Musings from an Italian Coronavirus Red Zone (Part 2)

20200310_163214To my tribe around the world – thanks so much for reaching out and checking in. What times we are all living in!

When last I wrote about this, Monza (my town) was in a yellow zone, still able to move around, although in a limited manner.  Now, all of Italy is in a red zone – complete lockdown of 60 million people, not just for now, but for at least a few weeks. The number of infected, and worse, dead, because of the disease continues to rise.

I would venture to say that, for me, the biggest difference is how we all for the first time, at the individual level, have started to realize that the stay at home directive is one of resilience and capacity of the health system. As many of you know, I am a big fan of the Italian health system, which is high quality, fair (for the most part) to all, and human focused.

The issue is not the quality of care but a real capacity issue.  We are now in a situation in which hospitals’ infected patients are being triaged because we don’t have enough beds, ventilators and other items to care for those who need it. We simply cannot help all those who need it because the rate of spread has well superseded the capacity. So to all of those who are still wondering if we are over-worrying by asking people to stay at home– look at the math!  (if you PM me, I’d be happy to send you information).

So what’s my take?

Social Media is a powerful weapon, whether intentional or not.  I see “anxiety posts” which often serve to stir up and promote more anxiety. But I also see those who are trying to quell the surge of panic/hyperbole and are voices of reason. For someone in my line of work, it’s fascinating to see this and is a constant prod for me – how am I choosing to behave?  Based on what I feel or based on what outcome I would like to have?

People (and organizations) who are wisely using this time to reflect and renew seem to be the most grounded in these uncertain times. Whether spending time with children, reading books or, in the case of companies, offering a variety of professional and personal growth on-line learning options. We can be wise about how we use our time.

How much technology can help – from smart/remote working to “virtual coffees” (or in my case “virtual aperitivos”!).  Those who are comfortable with and have access to various platforms are benefitting and feel less isolated.

Truth be told, I wonder if the universe is sending us all a message to slow down; to understand that in the grand scheme of things, we are only under the illusion that we have everything under control when really, it’s just busy-ness.  There are so many things bigger than us and our individual projects.

We are truly in VUCA times (high Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) – these are the times for each of us to reach down inside and get grounded.

My two cents worth. What do you think?

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