We are now in week six of self-quarantine and week three of our state-wide shelter in place and it’s beginning to become old news. Everyone is getting restless. Many are ready to go back to work and local businesses are just waiting for the word to be able to reopen. There is still much controversy about how and when the reopening can, should and will happen. Many have proposed a staged approach. The biggest news is that we need to get back to work. The danger of COVID-19 still exists and it is very real. Anyone that is considered high risk should still take all precaution and others who have family members in high risk should think twice before dropping in for a visit. A shelter-in-place technically means not to go out of your home unless it is absolutely necessary and maintain social distancing of at least six feet from anyone that does not live under your roof. Besides washing our hands four million times a day and wearing a mask now out in public, we are all getting tired, lonesome and a little grumpy. We’re just not used to acting like this as Americans. We’re ready to get out of the house, have a nice dinner out and not just take-out, visit with some family and friends…we are totally ready…but at the same time, we all know that people are still getting sick with this virus and it is still very life-threatening to the percentage of people that are at risk. We all just want this to be over and yet, we know that even when the shelter-in-place has been lifted, we will still have to be so careful. One of the best ideas that I have heard is for those who are not at high risk and those who have been tested with the antibodies or have already recovered could go back to work, get the economy pumping again while those in high risk remain sheltered or more protected until this threat is totally over or close to it. It totally makes sense.
Right Stuff Bargain Center is one of those local businesses who is more than ready to reopen. Their crew has been working diligently getting their store ready. “We have fallen in love with the city of Leeds. The people, police, city government have all been supportive and helpful, but mostly, the people have just been friendly and nice. I can’t wait to get my store back open. I was a manager at America’s Thrift for 28 years and President of the company for the last seven years of my time with them. I still own 14% of America’s Thrift Stores, but I presently own and manage Right Stuff Bargain Center in Leeds. I still support King’s Home. I also have new clothing and accessories from Amazon and JC Penney priced 10 to 20% off regular retail. We are building up our inventory during this down time and you will want to come see us when we reopen. I look forward to seeing you soon,” shared Tim Alvis. Right Stuff Bargain Center is located in the Leeds Commons Shopping Center at 7480 Parkway Drive and you can visit their website at www.rightstuffbargaincenter.com.
Face masks and gloves are continuing to be a hot topic. I saw a YouTube video on the safest face masks by a physician discussing the variety of homemade face masks that were being made to help with the face mask shortages in the medical field and also provide coverage for individuals out in public. This physician talked about making the duck bill type mask out of a HEPA filter. His wife had come up with the design and after testing it, he felt that it was one of the safest homemade masks. You can search for his video which is called, “A Doctor Explains How to Make the Safest Face Mask”. I’ve even seen people discussing using coffee filters within the cloth masks to make them more effective.
We are very thankful for everyone in the medical field who remain on the front lines fighting COVID-19 and other life-threatening illnesses. We also are very thankful to our first responders and for those who have found themselves on the front lines serving in restaurants, retail, grocery, gas stations and all those essential businesses that keep up going while we are trying to ride out this storm.
The City of Leeds and the City of Moody have both voted to give our first responders a pay raise for their dedication and hard work, especially through this crisis. The City of Moody voted earlier this month to give their first responders hazardous duty pay which will go to their police and fire departments in the amount of $200 per month. The City of Leeds voted this week to give all of their first responders, police and fire departments, a 15% pay increase.
Leeds Primary and Middle schools have begun serving lunch again on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. until Noon. This is a free service for any child 18 years old and under and they will be provided with two days of food each day. Please drive to the rear of either school.
The Birmingham Business Alliance has partnered with the U.S. Small Business Administration Alabama District Office and the Alabama Small Business Development Network for the webinar, I have PPP funds…Now What? today, April 23 at 11:00 am. Visit www.LeedsAreaChamber.com for the link to this webinar as well as other resources to help you though this COVID-19 crisis.
Remember to stay connected virtually, six-foot social distancing when you have to go out in public, wash your hands regularly, stay home as much as possible and hopefully, we can get back to normal soon!
Thought for the Week: The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
I thoroughly enjoy sharing information, news and calendar items with you each week and I thank you for reading my column. Please remember to send any news to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and have a great week!