My son’s and wife’s birthdays are exactly 18 days apart. On his birthday we enjoyed his first legal pint of beer at a local pub. On my wife’s, the country was effectively placed into lockdown.
This is one of the starkest ways in which I, like everyone else, is trying to come to terms with everything that has happened in the past two weeks. Everyone is understandably feeling fear and foreboding.
Following the rules
Of course, like all responsible businesses, we are following to the letter the advice of Government. People are working from home and the team remains remarkably chipper and, thank goodness, healthy. It is not entirely business as usual – how can it be at this moment? But we continue to keep busy providing support, advice and delivering media coverage for our clients as they need it.
For some of our clients, the full force of the coronavirus outbreak has hit them already, to the point where campaign launches are being stopped and jobs are at risk. This is heart-breaking to see and yet somehow seems insignificant when compared to everything else that is going on.
If there is one positive about this crisis, it’s the perspective that it places on everything. For years I was driven by the desire to run a successful business. It led to sleepless nights and the odd argument. When all my family gathered to celebrate my Mum’s 80th birthday I was in Seattle with a client. I worried about many things – winning more business, how best to retain and develop key people, moving premises. At no point did the thought of a catastrophic global health event appear on my radar. That has changed now.
My hope is that, when we are through this horrible experience, whenever that is, we won’t just dust ourselves off and start again. I hope we will be changed for good, for better and forever. I will be the first to admit that I spend too much time distracted from what is important. Let’s not make that mistake again.
For the latest information: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
For business: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#gcslocal