Reflections on the Most Chaotic Year of our Lives

This year has been…well…A YEAR.

A YEAR of a novel coronavirus that was unpredictable and, for many, unforgiving.

A YEAR where the world simply felt like it had stopped, frozen in time.

A YEAR where we saw the most significant and vocal movement for racial equity following some of the worst injustices we’ve seen in 50+ years and an election that divided a nation.

If you would have told me in March that we would be able to transition 1,600 people to work from home, create a digital infrastructure to connect all our staff and clients seamlessly, and keep moving ahead of the rapidly changing needs of the healthcare industry, I am not sure I would have believed it.

But we did. And we didn’t just survive. We thrived – by living our purpose every day, delivering vital information about COVID-19 and many other diseases to physician and patient communities that needed support more than ever before.

We were privileged to work with many clients and organizations tirelessly developing tests, devices, treatments and vaccines for COVID-19. All in the scope of just 9 months! We saw our clients at their very best, working 24/7 to tame a beast that has terrorized people all over the world.  I’ve never been prouder to work in this industry!

We came together as a team like never before to support each other and innovate in record time to create digital solutions that will change the future of healthcare forever.

We responded in real-time to the needs of our people and their families with compassion and programs – from providing support to our staff members who experienced the devastating loss of loved ones, to addressing mental health needs, to offering tutoring for children navigating online learning, to providing technology now considered essential for work-from-home situations, to rapidly responding to the urgent need for all of us to join forces and champion diversity, equity and inclusion.

And while the lack of human interaction was a real loss, Zoom-culture allowed us to get to know people in surprisingly intimate ways, giving us a peek into their lives, homes, bookshelves, families and even their furry friends.

We learned to appreciate the simple life again, to rediscover nature, our family, friends, neighbors, strangers…and ourselves. Some of us even learned that at-home workouts are not that bad, that grandparents actually love TikTok, and that banana bread will likely be the #1 baked good of 2020.

I am humbled, grateful and thankful…most importantly to the frontline workers – from healthcare professionals, to delivery men and women, to those who masked up and went to work every single day at the height of the pandemic, risking their lives to ensure we could all function and in some cases survive!

As the year (finally!) draws to a close and I think about 2021, I am filled with so much hope for us all to come out of this pandemic better than we went into it. And for us all to continue to work together for a healthier, happier, more equitable and more inclusive future. Wishing everyone a safe, healthy and happy holiday season!

Jennifer Gottlieb
Jennifer Gottlieb
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