As the days draw on with continuing news coverage of panic and pandemic, it is hard to not let the anxiety of it all settle. You’re frightened about the future coming days. You find yourself in an anxious, downward, news filled spiral. What does this mean for your life? Your livelihood your future? Your children? Your parents? Most of these questions we cannot answer. The virus does not have an expiration date and we will not be filled with immediate future security for quite some time. Its hard to stop and think. Its hard to pause for a moment of relief and not get curious about the Spanish flu that took 50 million lives just over 100 years ago. I feel myself being pulled back to history to possibly find a sign of relief. Yet, the only solace I do see is in myself. In the very fact that just a few months ago I rarely thought about the Spanish flu in my daily life. The fact that the world continued and thrived for so many years after what people called was the worst pandemic in modern history.
My great grandfather died in the Spanish flu and it affected the trajectory of our lives forever. Would my grandfather have started E. J. Basler Company if he did not feel the weight of providing for the family? Would my father have met my mother if the family was not anchored to a business in the Chicago area. Every moment of our lives leads into a new reality for our future. For many of us this time is terrifying, the world feels staggering and dangerous. It feels like this because it is. All those feelings you are feeling are real. It is okay to feel fear, anxiety, sadness, and grief. Allow yourself to feel all the feelings so you can get onto the important business of living.
Yet, even in the midst of this uncertainty, we can still look around and see all the bright spots of humanity. Fresh bread being baked for neighbors, signs of hope and gratefulness to the front line workers. A #pandemicpals writing group rising to help carry the burden of isolation in the form of snail mail. These streaks of sun invading our dreary grey days, little rays of hopeful defiance. Reminding us that we are not alone, that we are in this together and that the only way through will be by each of us working united. The virus has no favorites and comes for every income, age, and race.
If there is one thing, we can all say for certainty it is that life eventually will go back to normal. There will be theater shows and concerts again. Family birthday parties and restaurant romantic dinners. We will be able to gather in parks and hug our friends and loved ones closely.
In the meantime, we will stay committed to the health of our families our employees, our customers and our communities. We will wash our hands and social distance ourselves while remembering that each passing day brings us that much closer to a future fueled by the very best of us standing collectively.
We are in this together and will continue to work to provide essential businesses with supplies to keep our lives humming along even if the hum (for the time being) is not quite as loud as before.
Let’s continue thinking how we can structure our partnerships for success when we are left at the end of this pandemic putting the puzzle back together again.
United We Rise