Yesterday was a major step forward for many people. The opening of many stores and shopping centres signalled the arrival of familiar sights. Shopping is now a very different experience that some will grow to accept and others will try to avoid. Many people may feel this is the recovery phase kicking in but I would disagree.
This is definitely a move forward. For many companies and businesses they are now able to look at what to do now and what may happen in the future. That is a sign that recovery is on the way. But we are still dealing with the impact of Covid-19 and most importantly there are still people who are dying or being severely affected by the pandemic.
We are in what I am terming the mid-crisis or pre-recovery phase. It may be frustrating for some who want to move quickly towards some kind of return to normality. However, this is a very valuable moment in time. It is time when we can reflect, review and recharge before heading to rebuilding the business. This can be a moment to take a breath and step up to help those leading the business find a way forward.
Reopening stores was just a step on the road to recovery. It is worth remembering that as we were all affected by the crisis in different ways we are all going to have a different recovery experience. For business the same will be true. Hospitality and travel is yet to be able to make significant steps forward and they are still fully in the crisis. Communicators need to recognise that they must forge their own path. They can look at what others are doing but no comparison should be made.
The speed of recovery is not going to be what secures the future of the business. It will be the effective management of all the outstanding issues related to the crisis and the vision to see how to rebuild and re-establish that matters. Business are travelling through this crisis at different speeds and while they need to begin trading it has to be in the right way at the right time.
We need to avoid making judgements on the crisis and recovery based on the first day of many shops reopening. In all this uncertainty one thing we do know is that there is a long road ahead to learn to live with, and deal with, Covid-19.