Letters from the Industry

Social Distance vs. Social Persistence

In light of current events, BPD and The Merchant e-Weekly will feature guest contributors offering the industry their perspectives and advice. This is NOT paid advertising but rather part of our service to the industry in contrast to the ongoing 24/7 news cycle we're faced with. We are a strong country, a strong industry and we will get through this, sooner than later and better than before. Please send your thoughts to padams@526mediagroup.com. Take care of yourselves, and each other.


If nothing else, this pandemic has reinforced a couple of important lessons.

#1. Nothing is more important than the health of you and your loved ones.

Without  it very little matters. Doing a side-by-side comparison of my profession accomplishments at age 47, with Steve Jobs at age 47, I get depressed. He was on the cover of Time Magazine… at age 47. My likeness has not appeared there. In fairness, I still have about 10 months but the prospects aren’t great.

Yet, I would not trade places with him in 2020. Neither would you.

#2 Resilience is a choice.

On its face, being confined to home seems like an adult version of a time out. It’s like the business world played a global game of tag for decades nonstop, the pandemic screamed, “Time Out!” and everyone listened. Now what? Continue with business as usual? Definitely not. See #1.

However, curling up in the fetal position and waiting it out is a poor option. Clearly, it’s possible to safely stay connected in this post COVID-19 world.  I am seeing it happen in all kinds of new ways each day.  Businesses are going to operate differently from here on out, no doubt.

You can keep social distance AND maintain social persistence. Time to get creative. The apple cart is turned over.  If you’re waiting to put the cart upright, the apples may disappear.

Stephen Ondich

Stephen Ondich is Operations Manager for Commercial Forest Products, Fontana, CA

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