By Steve Moran

I originally titled this article “How Has COVID-19 Made Your Life Better?” but realized it could very well have misconstrued the tone I wanted to convey.

At the highest level, no one is better off for COVID having hit our planet and it has caused and continues to cause immeasurable harm by killing people, resulting in great pain to friends and family members and leaving some survivors with significant long-term, maybe even, permanent scars. And that is before we get to the economic toll it is taking on nearly everyone.

And Yet for All the Pain

I have talked to so many people who have told me stories about how the pandemic has forced them to make adjustments that have made their lives better. The motivation for this article came from a conversation with Kelsey Mellard, one of the presenters at the 2020 Tech Foresight Summit, about how our lives and businesses have changed.

In her case, they needed to make a couple of location changes and that meant a driving trip that included camping to stay safe and also created an adventure. For Kelsey, the CEO of a telemedicine company, it has also meant an explosion of business and accelerating policy and reimbursement changes that were otherwise way too slow in coming.

In My Own Life

I have cried over the deaths and infections of friends and colleagues in senior living, though so far my family is all safe. I have profound sadness and helplessness as I talk to close friends whose businesses have been decimated by the necessary travel and gathering restrictions.

I planned on taking 30 days off to hike the entire John Muir Trail (Yosemite National Park to Mt. Whitney) and had to turn my coveted permit back in for someone else to use.

And yet . . .

  • I am now having dinner and playing dominoes with 3 of the 4 generations living under my roof (4th generation is just 7 months old, so not quite ready to play, though she is in the mix).
  • I am spending a lot of time outside hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, including a 3-night backpack trip with a couple more yet to come.
  • I and my team have had to rethink our business strategy, which means virtual summits and a number of other initiatives that we believe will serve the industry better than we have ever done before.
  • I have spent more quality time via Zoom with people who would otherwise be so hard to reach.
  • I have made some new friends and turned some acquaintances into friendships.

Our Industry

So much pain, some unavoidable, and if we are honest, some caused by operators who simply were not up to the task. Over the coming months, we will see some companies collapse. And there is some indication that some of them will be significant names we all know. We will see other companies thrive as they pivot to serve residents and team members in unimaginably powerful ways.

How about you? What are your blessings in the face of the pandemic? Professionally or personally.