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Life After Lockdown

It’s spring in the Bluegrass, and of course, I actually had it on our marketing calendar for the year to talk about March Madness and Kentucky’s championship team (we can just go ahead and claim the title, right?). I would have talked about my spring break trip to visit my sister in the UK and Ireland, and how good it felt to give her a hug for the first time in seven years. I was also going to talk about how strong the US dollar was and mention that it was a good time travel overseas and take some adventures. And finally, I would have been sharing my thoughts on Keeneland opening weekend and information about our upcoming tailgate. Well….NOT! I might even have been telling you about the racing partnership I’m in with the beautiful filly Diamond Solitaire, and her maiden trip around the track. But alas, that’s on hold too.

Seems like every plan I put in place – from the marketing calendar I created for the year, to the international travel, to the social groups and gatherings I love to plan – has changed not just a little, but to the point of “Hey Smyth! You’re housebound except for groceries, medicine and a solitary walk for exercise!” And I know I’m the only person with this issue. Oh wait….that’s all of us.

We have all had our particular version of life put on indefinite hold. And hats off to the introverts who’ve been training for this their whole lives! But I want to share a story about a conversation I had this week. I called up one of my clients who’s in assisted living just to check in and see how she’s doing. I quickly realized that she’s not “trapped” in the home as the media has portrayed. She’s happy and safe in a place where she has three square meals of her choice each day, happy hour with bourbon in the afternoons, no kids to homeschool, and someone makes her bed every day.

I thought, my goodness! I’m stuck here trying to keep up with my full-time job while helping my kids check in with their online studies and attendance. I have to make three squares a day, do laundry, make sure the kids are bathing, and play referee and/or warden to the other prisoners in my home, and keep some semblance of neatness. I know what all the moms are doing but what about all the dads? I jest of course. But I wouldn’t mind someone to cook, make the beds and bring me a happy hour bourbon every day. My client and I had a good laugh over this as we compared life on the inside vs the outside.

In seriousness though, all of our lives have been disrupted in more ways than we probably care to think about. All the unknowns and emotions can be overwhelming. I’m not going to go into what the markets are doing here – but I would like your feedback on a few things.

What are your thoughts about how your behavior will shift due to this pandemic experience? How will it affect your consumer habits? When we get the okay to come out and embrace life, will we all go back to sitting in our offices all day? I’m wondering if I really need to be in my office for back-to-back-to-back meetings – or could I give my clients some of their valuable time back by eliminating their commute in, and continuing to hold meetings via Zoom or FaceTime?

Will we be hesitant to attend sporting events in the future? Will people be less inclined to accept social invitations to large parties? Between when we’re allowed back out and when there’s a readily available vaccine, will we tolerate those people who venture out with “seasonal allergies,” or will we get up and leave if someone is sneezing? Will we be more likely to take road trips than board a plane?

I really do want to hear your thoughts and opinions. Hit reply and let us know what habits and behaviors you think will change as a result of this incident. Will we return to the things we took for granted?

Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be asking you for several ideas and thoughts as we navigate these unprecedented circumstances, so be thinking about your favorite stay-at-home date ideas, your favorite ways to keep the kids busy, and let us know what you’re binge-watching. Let’s share, and get through this together. Email me and we’ll get the conversation started.

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