I’ve had a lot of upheaval during March 2020:

  • I can’t go to a restaurant to sit down and enjoy a meal–take out isn’t “the same.”
  • I’m unable to get my thermos filled with Starbucks coffee, something I’ve done every day–even holidays!–for 25 years. This may not sound like much to you but it’s a big deal to me.
  • My father died, one month shy of his 94th birthday. It was time. Dad’s quality of life had slipped pretty dramatically.

One very good thing that I’m grateful for:

  • I’ve not caught the #coronavirus

This morning I headed to my coworking facility just for a change of scenery, knowing that it would be empty. No need to worry about the 6-foot rule there today. I stopped by McDonalds to grab a breakfast sandwich. I was the only car in line. Not much traffic on a Sunday morning–everything is closed including the churches. The guy I paid for my order expressed concern that his McDonalds might not be open much longer which would cost him his job. There are few places open where he could easily get a job today. I could hear the fear in his voice. He can’t enjoy that he is one of the lucky ones to have a job at this moment. He’s waiting for the shoe to drop.

Last night, I went to a restaurant my wife and I love in Santa Clara for take-out–Mission City Grill. They’ve got a skeleton crew producing about one-third of their normal menu. It was good, but, frankly, not nearly as good as eating in. Boxes meant for left-overs aren’t nearly as effective at keeping meals hot and fresh as different containers would be for hot entrees.

Our economic world has certainly been thrown into chaos. Some who have been “ordered home to work” are finding it’s really hard. I’m a road warrior so I’m used to being thrown into unique work settings. Many who have normal W-2 jobs were sent home to be their kids, their pets, their spouses, their parents, and have no home offices and are expected to be effective. It’s hard–really hard. I experience how hard it is for companies and their team members. We need to cut people some slack.

Things will eventually return to normal and likely to a new normal.

  • I think air travel will be rare as companies and teams learn they can get by with video conferencing.
  • Less air travel will mean diminished demand for air travel, rental cars, Uber and Lyft.
  • Companies will be far more tolerant of people working from home (telecommuting) which will ease traffic and create less pollution.

This nightmare will come to an end. I predict it will be the end of May. Until then, I think of the horror COVID-19 will inflict on patients and their families, first responders, doctors, nurses and support staff.

Please stay home and help flatten the curve! I hope you avoid COVID-19.

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Dave Gardner

Dave Gardner is a management consultant, speaker, author, and blogger based in Silicon Valley. He's been in the front row for the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley, the innovation capital of the world. Since 1992, Dave Gardner focuses on making the complex simple around people, process and technology. Dave is the author of Mass Customization: An Enterprise-Wide Business Strategy - How Build to Order, Assemble to Order, Configure to Order, Make to Order, and Engineer to Order Manufacturers Increase Profits and Better Satisfy Customers.

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