I am fortunate enough to work in an Essential business that has stayed open throughout the Pandemic while we sheltered in place. Unfortunately, COVID-19 decided to come to town after a lot of our years have passed, so Ruth and I are considered in a high-risk group. Over the last month, we have journeyed from our residence only to take walks and go to our cluster mailbox (those of you who know Ruth may be asking yourselves, "How is Bill still alive?" That is a story for another time).
The result is a lot of waiting for the end of the rainbow.
Watching the news, seeing all the support for first responders, and the plight of local small businesses is a helpless feeling because we can't be "out there." More than a few years ago, I apprenticed and worked in restaurants and catering. The low margins and the resulting depressed wages exist to this day. It is terribly hard to go without work when you are living week-to-week or even day-to-day. Anyway, here we are sitting in relative comfort, unable to go out and help while both our communities and small businesses suffer—a bit of a guilt trip.
Ruth and I needed to do something. We talked about a favorite local restaurant that is trying to survive doing carry-out when their strength, along with great food, is the ambiance of the restaurant. We also talked about first-responders working long hours under challenging conditions who also have to find ways to eat.
It wasn't a big leap to combine the two.
We reached out to Giuseppe, the owner of Casa Cosenza in Oldsmar, and talked to him about giving them a pile... a small pile... of money to use to feed first responders. He and his wife were all over it. They contacted a local hospital to organize a food delivery for 40 / 50 first responders.
There is a commentary to the story: we need to be always mindful that these are unprecedented times, changing the world as we know it; making life hard for millions of men, women, and families. As always occurs in times of adversity, along with the loss and hardship, some step up, often at risk and sacrifice to themselves, to help and render aid. It is too easy to listen to the Talking Heads and just sit around, bemoaning our fate. If everyone who can moves away from their arbitrarily- designated comfort zone and reaches out however they can, we will all be improved for it and in a better place when the New Normal finally defines itself. Do something.