I’m an enthusiastic and active supporter of a brand called 30 Seconds Out. It’s a veteran-owned e-commerce business whose primary products are things like T-shirts, flags, stickers and patches, most of which have a commando theme. Makes sense: the founder was in special forces for 20 years.
My favorite 30 Seconds Out product is a T-shirt that proclaims: No One is Coming It’s Up to Us. It features a Celtic high cross, which speaks well to my background. In fact, I’m wearing one as I write this, sitting on my couch, three teenagers taking online classes upstairs, my wife on a client call at the dining room table, cats sleeping in the window. I like the No One is Coming ethos because it sums up my approach to life: if you want to make something happen, you need to work at it. I try to instill it in my family — a No One Is Coming flag hangs in our garage — and I’ve often said it at work to remind my teammates that our success is Up to Us.
It might sound like a strange ethos at a time like this, but I focus more on the second part of the saying: It’s Up to Us. COVID-19 most likely will be the biggest challenge we will ever face, as individuals, as an industry and as a society. If we are going to beat this thing — and we are, because there is no choice — it will take a concerted and united effort.
Obviously, lots of you are doing your part, working on the development of vaccines, populating clinical trials and helping to get the word out about best practices to stop the spread and flatten the curve. And most of us are working from home, adapting to a new reality that may be with us for a long time. But this is the way it has to be. We know this because we work in the field. If it’s going to stop, we need to isolate and stick with it.
My colleague John O’Connor is the editorial director of two of Haymarket’s other business publications, McKnight’s Long Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living. I’ve never met John — he’s based near Chicago and I’m in New York — but he’s one of the first people I want to have a beer with when the dust settles, because he has given me great courage by reminding me of something. John wrote in an online piece on McKnight’s: “As bad as this is — and it’s plenty bad — it will not last forever. Sooner or later, we will find a way to treat the coronavirus — or at least get it under control. Why do I believe that? Because that is what we have always done.”
It’s up to us.