2020 Hindsight at Work

January 5, 2021

In a conflict, you lose a lot of battles, but still win the war.  Covid-19 is a war … and with casualties.  However, it is a war that we will win and I’ll let history weigh-in on the efficacy of our medical and governmental leadership.

The benefit of hindsight will help us with future pandemics, but for now I’d like to reminisce about the 2020 spirit in those workplaces I have experienced.

Looking back on the human spirit, I think about the legions of people who face similar personal priorities, but back of the job had to work in industries that supplied our conveniences or were frontline healthcare professionals.  They were the best of humanity, that on top of taking care of themselves, took care of us.

Warehouse and Delivery: Retailers relied on legions of workers to move product from factories and producers to warehouses and store shelves. At point-of-purchase or online “clicks”, the goods had to be “in stock”. Online purchases required a second human effort via FedEx, UPS, Amazon or USPS. In the early days of the pandemic, I recall extra urgency on these workers when there was a rush on paper goods, masks and sanitizing products. Remember?

Grocery Store Workers: In addition to the “normal” job functions now they had to be trained to take on health protocols of maintaining aisle flow, shopping cart sanitizing … then interface with customers from behind acrylic shields. Open deli bars had to be closed, self-packaging containers of bulk dried fruits and nuts emptied. Whole bean and ground coffee dispensers the same. And through it all, they soldiered on.

Nurses and Physicians: This group stands out because they were in direct contact with the disease itself … and early on without completely established protocols, PPE and ventilators. Hospitals were ground zero where it was the only answer. Today, in hindsight, I think about those who were not only on the front lines at work, but then again at home.

Fund Sites: Another group are heroes set up funding sites to support individuals and businesses shut down by the virus. There are others, but Barstoolsports founder Dave Portnoy, has raised $27,430,970 ( as of 1/19/21 ) from 192,536 supporters and has financially supported 152 businesses.  Speaking of the human spirit, others like Dave had the capacity to think beyond themselves.

Government: I believe most elected officials were unprepared how to plan and execute actions to protect us as citizens. They had to take steps based on CDC or World Health Organization recommendations and data. Lockdowns or not? Masks or not?  Some saw the quarantines as overreach. Tough duty on that battlefield, but let’s hope that great work by pharmaceuticals to produce a vaccine will win the war.  Reserve some space for gratitude.

Finally: In any battle or war, it’s always us, the foot soldiers, in the trenches, that respond to, and adjust on the front lines … that produce victory.