This year has been full of unexpected twists and turns since we found ourselves in the cross hairs of the global pandemic. What will be the long term impact?

Everything that we knew to be true has been turned upside down…

Without doubt there’s not a single thing in our daily lives that hasn’t been impacted by the pandemic and its far reaching tentacles.

Who would have imagined that 32 million cases would bring about the deaths of almost 1 million people worldwide?

Clearly, the true impact of the pandemic won’t be fully understood nor the impact appreciated for sometime.

I’m not just talking about the health and physical wellbeing of the global population. Nope, I’m also talking bout the long term effects of the economic disaster riding on its coat tails.

A twist of the knife if there ever was one!

I know here in Canada we were all asked to begin working from home in the middle of March.

It certainly hasn’t been all “beer and skittles” for anyone, but in my mind the biggest impact has been to those that are the most vulnerable amongst us…

The lesser skilled, part time workers, contingent workforces and the like have been hardest hit by this cruel twist.

None of us have been immune to the impacts in one way or another.

Clearly working from home over that period has had a distinct knock on effect. No longer are we frequenting the many small businesses that we once relied on daily.

The unfortunate impact is that many of these places are now closed, and may never reopen.

Another impacted area has been travel industry.

Who would have predicted that the global tourism industry as a whole would have been shut down almost completely? To the tune of $4.72B globally in 2019.

Certainly not me….

The tourism industry and all of its allied service providers have been decimated on a scale never before thought possible.

Will they bounce back is the question? And, if so…when? How will we measure this – in years, months or weeks. I’m betting on years.

Devastating to say the least.

On a personal level I think we’d all agree that we’ve been impacted one way or another.

I don’t think any of us would have predicted how isolating and difficult working from home could possibly have been?

The past seven months has been a form of solitary confinement for many of us. This predictable sameness has been mind numbing and without remorse.

Prior to the pandemic many of us had wished that we could work from home, at least occasionally. 🙂

With first hand experience we now know that there are significant challenges in being cooped up day after day at home.

Who would have guessed?

For those of us in leadership positions, it’s been our job to be the cheerleader and keep everyone connected and motivated as best we can.

However, this unto itself has been fraught with challenges…

It falls to leadership to step in and do what’s needed (I guess that’s why we’re in the positions we are). 🙂

For me personally it’s been difficult balancing my own mental health with that of my large team. No one wins in this situation…

The emotional stress has been magnified by the uncertainty and indefinite timeline for a return to normalcy.

So “what will the new normal look like?”

With masks mandatory, and social distancing here to stay (at least for the short term) will we ever return to our old carefree way of living?

In the past we often talked about “work-life balance”, but now the line has been blurred beyond comprehension.

I personally find myself working longer hours now that there is no daily commute.

At least prior to Covid you had your commute time to prepare for work and/or unwind. Without this buffer it’s full on from the time you logon in the morning until you close the lid at night.

Zero respite!

Without a vaccine or the pandemic broken I struggle to see how things will be different or “back to normal” in the near term.

For me the biggest challenge has been the unrelenting sameness.

Not sure about you but I’m a little tired of working exclusively within a technology bubble and being on endless video conference calls?

I personally miss the physical connectedness and nearness of other human beings.

I’m worried that physical touch has been superseded by social distancing – no handshakes, no hugs, no kiss on the cheek are now the new and accepted norms.

Even when we’re able to beat the pandemic and resume our lives I’m afraid that many people will actually fear physical touch.

I realize that each of us has handled this in their own unique way, and that some of us have survived better than others.

There’s no question that this is a marathon and not a sprint…

My only advice is to hang in there and focus on the long game cos’ that’s my plan. I’m finding that meditation and yoga have been helping me immeasurably.

Stay safe and take deep breathes (metaphorically that is!). 🙂

Until next week