Hello, my friends. I hope you're doing well and not fighting with the kids too much (I know I am). We are in this together so I'm wishing you the best.
Like all of us, I imagine that you're doing a lot of soul-searching and introspecting. Hopefully, you're not drinking and eating too much! (Have you heard of the COVID-15 lbs)!? Don't let it get you!
(A.D.D kicking-in right away)
Seriously though, with all of this inward focus, I also hope you're thinking outwardly. Thinking about who you can lead and be a blessing to. Regardless of our situation, we can help lead or encourage others in some way. Not everything costs money so let's not make excuses, right? (You have time don't you? ;)
I want to help us frame our minds and put things into perspective. I want us to start asking the right questions and giving better answers. Many people are freaking out right now - some for good reasons, and some are driven by fear.
The Two Pandemics
2. Fear, panic and the fall-out
It is debatable on which of the two are more deadly or destructive. Has this been blown out of proportion? I definitely think so. As of this article, the total dead in MN is 85 and the average age of those who died is 86 years old.
It's very hard to mentally balance the tragedy that people are dying millions of people's careers, businesses and livelihoods. I'll stop there and we will be having that debate very soon. Right now, it's too early.
The point is, we are facing 2 problems. Since we cannot fight a ghost (the virus) we're going to focus on #2, the fear and fall-out. I think the fear and fall-out is a much greater threat. I'm going to offer some practical advice to help us lead, survive and hopefully thrive through these difficult times.
Have The Courage to Speak the Truth & Ask Questions
How we can lead when we're too afraid ask the tough questions? There is a ton of misinformation so why not ask!? I'm sensing a culture that suppresses what you can/cannot say. It's also suppression of the mind. It's coming from the media, tech companies, so-called leaders, social media, and people who are spreading that narrative. If I'm being honest, when I want to say something it feels like walking through a minefield. If you're too cheery and optimistic, people start thinking you're irresponsible (Stay inside!!). If you have doubts regarding this pandemic or you ask too many questions, you could be called a conspiracy theorist.
I understand how serious this is. I want to be empathetic to those who are sick and vulnerable. On the flip-side, is it fair to why are people's lives are getting wrecked over this? I know what many of you are going to say... "Money is not as important as people's lives!" Obviously - I agree with that but I'm still going to ask.
Back to speaking the truth. This reaction to this virus is destroying EVERYTHING that people have worked for and built for their entire lives. The consequences are emotional, time invested, lose of homes and businesses. Families & individuals are being affected in so many ways that we can't even imagine. They too, need to be able to speak up. As of early April, we have 16 million jobs lost. Small businesses are closing, others are not able to pay rent or groceries.
Let's ask the hard questions
Is it possible that this pandemic could end up being as bad as the experts told us? It could..
Can we trust the "experts" to give us correct predictions and make decisions for the entire state/nation? Often times based off of computer models!
Who is giving us these predictions? 74,000 people dead in MN? The curve is not showing that
Do certain people have an agenda behind these wild predictions
Do some (political) people want to tank the economy?
Are the cases of COVID-19 being inflated for some reason?
Can we trust anything that China says? (ah no).
Can we afford to shut down for much longer?
Will this thrust us into a depression?
Is it possible that the "experts" could be off by 90% and this could be a huge overreaction?
During these volatile times, could evil forces be working to implement policies/laws/systems that could take our freedoms?
Could there be a silver lining - maybe we needed this (in some ways)?
Learn how to Detach Yourself
We can't lead well if we are mentally "in the trenches". You can't see or focus when you're knee-deep in the mud of the trenches (fear and drama. You need to detach from the situation and see things from an outside perspective. See the two pictures. Which perspective would you choose when assessing the battlefield? We look back on WWI and leaders had to use pigeons to send messages or they had to embed with the troops in the trenches. Now our