Bill Packard: If we all work together, we’ll come out of it OK

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 9:00am

Wow! This whole coronavirus, COVID-19, thing is really something, isn’t it? The unknown is troubling to a large portion of the population. Some people, like firefighters, cops, and EMS people live with the unknown every day, but the rest of the population doesn’t deal with it very well. The unknown is really what is making people uptight.

We don’t know where this thing started, for sure.  Or why.  We really don’t know how we can get it or who might have it.  It’s all very troubling. 

For the life of me, I don’t get the toilet paper thing.  That’s been going on for weeks, now.  Maybe people are putting additions on their housse to store it all or putting it in the attic for insulation.  I have no idea, but the whole response speaks volumes to where we are as a society.  Let’s look at some things that appear to be very important to folks today that really are not important at all. 

Blame.  Blame is very important to people today.  It’s almost like placing blame fixes everything. This person did something wrong or that person knew something and didn’t act. 

In reality, we don’t have any accurate information to base those kinds of charges on. 

We don’t have access to any of the information that the powers that be get, but we pontificate as if we are the most knowledgeable experts on the planet.

It reminds me of something my son shared on one of his ships during a stressful period.  One morning at quarters he told BM3 Prince that if there were any issues in their department that day, it would be his fault. When Prince asked how that could be possible, the LT. answered that blame was very important to the Navy and until blame was assessed, it was very difficult for the Navy to move forward and correct things.

By having blame already assigned before anything happened, the process moved along smartly.

Social Distancing. You would think it would be pretty straightforward, but apparently, it’s not.

Social distancing does not mean locking the doors to your family while going to Walmart to buy two carts of toilet paper and interacting with hundreds of people.

Go get what you need and get out.  Simple as that. 

If the parking lot is full, maybe you should choose a different time.  Here’s a tip: Whatever you think that you are desperately going to run out of, you probably are not.

What to do?

We’re home with our kids and or spouse and no idea what to do to pass the time. Up until this all came about, many were bemoaning the fact that they had no time for family things.  Now that the family is here, we’re just beside ourselves, seeking guidance from Facebook friends who are either suffering the same fate or have been in a similar situation before, or know someone whose friend was once trapped at home with their family and survived.

Where we live, there are so many things to do. The world around us is amazing.  Just stop and take a look. Share with your kids.

One of the most bizarre “news” articles I’ve seen was one that demonstrated what a family could do with their time together.  Really? We need instruction?

I like to share my views, but never want to tell others what to do.  I’m making an exception in these difficult times.

Don’t post how much you don’t want your kids at home. Don’t post how difficult it is to have them around. They know how you feel. Make the most of it because whether you breathe a sigh of relief or miss them every minute, they’ll be gone before you know it. School lunches and breakfasts delivered.  If your child was going to school, they would have to be out there when the bus stops.  If the bus is delivering a meal, seems like the least you could do is have the kid meet the bus. 

I don’t want to ask too much, but possibly say “thank you,” too?  Having a cooler on the side or the road is rude.

As one who is the target of some grocery store efforts, I have to weigh in on that. 

Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not elderly.  Mature.  Senior.  Whatever, but not elderly. 

Anyway, I appreciate the intent of the special times for us to shop, but if I was making a list of 10 things I enjoyed doing at 6 a.m., grocery shopping wouldn’t even make the list.  They didn’t ask me, for good reason, but what would work for me is a bright-colored vest that says something like “SPECIAL PERSON.”

This would indicate that I could shop anytime and everyone without the vest should give me room.  Never mind six feet.  Just stay the hell back.  I get first dibs at everything and if the shelves are empty of something I need, I can take it from your cart.

There would be one checkout (or more if we needed them) exclusively for the “SPECIAL PERSON” vest people.  I know this is a stretch, but if you don’t ask, the answer is always “NO.”

We’ve got a fairly serious deal going on here, and it appears that most people are doing what is necessary to get it under control. 

Just like every other challenge that we’ve been faced with, if we all work together, we’ll come out of it OK.  Maybe that’s too simple. 

Maybe we should fight and see who comes out on top. Maybe we should all go crazy because we’re forced to spend time with our loved ones. 

We have the rest of our lives to argue, fight, lose friends over political positions, or alienate our families. Why not just chill out, accept what is and make the most of it?


Bill PackardBill Packard lives in Union and is the founder of BPackard.com. He is a speaker, author, small business coach and consultant.