The English language is a perpetual puzzle. Why do we “buckle up” for safety, but “buckle down” to get to work? Some cars now incorporate a tensioning feature into their seatbelt systems that when sensing a braking input from the driver, pre-tensions the seatbelts against the driver to lessen the potential movement of your body against the belts. A G-sensor in the management system of the vehicle has been standing by, to intervene for your safety. How evolved, how automatic, and how easy is that form of buckling up?
Most of life doesn’t work so automatically does it? For almost two full years we have been navigating a very different world of COVID. We have been rocked out of our comfort zones more times that we may have thought possible. We have been delayed, inconvenienced, scared, backordered and short shipped more than any other time in our lives. We have covered for sick co-workers, remote co-workers, people who just chose to stay home, and sometimes for those who have lost their lives to the pandemic. But we have covered. We have buckled down.
Whether it’s this point in history or one of many others of extreme challenge that we have faced, there really is only one way out… buckling down, together.
Whether it’s this point in history or one of many others of extreme challenge that we have faced, there really is only one way out… buckling down, together. If you think about some of the extreme periods this country has faced, from the Pilgrims enduring overwhelming adversity in their new land, to the Civil War that took more American lives than all other wars, to the Spanish Flu epidemic that took 600,000 American lives and 30 million more world-wide in 1918, to the COVID pandemic today. These all are dark periods, filled with fear and the unknown in which there is no obvious end or cure until we finally “buckle down”. Buckling down is the process of simplifying objectives, organizing them, and pursuing them to achieve some momentum. During the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918, communication and understanding of disease was much more limited. No one really had any idea of the cause or cure and no efficient way to get the word out as doctors finally learned what had happened and what needed to be done. Today, we are oversaturated with “facts” real or not real, and with communication. It can be bewildering and if you wonder about the way that people are acting, it’s often because of mind numbing confusion and many times, folks are acting just to quiet the outside noise in their own heads.
The solution starts from within. It starts with a resolve to stay steady, to stay focused, to help others and to not get pushed off target by the hubbub around us. In both 1918 and now, immunity appears to be the key. Herd immunity is what slowed down and stopped the Spanish Flu and is what will bring COVID-19 under control in 2022. The latest strains of COVID seem milder, quicker to conclude, and appear to be building the necessary herd immunity along with vaccines and boosters, that are what we need to bring things back to normal. But the solution for us together, is to stay rational, stay focused, and to not give in to the devil’s temptation of panic and knee jerk reaction. We will be defined by how we stick to our missions and how we don’t give in. Start simple and build from there. Make healthy choices and practice daily self care like never before to build up your immune system. It’s a small step but it’s an important step. Try to stay open to what you can learn from our surroundings. Most importantly, “buckle down” . Yes, that is pre-tensioning our belts, getting ourselves ready for the next steps that happen beyond today, tomorrow, and COVID. I buckle down for my family, our co-workers, our customers, and our community. I buckle down for our future. As with everything in life, this too shall pass. Buckling down, together, will get us there quicker.