The focus of our last two COVID-19 blogs has been on providing practical marketing advice and sharing fact-based approaches to dealing with the crisis. The first blog provided a primer of 8 likely questions asked of marketers to help their organizations prepare. While the second blog provided a framework for rationally re-forecasting 2020, including an illustrative model for how to estimate the epidemic’s likely ultimate rise (an update of that estimate has been added to that second blog, incorporating the latest statistics as of March 27).
Today’s blog is still about what can we do professionally, but with a more personal touch, as well. The last 2 or 3 weeks seem to have followed their rhythm, maybe analogous to the Kübler-Ross stages of grief, with much of the country first having started in denial until a week or two ago, which was quickly followed by widespread anxiety. Increasingly, however, it seems many of us are moving on and are accepting this new reality and settling into a “new normal.” As part of that new normal, I have been moved by the numerous spontaneous expressions of caring and concern, as well as a genuine interest in connecting with others that are not as freely expressed usually. One lighthearted example for many of us is that we are now receiving way more emailed and texted jokes than we’ve gotten in a while 🙂
Maybe it’s that all of us being in the same boat against this virus reminds us of our shared humanity. To understand whether or not what I started seeing is a broader spread trend, I spent the last few days interviewing friends and acquaintances all over the world, ranging from China to Europe to across the US. I simply asked them what they’re doing to cope with the new reality without any expectations, nor did I try to guide their answers.
What I heard grouped in two buckets:
- People are trying to stay busy and optimistic, partly by exercising and partly by learning from what others are doing
- And they’re starting to reach out helping others, or are planning what they’ll be offering their communities shortly
Staying Healthy and Helping Others
What struck me was the creativity and inventiveness with which people picked things to work on and help with, and how to spend their time at home. Below are more details around the types of things the folks I spoke with said they’re doing or are planning to do, grouped by the above blue, orange and green buckets:
Here are the quoted links in the table above:
- Google info portal
- Worldwide Virus Map
- eHealth newsletter sample
- COVID Wikipedia page
- Volunteer Match COVID website
- Sample help site on Facebook
- SMB financial help – USA
- SMB financial help – Germany
- SF Chronicle article on helping
Making a Difference and Staying Involved
As we’re all spending weeks at home now, the above is a simple list of ideas for how to keep meaningfully busy ourselves – both professionally and personally – but also how we can help others. The outpouring of support and concern for each other that’s increasingly appearing now across the world has touched me deeply to the point where I today launched my own pro bono offer to help SMBs and startups quickly adapt their sales and marketing (you can see it here).
Hopefully, you’ll find these ideas for how to keep going useful or even inspiring, and maybe also (re)discover an unexpected silver lining around this entire epidemic that knows no national, ethnic or racial boundaries: