As we enter Phase 2, with the hope that this is not just a prelude to slipping back into Phase 1, let us first acknowledge the sadness, sorrow, and grief being felt by all those who have lost loved ones. For more than 100,000 of our fellow Americans there is no Phase 2. For their survivors, the ability to go shopping once again is but a trivial comfort.
To paraphrase John Donne, no person is an island, entire of themselves. Any person’s death diminishes all of us, because we are all involved in mankind.
Be considerate and kind to everyone you come in contact with. You do not know the pain that may be in their hearts, or the suffering in their souls.
We do not yet know the full impact this crisis has had or will have on our fellow merchants. We know that many small businesses in our country no longer exist. That is sad and a profound loss to many communities and especially small towns like ours.
For many of us in retail, whether we were able to remain open, or had to close, Phase 1 was dancing on the edge of the abyss. Port Book and News is still here because you chose to bring us your business online and over the phone. Many of you also made considerate and generous donations to our store. Every one of these kindnesses caused tears of thanks and joy. Some brought us to our knees with gratitude. Every $30 gave us another hour of life.
Of course, we could not have lasted these past four months without our employees who labored through all the uncertainty that not only this situation has caused but that we as an employer have subjected them to. Every day they were here was another day Port Book and News could survive.
So we enter Phase 2 with the hope that we can begin to walk away from the abyss, both mentally and economically. We must not forget that some of us now live with a hole that can never be filled. Most of us know someone who does. Shopping may restore a small semblance of normality, but it will not help those less fortunate than you or I, who are still suffering and struggle to survive. It will not honor the sacrifices that have been made by many to keep civil society going. It certainly will not dispel the grief that haunts us.
Only gratitude, compassion, and kindness may be of some help. So be grateful, compassionate, and kind. Remember once again, “Everyone does better, when everyone does better.”
We thank you all for everything you have done for us for the past four months, for your support and understanding. and we look forward to greeting you in person in the future.
–Alan & Cindy, Port Book & News, Port Angeles, WA