on some is greater than others, everyone in the world is facing adversity. There is very little that can be done to avoid being affected.
Everywhere people young and old, in all types of industries, are dealing with emotional and financial stress.
Among the loss of jobs, closure of businesses, cancellation or postponement of experiences, reduction of income, and most critically the loss of lives, there is an odd sense of comfort and security knowing that most others are experiencing the same challenges.
From that, there results a relatability, which is leading to community bonding. Friends, neighbors, business associates, and strangers are making connections on various levels to support each other.
It is important to realize that if it wasn’t for this difficult situation, everyone would be going about their daily lives and some of these valuable interactions and acts of kindness would not be happening.
Despite missing the freedom to go out to dinner; to go see a movie, show, or game; meet friends for coffee or a drink; or workout at the gym there is a level of simplicity and calmness in having less to do.
With very limited travel, cancellation of in-person meetings and events, and an emphasis on #staysafe #stayhome there is a rare opportunity to slow down the pace of life and do things with more concentration and intent.
We tend to live very busy lives with over-committed schedules resulting in a high level of stress and a constant demand for our time.
As we find ourselves with more breathing room and less places to go or things to do, opportunities are presented to simplify life, minimize distractions, and take the time to appreciate the little things in life like going for walks outside, calling friends, reading a book, preparing home cooked meals, or doing a home project.
With being at home becoming an expectation rather than an exception, a unique opportunity exists to spend more time with family.
Instead of rushing from commitment to commitment, we have the flexibility to slow down and enjoy having meals together, playing games, watching movies, or sharing stories, all of which can make this time a treasured memory.
Less commitments also allow for a slower pace and increased margin in a day, and potential white space in scheduling leading to more focus and concentration on top priorities.
In the end, it is possible that we can be more productive and purposeful with less to do. For some people that might be creating a new plan for being more successful in being true to yourself, addressing needs, or managing distractions.
Using this time for self-care, to reset and recalibrate will have great long-term benefit.
Silver linings for pro AV
As social distancing has reduced in-person activity and resulted in more isolation, the effort and importance of maintaining personal interaction and relying on relationships has become more critical.
Phone calls, video calls, and group messaging are what are keeping everyone connected. And, with this increased focus on communication comes a greater reliance on technology and an understanding of the true impact that the audiovisual industry makes on the world and daily lives.
While collaboration tools like Zoom, Teams, and Slack have been commonplace in the AV industry for some time, their value and importance have gained mainstream notoriety as they provide the means for people to stay connect in both their business and personal lives.
Another key technology that is being relied upon to overcome physical distancing is live-streaming. By offering the ability be a part of experience without being present in-person, streaming technology provides a solution to overcome many everyday challenges.
Whether it is a limitation of time, travel, cost, or health, the opportunity to be involved and participate in online meetups, trainings, classes, conferences, religious services, family events, or social gatherings through live or recorded streaming opens the doors to a new world of possibilities where once-in-a-lifetime opportunities don’t have to be missed.
In this regard, technology is not only providing more opportunity to be engaged, but also overcoming obstacles that previously stood in the way of bringing people together.
Possibly the greatest benefit of the global nature of this pandemic is that everyone is becoming more relatable, vulnerable, and considerate.
With a greater appreciation for the well-being of one another, people are demonstrating a higher degree of care, patience, thoughtfulness, and appreciation.
Despite the awkwardness of the current state of social interaction, there are more efforts to take the time to say hello to people, to be present, to have more meaningful conversations, to help others without the expectation of a return, and genuinely check in on the well-being of someone that is important to you.
Being kinder and more considerate is never a bad thing. If there is only one lesson that this trying situation teaches us, being a better person and treating others with greater respect and appreciation is an amazingly valuable takeaway.