• Jennifer Houghton

Keeping Things Going During This Pandemic



Maybe you are feeling a little fatigue from this long season of COVID. Someone reminded me that I had originally said that we would be back in the office in a couple of months. You can quote me from SIX months ago.

Beyond getting a puppy (check), stocking up on disinfectant (check), and cancelling most of my plans (super check), what can a girl do?

Here’s something I have been doing pretty frequently for the last two months: frequenting local businesses. I’m not talking about chains or big brand names, though I use them periodically.

Most mornings, within my budget, I head over to a local coffee shop that makes great lattes and breakfast and lunch items. I do this because the owner is there every single day trying to make things work. And I want her to be around once this thing ends.

This is hard for all of us and we have to manage our resources the best we can. But, the small businesses trying to keep their employees, well frankly, employed, need our help. Even if that means doing things like scheduling a dog walk once or twice a week even though you might be able to do it yourself now.

I schedule my dog walker at least once a week when I run errands. Good for socialization, good for my dog walking company, good for the dog walker I want to stay employed and caring for my pet and not looking for another gig.

So, as you consider how to allocate your resources, consider the dog walker who may have been caring for your pet for a year or two. Will they be able to keep doing this job if I don’t bring them in with some regularity? Probably not. Will the dog walking company I use be able to survive if I don’t keep them in rotation? Maybe not.

While every situation is different, what I most want to see are the people who live in my community and put their heart into their work to still be around in 2021. I know it’s a challenge (believe me, I’ve reached out to find some professional help to talk this thing over and the mental toll it has taken). But, at the end of the day, the thing I have always loved the most about my community is the way hold each other up. The way we come together to help one another. The way we care.

I won’t go on my soapbox about businesses I boycott, but if I want my life to resemble pre-COVID hopefully next year, I know I have to do some work. And that includes keeping those companies that I love going. Even if it is a small once a week dog walk when I grab supplies. Just my friendly reminder that even if you don’t see the struggles, these companies are hanging on. Let’s do what we can to keep them around.

And hang in there. You are not alone. We will survive.

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