Vicki talks about her feelings on opening up businesses during the virus.
Is It Too Soon To Start Opening up businesses?
Now, before you jump on my back, I really don’t know the answer to this. I struggle on both sides of this equation. I am a small business owner myself. Owning two businesses myself, one which firmly relies on other businesses being open makes my heart go to businsses being open and ready for customers.
Then, I think about people and their health. Do I want people to be sick? Absolutely not. Do I want an unknown disease to spread to the most vulnerable in the population? Heck no.
I am one of the most vulnerable in the population. My parents and my inlaws also count in that as well.
In 2009, I was pregnant with my oldest son and I contracted h1n1. I was on the fence on whether I should get the vaccine. I dove into scientific journals, but the vaccine was pretty new at the time as was the disease. I was on the list to get the vaccine, but before I could even get the vaccine, I contracted the h1n1. So, the point of getting the vaccine was moot. I ended up in the ICU. My case was reported to the CDC. I’m listed as a patient number, so my Obstetrician told me. 280 pregnant women entered the ICU. 59 of those women died.
Not only am I at risk because I had h1n1, but I’m at risk because I have virtually no white cells for some reason that is unknown and I am epileptic, have an autoimmune disease and have no thyroid. When I left the hospital from my epileptic seizures in 2018, I sort of have an understanding of a new path in life. God had given me many chances in life that I wasn’t going to waste. But, he was going to call me when it was his time. I just had to make sure all my affairs were in order. Maybe it gave me a weird sort of morbidity, but I got rid of a lot of things that weren’t really important to me so if I should go, my husband wouldn’t have to deal with it.
I also feel this way about this disease. I will absolutely take the utmost care that I can by wearing a mask and using sanitizer when I am out. I was wearing a mask out in airports back in December before Covid was a thing. I knew germs lurked in certain places. I always washed my hands thoroughly and am a germ crazy when it comes to my kids, yet I want them to be around other kids to help them build up their immune system. Just wash yourself afterwards.
The information keeps coming in with Covid19. I have extremely bright friends who are in the science community who are sharing information. I have friends in the medical community who are sharing information. The information politicians are sharing seems to change too. If you are like me and love to do research, it can seem overwhelming at times. Almost to the point of burndensome as well. I wish that I could parse all of the good information out with the bad, but I think that is what everyone is trying to do right now.
And, then there are the businesses who are trying to stay afloat during all of this. Until mid February, everyone was just plunking along, doing so well. The economy was doing well and there were just hints on the horizon that there might be something to affect the health and wellbeing of the the human population. By mid march, a tidal wave hit and businesses started getting pummeled with a “what do we do?” Two week shut down seemed conceivable. The two week shut down started to turn into a month, then two months and slowly businesses have had to shutter their doors for good. Many businesses who have been staples in the community that have employed many local citizens are no longer able to provide a steady stream of income.
I have seen the ugly of systematic poverty and the cost it has on families. I am truly concerned of what the cost COVID will have on families who were right at the struggling line or maybe just above that. Or, first time business owners who put everything they had into their businesses and will now default on loans and perhaps their mortgages.
Working with a group of psychologists and social workers that served the juvenile court, we saw what the cost was of poverty. Families abandoned, substance abuse, domestic abuse, suicide and homicide, child abuse, and sexual abuse.
Where I went to college, in the Appalachian mountains in Pennsylvania, the area surrounding the college, while beautiful, had systemic drug abuse from lack of work. The coal and steel mills of the past had left the area and all the jobs were also gone. Drug abuse was prolific and turned into a huge problem for the area.
My kids miss their friends. Seeing people online is not the same as seeing them in person. You can’t have the same camraderie online as you do in person. I know this as a spouse who had their husband deployed! Having friends online is great, but seeing someone in person is just so much different. What will our world look like on the other side of this? I don’t know.
But, we can support our businesses, however we can. There are people who are delivering things to our cars, and if that makes you feel safe-help that out if you can afford it. Write a note to a neighbor. Have a conversation with a neighbor across the street while staying a good distance away or call someone.
We aren’t all in this together, because we are all coming from this at different angles. But, we are definitely having one struggle or another. But, we can help support each other by sending a smile or being positive for one another.