Adrienne Bankert NYC Photo2


By Adrienne Bankert

2020 was supposed to be our year.

Many hopes that in 2020 things would become clearer (a nod to some using the number as synonymous with vision). Plenty of us anticipated that this year would be special. We got a much different picture than anticipated.

After several months it is still something to get used to – grabbing a mask before going outside, sanitizing every grocery item before putting it in the pantry or fridge, and staying inside even as the summer sun beckons us to be out and about.

While I know we will never go back to the old sense of “normal,” I hope that I never feel overly comfortable about not seeing the smiles of strangers and friends.

As this outbreak was unfolding, life in New York looked straight out of a blockbuster. While stunned by images of eerily quiet Manhattan streets, I could imagine frantic business people crying in their offices, overwhelmed with questions. My heart, as did so many of yours, has gone out to people I have never met before in uniform, in scrubs, and on stretchers as I pictured myself in their shoes. I received five texts within 24 hours from people I knew who were laid off or furloughed, or had to furlough their own employees. Getting outside for fresh air in New York, meant sensing an oppressive heaviness settling over homes and lives that were vibrant and profitable just weeks earlier. Even though our cities are starting to feel more alive with more people traveling and now even dining out, I still feel this heartache and fatigue, palpable in this electric city and in so many others across the country as stores close, business owners struggle to make it and workers of every walk of life battle through the devastation of what looks like a dream deferred.


I typed those words in response to one of the emails sent throughout my company about a couple who had been interviewed for an upcoming profile piece. These parents and entrepreneurs spoke about how they didn’t want to face “financial ruin.”

What I am hoping we all broadcast to our respective audiences and communities, emphatically and at the top of our lungs is, “DON’T GIVE UP HOPE”. I believe that kind encouragement, spoken by enough of us and spoken often, is strong enough to keep every person in the fight convinced that they can make it through this.

I also know that we need a new perspective on this time of isolation – one where we can see the light at the end of this tunnel. Here are some ideas:

  • Write your future self a letter describing how you made it through.
  • Place pep talk notes to yourself around the house to remind yourself.
  • Call friends and colleagues to remind them to remain optimistic.
  • Create a vision board for your next 5-10 years as if it’s all working out.

Adrienne Bankert is an ABC News correspondent and author of “Your hidden Superpower: The Kindness that makes You Unbeatable at Work and Connects You with Anyone.”