Mark Gascoigne

According to Newton, an object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion. I think we can all agree that we all did a heroic job in Nova Scotia of coming to rest after the outbreak of Covid-19 in March of 2020. The local and national governments and the health authorities ran a masterful campaign to promote an urgent and critical objective. That was to prevent a pandemic from choking our healthcare system and protecting our most vulnerable from this deadly disease.

The message was concise; easily understood; had a sense of urgency, and had a clear CTA (call to action). Any copywriter would be proud to put it in their portfolio.


Premier Steven McNeil addressing Nova Scotian viewers during Covid-19 press conference on March 16, 2020.


BRAVO!! It worked! By early May, as a province, we were able to flatten the curve, keep the virus from spreading throughout the general population and stamp out flare-ups as they arose. Of course, the loss of even one life is too many, but we can feel confident that we were able to mitigate pain and suffering, save thousands of lives, and keep our healthcare system intact.

Now we have a new problem. A problem that is not as binary as our last. Turning off the province, as impressive as it was, now feels as simple as flicking a switch compared with the task ahead of restarting our economy, our businesses, and our province.

Last week, the Angus Reid Weekly COVID Monitoring Survey, reported that more people believe "Things will get worse before they get better."  The increase to 67% was only up by 2%, however, it was the first increase since the second week of the outbreak. This increase suggests that when the question was a more abstract- “not much I can do about it”- people felt things were not so bad, and it will get better. Now two months in, it seems an increasing number are feeling more helpless than hopeful. As business leaders, let's not let the second wave be self-inflicted. Let's ensure that we don't drive the economy further into recession with fear, pessimism, apprehension, and apathy.

Let's not let the second wave be self-inflicted.

Like most companies, we’ve experienced a sea-change since March.  As we reported at the end of March we have seen some of our revenue streams get diverted, and others dry up. Fortunately, we have been able to hire back some of our layoffs and are reopening our office on June 1st. A positive consequence of the crisis is that we’ve been able to deepen our relationships with many of our existing clients and some new ones, by going deeper into their marketing/business strategy to help them navigate this storm

Of course, we’re still a full-service branding and digital agency, providing all the services you’d expect. The change is one of choosing to refocus, reimagine, and reinvent. We believe we can do more than survive. We can emerge on the other end, smarter, stronger, and more confident than ever before. Impossible, you say? Well, that’s precisely the kind of challenge we love. 

Luckily, Newton did not stop at the first law. He went on to prove that for every action, there is an equal reaction. Now is the time for action. Now that we are safe, we must muster the courage to act: We must pick up the old newspapers from the stairwell; Put a pot of coffee on at the office; Open our shops, restaurants, and salons; Start that new service; Launch that test product; Buy that modern equipment; Hire that intern; Start selling on-line, etc. Most importantly, we all must acknowledge that inaction is not the opposite of action — decline is. Let’s not fool ourselves that we are just in a holding pattern and business will come back when we’re ready. Every day we are actually sliding back. The longer we wait, the harder it will be to restart, and the longer it will take even to get back to the start line. The sooner we get going, the sooner we will bounce back. Let’s go!