So, how y’all doing out there? Here at RePlay, we’ve been up and running daily newsletters ever since the Great Shutdown turned the switch to “off” on this and just about every other industry. We also published this May 2020 edition without our Players’ Choice and digital music charts (for reasons I don’t have to specify). This issue is also “home cooked” since that’s where everyone at RePlay has been working.
As you’ll see by the stories inside, you are not alone in this historic test. Neither were the people in Europe centuries ago when the Plague roared in, nor in 1918 when the Spanish Flu hit around the same time as WWI. Looks like it’s our turn. But those events came and, yes, went! That’s where everyone in the coin-op trade’s thoughts are today: not “if” but “when?” And it’s my guess there are a lot of players out there thinking the same thing.
A New York Times pundit named Aaron Carrol made an on-point attempt to answer the “when” question in its April 7 online edition. “How will we know when to reopen the country?” he began. “There must be a sustained reduction in cases for at least 14 days because it can take that long for (viral) symptoms to appear. If the number of cases in an area is dropping steadily for that much time, public health officials can be reasonably comfortable that suppression has been achieved as defined by every infected person infecting fewer than one another,” he declared.
Wishful thinking? Not really. It’s got to normalize one day. So, it’s not “if” but “when.” Meantime, some operators have come up with inventive ways to use their (remaining) employees’ time like pulling music boxes and games off the route and into home rentals. Owners of both routes and fun centers also found “fun” trying to navigate the Payroll Protection loan program passed by Congress and termed by one person as like finishing the rocket ship while it was already halfway to the moon.
What’s important is that tired-sounding cliché: “Let’s stick together.” Call your colleagues, your distributors, your prize and other parts suppliers and say hi, and chew the rag a bit to see what’s going on in the real coin-op world. We hope our newsletters and monthly issues do our appointed job to help keep people in the know. Also, keep abreast of the media reports. Don’t turn off the TV because it’s so depressing. That’s probably the first place we’ll be getting the answer to “when can we turn the switch back on?”
And then…GAME ON!
– Eddie Adlum