Sitting at home now for the third week, it seems accurate to call this unprecedented. Also, a bit trite. It’s just a genuinely lousy time between the personal concern for loved ones and self, the societal impact of seeing the daily infected and death tolls rise, and the longer-term concern for our economy and its impact on our livelihoods. Overall, I hope none of us ever see something like this again in our lifetimes.
The only situation I’ve experienced and can relate to this is 9/11. I still remember the uncertainty in the following days, weeks, months. We wondered what would happen next and watched helplessly as many lost their lives, air travel ground to a halt, businesses pulled back, and the economy sank.
But that’s not the whole story. The whole story – the better story – is one of community, selflessness, and resilience. First responders, companies of all sizes, and many individuals stepped up to make sure their communities stayed strong. So instead of breaking us, the crisis united us. It brought out the best in people across the country who were determined to help, to heal, and to get our economy going again.
We see the same sort of resilience today, too. It’s great to see so many examples of people seizing opportunities to prioritize the greater good. Automakers are halting production to make desperately needed medical equipment. People are delivering “non-contact” meals to their elderly neighbors. Finally, to the healthcare professionals who risk exposure every day, we offer the most heartfelt thanks and wishes for safety and strength.
The rest of us in the healthcare industry are finding the best ways we can support this mission. Health plans are increasingly waiving out of pocket spend and encouraging telemedicine and other services. For some of us, all we can do is to continue the work we do to make sure health coverage is clear and well communicated. To our clients, colleagues, and partners, we thank you for all you’re doing to support the collective good.
COVID-19 has created a public health, personal health, and economic health challenge that is unique in our experience. But this is like every other crisis in one important way – it will end. We will get back to normal, even if it’s a new normal. We will bounce back, we will grow, and we will be back stronger than ever. Our challenge today is to push forward, taking care of our communities and keeping in mind that it’s always darkest before dawn.