6 min read
Today is International Day , but this year we are going to celebrate it in the midst of a global crisis.
I will not deny you, last week I felt very lost. The closure, the numbers of Covid-19 coronavirus infections and the complicated economic outlook that is looming began to collapse my spirits. I think it increased because my family is Italian and the photographs of Bergamo in the Lombardy region , where trucks are seen in line carrying bodies to other areas of Italy to be cremated, made me fear the worst for Mexico.
So what always happens at happened: I stumbled upon the infinite goodness of Latinos in times of trial. I decided to start a list through my Twitter account with offers that entrepreneurs are launching during the quarantine. I thought I would only collect about 50 offers, but we have already 114 . There are those who give away webinars, meditation classes, sale of cookies to collect for medical supplies, printing of plastic facial masks with 3D printing, etc. The response in a few days has been very forceful. I have seen Mexican business men and women combat the pandemic with innovation, optimism, and leadership. Immense generosity .
Latin American and Hispanic entrepreneurs are resilient. It is part of our DNA. We come from countries experiencing continuous crises, so we are experts in adapting and starting over and over again. As proof, it is enough to see how entrepreneurs have relaunched their products with new ideas and rethought their businesses to digitize them in record time.
s understand two truths about what is happening:
- The Covid-19 is not going to stop us. It only alters the plans that we had drawn up.
- The best weapon we have to face the economic crisis is to stay together (with a healthy distance) and support each other.
For me, the role of in this historical era became very clear: telling the stories of entrepreneurs who are transforming the world, providing you with conjunctural information and approaching leaders with knowledge to cope with the crisis. At the brand, we have doubled our efforts to publish news in the moment, guides to transform your business, webinar with experts through our Homeschool initiative and take our printed magazine for free in digital format .
You should be concerned and take this pandemic seriously, but despite what we will see in the coming weeks, there is no need to panic.
Our goal as a society at the moment is to flatten the curve, that is, spread the infections in a longer period of time so that they do not exceed the capacity of our health system. Social distancing is the best weapon we have at the moment to achieve it.
I am a pragmatic optimist. I know this virus is bad, but it could be worse. I believe that the relatively low mortality of Covid-19 gives us the opportunity as a human race to improve our health systems and protocols to be ready to face a more aggressive pathogen in the future. I also think it is a great opportunity to make some changes to social norms such as accepting the home office as a valid work option, the ability to work open hours, or simply understanding that when someone is sick, they should not go to office to work!
Every year, thousands of SMEs die because they don't dare to digitize their businesses or modify their preconceived ideas about what they are and what they do. If this experience makes us become more “savvy” about the importance of opening up new channels and creating support networks in our communities, millions of businesses will be saved in years to come.
I am not trying to minimize the effect of the coronavirus on our lives. There is a highly vulnerable population (older adults, those with diabetes, hypertension, or living with a compromised immune system), but history has shown time and time again that humanity is quite “resilient” (we survived the influenza pandemic 102 years ago , the most virulent epidemic that is recorded in modern history).
These moments can bring out the worst in us, but also the best in our humanity. How we feel about the crisis depends a lot on how we approach it. Again, you have to take it seriously, but there is no need to go into absolute terror.
For me that means being grateful for the doctors and nurses that my country has, the various initiatives to support SMEs that have seen their incomes decrease, the scientists around the world who are working tirelessly to find a vaccine, the great entrepreneurs and young children who are doing their bit.
The economy will recover sooner or later. It is an inevitable cycle. I believe that this experience will make Mexico and Latin America stronger if we manage to overcome the pandemic with empathy.
We must move forward, discard what worked yesterday and accept that tomorrow has already changed. This crisis will fuel the next wave of innovation and today we are defining our future.
We are together in this.