The coronavirus pandemic has hit us - and it’s hit us hard.

Some businesses are struggling to stay afloat while others are on the verge of throwing in the towel and calling it quits.

In the hurly-burly of this pandemic and the lives that it has cost, one may ask, where is that sliver of hope for the hospitality, tourism and travel industry?

Will we ever bounce back? How do we hang in there as a business as well as the larger part of the global tourism culture that was once a thriving hub of constant activity?

The very act of travelling defines us as human beings, addressing our deepest needs for exploration and connection.

We are not a species that can remain content with staying in one place, toiling through the drudgery of daily life without training our eyes every now and then towards the distant horizon, wondering, “What’s next?”

But here are interesting times indeed, a collective “stop and stare” moment, not unlike W.H. Davies’ suggestive first line of his poem, “What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare.”

Indeed, it’s time for us to stand and stare - perhaps not only at Davies’ suggestion of the beauty of nature alone, but more importantly, at the beauty of the human spirit.

The plague has drawn, from the shadows to the forefront of our consciousness, the social inequalities that lurk in society.

We can no longer turn our faces away from the social issues that have, for the longest time, been most conveniently swept under a collective carpet which we have all had a hand in weaving in order not to have to face our own failings and shortcomings.

However, the pandemic has also given us the opportunity to step up on our compassion as human beings and turn our gaze to the very people that we have overlooked for the longest time - our essential workers.

The people who work in our sanitation services, our education, security and healthcare systems, our postal and delivery networks - those who work day and night to ensure that modern society runs without a hiccup.

It has given us this opportunity to not just be grateful for the tens of thousands of lives working at the frontline everyday but to also find ways in which we can contribute, however small, to taking care of others whose circumstances may not be as fortunate as ours, or to those who may need a bit of a lift, or a boost perhaps, to make it through these trying times.

It is in these times when we may have the opportunity to call upon ourselves as responsible business owners to find ways to make a difference, however great or small, not just in the ways we run our business, but to be more inclusive in the ways we lookout for one another.

It is in this spirit that IPPWORLD has taken measured steps to ensure that all our staff and our clients are well taken care of.

We have in place our TMS (translation management system), a cloud-based sharing platform, which allows our administration and project teams to work from the safety of their homes, while continuing to provide uninterrupted support to our clients with the services that we offer.

As part of our humble efforts to help alleviate the pressures many businesses are facing in these challenging times, we have also put in place discounted rates across our transcreation (creative translation) and content localisation work scopes.

In our own small way, we hope that this can be IPPWORLD’s humble contribution to the world of hospitality, travel and tourism.

So while we may continue seeing an indeterminate number of rainy days ahead - and while on some days, all that seems to prevail is the darkness, do as some of our poets of the past have nudged us.

Stand, and stare.

Because nothing lasts forever, even cold coronavirus days.