I feel exceptionally connected these days. In general, I always feel pretty tuned in between email and texts and social media and the constant bombardment of news alerts for which I cannot resist registering. Add a pandemic to that mix, and it seems I’m online almost every waking hour – not just doing my job which thankfully can be performed from home, but reading, watching, listening, chatting, staying connected with friends and family using video conferencing – immersing myself in all the information I can absorb from all over the world.
Juxtapose this with the sobering fact that 49.3% of the entire world’s population does not use the internet (Internetworldstats, Q1, 2020). Add to this the (unknown number of) people who have access to the internet but are unable to comprehend certain things. My mother-in-law, for example, can (sometimes) use the internet for email, but she only understands that the coronavirus is impacting her and her small retirement community and seems surprised every time we mention that people all over the world are suffering. Similarly, small children who are home from school or others who don’t have a concept of the world outside their home area, may feel like it’s just summer vacation, or may not have noticed any change at all. When you don’t have a grasp of how far the world actually reaches, global events become small and even simple or nonexistent. There are those who may look to parents or caregivers with confusion, wondering when they can get together with their friends again, as if nothing has changed outside their doorway.
The connectivity I feel, however, masks how blind I am to where we will all land when the pandemic becomes part of our history, something we can look back on instead of something we’re looking through. When we experience a large weather event, such as a hurricane or a tornado or an ice storm, we understand the inherent devastation, we know that when the bad weather passes, we’ll all get busy fixing and repairing and replacing and pushing ourselves back to some semblance of normal, as quickly as we can. We know what that normal looks like, and we have a pretty good idea of how to get there. With the coronavirus, however, I can’t even see what the normal life will look like on the other side. How will we get there if we don’t know where we’re going?
And as advisors, how best can we help our clients when the future is murky to us? The silver lining is exactly the connectivity I’ve described above. If we can maintain the level of communication and information sharing that surrounds us as we make it through each day of this pandemic, continue to innovate, care, listen, empathize, and just plain muddle through together, and offer suggestions based on the body of knowledge we already have, the so-called new normal, which is a mystery to us now, might be able to unfold more gracefully with our guidance.
See inside May 2020
Apps We Love: May 2020 – Apps to Survive the Pandemic
What does a person or a business need during a pandemic and how can apps fill that need? We weren't sure ourselves, so we started searching. Here are the results of that search.