Week 2 – In the COVID Ward
“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”
As organised as we were, life simply threw us another curved ball. Just when we thought we knew what we were facing, up popped a more pressing issue.
Last Saturday week, a few hours after posting the first COVIDiary article, as in Week 1, Michael was out walking in Ards Forest Park. He was hiking with his family through the forest. Out of the blue, he had a massive seizure and was subsequently attended to by the Ambulance service and helped by the local Coastguard Rescue. They were wonderful and carried the patient all the way to the main car park. He was then airlifted by helicopter to hospital in Letterkenny. Donegal Daily reported it as it happened, as video footage hit Social Media.
A side effect of these seizures was that he fractured a number of vertebrae which left him incapacitated. Because this happened for no obvious reason he was immediately transferred from A&E, after multiple scans and tests, in to an Isolation Room in the new COVID Ward. A very interesting experience and a chance to see first hand, how well prepared the hospital is for all the expected COVID patients. On Monday his test results came back as ‘negative’ – gratefully. So he was moved to the care of the team in the Orthopaedics Ward.
Because they are trying to empty the hospital as much as possible, Michael was released on Friday evening, to recuperate at home with his family support. Well away from potentially infected patients.
Whilst the head is pretty much okay, apart from all the drugs, the body is in bits, so he has very restricted movement. But seemingly he plans to be back on his laptop tomorrow somehow and working from home as best as possible. His ‘timing’ is good because most people have to work from home anyway and have virtual meetings through Zoom or Skype or phone Etc.
We expected that we would see a pick up in our business, once people get over the initial shock. And it has happened already. People want to get their business trading online ASAP. We will possibly lose a few potential projects who will hopefully just go on hold. One is an Italian Manufacturer of handbags and one is a Travel Company. And we will gain a few more care plan clients, as people see the importance of keeping their websites working well. And we will get new clients who were previously not committing the focus to getting their online presence improved, putting it on the long finger. Well the time has come
It is too early to say what Michael’s work routine will be like, but we do know that every day he will be getting stronger. Already today he feels quite an improvement. So he will be on the phone pretty soon. He is very keen to ensure that our Clients are ok and find out if we can help with any advice or connections or introductions.
The Whatsapp group set up by Toni Forrester at the Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce is working wonderfully well. Loads of great advice from Michael Boyd of Boyd HR and from Larissa Feeney at Accountants Online. Larissa held a webinar to explain the Governments innovative moves to keep people employed. Overall the mood is one of resilience and looking to a future after COVID.
Donegal Business Network held its second Zoom meeting and had almost 100% attendance. And again the mood was positive, focusing on maintaining and creating jobs. Donegal Women in Business Network announced that they too will start doing Zoom online meetings. So too did Foyle Business Network.
And Donegal County Council rowed in with some good advice. The Donegal Local Enterprise Office is helping small businesses work out where they can get assistance. They organised a webinar for the food sector for March 31st. Whilst their office building is closed to the public, the team is very much working furiously behind doors.
After the end of the second working week in the now official lockdown, we are moving in to total lockdown, unless more people show some common sense. And overall Ireland is faring well, in this horrible pandemic. Our Government is doing well in difficult circumstances. Both Taoiseach and President are acting very statesmanly. As are the various Unions and most big firms. There is a definite of purpose and looking to the far side. More citizens need to stay at home, this is not a holiday.
For business leaders, this is not a time to close down, if you can stay open with the various supports. This is not a time to let people go, if you can keep them, with the various supports. This is a time for us to invest in our businesses, in our teams, in our futures, in our way of doing things, given the new digital order. This phase will not last long and we need to be ready to restart with vigour. We can use this gift of time to get ready for that next phase. ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ as Susan Jeffers would say.
Talk to your Accountant, the Chamber of Commerce or the Local Enterprise Office. These guys can give you great advice. Rather than freeze in the headlights of COVID19, ignore the news and Social channels and Netflix, and start planning now for your future. Your teams all depend on you to show leadership over the next few weeks. If you fail to be proactive, there will be someone else coming to take your business. Business will go on and in the same volume, but some businesses will be replaced. What are you going to do?
#stayapartstaywell #letterkennychamber #thisbusinessispersonal #COVID19 #SelfIsolationHelp #coronavirus #VictimOrVictor
See COVIDiary Week 3 here when we publish next week.