It’s funny how many meanings a single word can have.
Or, in this case, abbreviations.
First was Before Christ/After Christ.
(Note: Yes, I know, dear international reader, this article doesn’t hold up in English because it relies on puns that only make sense in Spanish. That’s what happens with certain translations. Like the origin of Hodor’s name from Game of Thrones. But you can read on, the conclusion is still valid outside the Spanish-speaking world).
It was the way we started our calendar. Year 0 (which doesn’t really exist). The one that transcends the Christian environment and is a world reference. The one that links our culture to a religious/spiritual event that changed everything.
To the point of becoming the numerical year of the beginning of our history. A convention that, by the way and evidently if we think about it a little, was not determined that same year but something like 700 years later.
Yes, it was. I looked it up on wikipedia: Year zero.
Then, due to engineering and working in English, it became Alternating Current/Direct Current.
Electricity has also changed our way of life. I don’t think anyone needs any clarification on that.
Then it became the initials of AC/DC, the classic rock band.
Classic, and so classic. From the 70s.
In my case, I didn’t discover it until much later.
I still remember the look of horror on my wife and daughters’ faces when I played that music (I don’t know whether to put a question mark here?) at full blast in the car.
Normally I had left it at that level from a previous trip and when I started the car, the last song would come on at full volume.
They almost jump out of the window.
But the truth is that it is pure energy. It changes my emotional state. One song is enough(?). The first chords(?) are enough and I’m already motivated.
So much so that in 2015 my anniversary present was to go, the whole family, from Mallorca to Barcelona to see them live at the Estadi Olimpic.
Another existential change (at least for me) as a result of the acronym AC/DC.
And now we have another one: Before Covid/After Covid.
I really didn’t see that coming.
In a world of global interconnectedness, reasonable peace, improving health and 30-year mortgages (for me a great measure of confidence in the stability of the system) only a few doomsayers, like Bill Gates, said we could be facing a pandemic like this.
Come on, man!
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Anyway.... let's get on with the story.
Climate change, right.
An alien invasion or a zombie attack, that’s part of popular culture.
But a pandemic? A virus? In the 21st century?
Well, look. Here it is.
It’s been going on for what? Almost a year and a half.
With social distance, which is the euphemism for, no kissing, no hugging, no shaking hands, no seeing smiles up close.
With closed borders. With vaccines. With permanent controversies between freedom versus security.
Avoiding going out in the street, being in front of a screen to work, to study and to meet family and friends.
It is still too early to know whether it will really mean a cultural change or whether it will simply be a temporary blip that we will gradually erase from our memory.
Probably for the generations that have lived through it, that are living through it, it will continue to be an important temporary mark.
Among other things because we are approaching the 5 million people who will not have overcome it.
And countless companies and projects will have fallen by the wayside.
We will continue to talk about how before COVID we did this and that.
But this point will also have marked the beginning of another perspective, another way of looking at the future.
And that opens the doors to other types of projects. To other human needs to which we will have to respond.
What have we learned along the way, what things can we do differently to be better prepared for a catastrophe of this magnitude?
What new needs do we have and how can we turn them into new opportunities?
While this is something that needs to be done on a frequent basis right now, it is absolutely essential to take the time to reassess what our SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, Strengths) is and see if we need to adjust our course.
Because even if your Strengths and Weaknesses have not changed (are you sure?), it is very likely that you can detect new Opportunities and Threats.
That’s right. With some good music(?) from AC/DC in the background. For example “Highway to Hell”.