I don’t know about you all but I will admit to having had some vague feelings of despair as our current realities have settled in. I am among the fortunate able to work remote for as long as necessary. However, my company is a restaurant point of sale solution vendor and I do worry about our customers’ employees, not to mention those in the food service supply chain. Many of our traditionally “table service” segment customers are trying to adapt to focus on carry-out operations; we are putting together a free “virtual drive-thru” with contact-free payment setup to help them keep business going through all this. Things are grim, though. Revenues for our customers across segments (QSR, Fast Casual, Table Service) are down 40-60%. I suppose seeing the industry’s POS transaction volume plummet over the last several days has been the trigger for much of my angst.
Yesterday a friend of mine posted some words on The Social that made me feel a bit better. I’m still concerned, mind you, but his words helped me shift my perspective a bit. It occurred to me I should share them a little further:
It’s a Late Sunday evening in early spring. There’s buds in the trees and people are walking around Liberty Park, keeping an appropriate social distance. Teenagers are engaging in performative coughing fits to crack each other up. Dogs are annoyed as their people keep them apart.
Sitting in our houses, it might feel like the apocalypse. But the apocalypse isn’t real — it’s just a story we tell so that our times and lives feel important. Pandemic is as common to human history as conquest and famine and trade and riches. When a long time from now people speak of our era they will speak of our massive population explosion. They will speak of our heedless disruption of natural systems and selfish destruction of lost species, and let us hope of our renewal of those systems. They will speak of our scientific and technological advances, of the death of old gods and rise of new ones.
Pandemic is a tragedy. It will destroy everything for some, and cripple and damage and lay waste. It will rend the vail on all our foolish ways. But it’s not an apocalypse. The apocalypse is a myth. The renaissance, which followed the plague, is not.
Stay positive and safe everyone. Whether this thing is short or long, it’s gonna leave a mark (RIP my Raymond James account) but we’ll get through it and maybe, just maybe the experience will inspire us to be a little better.
Love you all,