May you live in interesting times

May you live in interesting times

You may recognise this old saying, which sounds positive but can be intended otherwise. Well, we certainly are living in interesting times.

In Vancouver, Canada, you know things are dire when the posh hair salons have closed their doors! On a serious note, businesses and individuals are hurting, and having to adjust. A state of emergency has been declared in the city, and in the Province of BC.

Henry-Hudson-Elementary-School-202003-6963-copyright-Shelagh-DonnellyAs in other countries, families are trying to coordinate working – sometimes remotely – while caring for children whose classes have been cancelled. In BC and in some other provinces, there’s potential for school closures to extend through the balance of this academic/school year. As of this past Monday, many universities and colleges are providing online rather than in person course delivery.

In BC hospitals, all elective surgeries have been postponed. Our family dentist has suspended all elective and non-essential dental treatment, and plans to provide an update before the end of April.

Signal Hill Newfoundland 17-7338 Copyright Shelagh DonnellyA national bookstore chain has closed its doors for the duration. My favourite florist still has her doors open, but has temporarily reduced the shop’s hours.

Cashiers everywhere are wearing latex gloves, and some customers are putting gloves on as they enter a store. Last weekend, a massively popular local bakery stopped accepting cash for the duration. Yesterday, the owners announced with regret that, in the interest of public and employee health, they would be closing all four locations for the time being. Bars and pubs have been required to close up shop for now, which meant a big hit just before Saint Patrick’s Day.

Canada’s national parks are closed for the time being, as is the local botanical garden. The accounting firm with which I do business has twice emailed clients recommending that we submit our documents via the firm’s portal rather than in person. One airline has suspended flights for the time being. With exceptions, Canada has now closed its borders.

Offer a smile and kind words for those on front lines, and to proactive retailers

In a store last week, I remarked to the cashier that it was almost like Christmas time in the aisles and lineups. He said that was true, with an exception: even with long lineups at Christmas time, people generally have smiles on their faces.

On the heels of more than a few people stockpiling, one national retailer has begun limiting its first hour of operations each day to seniors and people with disabilities – and offering seniors 20% discounts during that first hour of business each day!

All manner of ramifications

I began writing about COVID-19 and its impacts on assistants and business with a Weekend Poll a couple of weeks ago, followed by the results and a news update.

Cybercriminals are taking advantage of this pandemic, and so I published a phishing advisory before taking a look this Monday at the Italian experience.
Yesterday, I published a Work from Home (WFH) checklist. You can download the checklist to discuss with colleagues and adapt for use within your organisation.
Some advice from Mel and Max Brooks
Check out this message about being thoughtful of elderly and those for whom COVID-19 could have significant health implications. By the way, Mel Brooks looks wonderful at 93 – must be all that laughter!
A global check in

Well aware that the impacts here in Vancouver are currently modest in comparison to other locales, I’ve reached out to some impressive people in my own network: the leaders of some of this career’s national and international professional networks and associations.

I’ve posed a few questions about the pandemics impacts on their regions and members, and will have more from these leaders in my next post.

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