As whole fish cooked on the fire at the Beach Bar in Ohio a few nights ago, the conversation, as it’s prone to do this summer, turned to COVID-19. 

Earlier in the day, a Doctor who is part of national efforts to address COVID-19 told me that the group he is a part of is assuming that Covid-19 will be with us for two more years! 

I related what I’d heard and the reaction was YIKES!  Actually it was a bigger reaction, but let’s keep the blog clean :). 

Before the debate on if it was going to be two years or not, I challenged the group to think IF – THEN – in an optimistic way. 

IF it is true, THEN what would you do differently RIGHT NOW! It was an interesting provocation. 

After a few sips of our cocktails and a flipping of the fish, an optimistic idea emerged from the group.  

Someone said, “If it is going to be two years, I’d focus on reinventing my business/career to make it profitable and sustainable in a digital world. As in not simply do digital as a way to make do while waiting but rather make it REALLY WORK. That way – when COVID-19 is gone I’d have two profit centers – a DIGITAL profit center and my CLASSIC Businesses.”

One person then said, “If I could make digital really profitable I might never go back to the old business.”

Personally, I have a very hard time even thinking about two years of this! However, sitting and waiting for tomorrow isn’t very productive.  

I’m intrigued by the idea of setting aside the COVID world and thinking forward into what kind of a digital world we could create. It seems to me that instead of “waiting for a return to normal”, fully embracing today’s opportunities is much more fun and productive. 

What would YOU do if you knew that COVID-19 would be with us for two more years?

Final note, the whole fish was incredible! I used a variation of one of Francis Mallman’s recipes:

Branzino Whole Fish: Slice lemons and red onion very thin using a mandolin. Then, stuff the onion and lemon into slashes in the fish. Brush the whole fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook on one side over medium heat for about 25 minutes. Then, using two spatulas flip it over till the flesh is opaque in the thickest part. Enjoy!