I don't know how your last few weeks have gone, but if they were anything like mine—and I'm guessing that's a good bet—they flashed by in a hurry. With the coronavirus pandemic spreading its reach and impact, it seems like everything is happening in fast motion.
And because this global phenomenon has varying effects on everyone, it's natural to view everything from your own personal perspective. So here's how time has looked like through my eyes.
My first concern was immediately for my daughter, Molly, who is a nurse and also has asthma, which puts her in a high risk category and on the front lines of that battle at the same time. She has given my wife practical advice throughout the coronavirus' progression, and is an example of why health care workers will be among the heroes of the stressful and dangerous event.
Then COVID-19 became very personal to our family. Our niece, Amy, became one of the "faces of coronavirus," as she was the second person in our county to test positive. While some people were still "blaming the media" and calling this health threat a hoax, she bravely shared her story on Facebook. Her post went viral, being shared more than 25,000 times, and leading to appearances on local and national media.
Thankfully, as of this writing, and while still suffering, Amy appears to be on the road to recovery. Her story also gave me some thoughts as to how a virus like this can cross the world in a heartbeat. While they haven't been able to trace the direct cause of her exposure—her family and others with whom she was in contact haven't shown symptoms—her ex had been in contact with one of their children. The ex actually works in our industry and recently returned from attending an overseas tire-related event. Other attendees from his company had come in from Italy, which at the time was just about to be hit by one of the most widespread—and deadly—outbreaks of coronavirus cases.
I am not saying in any manner that this is how my niece was exposed, but those of you who travel to expos, conferences and annual conventions in our industry know how many people you come into contact with.
If you're at an expo, you may be going booth to booth, or hosting visitors at your own stand. During conferences and conventions, you're huddling closely during presentations and networking events. The days often start early and end late, and that often is followed by more travel and exposure to those at airports and on planes—not knowing where any of your fellow travelers have come from.
While some travel and separation measures—including the now-common phrase "keeping a social distance"—may have seemed extreme at first, they also appear to be the best hope to "flattening the curve" (another new phrase) of the COVID-19 progression.