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Content Guy's Note:  The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic is having an enormous impact on people of all ages, backgrounds, and places around the globe;  some are having shared experiences, and some are individual to specific people and circumstances.

Among the people I've been thinking about are the young people who have just started or are about to start their careers, and who now may be facing enormous uncertainty and questions about what comes next.

I decided to reach out to some young people I know - some of them former students of mine at Portland State University in Oregon, as well as at other schools with which I have developed relationships - to ask them to answer a pair of questions:

•  How has the pandemic has affected you personally or professionally?

•  How do you think the world - including but not just the business world - should be different whenever and however we come out of this.

This series of occasional guest columns continues this morning with a contribution by Kyle Wade, who is a Food and CPG Marketing senior at Western Michigan University, as well as VP of Professional Events for Western Michigan's Food Marketing Association.

by Kyle Wade

How has the pandemic has affected you personally or professionally?

This pandemic has affected personally in the fact that I am no longer constantly busy. When school is in session I participate in as many activities as I can outside of the classroom to occupy my time and advance my learning. I am finding it hard to stay busy and getting stir crazy.

Professionally, I have learned that communication is key during a time like this. I have been in communication with the company I am interning with this summer to make sure that plans are going to remain the same. The pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty for a lot of people and the best way I have found to combat this is better communication. 

How do you think the world - including but not just the business world - should be different whenever and however we come out of this?

This has proven that we are not ready, nor equipped, to handle a large scale pandemic, whether from natural causes, or biological attacks on the country. We have learned exactly how unprepared the United States is as COVID-19 plagues the nation. I think companies currently reinforce a negative stereotype about calling into work while you are feeling ill. This leads to a greater likelihood of virus transmission throughout the workplace.

I feel companies need to understand that the health and safety of all of their employees are vital to the organization's success and by pressuring employees to come to work while they are ill, they are risking every other employees health and potentially aiding in a large scale pandemic. 

We'll have more essays in coming days.  Stay tuned. - KC