On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by terrorists. We all remember where we were when we heard about the two planes striking the World Trade Center. It was a frightening time.

It was also the end of one thing and the start of something else.

Before 9/11, I had a more benign view of the world. I certainly realized that there were people who hated the U.S., but after 9/11 I had more perspective on it. I worried about it a good deal more. I felt threatened in a way that was very different from the threat I felt when walking to my car late at night in a dimly-lit parking lot.

It was the end of something and the start of something else.

Before 9/11, I could take family or friends to the airport, walk them to the gate and say goodbye as they boarded the plane. I could get through security without taking off my shoes and belt. Now, I say my goodbyes from the car in the departure lane outside the airport, and to board a plane myself I have to remove my jacket, shoes, belt, everything in my pockets and practically unpack my luggage before sending it through a scanner.

It was the end of something and the start of something else.

Before 9/11, I walked through crowds with little thought of who was around me, their world view or their core beliefs. I thought of them as individuals, and I spoke freely and openly about whatever came to mind. Now, I’m more cognizant of my surroundings, more aware of the group-think and group identity that grips our country.

I still speak freely and openly, perhaps to my detriment. That much hasn’t changed, but I’m more aware that what I say may not be appreciated by all who hear it, because that was the end of something and the start of something else.

I’m betting that none of us remember when we first heard about coronavirus or COVID-19. It lacks the drama of planes crashing into iconic buildings, but it’s potentially far more powerful, more deadly and life-changing.

Make no mistake — when COVID-19 came to the United States, it was the end of something and the start of something else.

For too many, it will be the end of their job or business or even their industry. Several of my favorite restaurants have already announced that they are closed forever. My wife has informed me that it’ll be a long time before we go to a buffet (if any of those ever reopen), a movie theater, a concert or a major sporting event. These are inconveniences to me, but devastating to the people who make their living in those industries.

Getting our economy back on track may be the biggest business challenge any of us will ever face, and I firmly believe that a key to success will be understanding that the current pandemic is the end of something and the start of something else.

But what?

I think we can all agree that restaurants, movie theaters, concerts and sporting events will be slow to rebound, but that realization is just the beginning. What will fill the voids? Who will fill the voids and how? What will be stopped — ended — and what will start up to take its place?

If we can figure that out, we’ll be well on the road to recovery … or even rebirth.

People will continue to fish. There’s even evidence that more people are fishing through the pandemic than would ordinarily ever pick up a rod and reel. How do we keep them in the sport?

Keeping new or infrequent anglers in the game has always been a challenge, but it’s different this time because of what’s bringing them to fishing. Maybe the change in circumstances will bring us a better solution, help us look at it differently or even better.

People who fish need tackle. Much of our tackle is made in China and the Far East. We’ve seen what a pandemic can do to the supply chain. Is there a better way to organize that — one that ensures at least some supply will always be available?

How severely will our economy suffer? Though people will certainly fish, will they buy? And will they buy big-ticket items like boats and motors? Will they buy expensive rods and reels? Or will their purchases be limited to terminal tackle and relatively inexpensive items until the economy is firmly back on its feet?

Guessing right has seldom been more critical because the pandemic is the end of one thing and the start of something else.