So, as we enter into our fifth week of COVID house arrest, I have noticed changes…some good, some not so good, about people. Some people that I thought were Grinch-like just got worse, and some took some kind of emotional NARCAN, and turned around.
1.You CAN smile at someone through your mask at Shop-Rite. You have a choice between that and clipping someone’s heels because they weren’t standing exactly on the “one cart away” marker. Eyes do smile, and this is a good example. We are all there to keep our lives going. Your frozen Tilapia is not more important than someone’s Velveeta.
2. God gave everyone talents. Use them. Now is the time. Whether it’s cooking, sewing, writing, drawing, inventing, nobody can complain they don’t have enough time. That down-time you wished for is finally here. Embrace it. Stop being in your own “I’m scared for my life Corona bubble.” There are people out there in worse positions, be it financially, health-wise, or familial. Reach out in ways that may not need contact. Drop offs, video, delivery…start giving more and wanting less. Email…whatever. Eliza Hamilton could not start a foundling hospital with a “woe is me“ attitude.
3. Don’t be a hording ass hole. Keeping your house running is not more important than someone wiping their butt. I get it, this serious apocalypse has gotten everyone scared they may get butt eczema or streaky underwear. Others have real needs.
You might spend money ordering online, but that seems to be the way to go to stock up. Try keeping the delightful stuff to a minimum, and when you do go food store hopping, try to imagine what you might need for next week…plan menus and take stock of what you do have and how quickly you are going through it.
4. Small gestures cost nothing but mean everything. People are incredibly irritable now. Un-irritate them. How? Reverse psychology. You know that woman standing behind you in the check out who has a sprig of parsley and a loaf of bread in her basket and you have two heaping carts full of shit that you had to take your husband who has been at home for 30 days straight and you just wanted some alone time, even it is in aisle six, let her go ahead of you. She might not “smile with her eyes,” but maybe she got home an hour earlier to a sick kid, homebound mother, or just got off a twelve hour COVID floor shift. And, that’s all it took to make her day.
5. FREEZE ACCOUNTS. Nobody is basking in any riches right now. People are laid off and furloughed left and right. It’s understandable that businesses are suffering right now as well, but so is the consumer…your customer. It might hurt a lot, but now is NOT the time to ask anyone for money for anything…be it tuition, overdue bills, whatever. Try a small payment plan. Try a roll over, try adding to next semester’s bill…but stop making people stay on schedule. What did you do with the last pandemic..right…there was no last pandemic. This is crazy crap effected everyone with vulgar uncertainty. Nobody has the answer.
But stressing people out over what they owe isn’t kind. It’s so hard to find the balance…our business was hit hard with Italy’s epidemic. However, we cannot keep anyone’s money when we are not fulfilling every bullet of what we promised. It’s like saying, well, come to the office and we can set up private virtual reality films with pizza and wine tasting, but we will keep all your money. If you are not giving 100% of what you offered, DO NOT expect customers to pay you 100%...be fair.
Larger companies who can afford to take big cuts right now, are pushing payments off for their customers, regardless of their financial stature…and it’s a beautiful gesture of unity. Smaller businesses can do the same on a smaller scale, with flexibility. Get creative so you don’t lose customers, and when this is over, maybe gain a few. Kindness and understanding always wins over self centered bill collector.
6. Since we are zombie-transed to social media right now, everything is publicized…like everything from I brushed my teeth, my hair is gray, I planted a tulip, I got an abscess, my kid finger painted, my kid is homeschooled, I cleaned my closet to…health care workers putting themselves on the front line. The most impressive, selfless journey to follow.
These are your heroes. When I read about them, see where they came from, what they sacrifice, and how much of their life they have given up to help strangers…I cry. I cry for their dedication to their chosen profession and I cry because my heart so longs to be like them. So many stories about those in retirement who have not worked in years, those who have not seen their families in weeks, and make limited contact through prison-like glass doors in a hospital.
Those who barely finished nursing school or medical school and are thrown into the fiery trenches without the years of experience and residency that would qualify them to do so.
Each sacrificing their own existence, lifestyle and family to do what God called them to do. The most beautiful post I saw was a change of shift at Hackensack Hospital. It looked like early Magic Hours at the Magic Kingdom.
All without question, all to be unsung, and possibly forgotten a year from now, because as self centered human beings, when we are all better, and boo-boos heal, we regress. Remember to praise them now…that weary eyed nurse, PA, doctor who is grabbing take out at your pizza joint and is seven people deep…give them your spot.
That’s why COVID is here…so we possibly will remember the destruction it caused, the heroes birthed, and the good that is buried in humans, and the selfishness which lies there, too.