My Life in LA County During COVID-19: April 26

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

For others, like myself, with small businesses, I offer a bit of advice…

Apr 26, 2020 at 6:50 AM. Many people are very upset here about the beaches being closed. A surfer received a $1,000 fine for violating that rule. The current hot weather (a persistent Santa Ana condition) has them even more upset. Local residents are asking for the beaches to open while keeping the parking lots closed “to prevent overcrowding.” We all know what that really means. They are keeping out the “undesirables” from farther inland, the people who are suffering most from the heat.

As I continue to make my own bread, muffins, and other baked goods, I have encountered a shortage of flour. I cannot find 5-pound bags anywhere online. So, I ordered a 25-pound bag that I may never use up if the crisis ends too soon. It cannot end too soon for so many. Most people have problems just getting by and aren’t allowed to congregate. Helping each other is difficult in these times.

The entire world is fighting this virus. You might call this World War III if you were a journalist.

The things we all have to do to keep apart keep piling up. It seems awful until you realize that the life you save could be yours, a member of your family, a friend, or just someone who didn’t deserve to die now. How do we keep our perspectives as cabin fever mounts? The looming recession must make most of us very anxious. How can we juice the economy without more people dying unnecessarily? Will the stimulus packages work? How will we pay for them? 

The entire world is fighting this virus. You might call this World War III if you were a journalist. The casualties are certainly high enough. The mobilization reminds me of war. The defense production act makes it seem even more so, or it would if it were being invoked for the virus. It is routinely invoked for military procurement. At least, we are not shooting at each other.

How do we keep our perspectives as cabin fever mounts?

For others, like myself, with small businesses, I offer a bit of advice, advice that you may already have implemented. You may think of it as the threefold way to small-business survival. Number one: cut expenses. Number two: seek new sources of revenue. Number three: plan for the end of the lock-down.

How can we juice the economy without more people dying unnecessarily?

None of these will come readily out of the sky. You must be creative, think outside of the box or, better yet, think without any box at all. Our small business has the good fortune of having principals as its only current employees. We cut our expenses by 80% merely by deferring salaries. We exhibited no real creativity there. Others may have to negotiate with landlords and suppliers.

Finding new revenue sources will stretch your imaginations. I found that restaurants providing delivery of groceries that they normally obtain from their suppliers useful to me and a rather creative way to boost revenue. One of them has been including a roll of toilet paper in the boxes of groceries.

One of them has been including a roll of toilet paper in the boxes of groceries.

Instead of seeking new revenue today, we are giving away our online science lesson service for free until the end of August. Over 1,000 responses and over 400 teachers signing up have created some potential new revenue for the time when schools resume. At the same time, they expose more teachers, schools, and districts to online resources and to ours specifically. We are widening the reach of online lessons. We are also reaching out to new potential partners to obtain more distribution in the upcoming school year. Our revenue may be flat now, but we hope for explosive growth in the fall.

I wish any small business owners reading this good fortune and great creative juices to make lemonade out of this awful lemon rain we are sheltering from.

One Response

  1. World War III. I like that, Harry.

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