“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”
―Søren Kierkegaard

There’s no getting around it—the worldwide outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has temporarily changed the way our society functions, both economically and socially. Here in the Bay Area, we’ve been under a “Shelter in Place” mandate for longer than anywhere in the United States, which means our restaurants, bars, parks, museums and other gathering places have been off limits for the first time ever. It’s a challenging and stressful situation for everyone involved, and the ever-changing nature of the relief efforts makes it difficult to plan for any sort of concrete future.

However, even though these unprecedented times have pushed us into a new reality, there’s still plenty to be hopeful about. Think about your community—have you noticed that loved ones are checking in on you more often and people are treating each other with more kindness? The truth of the matter is we’re all in this together, and when faced with such a monumental disruption to our daily lives, we’ve banded together and relied on community more than ever. This is what it means to be human: we adapt, endure and plan ahead for a brighter tomorrow.

There’s no better time than the present to plan for when our “Shelter in Place” mandate gets lifted. Use your Diamond Certified Plan Ahead Directory to set yourself up for success by calling an auto repair shop to schedule an oil change, emailing a landscape contractor to take care of your overgrown yard or texting a dentist to make that appointment you’ve been putting off. Just like you, these companies are Bay Area residents who have deep ties to their local communities, and they’re ready and willing to help you plan for whatever you have in mind. Even if you get a voicemail, don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or plans—when the dust settles and everything gets rolling again, you’ll be at the front of their line.

If you’re wary about social distancing recommendations while working with a company, plan for that situation now so you’ll be prepared when the time comes. Communicate your preferences and make sure the company respects your wishes before entering your home. For example, if you need to hire a plumber to fix a leaky sink, ask them to wear gloves, shoe covers and a mask while they’re working. If you’re taking on a landscaping project, ask the contractor to provide a paperless quote and invoice. If you need to go over some remodeling plans, request a Facetime or Zoom meeting with the company representative instead of an in-person meeting. By planning ahead for these types of situations, you’ll provide peace of mind for everyone involved.

It’s true that we face a difficult path back to normalcy in the months ahead, but we have the strength and determination to fight our way back to the top. With a strong sense of community and a focus on preparation, we’ll be ready to create a better, safer future.

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