Life Will Never Be the Same After COVID-19
Life won’t be the same after COVID-19.
Life IS change.
Life hasn’t been the same since 1975.
Steve Sasson invented the world’s first self-contained digital camera in 1975. He was a 24-year-old engineer at Eastman Kodak. The camera weighed eight pounds.
Before Steve Sasson, pictures were paper.
My wife is currently pouring over thousands of paper photographs. (She’s downsizing). At least once a day, I grab a stack of photos from our table and thumb through images of a young man with three children. He’s thin. His beard is reddish brown. His wife looks like a teenager.
We said, “I do,” in 1975. My bride had just turned 19. We’ve had thousands of Kodak moments.
We have pictures of our visit to the Statue of Liberty. There are frogs in the bathtub from a trip to New Hampshire.
One year, we went to New York City to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was so cold we ended up watching from our hotel window. I haven’t seen any pictures of that trip.
These days I’m playing with the children of my children. My waistline expanded. White hair, like many things, arrived uninvited.
Somehow we’re navigating the ups and downs of constant change.
Life is always “NEVER THE SAME.” Only death is the same.
Eastman Kodak didn’t embrace digital photography until it was too late.
President Obama awarded Mr. Sasson the National Medal of Technology and Innovation at a 2009 White House ceremony.
Three years later, Eastman Kodak filed for bankruptcy.” (NYT)
What leadership opportunity is change bringing you?
How might leaders best navigate the ups and downs of change?
Life is always “Never the Same.” I’m printing that out and putting it on my wall!
Thanks Lori. 🙂 … I’m not sure if it’s more a challenge or a comfort?
I like having a line drawn in the sand. The comfort is in the challenge.
As a leader it’s your responsibility to be the one to step forward and help accept the change. Be positive and whatever it takes lead your team, group, chapter who over with brace and caring to the next step. You set the tone, the example and whether you move forward to success or failure.
I believe none of us ever really know what is waiting around the corner, so how do we prepare for what we don’t know? We could research history and find how things transpired in similar instances perhaps, yet they may indeed” not be the same”. We don’t know until we wear the shoes, prepare with ones best knowledge and move forward with what we know that could work.
Life’s challenges can be the same for many as history has thought us, the rest is “seat of the pants Engineering”.
Thanks Tim. You ask an intriguing question. I have to say that I’m going to mull this over.
How do we prepare for what we don’t know?
I think that book is still being written by each one of us! 🙂
Dan, you prepare as Gene MacLellan suggested, “put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water….put your hand in hand of the man from Galilee.”
Now that’s an oldie. Thanks Pete.
Yes, I believe this is another 9/11 moment where the world forever changes. I guess one of these about every two decades or so is the norm. Anyone want to predict the next one? I’m thinking it involves water – vast drinking water shortages and also ocean levels rising to impact major cities.
Thanks Valerie. I’m plugging my ears and closing my eyes. 🙂 One pandemic at a time, please!! 😉
Seriously, I think we’ll come to better appreciate the value and importance of connection.
I didn’t see the car that hit me three weeks ago as I was walking across the street–the impact breaking both my bones of my leg at the knee joint–I had the light but he came up from behind. All I could do is get myself up off the road and drag myself to curb, not thinking about what just happened, how unfair it was, but just to problem solve the situation I found myself in, sitting there in the rain, in the dark, and every headlight directed to me as I demanded the driver, who got out of his car when he saw he hit me, to call the police, which he did because he too was in shock. I remember hearing on a documentary about 9/11 that the people who died in the Towers were frozen with shock and that is why they could not save themselves. It is the shock that is the demon in moments of crisis, and it is the savor who can get through the shock quickly who saves lives. I was lucky, and do thank God that I survived, and I also thank this blog and my marital arts training, both giving me the strength to be the leader in that moment…victims who turn into leaders.
Wow!! Victoria, I’m so glad you’re OK. Thanks for sharing your story. It sounds tragic. That feeling of being unable to process what’s happening sounds shocking.
Your story reminds me that people make a difference, especially during crisis. Do what you can do to make things better.
A few years ago, I was in a nearly fatal car accident. I remember that the world got really small.
I wish you a speedy and complete recovery.
Thank you Dan for your kind words, I prize your wisdom and inspired that you survived as well to become successful.
What leadership opportunity is change bringing you? If anything, I believe that this pandemic will change the way we interact, plan, and appreciate the luxuries of life. I think that as we move forward, we must remember this time, who was able to rise to the occasion, and what were the lessons we learned on the other side. Most of all, we cannot take precious life for granted.
