A Message From Our President - June 2021

In March 2020, VirtualMed Staff joined companies across the U.S. in sending all of its employees home due to the COVID virus. Overnight, our offices were empty. At the time, we thought it was a temporary move, but soon enough it was clear that the virus was real and everything was changing. We got used to social distancing, wearing masks, fist bumps instead of handshakes, staying inside quite a bit, and wondering why people hoarded toilet tissue. 

These changes created something of a lonely environment, so we tried all sorts of ways to keep our spirits up. We did virtual happy hours, we shared a million emails, sent gifts and gift cards and flowers and cookies, and one day, I made up my mind to call each associate on their cell phones and check in on them. Somehow I thought that would be easy, but it took almost an entire day to reach each person, spend time checking in with them, and then moving to the next. Their upbeat voices were wonderful and kind and heartfelt. 

It was the most fulfilling day of my career.

Along the way we settled in with almost every associate of VirtualMed working from home, and their work was consistently outstanding. Patient care and supporting our physicians remained our priority.  I became the exception to being home, since by April I got stir crazy and started coming in daily, but I had the luxury of being able to see and talk to everyone with Zoom. Time passed and just when it was needed, vaccines became available for those who wanted them. Hope reared its head.  And in March of 2021, we began making plans to have our associates return to work. We settled finally on having the teams in the office 2 days a week, with the official kick-off date being June 1, 2021.

And when that day came, things went very well.  We were all happy to see each other.  The first few days not a ton of work was done, as our returning associates were in something that resembled homecoming – laughter, hugs, smiles, repeated voices saying, I’ve missed you. It was beautiful to watch, and I loved it all.  It affirmed the most simple of truths – we miss the people we care for when time passes without the opportunity to meet face to face. It just felt good, and right, to be together again.

If I have any takeaway from all the things that have happened, it’s just this: nothing could have prepared us for the changes we experienced. Yet, we survived, and in many ways, we thrived, and along the way we came to know each other far better than we ever could have before. That was and is a gift I hope to keep forever.

We didn’t really return to work.  We had been working all along. We returned to working together, in person. If any lesson came to me from this experience, it was the simple truth that I care about our team far more than I ever could have said aloud, only now I’m far more likely to share my feelings openly. And it feels just right. Returning kindness with kindness strikes me as one of the greatest gifts we could hope for.

Here in late June 2021, it comes to me that whatever lies ahead, I want to stand beside the VirtualMed team. 

It really is that simple.