2020 – The Year the World Slowed Down

There is an eerie stillness that has settled over much of the world. We haven’t come to a complete standstill; but it feels like things are moving in slow motion. Well, unless you are on the front lines of health care or deemed an essential service worker, putting yourself at risk for other people.

Roads and highways are quiet. Parking lots are empty except around grocery stores and pharmacies. Families are out walking and biking together in numbers that would be unusual under “normal” circumstances and, for the most part, they are keeping their distance from others.

Travel is practically non-existent, even between provinces or states except for essential workers. Interesting to see who is now considered essential in addition to health care professionals – truck drivers, transit workers, food take-out workers, grocery store and pharmacy staff.

What old worldview perspectives will spark back into being once the dust settles and what new worldview perspectives will ignite new patterns and new disruptions to form new systems? After 9-11, we were in the question, what is normal now? And this is so much more than one geographically located event. It is a pandemic reaching into every corner of the globe, maybe not quite with the same intensity of the fires that burned in Australia and elsewhere, or with the destruction of hurricanes, tornados or earthquakes, but it has this eerie disquiet and it claims the health and lives of people without discernment.

For consultants like us, projects are being pushed off indefinitely as we wait in the unknown and the uncertainty of when isolation and travel restrictions will be eased. And while we anxiously wait for them to be eased, we expect those decisions to be informed by science and medicine with all due caution.

It doesn’t mean we aren’t working at all. We are planning for when we can once again move about. We are writing. We are meeting in virtual spaces. And still, like everyone, we are disoriented as we wrote about in our last post, trying to make sense of the reality we are in, unclear about what this means for the future – professionally and personally.

We are in deep reflection and discussions about what the future might hold. Will there be worldview shifts that stick? Will we learn from the lessons of leadership, community response and individual actions?

Will we respond to an invitation to a reimagined world order that is to be discovered in the ashes of the collapse of systems we have relied on? The same systems that have shaped us and our collective actions and which many of us have repeatedly said do not work? Will we use this moment to touch into our individual and collective humanity in the depth being asked of us? What is waiting to emerge out the other side of this pandemic chaos? We will share a few thoughts on this in subsequent posts.