As for leadership, I agree with Valerie about water, ocean levels and will add climate change. Water has been used as a weapon of war for thousands of years. We know that the lack of food and water can bring significant instability to regions. Climate change is not our only opportunity. Grooming, facilitating, and developing “futurists” will cultivate a cadre of people who are consistently looking towards the future for solutions, mitigation, and challenges that may confront us.
Regardless of the advantage, people are always the center of the solution.
Thanks Kishla. Wow…that last sentence is a challenge and encouragement. Love it.
Life is always “NEVER THE SAME.” Only death is the same. As I’ve aged (63 in a week) I’ve seen as you note much change and I’ve come (after many years of denial) to acknowledge that “change” is ultimately good even if in the short term, or medium or even long term. Change might mean pain, discomfort, loss, renewal, even rebirth but change is always there as we as a society or individually evolve. Death as noted is the same so if one has an approach to maximize one’s existence here on earth with family, friends and through relationships one can “manage” the change presented. One may not always like the change but with the right mindset one can manage it.
Happy (early) birthday, Roger. Maybe we think we don’t like change. But we probably don’t like the alternative. 🙂
Love how “manage” is in quotes. There are many ways to “manage” change. 🙂 But, like you, I’m done with all the hand-wringing about the world coming to an end.
May you have many more years.
We must plan for the future, but live for the moment.
I love the statement ” all things change” and I hold it when times are good and bad.
I have a tendency to always be overly cautious in just about every aspect of life. Last week was no different when my coworkers were downplaying and mocking COVID-19, while I pleaded with them to please take it seriously. I will say, this week, their tones are completely different. Now, instead of mocking the virus, they are suddenly concerned for the wife who works in the medical field, the grandmother who has respiratory problems and the young nephew who has cystic fibrosis and clogged lungs. The takeaway is that these are tough times and our response to COVID-19 is new to everyone. We need to learn how to cope with the change that comes along with it.
Thanks Tanya. Now is the time for compassion. I’m glad you jumped in. It would have been nice if you were wrong. 🙂
Dan, what a great column, just the reminder needed in times like these. Without change, there would be no opportunities. I see this as an opportunity, a chance to help out those more impacted by the pandemic than I am, a chance to connect with people I don’t normally see because they are at the gym or holed up in coffee shops or their homes, a chance to use my blessings to bless others. You are so right, there is ALWAYS change. This change may be a little more widespread and impactive than most, but as the magnitude of the change goes up, so the opportunity increases.
A big lesson to take from this virus is just how connected the world is – a global community. The young people born this century are the first generation of truly global citizens. And leadership will be one of the most important skills.
I worked 17 years as a 911 dispatcher. I talked to people every day that “life would never be the same”. Life was never meant to be the same, it can’t be no matter how much we think we are in control, we are not. It’s not about how many times you get knocked down it only matters that you get up every time. The one time you don’t it’s over. I see people now that I don’t think are getting up or do I think they will ever get over this. This is such a change that they will spend the rest of their life hiding from what may be. A Walt quote “when they are hitting you from both sides DUCK”.
Life is always changing in order to have a sense of personal development and grow from our mistakes and life experiences. If you live a life that’s constant, then you’re not experiencing human development and evolving/adapting to the change around you. As I am pursing my Masters in Public Health and dealing with the current pandemic at the same time, there will be many leadership opportunities that I will face. Although it may not be right away, the change that COVID-19 brought will impact my life in ways that I seek to give back. Standardization creates efficiency; however, efficiency is not always resilient. We live in a world where we find things to be predictable, thus being resilient requires adaptability. With COVID-19 and the warnings given from this health issue, we did not expect it to hit as hard and quick in the US. With that being said, many organizations, hospitals, lab-corps, and front-line workers adapted and risked their lives to save infected patients. With my background in Public Health and experience through COVID-19, I can become a more effective leader from the changes I sought out through this experience and learning from the mistakes of what works and doesn’t work. COVID-19 has help taught to better manage teams and communications effectively during challenging and uncertain times. It’s made using time efficiently because every second counts as this health issues intensifies globally. Having developed these skills will help towards being a sufficient leader. In general, change isn’t always easy, but majority of the time it’s for the better. Leaders should take this opportunity and embrace the change with an open mindset to learn more. Leaders who cannot navigate through change and ask the question “why”, they are prohibiting themselves from understanding the larger context and what lies at stake if the necessary change does not happen.
