For all of my adult life, I have been in and around the Hospitality and Tourism Industry, so I’ve been privy to creating, planning, staffing, coordinating and mobilizing the people and services that house, feed, move and entertain humans. This virus has instigated a constant Jenga game for all of us as we find ourselves moving one event to another date without collapsing the economic stability of our companies.

This week, I’m doing the social isolation thing with my husband. My grown kids decided our home was also the best place to wait out the virus, so they’re here too. I mean, I do have snacks galore and wine, so, it was a no brainer.

Unlike our little nuclear family gatherings in days of yore, this coming together has been an ongoing series of conference calls for each of us where I’ve have had the rare opportunity to see how everyone else functions at work with their clients and co-workers. It’s fascinating. Like, fly on the wall kind of fascinating.

Mike, who works for Russell Reynolds in a Chicago skyscraper, typically spends his day on calls and in meetings researching and sharing the finds as he looks for the very best candidates for CFO’s of major corporations. The language of the search process is foreign to me. As I went to refill my go-juice and passed by the gathering table that is his makeshift command center, I could hear him discussing some next level method of winnowing the wheat from the chaff in the resumes and interviews he’d conducted for some zillion dollar endeavour.

I had to stifle my insane urge to giggle hearing this rich baritone voice talking in this Big Guy Lingo as my mom brain over layed a thirty year old memory of the sound of scuffing feet on a tile floor as little bitty, 3 year old Mikey grabbed his aqua blankie and headed to his room because he was tired. Always the trailblazer. Now the trails are so much bigger.

My husband, Joel, set up camp at the dining table and he has been on and off of conference calls with the university as they try and navigate the constantly changing direction from the CDC, the State of Michigan and the local authorities about what to do next.

While regular folk are streaming into Costco for huge containers of toilet paper (They’re out! Check the leaf collection in the woods!) huge places, like universities are trying to figure out how to share their perishable food storage by creating impromptu food banks and places where people who either can’t get to stores or can’t afford to go because they aren’t being paid right now, can get meals to go.

It’s all hands on deck; discovering what you have and how we can combine that with what I have.

In spite of the Idiot In Charge and the giant clusterfrack that is our government right now, people are stepping up and asking the magic question: How can I help?

Parents are stuck at home trying to participate in Zoom conference calls and Skype meetings (yeah, we know you’re wearing pajamas pants with that dress shirt. Busted.) They are also trying to watch their kids and scrape mac & cheese off their laptop while employing the mute button like the blaster on an arcade game to isolate the karaoke session of Baby Shark and the 140 decibel shriek of the siblings warring over the Frozen Light Up Walk & Glow Fire Spirit Toy.

In response, super creatives like the amazing Tina Doepker Nowak, a Detroit area elementary school art teacher, are using their skills to create videos and projects that will let kids be engaged in creative fun. Check out her video today! Tina Nowak Art Class

This virus has done some very interesting things to Planet Earth. It has, in a matter of weeks, shown us how ill prepared we are for pandemic events. It has shown us that we really do need a better healthcare system for everyone and not just the 1%’ers.  It has offered the environment a temporary break from our manufacturing and polluting. For this first times in ages, the canals of Venice are clear and dolphins are making their way into the city waterways, frolicking and celebrating. China’s major cities have had clear skies allowing its people to see stars. Who knew those were up there anyway? Families like mine, are having an unexpected chance to get to know each other as actual working adults; not just mom, dad, daughter and son; and a new appreciation is rising for how we interact with our own clients and communities.

Bottom line- there are silver linings even with a cosmic bitch slap like this virus. But we’ll win the day and be better at whatever comes next. As long as the Twizzler stash holds out. If it doesn’t, all bets are off…



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