When I pulled into the parking lot of our building today, the number of cars at 8:30 am was fewer than the day before. Every day since Covid-19 arrived in the United States, the number of people allowed to come to work has decreased. The number of patrons in the coffee shop across the hall has decreased and some of the baristas told me they’re considering shutting down in a few days.
Traffic is down. Pedestrians are less frequently passing by our windows. Our growing little river town is stuck at midnight, no matter what time it actually is. There is a hum in a building like the Marquette Tower, a collection of sounds that is comforting like an oscillating fan running as you go to bed. It is constant. It is familiar.
It is partly the laughter of the kids that attend some of the programs offered here, professionals going to government offices, other marketing agencies and start-ups housed in the floors above. It is the occasional bark that makes me instantly want to go see the “pupper” some employers let their team members bring in. It is the idle conversations I can hear between patrons of our rooftop restaurant on their way to the elevators, echoing off the intricate tile of the old Spanish-style vaulted ceilings in the lobby. We are on the ground floor of a tuning fork that vibrates with this community.
Even though it is entirely too quiet, I have to remember—we have to remember—that this is not only a necessary precautionary measure but also temporary. Our community, and the communities of anyone reading this, are resilient and projecting that view, that atmosphere, is important.
I think the average individual stops to consider the power of social media almost never. It is everywhere, present in nearly every aspect of our lives. I’m part of I don’t know how many groups, sites, mailing lists and organizations. Information is flying at me and I’m taking in all I possibly can every day, often absentmindedly.
This strange time is a nearly unique opportunity to focus, to be 100 percent present in your online presence. Focus it on the positivity. Focus it on planning for when we all come out on the other side of COVID-19. Shine a light on what we have to look forward to in response to the physical separation I know we’re all feeling right now.
There is a tree in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, called the Champion Beech Tree. It is one of the oldest trees in Missouri. It was alive and growing during the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. For over 200 years it has stood and it has grown—through wars, natural disasters, times of environmental, financial and civil crisis, through all but our first two presidential terms. This tree is not just an interesting piece of trivia, it is a testament to and symbol of not just our community but of all communities around the United States that are deeply rooted in and supported by the people who live there. It is still standing. It is still vibrant and strong and beautiful.
Make your community visible. Shine a light on what makes it great, what makes it unique, what it has to offer and what you think everyone needs to see. Give us all something to go out and see once social distancing is thankfully at an end and we can all get back to tripping all over each other.
You have the most powerful communication capabilities our civilization has ever seen just sitting at your fingertips. Use it.
At Rooted Web, we want everyone to be safe during this uncertain time but try not to forget, you’re not alone. We are a community and we should still remain connected even if it’s not advisable to be physically near each other. Reach out and stay involved, because even during the hardest times, a resilient tree still grows.