When will this pandemic end? We’re all tired. We’re all frustrated. Some have lost family, friends and/or colleagues, while others are losing businesses. I liken this to the Titanic sinking. No one expected it. Research shows that the ship was traveling much too fast, ultimately costing 1,514 human lives, more than half the passengers. But why would anyone have believed this voyage would end badly? The Titanic was heralded as the largest, fastest, finest, unsinkable luxury liner in the world. What could possibly go wrong?
History says that the sinking of the boat happened quickly. Just over two and half hours for the unsinkable ship to go down. When it became clear to the passengers that the ship was going down, chaos ensued. Fear and loss of control triggered pure survival mode. In the movie, “Titanic”, one of the villains played by Billy Zane, confirms his complete lack of conscious when he rips a child out of the hands of its mother to secure his spot on one of the few lifeboats available. It was women and children first, and he figured out a way to save himself. This illustrates the point that desperation leads people to do desperate things. The hoarding of toilet paper and PPE scams came out of fear and desperation!!
I use the Titanic as a comparison because like the virus, no one ever saw it coming. People reacted in surprising ways. Some may feel as though the proverbial ship is sinking. How could this happen? Why aren’t we better prepared? What are we to do? How can we survive? Where’s our captain?
In my heart of hearts, I believe that people are innately good and want to do good things. I also believe that fear, stress, uncertainty, and frustration bring out the worst in people. Right now there are two distinct camps, get back to work and back to school, or stay home and learn remotely. How can you argue with either? The small businessmen and women that I know are GOOD people and they are losing their livelihood. They are having to let long-time, devoted employees go, wondering how they will ever survive this. Some will, but others, sadly, will not. There are parents who are not able to stay home, they need to work in order to support their family.
For those that believe stay-at-home is best, I cannot argue with them either. I almost lost a brother-in-law to this virus. It’s tenacious and doesn’t care who you are, where you work, how much money you make or what conversation is happening on social media. For these folks, staying at home means saving lives, period. For parents who worry that virus might be brought home and want their families to remain safe, I get it. How can you argue with someone who wants to save a life?
The truth is, for both camps, the ship is sinking. We are all looking for the captain to guide us to safety, tell us what we need to hear without pushing fear and division. Give us some sense of hope, calm. The more we fear, the more divided and desperate we become. Then, the “us against them” mentality sets in and there’s no solution, and hope is lost. Unfortunately, for the Titanic, there was no stopping the sinking ship, no hope, and the ending was tragic. Fortunately for us, there are solutions and ways we can come out of this together. Truth is, we need to, for our businesses, communities, families and most important, our future.
Until next time, stay well, stay hopeful.