You and George Stenitzer virtual hug

Your calm, care and generosity will see you through

Today’s blog is about you

I’m writing this blog because I want you to make it through the coronavirus crisis.

Elbow bump. Virtual hug.

It’s time to put people first, not business. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. If you can’t be with people you love, send them a virtual hug on FaceTime, Zoom, wherever.

So much news about coronavirus and COVID-19 has hit, it’s hard to absorb, hard to know what to do.

The stakes couldn’t be higher. We’re fighting for our own lives, the lives of loved ones, and even the lives of people we don’t know.

This blog is a big virtual hug for you

It’s for anyone who’s trying to navigate the coronavirus crisis. What to do?

  • Be generous enough and selfish enough to keep yourself healthy.
  • Take care of yourself first, then help your loved ones and others who need help.
  • Be calm. Keep yourself well-informed. Connect with others online.

Don’t wait for perfect information

Pull out all the stops, now.

Here’s a little-known story: When the Superdome was under construction, for unknown reasons it began sinking into the swampy land beneath it. The construction managers needed to open the Dome on time for its first big event – or face millions in penalties.

Rather than wait for perfect information to determine the root cause of the Dome sinking into the swamp, engineers came up with 17 hypotheses, all the root causes for the problem they could imagine. Then they fixed all 17 problems. The Superdome stopped sinking, and it opened on time.

We are in a Superdome moment right now. Don’t wait for perfect information to make decisions. Instead, do everything possible to assure that you, your people and others make it through this crisis.

We must slow the spread of coronavirus now. Why?

Because we can’t afford to break our healthcare system. It’s the only one we have.

Authorities are trickling out partial information and making decisions at a careful pace.

But this is a Superdome moment. Don’t wait to be told what to do, because this snowball is rolling down the mountain, picking up speed.

What are the best choices? Wash hands. Stay home. Give other people a wide berth. Take no unnecessary risks. Use your best judgment. Have faith that small acts you do today will benefit everyone in the long run.

Known cases of coronavirus are only the tip of the iceberg

For each known case of COVID-19, there are 6 unknown “stealth” carriers.

Scientists found that coronavirus spreads through people who are showing no symptoms. A study published in Science shows that for each known case of COVID-19 in China, there were 6 more unknown cases.

In fact, “stealth” carriers of coronavirus were responsible for most of the disease spread in China before the lockdown. It’s scary enough to hear anyone cough – but even people who don’t cough may be stealth carriers.

That’s why it’s crucial for you to isolate at home

If we don’t “flatten the curve” by individual and collective action, the healthcare system will soon be overwhelmed. We haven’t got enough beds, tests, respirators or people to care for everyone who’s at risk.

That’s why it’s crucial for you to stay home. When you go out for essentials like food and medicine, go at off-peak hours. Practice social distancing – give other people a wide berth.

You made tough decisions this week. More are ahead

Now we are living After Coronavirus (AC). The way we lived Before Coronavirus (BC) is only a pleasant memory.

This became crystal-clear when we missed my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday party, which broke my wife’s heart. Now Mom is locked down in a nursing home in California. Luckily we get to see her on FaceTime.

We are all forced to make physical, emotional, economic and psychic sacrifices today. Be prepared for such sacrifices to continue for weeks, months or even years.

Stay calm

Anxiety is contagious. Take a break from news and social media. Listen to music. Watch a funny movie. Take up a new hobby.

If you can’t get to the ocean, bring the ocean to you with this live camera.

Stare out the window while you wash your hands for 20 seconds.

Shelter at home

Home is the safest place to be, since staying home reduces the spread of coronavirus. Staying home limits risks to you, to people you love, even to people you don’t know. Stay home:

  • Whether or not you’ve been exposed to someone who tested positive for coronavirus.
  • Especially if you are among the 60% of Americans with an underlying health problem.
  • Especially if you’re over 60 and even if you’re under 60.
  • Whether or not you’ve traveled in countries with outbreaks.
  • Unless it’s absolutely necessary to go out for food or medicine, or you’re on the front lines of fighting the crisis.

Cancel group activities

If possible, have your people work from home. Postpone in-person meetings. Substitute virtual events for face-to-face meetings.

Wash your hands frequently

 Lather up, then sing the Alphabet Song twice so you wash for 20 seconds – including fingertips, thumbs, between your fingers. Dry hands thoroughly. Sick of the Alphabet Song? Find 19 other choices here.

No handshakes!

Substitute elbow bumps for handshakes.

Avoid crowds

The President advises avoiding groups of 10 or more people. To be prudent, avoid even smaller events. Shop during off hours.

Practice social distancing

Stay 6 feet away from others – the distance the virus travels if someone coughs in your direction. Bring your own alcohol wipes and (if you can get it) hand sanitizer.

Go the extra mile to practice generosity

In moments that matter, leaders behave generously. Follow their lead:


  • Take care of your people. Starbucks is offering paid sick time, plus therapy to employees – even part-timers.
    I salute U-Haul for giving college kids free storage.
  • Lead with acts of kindness. U-Haul is offering 30 days of free storage space to college students who are being kicked out of dorm rooms.
  • Become a better cook. Sarah Stegner, the chef at Chicago restaurant Prairie Grass, is helping cooks plan nutritious meals, by answering cooking and meal-prep questions each day from 2 to 4 p.m. – information here. What’s more, she is supporting her local supplier Three Sisters Garden Delivery by inviting people to buy ingredients directly from them.
  • Meet your need for companionship – virtually. Seth Godin is sponsoring Akimbo Virtual Workspace, a free place you can hang out with others who are working from home. Find the others and hang out with them.
  • Take care of people you depend on. New Orleans Pelicansrookie Zion Williamson pledged to pay the wages of all Smoothie King Center arena workers for a span of 30 days. Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks players promised to keep paying employees who work in the arena, taking money from their own paychecks.
  • Keep up to date. The New York Times, Harvard Business Review and The Atlantic are offering free news on coronavirus. Support them by buying a subscription.
  • Be generous to those in need. Dave Jones, a London butcher, Tweeted, “If anyone near our shop has to self-isolate over the coronavirus and are on benefits I will put together a two week food parcel that will be delivered to your door.” His Tweet went viral.
  • What generous acts can your company step up to?

Make business decisions with a long-term view

Pivot to your new model. What you used to do in person, it’s time to do online if it’s at all possible. Keep connected with your team, clients and customers. You may need to stretch yourself by learning new online tools.

Alaska Airlines logo
Alaska Airlines treated me well in this crisis. I’ll remember.

Make refunds when possible. Last week I cancelled thousands of dollars’ worth of airline tickets for workshops. Alaska Airlines didn’t zap me with change fees, but American Airlines did — even though I have flown over 1.1 million miles with them.

People will long remember the choices your business makes today. Especially, they will remember how you made them feel.

Thank the healthcare workers, first responders, delivery people, and workers who keep your grocery store open. Help them out any way you can. They’re putting their lives on the line to help you. They deserve all the thanks and support we can give.

Talk with everyone you love 

Every day is a gift. Make the most of it. Do the right thing for yourself and for everyone.

Y’all take care out there!


P.S. Crystal Clear Communications is open for business, working from home as usual. We have cancelled all in-person events. We keep connected with you through online tools like Zoom.

How can we help you?