Something or other caught my eye this morning and reminded me that impeachment was this year. It took me a minute to regain my bearings. Such has been the torrent of news, history and calamity in 2020.
It got me to reflecting a bit, scanning back over my calendar, pinpointing those critical days in February-March when the Before Time came to an end.
I believe I’ve mentioned before that I happened to be visiting our NYC office on Feb. 25, when the CDC’s heroic Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, issued her first public warnings of the imminent onslaught of the virus. In reaction, we had our first internal meeting later that day about how we would handle COVID-19 as a business. We had only the faintest inkling then that two weeks to the day later we would close our NYC and DC offices. We had no inkling that they would remain closed for the remainder of the year.
I remember making the decision to close on Fri, March 6, setting the last day in the office for Tuesday, March 11, then worrying all weekend that we were jumping the gun. But as it turned out by the time we got to the end of the day that Tuesday, I couldn’t get people home fast enough. Things were spiraling downward so fast in NYC.
A few minutes ago, I pulled up an email I sent to the editorial staff on the morning of March 9. I’ve re-printed it down below. It holds up fine, though at that point in my own mind I was envisioning we’d be out until May. What struck me though is how well our team did all the things I asked of it: We planned well, we anticipated problems, we didn’t make unforced errors, COVID didn’t keep us from doing our work. At least not so far. The worst is yet to come.
I am immensely proud of this team and what it has done. You should be, too. You know how much your support means to us, both your moral support and your financial support. Please give this team your thanks, and if you haven’t joined us yet, please do it now. We need you.