As the world turns, and the Corona Virus continued to wreak havoc on every country, the USA swung into action to try and protect its citizens. The most logical and practical approach was to keep the virus contained, as much as possible, by self-distancing while out in public and trying to self-quarantine whenever we could.
Miraculously, we listened and it now appears that it has worked, so far. At the same time, panicked citizens hoarded food, making it difficult, or impossible to find many items that are necessary to our lives. Things like milk, bread, and other day to day products flew off the shelf leaving many who came later with little, or in many cases, none of the staples they needed. The one thing that seemed to trump any other staple was toilet paper. I still marvel that toilet paper was the most important item the public needed! However, I too, have stocked up on it so that I wasn’t the one person without.
Takeout food from most restaurants has become normal for customers but brings in less than half of the normal day’s receipts of the eating establishment. Employees in every field of work, took unemployment benefits which, in many cases would net them more income than if they were working. We all applied for grants/loans, etc as small business’, only to find the first wave of funds had been used and we must wait till the next wave.
Most everything became virtual – music, meetings, family visits to loved ones, exercise class and, of course, schools. At Beth Ferester & Company we have our Tuesday sales meetings on Zoom, in order to stay in touch, cheer each other, and plan things we can do in order to create new ways of doing business. At the same time, we have done some uplifting projects for others and have worked hard to keep moving forward. We try to do as much virtually as possible, but tell me how I can get a haircut or a manicure virtually!!
At our giving back Coffeehouse, Lovebeans, we struggle to keep our little place open so that the staff will have a job. Even during these times, we have given back, donating to several entities including Montgomery County Food Bank. We also try to deliver coffee and goodies from time to time, to our first responders, and always are there for free coffee to them when they stop in. We have had open mic virtually, contests, giveaways, and continue to create more incentives for customers to come by and support us.
The question I am pondering tonight as I write is – How long will we have to continue this “new abnormal” and what will be the new “normal”.
For real estate, which is my area of expertise, I expect many changes for the future. Virtual showings will be used more, while “in-person” showings will require precautions such as gloves, foot covers, and if required by a seller, masks. Potential buyers will be screened more carefully to be sure they are serious buyers and find it possibly harder to obtain certain loans since the banks have so many forbearance loans to deal with.
For the restaurant/coffeehouse’, business’, I believe it will be a while before the public will feel comfortable sitting next to others in a crowded restaurant. I feel that those of us who own these establishments will have to change procedures and have more strict rules and scale down offerings and hours, in order to meet expenses.
As far as schools, I suspect that schools won’t be opening until the fall and under what regulations, no one knows. Hopefully, churches will be allowed to have services even if on a limited basis or have a certain number allowed in. Businesses’ like ours, will have minimal staff and have others working from home.
The airline business, hotels, resorts, spas, gyms, doctor’s offices, and on and on, will most likely find that in order to keep the public safe and confident of their safety, it will be imperative to implement many new policies and procedures.
So, from now on when we refer to “the good old days” when we grew up…we will simply mean before the COVID 19 virus attacked the world and changed the world and everyone in it.
May we all get through this together and stay safe. Both Beth Ferester & Company agents and all of the staff at Lovebeans, are here to assist you with anything you might need. This is the time we should all be giving back and that is what we are trying to do. We hope you will be safe, be kind, and spread the love by giving back.