The last few weeks, we’ve woken up to a fresh batch of news stories, all speaking to us of a new reality that would have sounded impossible – the stuff of sci-fi movies – just a week (a day?) ago. We open our inboxes and scroll through a steady stream of messages from clients who need to pause campaigns, from businesses with tips on how to effectively work from home.
“Stay safe” has become the new email sign-off.
We are, at this very moment, living through a situation that is completely unprecedented in human history. That is a simple fact, albeit an overwhelming one to consider – especially given that for many of us, the whole thing still feels fairly unreal. The enormity of the crisis is only magnified by the constant and unrelenting cycle of news and social media: We may be self-isolating, but we are still being flooded with a virtual avalanche of information – some of it accurate, some of it not, and all of it unsettling.
No one – not a single scientist or government leader or tweeting celebrity – is going to come along and say “Everything will be fine.” Because they don’t know. We don’t know. Nobody knows.
Our fears, of course, extend far beyond “getting sick.” We’re frightened of the illness, of course – mostly of having it strike beloved older relatives, or friends and family members with compromised immune systems. But there’s more.
- How this pandemic is going to affect the OOH industry – Out of home requires people to be out of their house – quite the opposite of most of our current situations.
- How can we, as a business, help others during this time?
- How will Broadway and off-Broadway recover? How are our friends at St Ann’s Warehouse or The Kennedy Center going to continue on their seasons? Is streaming stage shows the new normal for theatre?
- When will museums or other institutions be able to open to guests again? The Studio 54 exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, for example, was sure to be a highlight of the spring and now, we wait and see.
We don’t know the answers. We can’t know. The truth is that we never could have predicted something like this could have happened, no matter how hard we tried. This is a worse-case scenario that no one could have predicted.
Remember this: We will get through this, and we will get through it together, because humans are remarkable and resilient and imaginative and brave. We are equipped for challenges such as these. No, there is no game plan. But we will create one – each of us in our own way, because overcoming adversity is what we do.
We are all in this together. We will get back to normal, or at least something akin to it. We are here, for each other, for clients, for vendors, and for our friends. We are ready to jump into action the minute that we are able to.