Who hasn’t seen lists of tips for living in isolation, ways to keep busy, stay active, keep kids busy with school work or activities during this COVID-19 crisis.
For most people, leaving the house every day and heading to work or school or off on an errand is the norm. This health emergency, with its shutdowns and pleas to keep our distance from others to curb the spread of this disease, has changed that.
If you are stuck in the house or told to avoid getting close to other humans, but you still have a job waiting for you whenever this emergency ends, consider yourself fortunate.
Many are laid off.
Worse yet, are the many business owners who might not have a business after all of this is over.
Businesses, except perhaps life-sustaining enterprises such as grocery stores, are suffering. Those that can are finding other ways to at least maintain some business.
In Danville, restaurants such as PB&J bar and LT Evans Eatery & Drafthouse are selling takeouts. That is not enough to sustain most restaurants.
Christian Force, who co-owns PB&J, a vegan restaurant and juice bar, with his fiancee, Shannon Koch, said the business is surviving with takeouts and by offering some dinner options, but they have had to lay off their five part-time employees while retaining their three full-timers.
LT Evans owner Evan Willard said his business is doing well with takeouts and deliveries, but some of his workers have had fewer hours.
Other local businesses are selling online.
Resurrection Movement Studio Inc. founder Hidi Horikoshi is offering free virtual classes in fitness and adult hip-hop while his on-site programs are on hold.
In her column, Danville Business Alliance Executive Director Rebecca Dressler writes about financial help that will be available from the government to help businesses. She also offers suggestions to the community, such as ordering takeout or purchasing a gift certification online or by phone from one of the local businesses.
Horikoshi said he is working in collaboration with DBA to start a “Vitamin D Fund,” which will use the adult hip-hop class as a platform to ask for contributions that will be distributed among the Danville businesses.
In the meantime, whether you are a business owner, off work, or still going to a job, take a slow deep breath, exhale and relax. Keep a social distance from others and wash your hands. No one knows how long this will continue, because we’ve never been through this before.
If anything good has come out of this it’s that people, even in keeping their distance, seem to be coming together. People such as Horikoshi, patrons supporting their local businesses, and those voicing their support for nurses, doctors and other health care workers who are on the front line of this crisis.
Given how much our country has been divided, that’s no small thing.