Life – but not as we know it – according to Avvio’s Chief Commercial Officer Michael De Jongh
The past month has taught me many things and has changed life as we know it: potentially forever but at least for a generation. It will take time to heal but in the meantime, I’ve become closer to my family, I’ve become a doctor, a nurse, a mental health worker, a carer, a legal expert, an accountant, a delivery driver all on top of my day job. All while trying to keep morale high, and keeping folks focused and smiling through the darkness.
I’ve learned new terms I never knew existed like “furlough,” “herd immunity” & “CPAP.” in addition to rules and regulations concerning our obligations as employers and responsibilities as employees. I’ve lost money, I’ve forgone wages, I’ve been taxed on my mental wellbeing and I’ve walked my dog once per day as part of my daily exercise (while avoiding anyone in my path!) I’ve also waited outside shops and crossed roads to avoid people. I’ve learned to tolerate and feel immensely blessed to have a house with a garden to breathe, especially in the recent fine weather.
In amongst all of this chaos and worry I’ve seen the best and the worst of people in general. From our incredible NHS heroes risking their lives daily to support the frontline efforts to the new heroes of the global economies – the cleaners, the delivery drivers, the convenience store owners, the emergency services, the supermarket workers, the teachers. The businesses that push up and extend beyond and the many businesses that fall.
In hospitality, we have been hit the hardest. When restaurants and bars were forced to close, when free economies were forced to stop, when our daily lives were taken away, we saw a profound change to life as we know it. We all have opinions and listen to the daily rhetoric, leaning on daily update broadcasts. We all want to understand when normality will return and what the “new normal” might be. The Queen is adamant we WILL meet again.
Work life is resilient and leadership is key. Homelife is constant and patience is a virtue
And through it all we have rediscovered some of the simple things in life: Being at one with ourselves, the meaning of selfless acts, the power of many and the fear of being alone. We miss more of the once-simple things: a drink with friends, dinner at a restaurant, a commute to the office, meeting with customers, interacting with colleagues in person, the physical bond of friendships, family we hold close and now steer apart from. We’ve learned to cope, we’ve learned to adapt and we’ve found innovative tools to help us through. The monumental rise of consumer mobile apps like “Houseparty” allows us to engage in virtual meetups and the helping hand of corporate tools, healing our consumer lives like Zoom, are bringing us closer together at a time we seem the farthest apart.
The conspiracists, the non-believers, the fake news mongers, the opportunists, the political divide, the naysayers and the 5G mast burners!
Some people just don’t believe and the world around them will continue blissfully unaware that this is real. From Belarussian football teams continuing to play their season, to the madness of Trump thinking this was over by Easter. We have to push on neglecting the bad karma and remaining true believers.
This is after all very real indeed.
This walk on the wild side has filled many with dread and fear but also optimism that a return to a new normal is in our near future. Things will get better and we will adapt to the new world. Hand sanitiser and face masks, social distancing and avoidance will merge back to a hygienic world where we all work together over time.