Life is never the same after any big event that one experiences. The same could certainly be said for life before and after having a child, the loss of a loved one, and even a pandemic. It is truly how one decides to look at these events after the fact and decide how to move forward. Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast in August 2005. It looked at the time like these communities would never recover from the devastation. However, the pride and resilience of these communities prevailed once the water receded. A generation of New Orleanians that had moved away, fed up with the city’s politics and corruption moved back to a destroyed city to be part of the rebuilding.
Now living in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems that the worry is that life will never be the same again. However, the question worth asking is, should life to go back to being the same? As a public health professional, the work being done to prevent, prepare, and respond to disasters and outbreaks has often gone unnoticed and under-appreciated for its importance. For some professions, if the job is done well then no one ever knows that it was done. Now the terms “epidemiology” and “contact tracing” are buzz words and not reserved for a game of balderdash. By everyone having a better understanding of the importance of preparedness, not only for natural disasters, but also for infectious disease outbreaks, potentially more support can be provided for these efforts moving forward. New technologies being developed for COVID-19 could forever change the way the world responds to outbreaks.
This global pandemic has highlighted inadequacies and inequities in healthcare systems globally, but also the strength and talents of the individuals working within these systems. Instead of only focusing on the hardships of these times, maybe change can be embraced and even more advocacy for change can occur.
This post was not what I was expecting- but in a good way. I have been seeing headlines similar to this one every where, “life has changed forever” “things will never be the same way” “get ready for a new normal” etc. You are right, things will be different. Maybe buffets will go extinct, masks may become trendy here in North America, and we may all start to use hand sanitizer more than normal. I’m sure many companies will allow more employees to work from home, and trade will shift to a more local focus. I am sure there are a million more things that will change but this does not mean things won’t go back to normal. All these changes will happen slowly, day by day. We are not going to just wake up one day in a new world that is unrecognizable. We will instead be faced with bite sized changes. It is important to recognize however that these changes may not be negative. I have heard that many schools are considering smaller class sizes as a strategy for reopening and warding off the virus. This is definitely not a bad thing. Smaller class sizes is something many parents and teachers have been fighting for a very long time now.
Life will never be the same. If there is one thing we need to do in life after COVID-19 is to have more compassion, look out for yourself and family, friends’ odds they are having a hard time too. It’s time for humanity and solidarity rather than charity. A lot of new things happening at a same time around the world the life of individuals may not be the same after all this over, people are not only scared for their health but also their income, already millions of people have lost their job and there won’t be the same economy, the hospitality industry, small business, all these things will take time to stand again, so does the number of jobs in these fields. All things will take time to get better as there is no control over the spread of infection and people are already in frustration over the lockdown. Everyone will not have the same opportunities again, income inequality is about to go up as job insecurity, the rich will stay rich and the poor will get poorer the gaps between those two lines will increase the number of people is having trouble to stable their income because of the pandemic. The COVID-19 had taught us to have patience, learning, and upgrading your skills that can help us earn money because with an ongoing scenario the medical world and the technology world will rule. From the pandemic, we learned that doctors’ nurses, health care providers, and essential workers are a real lifesaver, not some celebrities, influencers, and sportsperson. This is not the time to spend money, but it’s definitely the time to give it, and maybe that’s how we will beat this pandemic and survive to see the world after the pandemic.
Rather than avoiding change, it is imperative to embrace the inevitable. Albeit not always good, like COVID-19, as humans we must learn to adapt. With every second, minute, hour, day that passes, change is the only constant we have in life. Through adaptation we learn to overcome obstacles.
Most of the world was unprepared for this moment in time. We are still struggling to cope with this global pandemic but slowly we are learning to adapt. Personally, going through this epidemic has allowed me to practice mindfulness and patience. Through my mentors and leaders, I have been grateful enough to experience empathy in the workplace and been able to continue working from home. My peers and I have been able to maintain consistent communication and encourage each other through tough times. Sure, some of us may feel a bit cooped up or go stir-crazy. But in that moment, it’s important to understand what is going on in the world around us and not just focus on our own lives.
At times change is uncomfortable. It’s not an easy task for many, but at the end we come about the situation with new ideas, perspectives, approaches, and a newly found appreciation. It encourages leaders to work through the challenge and become a better person in the end. Changes should be looked at as life lessons and make us question how we can be better for the next potential change. It challenges us to grow, and without growth we will not prosper.