(Post 5 of 5 in the “Don’t Say Recovery” Series)

Let’s review. It all started with a virus. Yes, that one. No need to go into detail, but many suffered. Lives and livelihoods were lost. Industries were decimated. The impact on places and people was cataclysmic. 

It seems like a thousand years ago that this started, but it wasn’t. It seems like we should be out of this and healing by now, but we’re not. At least not yet. If you just want to get back to business as usual and the place-based marketing and sales that goes with it, you’re not alone. We have to recognize that there is a process to healing and we have to follow the steps.

Step one is stopping the bleeding. That’s where we are right now. Step two is clotting and scabbing. It’s gross and painful. We’re trying to begin the healing but the wounds keep opening. Step three is growing and rebuilding. We keep trying to jump to this, but that wound is really deep. At some point we’ll keep adjusting and the healing will spread. Once we feel that the market is beginning to stabilize we can shift to step four – strengthening.

Strengthening pretty much means we’re approaching our past peaks. Business volume has returned and livelihood is mostly restored. The annoying phrases that contain derivatives of the word “normal” are applied to this stage. Programming focus begins to shift to sales and marketing that encourages business in future years more so than in the year of the year. Budgets are restored and strategic planning shifts its outlook. But here’s the thing about healing wounds, scars remain.

COVID-19 slammed our communities, our friends, family and neighbors. Healing is not easy and time, as helpful as it might be, will not fully heal, or bring back, those most affected. Scars will remain.

Support one another. Our futures depend on it.