A Silver Lining Pandemic Playbook
First and foremost: Happy New Year! May 2021 bring you the happiness, health, and success you deserve. Last year, going into 2021, has been beyond our worst nightmare as a world. While I do not consider myself to be neither an optimist nor pessimist, I am intentionally focusing on the positives of the global pandemic.
As a blind person, it took the pandemic for me to have the availability to fully work from home. My commutes to the office had the predictability of an inaccurate weather forecast. Utilizing Paratransit – specifically designed for seniors and people with disabilities, I had no clue whether I would have a direct ride to/from home or a grand tour of the Albany, NY area. Since the pandemic began in early March, I have only been to the office once to grab the equipment and office phone to save from my personal cell phone becoming a work line. The technological glitches of remote work are unavoidable; however, the minor inconveniences far outweigh an exhausting commute. Thank you, Consumer Directed Choices, for not only providing me with the necessary technology to work from home, but for also giving me the freedom to have people I know and trust to help with my home care needs.
Enough about my selfish benefits from the pandemic. Can you believe it took this large-scale international tragedy to allow people to work from home? Whether it is due to disability, being a parent, or simply feeling the risk of being exposed is not worth the reward, many of us have proven we can thrive. Having more restaurants deliver or offer take-out services which did not previously exist certainly has not sucked. Virtual meeting platforms like Zoom have helped us begin the foundation of the new “typical”. Before moving on, the usage of “typical” is with uninhibited intent because normal implies a lack of adaptation to change. Virtual meeting platforms have also made attending meetings more accessible because transportation and travel time are not nearly the center point of reality as they were pre-pandemic.
Another positive has been telehealth. While personally I am not at high risk, the simple reality is I would need to rely on someone to take me to any doctor appointments. Being able to have phone calls with doctors from the comfort of my home has been fantastic! A few weeks ago, during a leadership program, I read statistics saying telehealth has improved several hundred percentage points in various sectors with people feeling far more comfortable. Frankly, the fact it took a global pandemic for such conveniences to be part of our culture in such a widely acceptable way says so much about our unwillingness to adapt and change. Overall, we have done a good job having to make so many significant changes to our lives in an extremely short period of time. While the number of deaths, people and families impacted, and the number of people trapped in congregate facilities will forever ensure the negatives of the pandemic outweigh the positives, perhaps this has been the much-needed wake-up call our society so desperately needed. Thank you goes out to everyone on the front lines, ensuring we can stay safe in during such a dangerous time.
All I ask is you do your part to prevent the spread of Covid-19. That is all you can do! Doing your part will save lives, ensure our collective dignity as a society, and will make the world a better place.