BIRD’S-EYE VIEW: Bringing out the Best
Blog #04 – April 2, 2020
by John Peterson
The craziest part of everything going on right now is that nobody really knows what to do.
We’ve all been on high-alert the last three weeks due to increasing and ongoing concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19, the coronavirus. Sports screeched to a halt. Concerts were canceled. Everything that draws a crowd got postponed or scrapped altogether, as the world took this seriously.
Obviously we’re no different here in Kalamazoo. It was disappointing seeing everything come to an end earlier than we all had hoped. But at this point, can anybody disagree with the (virtually) unanimous decisions to put health and safety first?
What’s most amazing to me is how situations like this bring out the best in humanity. That’s what I want to talk about today.
We’re all dealing with unprecedented circumstances. In reality, nobody really knows what to do. But during such uncertain times where everybody is operating week-to-week—actually, day-to-day, it’s refreshing to see our society come together to help and support each other.
A LONG OVERDUE ‘THANK YOU’
Perhaps the biggest “thank you” in all of this goes to those working in various medical fields.
Sometimes doctors, nurses and physicians get taken for granted. I’m not sure why, exactly. Maybe it’s the stereotype that everyone in the medical field is wealthy. Maybe it’s because most people think they are immune to health problems and never to go to the doctor’s office. Maybe it’s that most of us don’t know what it’s like to work in a high-pressure, potentially life-saving situation.
First responders and medical professionals see more trauma in a month than most of us see in our lives. In a constantly changing situation, we owe these people long-overdue gratitude and appreciation for putting their own health in jeopardy to deal with treating those impacted by a novel virus nobody seems to know much about.
Take time out of your day to thank someone you know in the medical field.
I continue to be impressed with the outpouring of support shown to hospitals and their staff. Companies are stockpiling extra supplies and donating them in this time of need. Businesses have donated hand sanitizer, bleach, disposable gloves and gowns, safety goggles and other equipment.
Heck, even the hockey company, Bauer, transitioned from making hockey equipment to protective equipment for those on the front lines during this crisis. Just one of the many stories that has made me smile lately.
Additionally, people who work in the retail/grocery field deserve a big hug when this social distancing hiatus ends. Think about it for a second.
The person who scans your food at the register, bags your groceries, or stocks the shelves is an “essential employee” needed now more than ever to allow you to keep the pantry full just in case this lasts longer than we expect.
Personally, I’ve made three trips to the grocery store during this quarantine. Each time I make sure to thank the cart attendant, the person slicing deli meat, and the individuals asking “paper or plastic”. They don’t get to work from home like most of us.
The best way to thank these people is to stay home for a little longer. Wait for the “green light” to get back to your norm. Stock up on the essentials so you don’t have to go back as regularly as you’re used to (but don’t hoard). You don’t need 100 rolls of toilet paper.
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PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE
Perhaps one of the best things I’ve seen during this lockdown is the community coming together to help businesses who’ve been impacted the most.
Bars and restaurants take a huge hit with each day they’ve had to close their doors.
One thing I’ve seen the last few weeks that has been an awesome collaboration is the “Saturday Night In” initiative in Kalamazoo. This was something spearheading be Greenleaf Hospitality Group, our partners Discover Kalamazoo, and many other businesses in the area.
Many restaurants have offered delivery and take-out options during this time where potential customers are forced to stay in. We should continue to support these restaurants during this time if possible. It’s been amazing to see how “Saturday Night In” has taken off in the community.
Several of the K-Wings sponsors have kept their doors open for delivery and take-out during this time, including Monelli’s, Jaspare’s, Nick’s Gyros, Kelvin & Co., Hungry Howie’s, Culver’s and Old Burdick’s.
I haven’t been in Kalamazoo long (less than a calendar year), but I’ve dined at each of these places and highly recommend supporting them.
Another thing I’ve seen a lot of lately, and would love to see more of year round, is people treating each other with kindness. You never know what others are going through. Patience and kindness go a long way. Make an effort to do a good deed each day if you can, even if it’s from the comfort of your own home.
Reach out to a friend or relative you haven’t talked to in a while and tell them how much you appreciate them. If you’ve recently had a good experience at a local small business, leave them a comment or review and let them know how they made your day the last time you needed them.
It’s times like these where we can all boost each other up.
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FAMILY COMES FIRST
A silver lining to being stuck at home while we all do our part to flatten the curve of the coronavirus is we can make a conscientious effort to keep in touch with our friends and family all over the globe.
That’s the beauty of technology.
On a whim, we can text, call or join a video chat with a group of friends or family. Many of my coworkers here with the K-Wings have described how nice it has been to spend time at home with their spouses, kids or pets. Cherish it.
In a regular week at the K-Wings office, our staff would traditionally meet 7-10 times in different capacities. It’s been tough working from home and not seeing my peers as much as I’ve become accustomed to these last few weeks. I miss our early morning huddles where we talk about what’s happening in the news or the world of sports, share the things we appreciate about each other, or what plans we have for an upcoming promotion.
But lately we’ve held our regular meetings via Google Hangouts and encouraged everyone to keep their cameras on so we can see each other from afar. It’s been refreshing.
Rather than weigh on the negatives of everything going on right now, the sight of so many people coming together and supporting each other gives me hope that we’ll all be able to get back to our “normal” soon. And it’ll be better than before.
Sometimes it takes hardship to bring out the best in people. Let’s keep that in mind when the hardship is gone.
Bird’s-Eye View is a Kalamazoo Wings blog, written by the team’s Director of Public Relations/Broadcaster John Peterson twice weekly. The thoughts, opinions and behind-the-scenes stories are that of the writer alone and not a reflection of the organization as a whole. Fans are welcome to submit questions and ideas for future blog posts to email@example.com. Enjoy!