I spoke with a client the other day who says she hasn’t seen grocery stores this empty since rationing during WWII. While I wasn’t there to see that for myself, it makes sense. This is a scary time.
When you watch the news, or even talk to people you know, it’s clear that we’re rattled. People stock up on things to feel a sense of certainty or security. We normally do it when there is bad weather coming … a blizzard or a hurricane or even a flood. But this is different … this is an unpredictable public health emergency.
Speaking of the news, you probably received NSA’s new email update yesterday, just like this one. Because NSA is here for you, we want to do what we can to get you important news about what’s happening with the Federal Government and other news that might impact you during this time of uncertainty.
You know I talk about the value of membership a lot, but this newsletter is something more basic. It’s about the importance of staying connected to one another. Some of us might be used to working from home, but our clients and staff might not be. This is a great time to be a good neighbor (by phone or email) and help them through when they’re not sure what to do.
Now, here are some things you can do to protect yourself and your clients during tax season and for as long as the emergency lasts.
- Don’t leave the house unless it’s for a good reason, like going to the doctor, getting groceries, or gas. Avoid public places and gatherings. Social distancing is good for you and good for other people.
- Don’t have in-person client meetings. This means using secure communications and document sharing like Verifyle. You can also do video chats with Skype, Facetime, and Google Duo, or just use the telephone. Clients will understand and appreciate your concern for safety.
- If a client absolutely must drop off hardcopy documents, have them use a single manila envelope to hold them. Give them an isolated (but secure) place to drop them off.
One of our members on Tax Talk said she gives her clients appointments to drop off their files, sprays them with disinfectant, and leaves them to sit before she even touches them. This might be a great idea because Harvard Medical School says the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard. Read more here.
- If you feel ill, don’t work or go into the office. If you have coronavirus symptoms, quarantine yourself, and call your doctor. They can tell you what to do next. Besides, you don’t want to give this to other people. Remember, if you’re getting towards your senior years, your immune system isn’t what it used to be.
- Keep an eye on your local and national news. Local news is particularly important because those changes could impact your daily life faster than guidance out of Washington, DC.
- If you can work from home, work from home.
Ultimately, you must make the best decisions you can for you, your office, clients, and family. Don’t act on fear, act on facts. If the facts aren’t clear, ask the right questions of the right people, or wait for clarification.
Now, do something for me, all of NSA’s leadership, and for NSA’s staff: take care of yourselves. Every one of you is important to us. We will do the best we can to be beside you and help you out. Be a little patient with us, because we’re just as worried as you are and our lives have been disrupted too.
We’re the NSA family. Let’s stay connected.
Joel Grandon, NSA President