“Yes, AND” in the First Month of the PANDemic

Updated: Apr 15

Improvising Our Way Through the PANDemic



I have not written a blog in over three weeks because I have been too busy responding to COVID-19. My days have been filled with client work, weekly co-hosting appearances on the Pivoting around a Pandemic podcast series, COVID-19 webinar presentations, AND co-managing a family in isolation.


I have been responding to requests AND serving in unique ways that do not directly add to my business’ bottom line. How could I say “no” to an architecture student designing a COVID-19 screening area for a rural hospital?


Looking back at the past four weeks, my work has been shifting from supporting the response to COVID-19 to looking for lessons for change for leaders, teams, AND organizations in our new world..


The pANDemic has been a choppy sea of ambiguity AND we have been improvising our way without a clear destination. When possible, my response has been to use the “yes, AND” method from improvisational comedy. Instead of resisting what the pANDemic has handed me, I have tried to accept it AND expAND my thinking AND learning.


In order to unleash the power of “yes, AND” you are encouraged to listen, accept without judgment, AND have the freedom to expAND your thinking.


Improv comedy is funny because of the unexpected turns AND the endings are never the same. While these are not humorous times, we are operating in completely uncharted waters. We must be open to looking beyond traditional means of problem-solving and connectivity.


This became crystal clear on my most recent podcast with Jenny Blake entitled Apokalypsis, Improvisation, and Light with Dr. MJC.


Podcast Posits


In 2018, I started a podcast series while at The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP). The Curbside Advocate, was launched to engage Pennsylvania’s physicians on important advocacy issues. I learned a lot about podcasting, but had little time to listen AND explore provocative issues.


On March 9, I recorded my first Pivoting around a Pandemic podcast with Jenny Blake. We have been recording two podcasts per week since then. Here is what I have learned:

  • Land AND check in with the other person before getting to the reason you are meeting.

  • We still feel sadness AND the hurt of others, despite the social isolation.

  • Keep learning AND exploring the pivots for the present AND the future


In order to unleash the power of “yes, AND” you are encouraged to listen, accept without judgment, AND have the freedom to expAND your thinking.


Webinar Wanderings


I have attended many webinars in my professional life. I can only think of a few that have left an impression on me. Looking back now, AND probably biased by our current situation, those webinars have been during infectious disease events like H1N1 AND Ebola.


Now, many of my days are filled with COVID-webinars. I recently presented for the American Academy of Home Care Medicine AND the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care . Here is what I learned:

  • We are responding to a pANDemic, AND the real work will be in the recovery.

  • Our healthcare is vulnerable to the pANDemic AND the financial slow down.

  • What we do today is based on what we know today AND what we learn today impacts tomorrow.


Family Functions


Since May 1, 2019, I have been working from home. I enjoyed the flexibility to accomplish my work goals while accomplishing my exercise goals during daylight. (Confessions of an avid cyclist AND exercise “streaker” to come at some later date) I was able to play the important roles of triathlon sherpa for my daughter, furniture mover for my son, personal chef for my wife, stable hAND for our horses, AND dog walker for Atticus.


Since March 14, 2020, I have been working from home with a family sheltering in place. Here is what I have learned:

  • Some days are productive AND some days are not, AND that’s more than ok when you see each member of the family struggling with schooling AND working from home in their unique way.

  • When a rANDom wind/snow squall interrupts power AND the internet to your house, the generator returns power to your house but not the internet connection.

  • In close quarters, we need to adjust our habits to provide space for others to accomplish school AND work AND give permission to each member to stay connected with his or her non-family friends and contacts.




AND Now This


Some of these may make sense to you AND some may not. AND that’s ok.


If you have gotten to the bottom of this blog, I thank you for sticking with me AND ask you if you used the power of “yes, AND.”


If you have gotten to this last sentence, I hope you have listened, accepted without judgment, AND given yourself permission to expAND your own ideas without limits.


Be well AND stay connected!