Last year on March 11th, I was sitting in a crowded room at the Women Owned Law Symposium. I remember the event organizers had hand sanitizers with their label on it and we were already elbow bumping instead of hand shaking, but we weren’t ready for what was coming.
We were able to hold that event, but Drexel, where it was held, was shutting everything down immediately after that.
That same day, I was at Beacon for the Icon Women’s Awards, which we canceled this year, and again, no one was really prepared for what came next.
When lockdown began, I, like most of America, believed it would be short-term. A few weeks. Panic was setting in though and I remember empty shelves and no toilet paper almost immediately. No travel. No school. No dining out. No vacations. No events. Everything just stopped. There were constant changes and new information coming our way and we all found ourselves glued to the news.
Masks became the new norm and at first it felt strange, but now, will it seem strange without them? They have become not only a safety precaution, but part of fashion.
It’s unbelievable the pivots so many businesses had to make early on and have continued to make throughout the past year.
Instacart, Netflix, Zoom and DoorDash became part of our everyday conversations. We all spent the first few months figuring it all out, doing our best to stay connected and working. The frontline workers were, and are, truly amazing. I want to thank them for their constant dedication and working when everyone else was staying at home. They are the heroes in all of this.
The summer felt a bit lighter on the East Coast because we could finally be outdoors, but Fall came and remote school and work was the trend and everyone had to shift their lives in some way. Holidays were very difficult as people missed gathering with family and friends and couldn’t travel to be together.
The feeling of confusion and fear was very real at the start of this and even though we are one year into Covid being a household name, those feelings still run deep for many. There are still unknowns. We have lost so many lives and watched people around the world suffer. It’s been heartbreaking and challenging all at once.
My life changed drastically. As a cancer survivor and being high-risk, I found myself at home more than ever. I was used to constant networking and client meetings and all of a sudden I was on Zoom more than I ever thought possible. I still am today.
The PPP loan became a huge part of my business, something completely new that I was navigating right along with my clients. I secured over a million dollars in financing over the past year for so many business owners and I continue to help people apply for the PPP as the second round begins. I’m so thankful I was able to contribute my services in a time of need for so many.
Office environments have changed forever. Remote working is here for the long term. I think it’s helped employers connect better with their team. They get to see everyone in their real lives. Kids and stress and pets and all the things we deal with outside of the office are now part of the office. The increased compassion for our co-workers and colleagues is something I hope continues as things move back to normal.
I still foresee lots of time at home for me, which is why I ordered a standing desk! I receive my second dose of the vaccine tomorrow which is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Some other lights for me have been my weekly Zoom chat with my siblings, connecting with friends from my childhood neighborhood, helping people with their financials in a bigger way than I could have ever imagined and having good health through all this time.
The parks are full, everyone is getting back outside again, vaccines are rolling out and life feels more hopeful than it has in so very long. The year milestone is a big reminder of how fast time really goes.
Thank you for being part of my community. I am always here to support you if you need anything.