When Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announced they were undergoing a conscious uncoupling, many laughed. She tends to say and write some silly, bordering on the absurd, things. But fast forward several years later many people (couples that is) are using the phrase as they go about their different ways. There was something to such a phrase and sentiment that made sense.
Now, fast forward to today. This month. This year. This pandemic.
On March 2, Merck announced a partnership with Johnson & Johnson to expand Johnson & Johnson’s manufacturing capacity and supply of its COVID-19 vaccine. Under the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) agreement, Merck is adapting and making available some of its existing manufacturing sites to accelerate manufacturing efforts for the other vaccine and enable more timely delivery and administration.
That is not a conscious uncoupling. That is a conscious coupling, partnership, of two competitors. They are doing so for the greater good. Besides helping get more vaccines out there, they are showcasing how partnership can work. Even with a frenemy. Some people can certainly use such a lesson.
Not everything needs to be toxic or about one’s ownership.