I remember the slow return to “normal” after 9/11. I remember the feeling of being on “terror alert” and the general paranoia that lingered before getting on a plane or going to any large event. Personally, the fear left a residue. At the societal level, the fear left us with heightened security and a new acceptance of its deemed necessity. The wounds heal, but the scars last.
COVID-19 will have a similar but unique impact. We are going to return to something like the way things used to be, but there will be scars – individually and collectively, personally and professionally.
The gift of surviving a crisis is life on the other side. If we start to understand the wounds now, we’ll be prepared for the scars later.
A few (obvious, and that’s ok) observations: There’s a new appreciation for local. There’s a new appreciation for, as well as newly accepted methods of gathering. There’s a new appreciation for what’s deemed essential. There’s a new appreciation for conservative/robust planning. There’s a new appreciation for threat and risk assessment.
There are more. We should be listing them out as we experience them. It doesn’t feel right to call them buzzwords, but that’s what they are. It’s the descriptions, feelings, and sentiments we’re all reflecting on now that will linger in the years to come. The wounds are going to heal, but there will be scars.
Personally, we don’t have to wait to start thinking about how we want to cope with them. Professionally, we don’t have to wait to start thinking about how this experience reframes our value propositions. We’re going to be living with the scars in the future, we can start considering their meaning today.
h/t to Morgan Housel’s excellent piece was on the Collaborative Fund blog, “Wounds heal, scars last.”