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COVID-19: Fighting the fear through relationships and projects.

March 26, 2020 / in Personal / by

Over the past week, I’ve gotten a glimpse of the impact that COVID-19 is already having on Kansas City. It’s sobering. And we only have 170 confirmed cases in Kansas as of 3/26/20. Odds are, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. (This is not going to be another article of fear and hand wringing, even though it might feel like it at first, so please stick with me.)

The Reality

For some organizations, like medical practices, things are incredibly hectic. Website changes, blog posts, email newsletters, and a constant stream of updates to these channels has kept everyone moving. They’re busy with patient needs, new screening processes, equipment shortages and so much more.

For others, business has slowed or stopped altogether. Furloughs and layoffs. Wondering if the relief package will actually turn into dollars for their business… in time for those dollars to matter.

The media is sharing scary facts hourly. And don’t get me started on the stock market. If you plug in for too long, it’s overwhelming.

The Response

If you’re really struggling right now, I get it. I wanted to share some things I’ve been doing to get through the next couple of months with a better frame of mind.

If you have more time on your hands, put it to good use.

I made an important decision when all this started. I decided to put my extra time to good use. (My client load has increased, but the drive time has dropped to almost ZERO.)

I’ve been researching video and photography. I will use these new skills in my personal and professional life. (Thank you Gina Stuelke for the inspiration.)

My home office is set up for high definition video calls with lighting and a good microphone. Why? Because I will be representing myself and my company through video meetings for the next few weeks/months. I need to know what I’m doing with the technology, and I want to look solid while doing it. (I should do a blog post about video call fails. I have a TON of funny examples. People are definitely still figuring this stuff out.)

HD Video for Zoom Meetings

The positive outcome is that my mind is focused on learning new things. Between client work and this new undertaking, I don’t have a ton of time for my mind to obsess about the scary stuff.

So if you find yourself spinning out of control, losing sleep, or thinking about building a bunker, try to find a project. Tackle that home project you’ve been trying to get to for months. (If you do, thanks… it may help my Home Depot stock.) I know someone that’s learning how to play guitar. Find something that will give you focus and a sense of accomplishment.

Yes, even my HDMI cables are blue.

Connect with people… virtually.

A core truth that I’ve learned over the past two weeks is that people are hungry for human connection. We’re cooped up and our routines have been thrown out of whack.

When I FaceTime my parents, the joy I see in their eyes when we start talking and laughing is priceless. We play games with the camera… closeups on eyes, ears and noses are popular. (But I’m pretty sure my parents aren’t doing it on purpose.)

I’ve had Zoom Meetings with peer advisory groups, my “Brat Pack” high school friends, clients, my church small group, neighbors and more. These end up being virtual coffees, virtual happy hours and surprisingly productive working sessions.

Quite a few people have commented on how much fun they had during those video calls. They enjoyed the conversations, seeing everyone, reconnecting and feeling a little more “normal” for a change. I’ve gone out of my way to set up video calls with people, even if they’re just 10 minutes long.

It feels good to connect. So look for opportunities to do that.
Need help? Let’s do a Zoom meeting to talk about it.

The Future

I hope that you stay healthy, and if not, I hope you heal quickly. Nothing matters more than relationship, so I’m hoping to give you elbows soon… and then high fives and hugs.

We. Will. Get. Through. This.

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