It's Okay to not be Okay.
A version of this post has been swimming in my head for about two weeks now. I figured that I’d wait to draft this until after our team had gotten our Music Forward Foundation and other official statements for that org and others announcing a pivot in plans and programming out into the world to ensure that each would have their own unique statements and that I would dedicate the time and mental focus needed as I developed, recommended, and expedited new strategies.
Yet, it still took me a few more days to actually sit myself down in front of a plot-less 90s movie to finally get away from my mental to-do lists to write this.
For the first time in many a U.S. resident’s life, older generations not withstanding, we are for once not immune to headlines typically reserved for the less-developed countries of this world that we from a detached state read and discard. A challenge that not only caught us off-guard in spite of early warnings, but when paired with a lack of information and strong leadership to serve as a guide it left us as a country in a state of flux and little facts, a position we are not all that familiar with--a wagon-less Oregon Trail of sorts without the game restart option.
As the “wait and see” approach has evolved into a flurry of quick-action plans and strategy re-evaluations that only grows with each day that passes, Americans are being forced to adjust to the new norm that will be adopted for at least the next couple of weeks to potentially a longer currently undefined period of time.
The initial panic that spread throughout our largest metropolitan cities as more and more COVID-19 cases have been identified has settled into an eerie quiet as roads remain without traffic and an already worn-down from a political election year target audience give in to those with the power of jurisdiction.
However, as one might imagine especially in times like these there are those working around the clock and behind-the-scenes to help create guides and disseminate factual information to the masses so expect to see some of that roll-out next week. I myself spent half of today on conference calls with some of these folks from all across the country to help drive some of the digital strategy and provide resources from my own professional circles.
No one has all of the answers and that is ok. People are worried and rightfully so as until all of the answers are available and more cases are shared there is still a lack of the right type of information out there, or rather it is hard to easily find the right information across all of the noise.
With schools closed, much of the workforce either currently idle thanks to the closing of their places of work or working from their own homes or on the front lines in the service industry and nerves at an all time-high this is no spring break to say the least. Families are having to spend all day every day in close quarters--this will either foster the much needed dialogue this country needs or drive a greater distance between some.
Likely a bit of both.
The pandemonium of last week should settle back down as folks begin to realize that there’s nothing to run from, quite the opposite staying put and at home will be what spares us.
One thing that I was happy to see as I ventured out to run the unavoidable necessary errands was a greater courtesy and compassion. We really are in this together.
I predict that this crisis will force us as a country to really reevaluate outdated policies and laws and actually start to chip away and overhaul on some of those to ensure that we don’t find ourselves in this type of crisis again.
For those still wondering why we are under the self-quarantines we’ll be covering more of this in coming days as this one post is not enough to really dive into all that should be covered. As I advise organizations and others across the country and eventually the general public pivot to alternate strategies and paths forward we’ll share some tips with you as well here in a few more blog posts over the course of the next few days.
In the meantime, if you do need help or find that you are losing hope or in a state of analysis paralysis this is no time for ego and as we all practice physical isolations so please reach out and let someone know otherwise no one will know that you need this help. It can be something as simple as a conversation, a new perspective, or just some facts that pull you out of this. Do not feel abandoned or forgotten at this time, as most everyone is just trying their best at the moment and we’ve all had to take quick action in the past few days. I myself haven’t had a chance to do a quick check-in with all of my close friends just yet either, but maybe if we all pick 2-3 to check in on each day then that will also help others to not feel alone.
Don’t take on the weight of the world at this time, take care of yourself and your household. If you run a company or manage teams, look out for them but don’t overburden yourself. If you do have some extra capacity check in on older members of the community and those with chronic illnesses and challenged immune systems. Be courteous out in the world and be grateful for what you do have. Be nice to service workers really always, but especially right now.
Yet, remember it really is okay to not be okay in times like these.
However, rest assured that there are many working on all of our behalf to help pave a clearer path.
In the meantime, some helpful tips and FAQs here.
Founder, Consciously Studio