New York, NY – It is clear that the last two years have provided us with historic difficulties. Whether the challenges we faced during the pandemic were personal or financial, the so-called “new normal” has been upon us for a long time. 

Ben Kimmel.

Covid is not new. By now, we have to find ways to recover. We have to regain our social composure and get back to business, which means we need to update our thinking and improve our work ethic with antifragility. Otherwise, our economy will suffer. 

By definition, antifragility means more than resilience. To be clear, antifragility means that we have to be better than resilient because resilience only resists shock and stays the same. To be antifragile, however, means to withstand, improve, and be better from the experience. Simply put, tragedy does not break us. Instead, we grow stronger.

History shows that our nation has overcome tragedies in the past. We have advanced through trying times. We have rebuilt New York City after the attacks on September 11, 2001. The Freedom Tower and the 9/11 Memorial Pools serve as a reminder of loss and how we’ve overcome. These are symbols of antifragility.

The last two years, have exposed many rifts across identity politics, scientific beliefs, racial disruptions and ideals. To be resilient from this would mean to simply withstand. An antifragility approach, however, would mean our cultural competency has improved and our society has become better because of this.

We have rebuilt our cities more than once. Along the way, we have improved. We have absorbed damage in the past. However, in the realm of our “new normal,” now is the time for production and improvement. 

Our mental health crisis has worsened over the last two years. Crimes have increased as well as domestic violence.
Pre-Covid statistics show an approximately $200 billion loss nationwide due to mental health. The worldwide number is approximately $1 trillion. Therefore, after the impact of the pandemic and its losses, we need to revamp our approach to these challenges. We need to address our plans to reopen our city with an antifragility mindset. 

Moreover, regardless of our differences, we need to come together. Otherwise, we can only be resilient at best. However, in the face of the “new normal,”  we need to be more than just resilient.  We need to be antifragile. In other words [and with all the political beliefs to the side], we’ve put our city together before. Now it’s time to pull together and do this again the only way we know how — being Union Strong!

Ben Kimmel is a proud member of the IUOE Local 94, as well as an Author, Writer on, Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Wellbeing and DEI Content Provider, Certified Addiction and Recovery Coach, Certified Professional Life Coach, and Peer & Wellness Advocate.  Ben can be reached at



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