We can make the new ways work: Transferring our pandemic optimism from the ways things were to the ways things are and will be.

by Bob Schwartz

One thing now obvious is that brave and aggressive plans to resume conventional life—in business, schools, sports and other institutions—are going to be waiting a while longer. The profound impact of these delays can’t be minimized.

Like it or not, new and often unfamiliar ways are being forced upon us. The good news is that there are plenty of creative and adaptable people to help fashion these new ways. Lots of the options may not be comfortable or familiar, but we’ve got what we’ve got.

As these ways are being fitted to our lives (or our lives fitted to them), we should keep up our spirit of optimism. But we should place that precious optimism carefully. For the moment, some loud or fanatical hopes for immediate institutional normality are just wasted whistling in the dark. Instead, that optimism should be transferred to whatever we do now and to the ways things will be when we emerge from this moment.

We can make this work. We can make this work.