In just seven days so much has changed and this time it isn’t just for one of us but for all of us. It is easy to get caught up with financial concerns, frustrations with being confined, and worries about when this will end. But what matters in this situation was brought home to me this morning in an interview on the radio.
The woman speaking had lost her mother to Covid-19. She wasn’t able to say goodbye. She wasn’t able to see her. She will have no chance to bring everyone together to celebrate her life. Instead, she had to tell the doctor and nurse what she wanted her mother to know before she died. I can’t explain in words how deeply her story touched me.
Throughout the week we have seen lots of statistics and charts, curves and trajectories. We have had the potential spread of the virus explained to us over and over again. But this is a human tragedy. It isn’t about the finances or the restrictions. It is about the people who are losing their lives, the families who are grieving and the horrific circumstances that they are facing.
It is easy as a PR or communicator to get caught up in task and finish mode. Getting things done. Writing this to the required deadline. Making sure that employees have been told about X, Y and Z. There is an overwhelming amount of things to do when you are dealing with a crisis, and particularly one that is going to last for many weeks and possibly months. People are working extra hours, extra shifts and extra days. The commitment and dedication can be seen throughout the articles and comments in the media and on social media.
What we have to do, and it doesn’t matter who you are working with or for, is to remember those people. Whatever communication we are doing, writing, drafting or pulling together remember the woman who I heard talk so movingly about the death of her mother. The doctor and nurse, like many others, were doing what they could to make the situation better. We all have to do what we can to make the situation better. As communicators this should be in everything we do, and as people this is by staying at home and saving lives.
Thank you to all PRs and communicators who are doing amazing things throughout this national emergency. I hope you can get some time to relax and recover. Stay safe everyone.