You don’t need me to sit here, tapping away on my keyboard, to tell you these are challenging times. I have been in a self-imposed quarantine since Tuesday night with a suspected case of Covid-19 (I haven’t been able to get test for a variety of reasons I won’t go into here).
Our industry is at unique risk in the time of the Coronavirus. The world is showing extraordinary love and compassion to the elderly, the sick, and the vulnerable as we make sacrifices to stop the spread of this deadly virus. People are going out less and, in some countries, Governments have ordered closures. We are an industry that cannot work from home.
This is not the end of the world, nor is it the end of our industry. It’s not even the beginning of the end, the end of the beginning, or something in the middle equidistant from the end and beginning. It’s simply a difficult time, which none of us could have planned for, yet one we will all remember and tell tall tales about across the bar to entertain our future guests.
At the end of this temporary period of ‘social distancing’, life will return to some sort of normal. It may be a new type normal, but the venues we currently work in will still be standing, the customers will still be alive, and after weeks, potentially months, of this difficult time, people will be clamouring for a bit of ‘social closeness’ and a good drink.
In all that you’ve read, we wanted to provide a little support to those that work in the hospitality industry.
There’s no getting around the fact that, for most of us, this is going to be a difficult time financially. In many countries, venues are closed, or opening hours extremely restricted and we rely on hourly, or tip-based pay.
Government support will vary from country to country. If you live in Canada or Denmark, the government have already announced they will look after you. Elsewhere, you will have to check for local advice as the situation is changing rapidly and there is increasing support being provided to ensure that people are not unduly suffering because of being asked to stay at home.
In the USA, the USBG has a dedicated page and grants available for those that need emergency help.
Check your local area for similar organisations.
Mental Health support
There is no doubt that social isolation is going to impact upon people’s mental health. Social connection and networks are one of the cores that good mental health is built upon. Added to that is ‘news anxiety’, where the 24/7 news media can make us feel like we’re living through a Hollywood infection movie and we’re just waiting for an outrageously attractive micro biologist to save us all.
To avoid anxiety linked to an endless stream of bad news:
- Avoid watching, reading, or listening to news that could cause you to feel anxious or distressed
- Seek information mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones
- Seek information updates at specific times.
And it can get lonely, this self-isolation, particularly if you live alone.
- Check in with your friends and family and keep in regular touch
- Now is also the perfect time to embrace modern technology and utilise the video call features on your phone or laptop
- If you’ve got no symptoms and able to go out, check if your neighbour, friends, flatmate need anything.
- Be kind
We’re in this together, for the greater good
Yes, it’s frustrating that your bar/restaurant/café is shut and perhaps you’re financially a little bit worse off. For many out there tho, COVID-19 presents a much larger threat, a potential life ending one. Remember that this is just a temporary situation and it won’t last. We will flatten the curve, someone will create a vaccine, venues will reopen, and people will continue eating and drinking.
We’re here for you. If you’re really struggling and need help, then please reach out to us at Healthy Hospo.
We’re in this together and we’ll get through it together.