December 16, 2021


Communities across America are re-opening for business. This is great, but we still need to be smart.

Months of quarantines and lockdowns have served a great purpose. We’ve learned a lot about this virus, how it spreads, who is at risk, and how to contain it. And most people would agree, we can’t stay shut down forever. Life must go on.

While we don’t want to destroy the economy and people’s livelihoods, we also need to be careful about how we resume regular life. This virus can still be dangerous. It doesn’t care what we want and it doesn’t respect our timelines. It’s up to us to apply the lessons we have learned over the last few months.

This is the time for personal responsibility. All of us have obligations, as family members, colleagues, and parts of a community. If we take others into consideration, it shouldn’t be too hard to live a relatively normal life, with some valuable extra precautions.

We know that wearing masks in public places, especially indoors, helps reduce the spread of coronavirus. Avoiding crowds still seems like a generally good idea. Keeping physical distance from people outside our closest personal networks can help reduce the spread, and usually isn’t so hard.

As a business leader, I’m also conscious of how my example, and the norms I promote in my company, can have a big impact on the families and networks of my colleagues. When possible, remote work seems like a great option that promotes health, wellbeing, and even productivity.

Of course, there are many grey areas. Is it safe to dine out at restaurants? That probably depends on where you live, your personal risk tolerance, and other local factors. I plan to continue working out at home, rather than the gym, for the time being.

The way forward is for all of us to make many small decisions that balance the risk of disease against other life needs. As long as we’re thoughtful and we also account for others, we can all avoid the most simplistic stories in the media. We don’t have to choose between total shutdown of the economy and life resuming just like before. Just as in a real estate deal, nuance matters, and local conditions are key.

As the country transitions to our next phase, I have confidence that Americans will continue to be reasonable and responsible.

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