Just ten short months ago, which now looks like eternity, the coronavirus entered the scene in the United States of America. It’s a place of opportunity filled with diversity. I could look out of my window last January and see people outside having snowball fights, hearing the sound of laughter, eating dinner at my favorite restaurant, and enjoying family of more than six, seven, eight, nine, or ten.
Today, I look out of my window and I see the sun, leaves on the ground, a few Christmas decorations, remnants of carved pumpkins shrinking on porches, but there is a stillness in the air, an unusual pause. Yet, there is one thing, I cannot see. It is COVID-19. I know it’s out there. I just can’t see it although it is starring back at me. It’s looking at all of us in our faces every second, every hour of each day.
In times like these, as a nation we must come together to defeat this pandemic and possibly return to some sense of normality. However normal is defined today.
The numbers in the United States of America, signals that the coronavirus has taken our nation by force. It’s been well over 10 months and I am afraid we are going the wrong direction.
Over the weekend of November 14th, America hit over 11 million confirmed cases. With a little under two weeks before Thanksgiving, we must come to the realization that we will have once again the closures of restaurants, bars, gyms, and a limited number of people in stores.
As I take a deep breath, I along with millions of other small business owners are continuing to push forward in order to keep our businesses afloat during this time. We struggle. Many of us are facing closure for good.
How? Especially when we had access to the Paycheck Protection Program.
What was designed to help many of us, actually failed us. PPP (Paycheck Protection Program),
was to have helped the everyday mom and pop business, yet it greased the pockets of multi-millionaires including the likes of Kanye West, Paul Pelosi (Nancy Pelosi’s husband), Elaine Chao (Senator Mitch McConnell’s wife, and US Secretary of Transportation), Church of Scientology, Soho House, which is a ritzy private members club with a valuation of $2 billion, a lettuce farm backed by Don Jr., plus several businesses connected to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump just to name a few, while saying no to those of us who gave an honest valuation that proves we are indeed a small business. Somehow, we failed after being presented with so much red tape that we were unable to pass the test. [https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/07/9904175/famous-ppp-loan-recipients-sba-list]
Here we are in the wake of a second and for some in the US a third wave. What gives?
Our current COVID-19 numbers in the US:
11,363,464 Confirmed Coronavirus Cases
The numbers do not lie.
Many of us are trying to find a calm in the midst of a storm, a storm we cannot see, but can feel in our everyday lives. The weight of life in bearing down upon us to the point of break, but if we can only find a way to cope during these challenging times.
Can we change our mindset from business to family during this holiday season?
What can we do with Thanksgiving, Advent, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Watch Night, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Chalking the Door? Ahhhh, don’t know about that one? Chalking the Door will take place on, January 6, 2021, when the family gathers around the door and chalks it as a sign and symbol of asking God’s blessing upon those who live, work, or visit throughout the coming year. In Exodus, the Israelites marked their doors with blood so that the Lord would pass over their homes; however, in today’s society, we mark our doors with chalk as a sign that we have invited God’s presence and blessing into our homes.
January 6, 2021 would be chalked: +20 C M B 21+
Google it: Chalking the Door to learn more
Anyway, what can we do in times like these especially when we are faced with increase of numbers preventing us to gather and find relief when we are faced with another possible closure of our businesses?
I sat down and came up with several suggestions to help us think differently the last several weeks of 2020:
- Share family recipes.
- Write stories from childhood to share with children and grandchildren.
- Make gifts. Yes, still purchase some gifts to help out small businesses, but don’t forget about putting your skills together to make a gift for that special someone in your life.
- Do social media lives of cooking, crafts, baskets, etc.
- Purge your closet and give to a human trafficking safe house, a domestic violence center, a transitional home, a homeless shelter, a family who has lost everything to a fire, a family who has been evicted, etc.
- Gather with family and pull the money you would spend on gifts and give money to pay for someone’s rent, groceries, toys for children who have none, utilities, someone’s car payment, gas cards, etc.
- Purchase hair salon gift cards and treat a mom who is juggling working remotely, being classroom overseer, nursing a newborn, etc.
- Purchase barber gift cards for someone who needs a haircut or edge up but cannot afford to do so.
- Purchase a subscription to a fitness center to help a small business even if you never attend or gift it to someone who can.
- CashApp your beautician or barber even though you may not be able to see them during this time.
- If you are able, bless a freelance writer, influencer, consultant with a monetary gift.
- Host an outside dinner social distancing, with masks where everyone brings their own brown bag.
- Do prayer walk around the neighborhood with others.
- Host a sing along via Zoom
- Organize Christmas caroling in your neighborhood from individual porches, patios, and balconies. (saw this during March & April of residence in Italy and in NY singing.)
We invite you to join the conversation and add suggestions in the comment section.
While I have your attention, please consider sowing a seed to the work I am doing. You can CashApp $MIMToday or scroll the right panel and click the PayPal link. Thank you in advance for your investment.