Updated: May 21, 2020
We are bombarded by the news media with statistics of those who have tested positive for Coronavirus and daily death tolls. We watch economic indicators predict catastrophe for our current market system. We are quarantined in our homes bound together by fear of an illness with which we appear to be unprepared to handle. Ever the Pollyanna, looking for the positive in all predicaments, I search for how to spin this situation resulting from the Coronavirus to be a benefit? The history teacher in me looks first, to the past for lessons learned through other similarly overwhelming experiences. During World War II, our social order was flipped on its head as men joined the military and women left their homes to work in the factories and offices to maintain and fortify the American economy. So successful were these emergency measures that at the end of the war, when the men returned home, it was not back to business as usual. There was now a new normal. And I predict that is where we are now.
How has the Coronavirus impacted us such that we will have a new normal? Are large gathering places like malls, convention centers, closed stadiums and ballparks a thing of the past? Will shoppers feel safer in small stores where they know the store owner and the other shoppers? Will this benefit small business owners? Will shoppers support local enterprises? This Coronavirus forces us to stay home but that’s ok because at home in Chestertown and Kent County we have what we need! No crowds, no shortages, no empty shelves and no sanitation issue just good products, good service and good people! In the past 8 weeks, we have eaten fresh fruit and vegetables from Red Acres Hydroponic Farm, had our car repaired at JJs, enjoyed cheese from both Eve and the Chestertown Wine & Cheese Shop, bought meats, eggs and wine from Crow Vineyards, picked steamed crabs from Ford’s, enjoyed a great lunch from Germaine’s, and dinners from Luisa’s and Retriever…all while staying home! In the next couple of weeks as more of our local businesses open, I will forgo Amazon and visit the Book Plate for my reading material, I will buy that outfit I have admired in the window at Mimi’s, and say hello to all passers-by because we are neighbors! And a positive lesson learned from this stay-at-home order is, like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, there is no place like home! Thank you Chestertown!
Until our quarantine orders are lifted, we encourage you to window shop at the businesses on High and Cross Streets, in anticipation of their opening. As always, we welcome all visitors to our virtual gallery to experience the gifts of our talented artists at www.lespoissonsgallery.com.