As of March 16th, 2020, it feels like the world is falling apart.
Maybe because it actually is.
For the first time in my life, I’ve experienced an event that will have a definite before and after. The world was different before 9/11 and after 9/11 and it will be different again in the aftermath of the Corona Virus.
Every system has points of failure.
In fact, some failure is expected. In this case, we were grossly unprepared. Hopefully, a virus will not blindside us ever again.
I moved to San Francisco in January to build a career in technology.
I’m sure the economic meltdown will have cascading effects that I may eventually feel but I’m not too worried for myself. I’ll figure it out.
What I am worried about is the people who won’t or can’t as quickly.
- Small business owners
- The elderly who are most at risk
- Employees who live paycheck to paycheck
- The homeless
- Students who rely on school as a safe haven
- People who don’t have anyone to rely on
- Healthcare workers on the front lines
- Founders who have to shutter businesses and let go of talent
- The people who lose a loved one to nCoVID-19
- and many, many, others that I may not even be aware of…
The effects are not just on the individuals in these positions but on the communities and families of each person. Almost everyone we know will have touched the virus, psychologically.
Some questions on my mind:
- Will we think twice before shaking hands?
- How will our hygiene as a society improve?
- How will commonly held social beliefs change?
- What businesses will be started?
- Who’s going to lose their job?
- How will we help people retrain for new jobs?
- What will spur economic growth again?
- How will we respond to the uncertainty?
- How long will this new normal last?
- What else is on the horizon that no one else is thinking about?
- Who weathered the storm and won? How’d they do it?
The streets of San Francisco feel eerie. Supermarkets have empty shelves. Roads don’t have cars. People are not to be seen in shared spaces: office buildings, sidewalks, parks, public transport.
On the flip side, the internet is more alive than it’s ever been.
The virus has forced all the energy one would have exerted on the physical world to be exerted digitally. It feels like the early days of the internet again. When people were coming on for the first time.
People react to pain. They adapt. As soon as something breaks, they find a solution. It’s so incredible to see new technologies adopted at such a feverish pace. Hopefully, some of it sticks.
Now that the vulnerability of our existing systems has been exposed, entrepreneurs will rise to the opportunity. Over the past few years, I’ve been training myself to look for opportunities.
It’s finally time to put that skill to good use.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve thought of more ideas than I’ve ever had. Everyone’s feeling some kind of pain. In many cases, there’s a solution to their pain. In others, there isn’t yet.
If there’s anything you can do to alleviate the pain of those around you, please do. If we all do the same, we’ll slowly but surely bounce back. I’m optimistic about what the future has in store in a post-pandemic world.