The Discomfort You're Feeling
Take care of yourself and your loved ones.
Maintain social distancing. Wash your hands. COVID-19 dislikes soap and water.
If you've been laid off, don't delay, apply for unemployment.
Stop looking at your screen. Take a walk. Do the reading you always meant to do, but put off.
Plan for the future. Try to imagine, what things you want to keep and nurture, and what things you'll change in a post-COVID-19 world.As leader of a team or a department:
Take care of your people. This will end, and re-hiring is costly. Protect staff in whatever way you can. If temporary layoffs while maintaining health insurance works for your museum, do it.
Make sure everyone--board members, staff and volunteers--has the tools to communicate. Help them learn to stay in touch.
Sort out communication methods that are most equitable. Offer tutorials to everyone, and encourage your team or department to talk with one another on a regular basis.
Treasure your IT and social media team and build bridges between them and your program.
Talk to your community, whether through email, Instagram or Facebook let them know you're there.As a Museum Leader:
Thank your Congressional representatives.
If you're not an AAM member, join now. Its COVID-19 information is worth the individual membership if you can't afford more. Ditto your regional museum service organization.
Take care of your people. This will end, and re-hiring is costly. Protect staff in whatever way you can. If temporary layoffs, while maintaining health insurance works for your museum, do it. Don't let HR make decisions because that's the way it's always done. We moved out of the world we knew about two weeks ago.
Think about your organization's virtual life. If you can create "A Minute with the Curator" or "A Walk with the Farm Horse" videos they may generate an audience that will outlive the virus. We've all watched Tim, the head of security at the National Cowboy Museum. Perhaps you have someone on your staff who's equally charming and authentic, but never heard from.
If you have under 500 employees, you're eligible for a small business loan to make payroll or pay health insurance.
Remember in the midst of the bleakness to have hope. I'll close where I began with Frank's video to his community. “Hope is not blind optimism. It's not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It's not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it. Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.” President Barak Obama, Iowa Caucus Speech, 2008. Stay in touch with each other and stay safe. Joan Baldwin Image: Franklin Vagnone, President of Old Salem Village, from his message about #WeGotThis