This year has been quite the eventful year with its obvious changes from wearing masks, working from home, and to social distancing. How we anticipate the coming year: 2021!
Who would have ever fathomed a virus would have shut our world down, and cleared out cleaning supplies for months and made toilet paper a hot commodity? The Coronavirus aka COVID-19 certainly took the world by storm, and we are still feeling its effects, even as the new vaccines are now on the scene.
What we have learned -
Life as we know it, can be slowed down.
Family time came to mean something entirely different.
Hand washing like raccoons became the norm, only we use soap and water for 20 seconds or hand sanitizer.
No visitors for those hospitalized, in nursing homes, in assisted living facilities.
Temperature checks, symptoms of the virus, traveling checks.
Being grounded – mandatory quarantines in our own living spaces.
When we couldn’t get hand sanitizer, some folks made their own. Even a local distillery switched up their normal product and made hand sanitizer for the community to purchase.
Hoarding of cleaning supplies – bleach, disinfectant spray and wipes, toilet cleansers, most cleaners in general, dish and laundry detergents and even water were in short or non-existent supply for quite a while. (It took me 6 months to finally find and receive 2 bottles of disinfectant spray! I went into a shop last weekend, and that was the first time I have seen bleach on the shop shelving since this craziness started!)
Restaurants, bars, clubs, schools, colleges, and other “non-essential” places were closed. Small restaurants and small businesses struggled, and some lost the battle, thus closing their doors forever.
Children were sent home to be taught by their parents, guardians, grandparents, or other siblings. Virtual learning, assuming they had access to computers, smart phones, with WiFi/internet, became part of everyday living. Families reverted to teaching their own children their lessons.
Instructions of what to do to keep us safe has changed since the start. I wrote my first COVID blog on March 16, 2020 – my first day working remotely for the remainder of 2020. I’m going to share a few items that have changed. When leaving your home, keep these simple tips in mind:
Wash Your Hands: In public places, and at home, use soap and wash your hands for a minimum of 30 seconds. Resist touching your face, after touching common spaces, such as door handles, toilet handles, faucet fixtures, grocery carts, railings, credit card readers, ATMs, etc.
Skip the Face Mask: In public, the only people that should be wearing face masks are those who are sick, and not necessarily with COVID-19. Healthy people should not wear surgical face masks, as it could potentially increase your chances of getting sick because you have to touch your face to put it on and adjust it.
No Touching: Resist the urge to greet someone by shaking their hand, hugging or kissing.
One thing remains consistent: Change
My second COVID-19 blog came just a few days later, as the virus progressed the instructions of what we were to do changed too, sometimes daily!
President Trump advised on March 16, 2020, there is not a nationwide lockdown as of this point and he recommended avoiding groups of 10 persons or more. There is no national curfew yet. If one person in the household gets the virus, the entire household should quarantine themselves for at least 15 days. If you have had the coronavirus, you need to have 2 negative cultures 24 hours apart to be cleared.
In April 9, 2020, I wrote another blog, this one we are nearly just one month into the pandemic of the coronavirus, and our lives have changed significantly. There were people who had to be on the frontline, that could not stay home, but had to be out in public. There were four emotions people were experiencing: fear, worry, stress, and faith. Random acts of kindness were welcomed. Instead of closing ourselves out, we found ways to share kindness to those in need.
Even our team of 29 were moved from the office to working remotely from home. Our business still went on, but without our favorite part of seeing our clients face to face. With our main office in Olmsted Falls, OH, we followed the Ohio Governor’s instructions for all our office locations (3 in OH, 2 in SC). We did 5 blogs with our team sharing their “office” space, the challenges they faced, what they enjoyed and what they missed from the office. While the space wasn’t the same, there remained a firm comradery. You can revisit the blogs here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.
Remember when we couldn’t find any face masks? Yeah, the face masks transitioned from those who are sick to everyone wearing them when out in public, or when you are not able to keep a safe distance from others. The beneficial side of the shortages really brought out the helpful side of many. Those who were able to, made facial masks for healthcare organizations who were not able to keep up with their own supply.
It is up to us
One of the last blogs I wrote about the pandemic, was what a few selected team members learned about this experience. All blogs after that did not mention the pandemic, as we seemed to have settled into a groove of change, where we listened to the instructions of what to do, and what not to do during a pandemic. We bought toilet paper and cleaning supplies and did not hoard it. Our offices reopened to the public, with a disclosure of masks must be worn and we would limit the number of people in the office at any one time to limit the potential exposure to others.
We have gone through where members of our team have had COVID-19, and they were sent home and quarantined until able to return to the office. With the holidays, it became clear that by seeing more people than we had the entire year, the potential for exposure to COVID-19 became greater. There have been a few that have been in quarantine due to possible exposure. Even with vaccines, there will still be potential that we could continue to see COVID-19 into the new year. So many changes....
It has been a tough and challenging year – 2020. How we anticipate the coming year--2021 and the hope of a return to “normal” with no face masks, no social distancing, and no quarantines. As this year ends, step into 2021 with optimism and hope of new beginnings.