“I wish someone had told me” is a series of posts that feed into our inquisitive nature at CN&CO. Each week we hear from someone in our network about something interesting or surprising that’s recently happened or occurred to them – or lessons they learnt. These blogs are a way to pay it forward and form part of CN&CO’s belief that the world can be a better place – and we all have a responsibility to make it so. This week’s post is by Penny Hickinbothan.

As many of you know, I really don’t like writing these blogs for CN&CO! I’ve tried to bribe my way out of doing them by offering to bake for the team. Or basically do anything else! But as most of you also know, Carel is a hard task master and tells me that my blogs are really good. SO, I roped in my one son Warren and he gave me some ideas. Since we are all experiencing lockdown, this blog is about:

Crisis = Dangerous opportunity!

Adversity often brings with it change, and change is always unsettling and met with resistance. But sometimes, just sometimes, change also brings opportunity.

The onset of COVID-19 has thrown the world into unprecedented uncertainty, but within that cloud of uncertainty lies a silver lining.  

Family time, a sense of community, embracing technology to narrow the geographical gap that separates loved ones.  The lockdown being experienced by many nations, is crippling in one aspect, but inspiring in another.  Life has changed, sometimes for good sometimes for bad, but we will survive and we will emerge we stronger with a better understating if what’s important in life.

Virtual classrooms set up by teachers to try and keep children up-to-date with their studies, meetings all moving to virtual environments, and chemical companies booming with sales of hand sanitizers…. As an ex St Stithians mum, I have been so impressed by what the team there ae achieving. And while I am very sad to not enjoy this year’s Sports Festival (my son Warren played rugby for the 1st team I must add as a proud mum!) I am looking forward to next year, already!

I was amazed when I received this home video of my daughter-in-law, Blair, who has a dance studio, setting up a virtual dance classroom in their garage! If you want more info, just drop me a mail penny@cnandco.com – she’s really good (says proud mum-in-law!) but many of you also know Mel and I owned a club, so I know about dance moves….

All sorts of human interactions are moving into the virtual environment – men playing poker online and bridge players forming teams and challenging each other, or playing against people for all over the world. I have been so lucky to play bridge online with Carel and many other friends – lockdown may help me improve my game!

A winning hand – Carel and I won an online bridge tournament over the weekend.

Warren told me that existing conference apps such as Zoom and WebEx have come to the fore, with Zoom adding 2,2 million users this year so far, compared to the 1,9 million they added during the whole of 2019.  New apps such as Houseparty enable groups of friends to video chat, and play games such as quiz and Pictionary with each other on the app. 

There’s a new world that’s emerged and it’s one where granny’s and grandads are video calling grandkids across the globe.  A new reality awaits and we need to see the positives.

Good luck to all of us – no matter what age – as we are “forced” to write blogs and adapt to a world post Covid19.

*Header image from QuoteFancy