Welcome to the Post-Covid Recovery Report!
If you’re tired of living under the Cloud of Covid, scream. Right now. Don’t worry, no one will hear you - they’re screaming too.
We’re all tired of it. But it’s still here, it’s real, and more than half a million Americans are dead because of it.
So after nearly a year of publishing the Covid-19 Report, we’re changing the name of this newsletter, looking ahead, working to be the change we want to see: a Covid-free, back-to-business, back-to-life America. The focus going forward will be, well - going forward!
Welcome to the first issue of the Post-Covid Recovery Report.
We’ve long passed that first phase of shock, of groping blindly to comprehend the pandemic. We didn’t know what it was, but we had to deal with it, shooting in the dark. Since March 2020, Covid has changed nearly everything we do.
Phase 2, with the enemy now identified, was about coping and survival. That meant health and safety protocols and the elevation of drive-thrus to the role of savior for many food brands, along with contactless pickup, delivery, and ghost kitchens. For service brands, it was remote payment, virtual consultations, limited home visits, and working with customers from 6 feet away. Today, one year into the pandemic, we’ve installed all the Plexiglass we can stand (with many now wishing they’d invested in the companies that produced it!).
Phase 3 was more of a plateau, of settling into a new rhythm of contactless living, WFH for those who could, and a newfound appreciation for those who could not, the Essential Workers: grocery store clerks, mechanics, kitchen and front-line workers, teachers, bus and truck drivers, pharmacists, plumbers, and more. And of course workers in healthcare, emergency services, and the others we so easily took for granted pre-Covid. Name – and appreciate – your own Essential People. You know who they are.
Phase 3 wasn’t the greatest, but we, the fortunate ones, are still here to complain about it, even within our constricted lives. Covid is the great equalizer. The virus doesn’t discriminate based on wealth, position, age, skin color, or gender (or non-gender). Sure, there are minor differences among these groups, but let’s not quibble. You get it. In fact, anyone can get it.
Now, in what I’m calling Phase 4, nearly a year into the pandemic, come the vaccines, limited supplies and all. Hope yes, but here come the variants, whose potency and transmissibility cannot be known. Still, it’s a ray of light, a good start, a step in the right direction to recovery.
In life — and in franchising — Covid has accelerated many changes already in progress. Changes that would have taken years were compressed into months – from the proliferation of drive-thrus to the disappearance of entire brands to the emergence of new concepts that arose from the ashes of the old.
After a year of life under the pandemic, we’ve decided to refocus this newsletter and look beyond the tragedy, the fear, and the barrage of negativity from so many fronts.
As we begin the third month of 2021, Covid is still a menacing presence. The body count is still mounting, but at least the numbers seem to be diminishing, barring deadly new mutations and people refusing to be vaccinated or wear masks, despite the evidence.
All that aside, we are choosing to focus on rebuilding for the future, thus Post-Covid - and on providing the tools and perspective for Recovery.
It’s time to step up. To be a leader. To drop all pretense of a “return to normalcy” and accept that we’re still in a crisis, several crises in fact, and there is no silver bullet. Even with the new vaccines, there is still potential danger ahead, and a long, hard road to economic recovery for the Main Street business that remain.
So, looking ahead, who do you want to be, where do you want to go in 2021? Crisis means opportunity. Disrupt yourself… as if you haven’t been disrupted already! Embrace the inevitable. Seize the moment.
Life will never be the same. There is no "recovery" to how things used to be. There may never be a new normal. Get used to it. Life is change. Adapt or die, literally this time.
As we’ve learned, only too painfully in the past 12 months, none of us is guaranteed tomorrow. Love your neighbor. Love your family. Love yourself. Have some fun! Stay safe. You only live once, but a coward dies 1000 times. What have you got to lose?
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