Ready, Set, COVID: Adapting with the Times

The fear created by COVID-19, was that we would lose our connection, the power behind Bridge, but it has been through this pandemic that we’ve found our strength.

January 20, 2020: The first recorded case of COVID-19 was documented in the state of Washington.

The first case didn’t invite much fear, and life continued to flow at a steady pace. People continued to make their way to work and school, and every activity in-between. The country kept moving until very suddenly, it stopped.

For many, this meant working from home or sudden and unexpected unemployment, taking finals online, and total isolation inside our own homes. BridgeUSA chapters across that country canceled meetings and events. The BridgeUSA national summit, an event approaching with anticipation, was removed from the agenda.

As an organization, BridgeUSA operates through the connection created by individuals through meaningful conversations. To be unexpectedly removed from our purpose, disconnected from members and new faces, was devastating to both established and up-and-coming chapters.

The removal was difficult, but BridgeUSA is tenacious. 

BridgeBerkeley and BridgeMaastricht talk over Zoom, each holding a sign of where they were located.

In less than a week, the various teams that assist in moving Bridge forward came together to plan for the future. Discussions over Zoom, offered nationwide, were being planned for the coming weeks. Chapters from all over the country came together to assist one another in working through discussion plans, advertising, and more technical issues.

With the shift to online meetings, more interaction took place between BridgeUSA and BridgeEurope. Our summit was held virtually, a video series was created, and we worked to build community in a time of isolation.

The fear created by COVID-19, was that we would lose our connection, the power behind Bridge, but it has been through this pandemic that we’ve found our strength.