I refuse to accept that gun violence on what feels like a daily/weekly basis is the new normal. I haven’t said much recently, but I have reflected on it here in the past. I continue to be impressed by the Parkland students who are rallying their voices together for good and making quite the impact. At 17 or 18, I might not have had that same amount of bravery that they exude today. With each shooting incident that takes place, it continues to feel closer to home.
This week, my colleagues and I sat on edge hearing the news about the shooter at YouTube’s headquarters. When this happens, I wonder how I would react being in a situation like that and I think about how we will all get to safety if it were us. I wonder how employees will be able to bounce back from incidents like these and have the support they need internally to get past this. Two days later, another threat came through and our building was on lockdown. All of us leave the office on a daily basis whether it’s for coffee runs, 1:1 chats, to grab a bite for lunch or even to run quick errands. To think about being outside during an incident and not being able to get to shelter or safety is terrifying. I’m grateful that my company gave us regular updates on the situation and took the threat seriously. All of us were urged to take a Lyft/Uber home and it would be expensed by the company. Additionally, because the person making the threat hadn’t been caught at the time, we were instructed to work from home the next day to avoid being near the office. These incidents have given me pause this week and while everyone was able to work quickly to come to a decision that would keep us safe, I wonder how we could be better equipped in the future in thinking about plans like these. This isn’t the new normal, but it is reality and we all should be thinking about how we can better protect ourselves and others in situations that we won’t always be able to control.