What Will COVID-19 Tell Us About Ourselves?
We will change. COVID-19 is changing us all. I believe we all know that. After every major catastrophe from floods to hurricanes to economic meltdowns, we change as a people. That change will also change marketing and messaging.
“In an important sense 9/11 does mark the end of an era, for it reveals that the United States is vulnerable to attacks on its home soil,” wrote Gail Makinen in the conclusions of “A Retrospective Assessment” of the 9/11 attacks for the Congressional Research Center.
COVID-19 will be an end of an era for us as well. We now know we are vulnerable to a pandemic on our home soil and right into our own homes. We also know that no matter how much isolation you try to practice, we live in a global world that can be impacted by a tiny virus half a world away — the Butterfly Effect.
This unprecedented disease disruption is also changing what we know about ourselves and our world:
- We now know how economically interconnected we all are, from the dry cleaner to family restaurants to large corporations to China, where most of our N95 masks are made
- We now know there are heroes of all kinds, from healthcare workers to the person who delivers toilet paper to the grocery store
- We now know that our mothers were right: Wash your hands again and again
- We now know how important custodial and facility management people are to our health and safety
- We now know that bowing to each other is a better way of showing respect — and respect for someone’s health — than shaking hands
- For some odd reason, we now know that more than 50,000 people die of the regular flu each year and that the same guidelines for COVID-19 should apply during flu season
- We now know that packing ourselves into tight places with lots of people may not be the best thing for our health
- We now know there is no magic, just science to the process of developing disease treatment and vaccines (and it takes longer than you think it should)
- We now know how important the news media is to getting information in a crisis. We also know to fact-check and temper what we hear from all news sources
- We now know anecdotes are not data
- We now know how truly fragile this world is and how important we are to each other
And we all now know real friends social distance. Stay safe.