Editor's Note: Reflecting on COVID a Year Later
Where was COVID-19 on your list of anxieties this time last year? Right at the top? Farther down but climbing? Nowhere?
The only mention of COVID in the March 2020 Shuttle came from Head Honcho Jon Roesser, who assured us in his column that the Co-op was making plans to handle whatever the virus threw our way. He wasn’t wrong, but I don’t think anyone expected those plans to go on for a year and change.
In that issue, no one — staff or shoppers — was photographed wearing a mask. In fact, we featured a photo spread of the 2020 Membership Appreciation celebration, complete with full-faced shoppers congregating while eating cake and listening to performers singing far less than six feet away from them.
It was a simpler time.
We’re now taking our first halting steps toward post-COVID life (I won’t say “normalcy,” because what is that anymore?) As more of us get vaccinated and we continue to peel back restrictions (hopefully for good), we’ll get a truer sense of COVID’s impact on us. We’d be well served (painful as it might be) to take a long, hard look at we’ve learned from all we’ve endured. Rather than put the last year in our rear-view mirror, we should reserve a space somewhere close by for our COVID year — and carry it with us as we move forward.
Since the pandemic hit and settled in, I’ve lived for stories like this month’s above-the-fold, front-page article on how some Weavers Way vendors pooled their efforts to weather COVID-related halts to their business. (Yes, I wrote it, but it's not my story.) I love that they met through the Co-op and found ways to support each other through a chaotic time.
It’s always been tough to run a small business, and the last year-plus has killed far too many. If Co-op connections, coupled with plenty of grit from their owners, made the difference for these vendors, so much the better.
Catch you in the pages next month.