On Tuesday, 4/21, we celebrate a grim milestone in the USA…that date marks 90 days, 3 months, since the Coronavirus was confirmed to be in the United States. As of the time I’m writing this post, there are 761,964 confirmed cases, 35,314 deaths, and 70,337 that have recovered. (Source: Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracker)
What have we learned in the last three months? While the economy is in shambles, we have learned some important lessons.
Lesson #1: Who is really essential?
Merriam Webster defines essential as:
In this time, we have learned who the true essential employees are. Yes, those in the medical, law enforcement, and emergency services fields are essential, but we’ve learned a few other areas are critical to survival as well. Who are these mystery individuals? Those who are working in our grocery stores. From the truck drivers making the deliveries to the cashier checking us out and everyone in between…they deserve all the respect in the world.
Lesson #2: Is commuting to the office truly necessary?
Many people suddenly found themselves in a situation where they had to work from home. That begs the question…if we can transition thousands, if not millions, of workers to working from home…is a commute really necessary?
Lesson #3: Luxury vs. Utility
At one point in time, people said that having things like the internet and a cell phone were luxury items, and not a utility.
Where is that debate now? *crickets* We now realize, just like grocery workers, that luxuries can turn into necessities in a heartbeat.
Lesson #4: Thinking outside the box and flexibility
The restaurant, wine, beer, and spirits industries have taken a hard hit during this pandemic. The ones that appear to be surviving are the ones who are thinking outside the box.
Wineries, breweries, and distilleries are adapting by adding drive-thru/curbside service, delivery service, and retooling to make hand sanitizer.
Restaurants are becoming food pantries/grocery stores. They’re finding ways to let their guests bring the dining experience home by making their whole menu available, instead of select items. They’re adding “family meals” as a prix fixe item. They’re creating kits for their signature cocktails (some complete with the liquor/spirit that gives it that special touch) or they’re now allowed to do “cocktails to go” with the base of the drink and a mini bottle of alcohol for one to enjoy in the comfort of their home.
Lesson #5: We need to be decent human beings.
The number of individuals claiming unemployment has reached unprecedented levels. While the unemployment program is helping them, it’s become evident that the formula for unemployment is, at best, and antiquated model. How can one be expected to provide for their family on $300 a week? We need to strengthen our social welfare programs in this country so that we don’t have the massive relief packages from the government we’ve seen as of late.
We are finding the cracks in the structure of society.
Bonus lesson: DTC shipping disparities.
There are states that still have draconian alcohol regulations, which means that consumers may have a limited selection. We need to start encouraging more federal legislation to free the grapes, hops, and grains that give us a momentary escape from reality.
Bonus lesson #2: Social distancing and good hand hygiene is working.
Wash your hands.
Stay a minimum of 6′ away from each other.
Don’t be a dick. Stay the eff home. Flatten the curve…don’t make it spike back up.