I must admit up until last week, I was the person that downplayed this whole Coronavirus. I was telling myself and others, “It’s just the flu, this too shall pass.” It wasn’t until Italy got hit, really hit, that I got it- this sh@$ just got real. I started reading more, doing my best to separate fact from hype, not easy to do in our social media fed world. When I found myself obsessing over “breaking news” I decided to simply follow the CDC and stop all other alerts, unless it had to do with my job.

I work for a university and like others, we did the responsible thing and closed down the campus and directed our students to e-learning. The president, like other university and college presidents has slept little and probably knows more about viruses and quarantine that he or she would like to. With our president, students and staff come first, period.

Since being home, and watching the National State of Emergency announcement, there are lessons to be learned. So far, here are my take-aways:

  1. We are more vulnerable that we want to believe. Therefore, not just in times of crisis, but every day we need to keep servant leadership in mind. How can I help my brother or sister? We are here to serve one another, and this crisis has been a harsh reminder that we’re not doing a very good job. So let’s get to it.
  2. I don’t know about you, but I’m running 100 miles an hour 24/7. I’m always connected with some type of technology rarely emptying my head. From what I’ve read, WE NEED TO SLOW DOWN and perhaps this virus is our “reset” button.
  3. You’ve likely been to your local grocery store to see empty shelves. Weird feeling. Although, it struck me how privileged we are to be able to go to a grocery store and buy what we need. How many people around the world cannot do that? How many people even in the states don’t have the wherewithal to spontaneously stock up? Gratitude is in order for the freedom and abundance we have. Let’s stop taking it for granted.
  4. Our elders. We’ve not done a good job of caring for or respecting our elderly. Old has become a negative word and we’ve forgotten the wisdom, stories, desire for companionship our elderly have. We need to do better for them, and instead of making old age a negative thing we should celebrate it as it is all part of OUR history. Listen to their stories, stop by more frequently (obviously during these times, pick up the phone). This crisis has been a great reminder of the fragility of life.
  5. Please keep in mind essential workers that we typically take for granted. Those on the front lines dealing with this pandemic. Keep in mind those who NEED to work and get a paycheck and may be currently facing very difficult times due to unpaid leave.. See #1 and offer help if you can.

So, here we are, all in our homes (if we’re lucky enough to have one), with our families (if we have family) and forced to practice social distancing. I hope for you that you view this as a time to truly reset, refocus and reflect, not just during a crisis but each and every day. It just might make you and ultimately the world a bit better.