A little over a week ago, I went into my restaurant to get things set up for the day. While the weekend hadn’t started off great (thanks COVID-19), Saturday was pretty solid. A group celebrated a birthday in the afternoon and a lot of people were out supporting small business because, as we now know, the future is very uncertain.
On Monday, the news came that bars, restaurants and other businesses with large crowds and close interaction with customers would temporarily close. While I completely understand the rationale and how this tactic supports the messaging about staying home, that does not mean it wasn’t devastating. I own a wine bar so our business is dependent on dine-in service to be able to serve the product customers associate most with us. This meant takeout was not a viable option, nor did we have the luxury of time or cash flow to promote takeout and wait for the customers to come.
There is nothing easy about this situation, especially given we have no idea when it will end. The bills continue to be due, food that needs to be paid for will go to waste (or in our case, was donated to a worthy cause in this time of need) and unfortunately, there is little in the way of support or recourse. So, like the rest of the state, country and world… we wait.
And this is where I take comfort. Because we are all in this together. For better or worse, it is rare that across a region and across the world, humanity is united in its fight. That no matter where you are or who you are, you are likely affected in a meaningful way with no idea when this nightmare will come to an end. Perhaps you or a loved one is now unemployed. Or you know someone fighting COVID-19, as a patient or front-line medical professional. Or you might be one of the thousands, probably millions, of parents now caring for your children and their education throughout the day. And even working from home while you’re at it.
During this time, there is little benefit to dwelling on poor circumstances. Because there is not an ideal solution and so much (if not all) of what is happening today is outside of our control. For now, I’m trying to focus on the opportunity – quality time with family with no where to go. A time to get creative about how we spend our time and make/build connections.
I am choosing to remain hopeful and optimistic. While this is not easy and loosing the freedom to come and go as we please is a challenge for all, necessity often brings about innovation. I find comfort in the fact that not only are we all in this together, but this will be a period of great change and opportunity. While it might be hard to see now, good will come.
How we work and educate will be forever changed.
The number of businesses that have found a way to deliver value virtually.
Our ability to communicate and connect will continue to evolve because we need and crave connection. Today, that looks different but it doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.
During this challenging time for all, whether child, parent, service worker, small business owner or something in between, we must find faith in the power of the human spirit. Because when everything feels outside of our control, this is our time to find comfort in the fact that we are all in this together and while it might be hard to see, good and much innovation will come from this time of togetherness and reflection.