So the good news is that we’re inching a bit closer to harnessing the Great Pandemic of 2020.

Earlier this week, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel wisely recommended that healthcare workers and long-term care residents skip to the front of the vaccination line. That’s certainly encouraging.

Yet overall, 2020 is sort of shaping up as the year our world stood still. That is, when it wasn’t falling apart. Many people have not actually stepped inside their workplaces since March. Thousands of schools continue to offer only e-learning. And who knows how many businesses been forced to either find a way to deliver goods at the curbside or shut down?

As for senior living, well, it’s pretty much been a nightmare. Thousands of residents and staff have become violently ill or perished this year, courtesy of COVID-19. Although truth be told, there was nothing courteous about what has transpired.

Most operators now find themselves in a position that might be best described as trying to stop the bleeding. Occupancy is down, costs are up and help is more difficult than ever to find. Talk about a triple whammy!

Yet there is still important work that must be done. So what’s a community to do?

Obviously, the first order of business is to find a way to stay in business. For most, that won’t be easy. For a few, it will be nigh impossible. But if that new price of admission can’t be achieved, nothing else will be possible.

There’s something else that operators should be doing as well. And the smart ones already are. By that, I mean taking stock.

As bad as these days are, there really has never been a better time to do a head-to-toe analysis of what your organization does. But of course, that’s only half the job. The more difficult part is figuring out what your organization should be doing post-pandemic.

For many, the default answer may be to do the same things as before, but maybe with a bit more caution. For a few, there will be “aha” moments. These epiphanies and their execution will redefine what it means to be in the senior living field.

There soon will be various ways to identify and describe organizations belonging to this second group. The most succinct likely will be this: industry leaders.