“Continued Social Distance”: What is it and how will it change my life and my business?

  • Apr 15, 2020

By Eva Reinoso Tejada

 

No doubt these past few weeks have been the craziest of my lifetime. And I am not alone. Some people don’t have work, others have too much and too risky, and others yet, like many small businesses I know, have a lot of work but no income. Small business owners are scrambling to navigate the whole loan and incentives situation, some with more success than others.

Then there is the news. Psychologists recommend limiting the amount of news we consume every day, but I can’t help myself. I am a news junkie, and sometimes it pays off. In one of the newsletters I received from Axios.com there was a reference to a document that was ‘leaked’ to the Washington Post, that included advice on how the CDC and FEMA see the reopening of the economy and the country. It was quite an interesting read. Many aspects of what our future looks like are discussed here. One in particular caught my eye: “Continued social distancing”, as in, even after we return to our ‘normal’ lives, social distancing will continue to exist for as long as the virus exists and no vaccine has been created, approved and implemented.

They also talk about a possible “Infection Prevention Healthy Workplace Certification”, or a program that will “allow the identification of businesses that have put NPI’s (nonpharmaceutical interventions) in place to protect staff and customers.” This program refers to training and implementation of infection control practices such as social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, worker safety, etc. Businesses will be able to apply for this designation, and even encouraged to advertise the attainment of this certification the same way that restaurants publicly post records of their health inspections.

I can only imagine an ad that says: “We are certified as an Infection Prevention Healthy Workplace.” Wow, now this is surreal.  But I am getting ready for something like that to happen. I am getting ready to not get closer than 6 feet to anyone other than the closest members of my family, if their health is not compromised. Forget about handshakes, or even elbow bumps. I will wave and bow to people, or even blow kisses if more affection is needed. I will probably wear long sleeved light shirts in the summer, so I have somewhere to sneeze and cough. But here is the thing: It will take a lot of training and reminding myself of these new behaviors.

I will post signs and reminders everywhere: “6 feet apart.”  “Stay behind this line”, and those sorts of things. I might wear a t-shirt that says: Back off 6 feet, pls. And I will also be ready to help my customers at Image Impressions to bring these to fruition with a creative approach on printed items that will remind us all that we need to do this to survive. I am a big hugger. And I will miss that, but in the meantime, let me make some lemonade with these social distancing lemons, so that I can stay in business, just in case the PPP loans run out of money, right?

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  • Category: COVID 19 Updates and resources
  • Tags: social distancing, COVID19, informational signeage, new normal, reopening the country, small business, economy