The COVID-19 Effect

The COVID-19 Effect

Nikki takes a moment to reflect on some of the ways COVID-19 is changing life as we know it

"It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light."

Aristotle Onassis

When I was coming to the end of my year of quiet reflection after my ‘personal tragedy’, I lot count of the number of times that I said “Well…2020 can only get better!” How wrong we can be. Just goes to show that you never know what’s around the corner. While 2019 was pretty challenging for me on a personal level, I don’t think anyone on earth could have anticipated how challenging 2020 would be on a global level.

My heart absolutely goes out to people who have been personally affected by this horrid virus: either through health complications for them or their family, or through the challenge of facing an indefinite period of unemployment. I cannot imagine how devastating and downright scary things are right now for those people. If you are one of them…my thoughts are with you. I have no words.

For the rest of us, in some ways, 2020 and the COVID-19 situation will hopefully result in not much more than an extended period of social curtailment and a bit of boredom here and there.

I am not one for New Years Resolutions as such. I prefer to choose a word or phrase as my guiding mantra for a year. I spent a lot of time in reflection as 2020 approached, thinking about what I could choose to focus on. I decided on “Connection” as my word for the year. After retreating into a sort of self-imposed isolation from situations and people in 2019, I felt like 2020 was my year to (re)Connect. With my friends and family. With the things I love to do. With myself.

Goodness…hasn’t 2020 thrown a curve ball for THAT??!! Interestingly, however, I actually think that despite our current situation of ‘self-isolating’ (which, mind you, has a completely different connotation this year from whenever that phrase has been coined in the past)…I feel that in many ways we are being forced to be creative in how we connect. Never before have I known so many people so intent on remaining connected. We’ve been told to practise social distancing. But I agree with the views that, in reality, we’re just physical distancing; because now, more than ever, we need to socially connect – in ways that we’ve never thought to do in the past.

My workdays are filled with “check in” meetings via Skype where teams come together to do just that: check in. We don’t talk about work. We talk about what we’re watching on Netflix, or how we’re keeping the kids busy, or what our exercise regime looks like these days. I’ve learned more about my colleagues’ personal lives in the 2 weeks I’ve been remote working than I have in the 6 months since I’ve had this job.

Hubby and I now spend Friday and Saturday nights FaceTiming our friends – friends we haven’t spoken to for YEARS. We’re attending House Parties via the new app that’s been launched. We’re planning a Zoom dinner party for a few weeks’ time. I get goosebumps when I think about how creative and committed people are when it comes to ideas for staying in touch. What are you and your family and friends doing to stay connected?

Reflecting forwards is one of the key steps I advocate in the Change Frame process. Mentally putting yourself on the other side of a change and visualising what life looks and feels like. While I can’t quite visualise exactly what life will look like post-COVID-19, one thing I know for sure is it will not be the same. As a race, we will come out the other side with different views and values…we have to.