On Friday, the 13th of March, our Ingram’s team sat down for a lengthy discussion about the coronavirus and the decision to close our offices at the end of that day. I felt like a coach consoling a team after losing a championship game. They worked so inordinately hard and well together. We had recently completed and distributed the “We Win” February issue, as well as the 2020 issue of The Power Book and a special edition archiving the Chiefs’ championship season.
We discussed and encouraged implementing a new normal of working from home for the foreseeable future. It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 10 months. While most of our team has reconvened in distanced fashion, it feels like we’re returning to the stay-at-home model again. This time is more comprehensive and urgent, and our safety depends not only on our team and their families, but on everyone else too. We genuinely are in it together, which became the motto and graphic shown below that has accompanied each of our digital communications since that day.
“We’re in It Together” has never meant more and been more important, despite a variance of opinion regarding closures, wearing masks and measures some feel are unreasonable regarding public health. I believe too many are drinking the politically charged Kool-Aid and still believe the pandemic may be a hoax. These are the ones that concern me the most. The problem is that we’re only as strong as our weakest link, and regrettably, we have far too many weak points to effectively reduce and eradicate the pandemic. When authorities warned last spring of the significant concern over a resurgence this fall, it felt like a world of time away. Now the spread of the virus is exploding in massive numbers.
The United Kingdom has just begun issuing doses of the vaccine to its citizenry—the first of such worldwide—and approval to start in the U.S. is well in process. The volume of population to receive vaccine treatments, however, far exceeds the availability of product. This factor concerns me as much as the reckless actions of many who disregard the use of masks and distancing. Today on Good Morning America, I heard a report that the White House administration turned down the opportunity to vastly increase pre-orders with Pfizer and it won’t be until June when adequate doses of vaccines will be obtained. Pfizer has made deals with other countries and now begins the blame game and the PR BS escalates. I don’t know about you but I am so over what has been (and hopefully will be) the most dysfunctional, politically-infused election year of our lifetime.
When Michelle and I bought Ingram’s in 1997, we finessed the Editorial and Planning Calendar and dedicated the theme of our December edition to the subject of philanthropy. We also advocated among our colleagues to do the same.
We’re pleased that most regional business magazines and journals in the nation have incorporated a similar commitment to philanthropy in their communities. We’re pleased to deliver Ingram’s 24th annual Philanthropy Edition. In this quarter-century, our team has worked hard to showcase the individual heroes and corporate champions who have performed the extraordinary in terms of philanthropic and in-kind giving, volunteerism and serving the needs of our community. We have created a mechanism by which non-profits can communicate their needs. The December Philanthropy issue won’t be our biggest, but it may be the most important.
We all remember the recession and depression years, but none appear to compare to the sustained challenges associated with 2020. It really hurts to hear on a daily basis of businesses being closed and the loss of lives to this pandemic. Ingram’s mission is infused in the lifeblood of each business in our community and we feel inordinately connected. As most other small businesses, Ingram’s itself is vulnerable. If not entirely for economic reasons but sheer sustainability due to burn-out.
This has indeed been a challenging year and we want to thank each organization and person who has helped us sustain our mission to serve the business interests of the greater Kansas City and bi-state region. Ads placed in this issue and in The Power Book are indicative of those committed to see Ingram’s sustain, and for this we are very grateful. In an era where we see The Kansas City Star moving production out of the city, and only a few media properties being locally owned, Ingram’s remains steadfast and committed to help and further develop, encourage and serve leaders of business and government.
I hear nearly on a daily basis of how strong the economy is, and to be honest, the economy represented on Wall Street is a world away from that of Main Street. People and companies are hurting and we hope our community continues to help each other through this challenging time. The vaccine alone is not the answer to our challenges. We must work together, be considerate by wearing masks, practice distancing and continue to love thy neighbor by helping to protect their safety and to support their interests where we can.
We are truly in this together.