Perseverance is required in the covid-19 pandemic. How can we gain strength if the finish line is being moved further back in the middle of the race?

A return to normality is not yet in sight

It’s as if you’ve almost made it through the half marathon – and then the organizers decide to turn the race into a full marathon. The finish line is now further away than initially thought. This is how a colleague very vividly described the feeling prevalent in Germany in early January. After several weeks of lockdown and the start of vaccinations throughout Europe, hopes were high that the goal of returning to normality would soon be achieved. Instead, government decided that the measures in place had to be tightened because the infection figures recorded at the start of the year weren’t reliable and the burden on the healthcare system was too high. Added to this was the depressingly high number of daily covid-19 deaths reported in Germany.

A spirit of optimism? Not at all

Just to make sure that no one gets me wrong: I believe that the organizers didn’t really have a choice. But it is difficult to instill a sense of optimism when the finish line seemed so near but in reality is far off in the future. This is a dilemma faced not only by the communication experts in government and public authorities. It can also be felt when talking to colleagues in your team. Online meetings are over quickly, our approach in dealing with covid-19 (working from home wherever possible, no internal meetings, closure of the canteen, the situation of parents, etc.) takes up a lot of time while other topics are taking a backseat. On the one hand, this is all quite understandable. After a half marathon that suddenly becomes a marathon, you do feel deflated.

Standing still is not a solution

On the other hand, stopping in the middle of the race doesn’t help, either. When I recently met my neighbor in the hallway (which is the covid-19 equivalent of having a chance conversation at the water cooler), we talked about ways to escape covid-19 fatigue. He suggested that we change our perspective by reflecting on what is today and what this means for tomorrow.

 

Tip:

We should change our perspective by reflecting on what is today and what this means for tomorrow.

 

For example, what have we introduced into our work processes that can benefit us in the long run? How can we continue to work more efficiently and conserve resources in the future thanks to working from home? On the other hand: What do we miss in terms of a creative exchange of ideas that only emerge through personal conversations – and how can we give this exchange more space in the future?

It’s nothing earth-shattering, but it’s a helpful little nudge to turn our thoughts in a different direction, thus creating more space for thinking about the future again. Does that help? As far as I am concerned, yes. And for the next race, I’ll build up more reserves. Ever heard of ultra marathons?

Author

Alexander Schneider

Alexander Schneider

SENIOR MANAGER CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS

Always looking for exciting stories and topics that are interesting to tell. There are plenty of them in the company. As an “Immi” he enjoys living in Cologne and loves the city as much as his bicycle – with which he also commutes to work every day.

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