More than 150,000 people across the U.S. have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. That’s more cases than any other country. The national death toll is 2,870, and rising by the hour. The numbers are just as frightening at the local level, with 1,413 diagnoses and 20 deaths reported in the state of Maryland.
The impact on society, the economy, and human life as we know it is crippling, too. The number of people out of a job and consequently applying for unemployment is topping out at more than three million. Some school systems have already announced they will remain closed for the remainder of the academic years; others have extended their closure periods, causing parents of high school seniors to wonder if they will even get to see their kids walk across a stage and graduate. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are postponed. The NBA, NHL, and MLB are shut down. Walt Disney World is closed until further notice. And the stock market? If you are invested in it, you are probably spending time every day analyzing trends and trying to decide what to do and how much risk to take.
Yes, it’s a time of great turmoil, a time of great fear, and unfortunately, a time of great loss. However, it can also be a time of great unity. Locally, many people are heeding to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s orders to remain at home as much as possible and practice social distancing when we must venture out. But something very interesting is happening during this time of “slowed pace.” Families are going for long walks and sitting down together for daily meals. The “daily grind” has but put on “pause” and suddenly, there are enough hours in the day. More and more people are also demonstrating acts of kindness to care for their community. There seems to be a gentle and genuine understanding that we are all in this together, and that humanity is one thing that can help us through.
Now let’s apply that same principle to the business world. The Fallston Group was founded ten years ago with a primary goal to help companies plan for and manage times of adversity. Like many, we are working hard every day to manage this crisis, but we are also here to be a resource for you. We believe now is the time for business owners to come together, support one another, offer ideas and solutions, and perhaps most importantly, encouragement.
Stay tuned for our next blog, which will be posted later this week and will offer some strategies and recommendations for business owners on the process of recovering from crisis.