An Editorial from Tim Miner
The views expressed below are Tim’s and may not be those of our sponsors.
Phase One had begun. My wife and I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather … and the newly relaxed rules issued by Governor Cooper … to do a little pre-Mother’s Day excursion on Saturday, May 9.
Like so many others, we were ready to get out and do something that felt normal. But, we were also looking forward to supporting local merchants who have been hit so hard.
We started at the Oakdale Mess Market organized by Esther & Elsa. We caught the tail end of it, but picked up some treats, strawberries and spicy pepper sauce for pizza. It was lovely to see everyone. The attendees were standing apart and everyone, including all the vendors, had masks and gloves. Then, we headed across town to the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market, where the story was different.
Like the Mess Market, ALL the vendors were following the proper procedures … masks, gloves, shields, etc. It was apparent how much work they’re put into preparation for the day. But, while we were there, it seemed to hs that nearly half the attendees weren’t wearing masks or following suggested social distancing practices. We were upset and frustrated by it. Not for us or our safety … but, for the vendors.
“Support Local” Means Investing Dollars and Common Sense
It’s been heartening over the past few weeks to see the community pride, the concern for local small businesses, farmers, restaurants and more. I’ve been incredibly proud of my fellow Charlotteans and seen beautiful acts of kindness. But, the hardest part of running a race is when you can see the finish line. You can’t lose discipline. You can’t lose focus. You have to be more dedicated than ever. Especially if you’re on a team.
If you love small businesses or your fellow Charlotteans, please put your comfort and immediate needs aside. Wear masks. Stand apart. Be kind and patient to the vendors desperately trying to adjust their businesses to new guidelines, financial pressures and lower staffing levels. Realize that it’s going to take a little longer and that we can’t have it “our way” for a while longer.
If you’re worried about small businesses and are a “support local” person, please do this for us …
- Even if you don’t think masks are necessary, please wear them when you go out.
- Even if you think social distancing is going too far, please do it.
Whether or not you think this is all overblown or the worst is over, please follow the recommendations of health professionals, if not for you for the local merchants, vendors, artists, performers and small businesses you care about. We want to avoid a COVID-19 flare up and we don’t want to give other patrons any reason to stay away from venues, shops, restaurants and events who desperately need the business.
We certainly don’t want Governor Cooper seeing scads of people throwing caution to the wind and rethinking when and how the phases roll out. Showing responsibility, civility and common sense go a long way to getting us out of this.
I get it. Masks are itchy. They’re hot. They’re uncomfortable. They’re a pain. I hate them. But, it’s what the situation requires right now.
Superheroes wear masks. Health professionals wear masks. And, if you love creatives and entrepreneurs around the Queen City, you will, too.
Co-Publisher of The Biscuit
(P.S. If you’d like to talk about this, please drop me a line here.)
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