I have been talking to plenty of people scared about the Covid-19 Pandemic. They are worried about catching the disease or worse having someone they love become ill. But, I have talked to a lot more people that are worried the destruction to our nation and to our economy will be more devastating.
This is a letter I received from a man I have known all of my life. He has always worked and done his best to take care of things. However, the Covid-19 outbreak has knocked him down in a way he never expected. His story is like too many others I am hearing on a daily basis. I wanted you to read it too. And with his permission I am offering it up as a cautionary tale of what we may be doing to ourselves.
My Name Is Shawn And This Is My Pandemic Story.
I have been delivering food for Panera Bread in Grand Rapids, Michigan since the inception of their food delivery service nearly four years ago.
I would just like to give you a little insight on how the “Stay at Home/ Stay Safe” order Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued this week has affected me. I was a full-time delivery driver for Panera Bread. I was making on average between $150 and $200 a day between tips, mileage, and my hourly wage.
Extrapolate that out and that’s a pretty good living for a single guy. I was doing just fine. I developed some wonderful relationships with customers over those four years. Well, in just two days since Governor Whitmer issued her Stay at Home declaration I have lost those relationships and I’ve also lost my job.
Oh, we were told our delivery service at Panera Bread was going to boom during this 21-day statewide shutdown. We were the lucky ones that could keep going and maybe even make a bit more. Well, nothing could be further from the truth.
We delivered to many businesses on a daily basis. Those businesses however are now either shut down completely or their employees were ordered to work from home. That right there crushed me as a delivery driver. The people that were ordering food at work aren’t anymore. They were ordered to leave by my Governor.
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Then they told us, well home deliveries will increase and business will be great. Wrong!
Guess what? People out of work who are not getting a paycheck don’t have extra income to order food for delivery. Not to mention, the panic and paranoia fueled by the media and politicians, who all seem only too happy about all of this, has caused a lot of people who can afford it, not to want delivery at all.
So, in conclusion, I would just like to say this stay at home order has hurt me personally. I lost my job out of fear. Not mine but rather, fear from the Governor, fear from my now former customers and frankly fear in general. It seems Franklin Roosevelt was right. Fear in and of itself can be very destructive.
Trust me I know.
I’ve heard people say the cure may be worse than the disease and I believe that may be true. The economic damage is rippling through companies of all sizes. In fact, without an exit strategy of how and when we get started working again we may never recover.
So, pardon me, if I don’t say thank you to some disingenuous boot licking politician who wants a pat on the back (and my vote) for offering me a government check in place of my regular full-time job.
Yeah no thanks, I’ll pass.