This Editor’s Note is an unusual one to write, not least because it is the first one I have written since March. We are now in October, and the world we live in has changed for everyone. Are we returning gradually to normal again? In a way, yes, but for each country and even each district, it is unclear how long that will continue, or when new waves of lockdown measures will occur (if they haven’t already). Here in the UK, we are getting ready for six more months of measures, and the country feels split on whether the safety restrictions we’re facing are excessive or still not doing enough. For many others of us around the world right now, I imagine that conflicted feeling is similar. So, where do we go from here?
Both personally and economically, 2020 has been a shock to the system. If nothing else, it has shown us how quickly our lives can change at a word from our government – a fact that some countries were more aware of than others. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we need to feel safe and secure before we can engage with higher thoughts and functions, so with the rug being repeatedly snatched from under our feet in a way that the fortunate among us aren’t used to, it has been a struggle for some to stay productive and inspired.
And yet, life does carry on – something I’m saying with a renewed gratitude. In order for it to carry on, we need to keep adapting – after all, adaption is the key to survival. It has been amazingly inspiring, on our return to the office, to get back in touch with the companies we had been speaking with in March and finding out what the past months have been like. So many of you have responded to this recent crisis with ingenuity and tenacity, refusing to give in and changing your business models in brilliant ways to stay afloat. For others, however, a fresh start has been dropped on us: whether we have lost our job or lost our company, if we can, we should try to see this new beginning as an opportunity to re-evaluate our lives and start anew.
Whatever our experience of 2020, I take comfort in the fact that we’re all far from alone. It is rare that an event touches the whole world so completely, but it is fair to say that whatever your current personal situation right now, there are people the world over in the exact same boat. So, whatever 2021 brings, let’s try to tackle it together, to treat each other with encouragement and support, and to remember that we’re living in a point of history that will be talked about for years