As 2020 is nearing an end, one ought to reflect on the lessons learnt in this one year. In a way, it seemed to be a silent year, yet while our doors were closed to the world, so much was happening.
Due to the global pandemic, countries executed lockdowns. For months, our streets were empty, borders were closed, and our workplaces sent us home. Many of us found ourselves either working from home or jobless, alone, and/or going crazy as we play teacher, babysitter, and parent to our kids (all at the same time). But, somewhere in the midst of the uncertainties and the changes to our routines, we adapted. And even better, we thrived. What has 2020 taught you?
Here are three lessons I learned from 2020 which I think are valuable for life.
Lessons learnt #1: Life is full of uncertainties
First, life is full of uncertainties. Who could predict that a pandemic would have drastically changed our lives without any warning? People lost their loved ones, and were not even able to go and see them in the hospital. People lost their jobs with no warning and had no idea what the future would hold.
It wasn’t just the pandemic. Kobe Bryant and his daughter, along with seven other passengers died in a helicopter crash in California. It was only months after he retired, and en route to a basketball game with his daughter. With no warning, Kobe’s wife lost her husband and child. Life comes to us full of unknowns, and regardless of our best made plans, shit happens. In the midst of life’s uncertainties, though, we have no other choice but to adapt. And you have to do so quickly.
READ MORE: Resilience Is An Innate Power In All Of Us
Lessons learnt #2: Make decisions
Second, we have to make decisions. The World Health Organization (WHO) found out about the COVID-19 cases in January after the first death was reported, but cases were known since November. Wuhan, China became the epicenter of the pandemic on January 23,2020 and went under an unprecedented lockdown. Despite all of this, including when the first case of COVID-19 occurred in the USA on January 20, and January 25 in Toronto, Canada, it wasn’t until March 11, 2020, that WHO declared the virus a pandemic. Every leader of a nation had to make major decisions throughout 2020. When to go into lockdown, when to close borders, when to restrict restaurants from serving, and the list goes on.
It was scary.
When does a nation call for a lockdown? Outside of China, Italy was the first to implement one. Two months had already been too long because the virus had gone rouge around the globe, and thousands had already been infected. It’s hard to justify when is the right time to make a decision, as individuals we second guess. We freeze and we wait. But, the longer we wait to make a decision, the more time is wasted. So, an important lesson I have learnt is that we have to make decisions quickly, confidently, and trust our judgements.
Lessons learnt #3: Communicate, communicate, communicate
Third, communicate, communicate, communicate. In Canada, our very own Dr Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer came on CP24 every morning to give us a briefing, and reminded us to take health and safety precautions. Additionally, all of our nations’ leaders had their scheduled time to brief us, including our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, our premiers, and all the city mayors. We Canadians were in the know about what was happening.
Working in the Ministry of Attorney General I know firsthand how crucial communication was for me and my work colleagues at the beginning of the pandemic. This is because we come in contact with hundreds of people on any given day. In the middle of the uncertainties, our bosses communicated openly and honestly to us. The moment, the WHO declared the virus a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, our bosses called regular meetings and told us, they did not know what was going to happen. We received immediate releases expressing gratitude, about new changes and how we were being impacted.
As the weeks passed, management communicated their plans for our safety, implemented new training, new methods of working, and reminded us of their appreciation. There was not one minute I felt uncertain as I went in to work, sometimes once a week, or sometimes not at all. So this year I learnt, as leaders, no matter how much we know or don’t know, communicating a vision, a plan, or simply being honest, goes such a long way where change is concerned. It is the key ingredient in facing uncertainties and coming through it vibrantly.
YOU MIGHT LIKE: Facelift For The Justice System
This year continues to be filled with uncertainties, one after another. Nothing seems to be operating in the norm. However, in every difficulty, we ought to adapt and rise above our circumstances. It’s necessary to reflect on the lessons learnt because that’s how we grow. In 2020 we learnt that life is full of uncertainties, making decisions quickly is important, and we have to communicate, even when we don’t have much information. Then, we move forward.
How did you handle the start of the pandemic? What lessons did you learn? Share them with me in the comments below.
#COVID-19 #COVIDSecureWorkplace #coronaviruscases
Shauna graduated with an MBA in General Management, a graduate certificate in Public Administration, and an Honours B.A in Criminology and Political Science. Currently, she works as a Court and Client Representative at the Toronto Superior Court of Justice, writes for online magazines, and serves at the Jamaican Canadian Association. She loves family-time, travelling, writing, and staying fit.