The talk of ‘lockdown’ is everywhere again. Everywhere is defined as where I am and any place where the government and private industry ignored the long-term effects of doing the bare minimum to combat COVID. Europe isn’t Florida, but it’s edging closer as the spring comes, and people are wary of the COVID restrictions on movement and commerce since the fall of 2020.
For most, the Covid lockdowns are an ever-present threat that could happen at any time, except in Florida and Texas, where they very much want to kill their old people there as fast as possible, it seems. Even without a proper lockdown, restrictions to indoor entertainment, dining, bars, clubs, and large events, even high-density outdoor events like stadium shows and sporting events, will continue well into this year and probably next as well. The 2020/2021 Tokyo Olympics are already closed for visitors if the games take place at all. All of this old news. Masks, distance, testing, and now vaccines aren’t working because people and governments do not take mitigation measures seriously.
Every person is in a different situation with their work, school, family, and friends. Meeting up is hard to do. Eating and drinking inside is uncertain. Outdoor dining and entertainment are possible but at highly reduced densities, which might make many of those options economically unviable to their owners. Movement between holiday destinations is restricted, or the quarantine rules change and become a wildcard for travelers. So what to do?
I can’t say for others, but I am trying to pivot to working from home permanently. I have started training for voice-over and audiobook production, and perhaps this will be something sustainable after a few months of getting started. I am hopeful. The point is that I won’t be complacent, and I don’t plan on returning to a job that puts me on 100 flights and in 250 nights of hotels each year, or a job that’s service-oriented to optimize systems that probably don’t make economic sense any longer. Perhaps a job to replace those ecosystems with something else would make sense, but few companies are throwing out the bathwater now. They are waiting to ‘get back to normal,’ and this will be at their own peril.
Not everyone can plan for a home-based career, and we (governments and employers) should better support those who must earn their living in essential service industries. But if you can find a job away from offices and bars and nightclubs and event locations, then you might have more economic security in the next years. Only you know what’s possible for you. The visionaries with ideas pegged as silly and unworkable in the 2019 world might be the people who thrive in the years ahead with all-new rules about what is socially safe.
Of course, I might be full of crap, and we all are reset back to 2019 in some months. But, I believe that will not happen. COVID variants are scary because immunity and vaccines might not offer sufficient protection. Maybe we get a much more deadly variant, or maybe a more benign but more transmissible one. Nobody knows for sure.
And that is the point of this too-long post. Act on what you know for sure. If you accept that your future will probably not be the same, then act now on what you know and what you can change.
Don’t wait. Plan and act today.