All things considered, it appears that the word for now and in the immediate future is “patience!” According to NPR, business at restaurants and bars jumped 20% in June compared to May. The reason was obviously that America had begun to reopen. Then came the following surge in coronavirus cases as a direct result of the nation jumping the gun due to the impatience of getting back to business before science declared an “all clear.”
This tug of war between opening and closing businesses will probably be a whole lot more scientific this time, meaning they’ll have to be a lot more pain for people in this and virtually every other industry to come due to extended location closures. It will be a gigantic test of the grit each and every businessperson needs to survive, and there is no “playbook” to follow from past pandemics available: we’re writing it as we go along. In short, besides hand sanitizer, we’ll all need plenty of patience.
Lots of people, unburdened with the responsibilities of running a business facing all kinds of expenses from payroll to rent to utilities, have the luxury of thinking more clearly about the future. They say nothing will return to anywhere close to normal until a proven vaccine shows up. As I write this, at least two vaccines (one from China another from California) were looking sort of promising. Like fathers telling their young sons to keep their eyes on the ball, it looks like our “ball” is spelled v-a-c-c-i-n-e.
Unless Congress has acted to run out another stimulus package by the time you read this, there is another problem on the table: unemployment insurance payments running down. If it wasn’t so sad, it would be amusing for people in coin-op who “count quarters” in order to balance the book and make a respectable living to look at the Federal Government printing money 24/7 and wonder how and if the national deficit will ever be paid. Right now, nobody cares about that while they throw another unpaid invoice onto their own desks.
One last thing from me: I want to thank all the well-wishers out there who’ve recognized the value of our daily Instant RePlay newsletters and expressed gratitude for the extra effort our people put in searching these stories out. And while this newsletter goes out free of charge, I personally want to thank everyone who’ve been sending in their magazine renewal checks and ad payments during these trying times, and I’m sure you know why. You folks really rule!