Staying In

As cases of novel coronavirus increase in the UK, US, Australia, and Canada, I’ve noticed something strange happening. If I don’t advertise I average 1,000 freebie downloads of books a month. I have noticed that the day after there’s an announcement of a cluster of cases of COVID-19 my US downloads increase. This coupled with a conversation with a friend got me thinking… I think people are starting to stay in more and does that mean food delivery services are also seeing a spike in sales and customers?

It would make sense. It hasn’t really affected me because I’m practically a shut-in anyway. If food delivery came out to my house, I’d cook a little less. Unfortunately, it doesn’t so I tend to cook dinner every night. But instead of going out are people staying in more? And if so, what does that mean for our local economies?

I mean my hometown is a haven for independent restaurants and stores. Now, I saw a thing that suggested stocking up on gift cards to local restaurants and stores that aren’t part of chains. So that creates another issue… if I spend say $50 on gift cards for Como Smoke and Fire an excellent barbecue restaurant in my town and they go out of business before I’m able to use them… Well, then my preventative measures were in vain and I’m just out the $50. Is the risk worth it? Como is normally packed and the chances of them closing their doors seems slim, but some of my other favorite places could be in danger of it.

I shop fewer local stores that aren’t chains simply because I prefer not to shop. How long does it take a local economy to collapse if the majority of its citizens have become shut-ins that only splurge when buying extra toilet paper and hand sanitizer?

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