The Expiration of ‘Because of COVID’By Jeff Cross | December 8, 2021 << Back to Articles
I was on a conference call recently with some industry professionals, and the discussion naturally migrated to the show. You know the one. ISSA Show North America 2021 in Las Vegas. One of them said, “It seems to be over, right?”
I’m pretty smart, I often tell myself. The show was going to happen, and by the time you read this, it has happened. I quickly figured out he meant the pandemic and its heavy impact.
“Well,” I replied, “it’s not really over, but things are looking good.” We then discussed how much we all looked forward to the end of the “because of COVID” excuses.
Let me explain
During the pandemic, there was fervent hope that the COVID-19 pandemic would just end. It didn’t. It hasn’t. It’s still going on, regular programming, full tilt. But there are tangible signs that we have seen and experienced the main attraction, and there is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. And not the train coming your way, but a light that tells you we can escape.
The excuses we used for not engaging in activities were real. The COVID excuse was given all the time. I heard it with important decisions, such as how we would wear masks, get our vaccine, and avoid hot spots where COVID-19 was raging.
But I also heard it in trivial settings. The most memorable was when I was on a golf course with a few vaccinated buddies. Since I’m so bad at golf, I figured I could make myself useful to the group, and I decided to be the flag tender when we hit the green. The first hole we get to, I grab the flag, and one of my buddies, the wimpy one (you know who you are, Jim), audibly gasped, “Don’t do that! Leave the flag!”
I asked the obvious question: “Why?” This moment was more proof that journalists have the very best of questions.
“Because of COVID!” Jim squeaked.
So, I soon discovered that on this particular golf course, which is known for lots of sunshine, fresh air, and all that good natural stuff that science says kills the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, golf course management decided it was too dangerous to touch the flag—so we were instructed to leave it be.
That’s fine. I was out of an important job for those 18 holes, but it was still an enjoyable day.
Let me wrap this up. We have used COVID as an excuse so many times during the pandemic. Sometimes for important decisions, and other times for trivial matters. But we do see, and the evidence from ISSA Show North America 2021 proves it, that the excuses are coming to an end.
Aren’t we far enough along in this pandemic that we have figured out ways to overcome the challenges? In any emergency, let’s be kind, compassionate, and empathetic. We have advanced technologies today, new technologies that we didn’t have during the Avian Flu or the Swine Flu pandemics, and especially the 1918 Influenza pandemic when 675,000 Americans died from a novel H1N1 strain of flu as it swept across the country in waves.
While somberly recognizing those who have lost much in nearly two years, let’s stop blaming COVID. Instead, let’s start accepting a world that has infectious diseases like COVID and find ways to improve the human experience in what we do. And save lives.
May this COVID experience prepare us all for what’s next.
About the Author.
Jeff Cross is the ISSA Media Director. He can be reached at [email protected].