The effects of the pandemic have thrown the world for a loop in ways no one has ever felt before. The age of COVID-19 has affected our health system, filled our news feeds and changed the way we live and do business.
Despite all forecasts pointing to an triumphant 2020, no one could have predicted that a virus would be able to shut down the Las Vegas Strip. But during a time of tragedy, when many are feeling fear, discomfort and uncertainty, there has been an overwhelming amount of compassion and acts of kindness.
If there is anything to be said about residential construction, it’s that we’re not just an industry, we’re a tight-knit community where everyone knows everyone; or you at least know someone who knows someone. We stick together, and when times get tough, our community gets even closer and gives a tremendous amount of support to one another and to our wider community.
Somehow, even knowing this is who we are, this industry never ceases to amaze me. Our members have banded together and have donated nearly $500,000 to the Nevada COVID-19 Task Force.
Through the leadership of the Nevada Subcontractors Association, our industry was able to supply large quantities of personal protective equipment, including N-95 respirators, safety glasses and gloves to several hospitals throughout the valley, in order to assist our health care workers on the front lines.
And even as we traverse this unfamiliar territory, our organization is still able to continue charitable build projects such as renovating housing for those in need at New Vista Ranch through our nonprofit arm, HomeAid Southern Nevada.
Being close and supportive of one another isn’t a new ideology. We get that from you, Las Vegas.
Having the ability to be tough and bounce back in the face of adversity is a great show of resilience. It is not an easy feat or for the faint of heart. But you, Las Vegas, do this best. Over the past 20 years, this community has had its fair share of tragedy.
We’ve lived through 9/11, a devastating recession and more recently, 1 October. Time and time again, you get knocked down, and this community finds a way to stand back up and be stronger than the day before.
Life as we know it has changed. While we would all like to guess when “normal” will return, none of us know what the future holds or where we will be in the next couple of months. There is no crystal ball clear enough to give us that answer, but there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel. While we all look forward to reaching that point, we would be naïve not to notice some of the positive things that have come from this pandemic.
In the social distancing era, businesses have wholly entered the digital age, and are connecting with their customers even from home. Friends, family and neighbors have been more inclined to check in on one another and have gotten creative to celebrate the joys of life. Above all, we’ve become more connected. And, evidenced by the sheer amount of kind gestures I’ve seen come from those around me despite these uncertain times, I am optimistic that a brighter day is on the horizon.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “In the midst of darkness, light persists.” Continue to look for the good in every day and have a resilient heart.
As we wait for the end of this pandemic to arrive, remember this is not how our story ends, we’re just waiting to turn the page to a new chapter.
Nat Hodgson is the CEO of the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association.