Supporting Our Grantee Partners in the Era of COVID-19

Monday, March 16, 2020

By Lisa Pilar Cowan
Vice President

For the last two weeks, I have been picturing Wile E. Coyote chasing the Road Runner right off the cliff – and in particular I am feeling the moment he looks down and notices the ground beneath him is missing.  

That moment has been slow and painful for me – in the first days after the COVID-19 virus was announced we made a few tweaks to our usual lives – more hand sanitizer, fewer in-person meetings, new memes. New phrases started to permeate our professional conversations: ‘from an abundance of caution’; ‘social distancing’; ‘zoom protocol’; ‘no more business as usual’; ‘every crisis is an opportunity’. And still, I felt like I was getting ready for a snowstorm – annoyed, and scared, but also sort of excited. 

And then, like Wile E., I looked down, and realized that this time is different. There is no ground beneath us. People are scared and sick and dying. My pilates studio closed. Our grantee partners are in crisis. My son was sent home from his freshman year of college. In my confusion these facts took on equal and terrifying weight.