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Return to Life – Louisville Downtown Partnership

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Return to Life

Dear Friend of Downtown, 

Between my usual highs and optimism about the health of our city and Downtown, I can’t help but wonder the damage that has been done since all of us were sent home to work remotely. For two years, people worked at home, at first panicked and trying to understand Zoom, and then falling into a new year-and-a-half-rhythm of new puppies and PJ bottoms. As if the world of smartphones and computer screens hadn’t already sucked people away from life around them and emboldened them to say whatever was on their mind, no matter how fair, or accurate, or mean, now we were all given permission to continue in our isolation. Being held accountable for your words is a lot tougher when you’re not face to face… and building a team, mentoring, and advancement is even tougher. Yet “co-workers” are continuing to work alone.

The fabric of our community was already raveling pre-pandemic, and there is no question that the extremism that has taken hold of politics at all levels, urban v. rural divide, us v. them, has deepened. A physical invasion on an innocent country, a shooter in the Brooklyn subway, the increased number of overdoses and suicides… people are losing it. We actually do need each other to help hold us together. Togetherness is what engenders kindness and tolerance. Whether it’s your work family, your neighborhood, or your larger community, the longer we stay apart, the more isolated we become and the less we care about each other. Each other is our glue.

And it’s not just Louisville. Employees everywhere who want to continue to work from home aren’t worried about the health impacts of COVID or their safety. They want flexibility to wear those PJ bottoms and to walk those puppies. As long as employers allow it, our workforce will take advantage of this amazing perk, but we – the collective we – are worse off for it.

While Downtown is hopping on the weekends, giving hope that togetherness is still alive, our daytime activity is a different story. I sure miss you Downtown workers who I used to see running to a meeting, or on my way to lunch, or after work for happy hour… 

I hope to see you soon.

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