In 2008 (some 12 years ago), on this same 9/11 anniversary, I posed this question:

So, seven years later, are employers in the state better prepared to address a similar emergency should it happen? Perhaps it will be a bird flu outbreak, or a mass blackout, or something else that no one has thought of.

I answered it in part by saying yes – we’re doing more drills – and no, noting that we “seem to have lost that energy and urgency that have popped up as events seem to occur….I suppose that’s only natural; it’s difficult to maintain the same urgency over time.

So, six months into this pandemic, my mind has started to wander to the same thing.  It’s been exhausting these last several months. Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Repeat.

Are we really prepared for this fall?

Lately, the COVID-19 numbers in the state have been creeping back up.  More young people are getting sick — and we’re still only at the start of school.

What happens if/when schools close back down? What happens if the Phase 2 openings turn to closures?

And what other unforseen possibilities exist out there?

There’s no doubt that employers can’t plan for every contingency but complacency isn’t the answer either.

And so I go back to the what I said over a decade ago:

Thus, of the many lessons learned from that day, one is simply to be prepared for the unexpected and take the time now to develop it. It’s probably never first on your “to do” list, but you may recover that much quicker when the next crisis hits.

We’ll be telling the story of the lessons of this pandemic in the years ahead. But what we do now will also control the narrative of that story too.

Keep staying safe and healthy.

And keep those who perished on that day 19 years ago — and the 200,000 that have died in the last six months — in your thoughts.