(COVID-19) Shutdowns and/or Startups

As the world rearranges itself in the face of the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) I notice two dominant themes. One is the remarkable, rather, shocking, shutdown of things as they have been – events, offices, stores and whole countries on lockdown/curfew/shelter-in-place in an attempt to flatten the curve. Decisions and actions that would otherwise have seemed anathema to a society, especially as a market-driven, capitalism-based society, have been taken at a rapid pace worldwide, although in some contexts (such as in COVID-19 testing in the United States) not soon enough. Some members of society such as health care workers, grocery store workers and others providing essential services are on the front lines of the pandemic and others are in a state of adaptation, transitioning to remote work from home, and yet others such as restaurant workers are in a state of drastic transition having been laid off from work due to closure of restaurants and other businesses. The IMF (International Monetary Fund) has announced that the world economy is now in recession.

Yet, in a section of society and I speak from the experience of being connected to a few networks of creatives, there is a rise in creative activity with new fervor. Some of these people have experienced the past recession and survived, thrived and learned lessons from it. Others recognize that their current adaptation allows them more space and time and therefore the dubious ‘luxury’ to take action and pursue their dream work, their creative learning or launching a business, especially online.

Even as ‘social distancing’ is the new norm, our technologies, at least those who have access to it, allow for more connection through video conferencing and phone calls (see Zoom and FreeConference Call.com) and through collaborative platforms such as Slack and Seth Godin and AltMBA’s Akimbo where the contagion of creativity is spreading and many are imagining and building their futures.

As the crisis has shown us in multiple ways, time is precious.  For some of us startup alongwith the shutdown is a choice we can make!

Image:

Coronavirus impact on global supply chains:dnb.com

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