Quiet streets and mostly empty office buildings have quickly become, for the time being at least, the new normal in Los Angeles.
The jolt to the senses caused by the coronavirus and the chilling numbers it has generated — in the stock market, on the economic front, on the unemployment rolls and in sheer human terms — are disorienting and disheartening.
It’s hard to overstate the sense of concern and uncertainty buffeting every industry in the city, from Hollywood to Silicon Beach to the ports to the entire real estate market.
Yet even as many of us have shifted to work-from-home status, the connection among those in L.A.’s business community feels stronger than ever in some ways.
Business is still taking place. Meetings are still happening. Deals are still being done. They’re being conducted online, via conference calls or Skype or Zoom or email or text.
While the pace may be slower and the approach more cautious, business, like water, seems to find a way.
Of course, this pandemic presents a whole new set of challenges that demand fresh responses. As we hear repeatedly, this is uncharted territory. And as the data coming in almost hourly tells us, the impact will hit hard, and it could be felt for a long while.
But the collective memory of Los Angeles — whether you’re a proud native or a relative newcomer — is that the people and the companies that comprise this ambitious city have endured and rebounded from plenty.
We have repeatedly bounced back from earthquakes, fires, mudslides and trade wars, to name just a few of our recurring challenges.
At the moment, as our businesses and workers face the prospect of layoffs, production delays, slowdowns, shutdowns and more, it’s easy to forget that somehow Los Angeles will get through this.
Eventually, though, that’s just what will happen.
It’s possible that the city that emerges may look and act and feel a bit different. In fact, given the levels of creativity and energy that course through L.A., that seems likely.
But the heart of Los Angeles, its core of innovation and determination mixed with a generosity of spirit and caring, well, that figures to remain unchanged.
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