Where to Next

The conversation seems to be shifting from staying home, staying safe, to when and how we open this thing back up. While I do think it’s a conversation that needs to happen, hopefully soon, I wonder about the people pushing the topic. Are we there yet? I don’t really know. Because I have been working, I haven’t been at home much when the briefings occur, I am vaguely aware of numbers that get talked about in regards to positive tests, deaths, recoveries, etc. I have no intention of turning this into a political conversation, but it could happen. Sorry.

I saw my boss, well, my old boss, yesterday. He is doing ok, but I worry about him. He is worried that it could be mid-May before he can get reopened fully. That’s another month. That is scary. They are doing carryout and delivery and it is ok. But it is hard to keep a business afloat under ideal circumstances. I also think about all of the employees. Most aren’t working for the carryout time period. He just can’t afford to be paying too many people right now. So it is a skeleton crew, and limited hours. That is how most of the places that are open are operating, and some places thrive, some are just scraping by. This whole thing, while I believe it is necessary, it is scary for the people living paycheck to paycheck that are not getting that paycheck right now. So check with your neighbors and friends. If you can, try to help them. This isn’t over, not yet.

The stimulus checks are arriving. Mine is “pending” which means it officially gets deposited tomorrow. I am thankful it is coming, it will give me a little cushion, a safety net as I am adjusting from the world of being a tipped employee to a paycheck person. I am used to having cash, all the time. And while this past month has not been a money spending orgy, not having cash in hand on a daily basis has caused some anxiety. I have had it with the people and their posts on Facebook about the money. Who should not be accepting it because you hate a certain someone, or it’s socialism so you shouldn’t take it either. You know what? Shut up. Most of us need it, and do need it now. Someone is going to be pissed about it, and about how you should choose to spend it. People need to shut it right now about that. You have no idea how much I wish we didn’t need this little safety net right now. I wish I were making the money I was a month ago. Try to keep those thoughts in mind when you think about judging others.

A lot of people have turned into infectious disease experts the past few weeks. In the service industry we have what we have come to know as the “Karen.” The memes are hilarious, because if you have dealt with her, you just know. So Karen is out there, and she is alive and well, wielding her sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, looking to speak to the manager about why the guy shopping in aisle 5 isn’t wearing a mask. And I will say this, and mean it: Mind Your Own Pandemic Business, Karen. The majority of people know what they should be doing. How they should conduct themselves if they are out. Not everyone has been able to get their hands on masks and gloves, because Karen hoarded them. Some people, believe it or not, aren’t into this whole thing. They believe it’s been overblown. And the thing is, that is ok for them, if that is how they wish to operate. You cannot convince them in a 5 minute soliloquy in the canned goods aisle at the Food King. Take care of yourself when you are out. Soon this will pass, and Karen will be back in the restaurants with her expired coupons while bending the manager’s ear.

I got off track. I was excited about putting Karen out of the restaurant business for a while. So we will get back to our lives, with or without Karen. But when? I don’t know. I know that Trump is pushing, because if he doesn’t, the crumbling economy falls on him, because he is the guy in the White House now. That’s how it works. And against advice from his “task force” he will continue to push. That we know. He made the comment about absolute authority, and it made a lot of people cringe, as it should. We will see how that works out for him. But people do need a date on the calendar, as it were. Some kind of date to look forward to, but I don’t know how you pick that arbitrary date. But when you can get back out there, please take the lessons you are learning with you. Please don’t make all of this have been for nothing. Take your patience, kindness, and humility with you. Let’s hope it isn’t another month, but if it is, remember to reach out for what you need, and check on the ones you care about.

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