We are fortunate. While there is intrinsic value in our team getting together, it was not a difficult decision to send everyone home last week. It will be a little lonely, possibly smelly, but our service level and productivity will be fine, especially for a few weeks.
Many of our friends, neighbors, and clients are not so fortunate. Their businesses depend on people getting together, shopping together, eating together, dancing together, probably some other stuff… together. Many of these small businesses have fought hard to carve out a tiny space between Amazon and Oblivion. Now, they’re going to find an even narrower ledge to pay as many of their staff as possible and be good citizens by shutting down as much as they can. Some are even doubling down, supplying boxed-lunches for school kids despite being closed on their biggest day of the year (Conor O’Neill’s, I’m looking at you, you beautiful, beautiful humans).
We’re not going to ask you to “save your local businesses.” They’re not charities. However, if you value them; if you like stopping into a local shop for a book, or game, or bike, or bite to eat, and want that to still be an option when this is over here are some things you can do:
First and most importantly: Stay home. The best thing you can do for these businesses is to get this bullshit over as quickly as possible. A lot of businesses can turtle for a few weeks, and with forgiving suppliers, come out on the other side. A few months? Not so much. So do the right thing. Stay home. Play some video games. Eat pie. Binge Atlanta; it’s really good.
Second, and equally as important: No really, stay home. It matters and will make a difference. We’re looking for a 30% (or more!) reduction in some combination of contacts or transmission on average. That doesn’t mean you just need to reduce your contacts by 30%, because many folks (healthcare, food, vital services) can’t reduce at all and others aren’t in a financial position to stay home or not work). Since we’re going for an average here, you can help them by reducing your contacts and transmission by as much as possible. If you reduce 90% that will cover a healthcare worker who can’t reduce at all. So how much isolation is enough? As much as you can possibly manage; it won’t go to waste, and you will benefit from the shorter crisis.
If you’re a small retail biz who is shutting your doors for a few weeks and need help with the media/communication we will handle that for you free of charge. Please reach out. I know it’s not medicine or food, but it’s the skill we have (we realize we’ll be the first to be eaten in the apocalypse). We can help you get out your limited take-out only service, or figure out your grand return. St. Patrick’s day in July? Sure. Why not. The trees are greener anyway.
We’re not your richest friend/supplier/client, but what we have we’re ready to share.
All the very best,
firstname.lastname@example.org // Ann Arbor
email@example.com // Traverse City