Like so many people, I’ve spent these last weeks of social isolation pondering….. My pondering has gone through many phases; firstly, it was pondering about what supermarket may be best to find illusive products like toilet rolls and pasta, closely followed by a ponder about how much I should be stock piling.… My pondering then entered the “when will this end” phase, which I quickly gave up when I realised I couldn’t control any of it, so there was no use worrying about when it’ll end; best to get comfortable with this new world until the new new-world is ready for us….which then got me pondering about what the new new-world might look like. I realised that there are three distinct phases to all of this. I call these phases;
BV – Before Virus
DV – During Virus
AV – After Virus
Let’s explore each phase… BV – can you remember a world where we….
Commuted to offices for meetings with groups of colleagues; in my case, sometimes travelling hundreds of miles a day.
Greeted colleagues with a firm handshake, hugged family and friends, perhaps even sharing a kiss on the cheek (or 2 kisses if we were feeling continental!)
Went to the supermarket for “something we fancy” whenever we liked; without queuing up outside for 30 minutes first, and without having to maintain 2 metres distance from everyone else at all times.
Jumped on a plane for a weekend city break or a much-needed beach holiday.
Hands up who didn’t appreciate every second of ‘BV’; I know I didn’t! I hopped on a plane like a bus, thought nothing of popping into the supermarket on the way home from work for a yummy dessert, and certainly didn’t appreciate being able to nip over to my mum’s or dad’s for a cup of tea! What I wouldn’t do for a cup of tea and a hug with my parents now! And onto the next phase… DV – where we are now…
Health: worrying about the health of yourself and your family and friends.
Wealth: salary, savings, will I have job, will I be un-furloughed?
Happiness: will my broadband work? Can I work at home whilst also home-schooling the children?
Here are some tangible examples of what these three categories might look like in reality:
Worrying about running out of fresh bread, so buying 3 loaves “just in case”, then having to have double rounds of sandwiches to use it all up before it goes off (there’s no room in the freezer due to all the stock piling you’ve done!).
A weekly (at most!) trip to the supermarket with the expectation and understanding that you won’t get everything on your list. (I can’t remember the last time I saw flour on the shelves!)
Learning new phrases like “furlough”, worrying about your job or your business.
Teaching relatives (remotely of course!), how to use Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp and other communication tools; trying not to giggle too loudly when they can’t work out how to change the camera to face themselves rather than their feet!
Deciding when to go out for your one walk of the day, and spending the entire walk hopping into the road to make sure you stay 2 meters apart from others who have decided to take their daily walk at the same time.
Either watching and reading every piece of media, or on the reverse, trying to avoid the media completely, because you’re fed-up / scared / disbelieving of the data and stories being shared (but at the same time, dipping in enough, in the hope there’s some news about lock down being unlocked!).
Getting used to your new daily routine; a new uniform to wear (in my case, a tracksuit!), trying not to eat all day, and insisting that “today’s the day” that you’ll try that YouTube fitness video…
And a big one in my case….working out how to use a home hair dye kit as you dye your roots yourself for the first time since you were 15 years old!
There are many more examples of how this DV world is affecting us day-to-day, and I’m sure you can think of your own. I know people who have been very happily married for 20+ years, yet it’s only now that they are spending so much time together, which is perhaps the biggest challenge of all! And finally…. AV – the new business as usual….
It’s all a mystery; when it will come, what will it look like, what we will be allowed to do, how our lives will be impacted, how our businesses and jobs will need to change. One thing is certain though; we will need to evolve, we will need to innovate, and we will need to transform everything about ourselves, including how we make money, how we interact with people, and how we live every facet of our lives. The DV to AV transition will not be overnight. Preparing for AV DV is likely to go on for some time yet; it won’t be a clean-cut transition as it was between BV and DV, as illustrated in the diagram below. It won’t end when bars, restaurants and shops start opening. The economy and how businesses operate is going to be impacted for a long time to come. Economists say we could be impacted negatively for a decade. So how do we ride the DV wave? We learn to surf! We need to review where we are now, how we might be impacted, and what we need to do to adapt and change our businesses. We are at a fork in the road. Do we continue on the same path we were on, or do we take the other option and explore new avenues? Everyone’s journey will be different, but one thing will be consistent; it will be an adventure, and we will definitely need to learn, adapt and evolve!