Message from the President & CEO
The world we are currently living in is heavy, filled with negative news and constant updates surrounding this very real pandemic. It has certainly taken its toll on my family, and just this morning, I spoke with a dear friend who serves on the frontlines at the hospital. She said walking into the areas where the COVID-19 patients are being treated is filled with solemnity- and as there is not a cure, these patients either recover or they succumb to the disease. While we are incredibly glad that 99% of people do recover from the pandemic, there are still too many people that do not survive and they go through it all alone (as visitors are not permitted). To disconnect from it all, my wife & I just got back from a driving tour of Idaho, Montana, and parts of Washington. This much needed recharge pulled our priorities back into focus. Too often, it has been difficult to think of anything except the dire situations surrounding our communities, our businesses, our families' health.
My vacation was a topic that came up after our staff meeting this morning, and prompted a discussion about how the staff are grappling with the "new normal". A "check-in", if you will. And here are some helpful tips they found works for them, we hope they may be of help to you:
1. Be active (outside!!)- a simple walk, a jog, just time in the sun soaking up the Vitamin D when able is good to clear the head. It helps center and ground us, as well as getting out of our homes where most of us have spent the last four months. If you have kids, there's slip'n'slides, fun sprinklers, and more that you can set up for them to do in the backyard, or maybe take your bikes to Lodi Lake and ride around while enjoying the view.
2. Do something kind for another person- maybe that means grocery shopping for your parents or elderly neighbors or maybe that means sending "get well" or "thinking of you" cards to your local senior living facility. We know our seniors have been hit the hardest with this pandemic and could use any connection to the outside world. If you need help getting in contact with any of our local senior living or rehabilitation wards, please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to connect you.
3. Recognize our front line workers- our first responders, hospital staff, nurses, doctors, police officers, firefighters are all at the forefront of this pandemic. Most local organizations allow for donations to be made in terms of food or flowers or cards to recognize their hard work. It would surely brighten their days to be appreciated by our local community.
4. Support local, if able- nothing makes us feel better than seeing our locally owned businesses succeed. In times like these, we are blown away by the ingenuity of our business community- but they need our consistent support to survive. Buy online, eat out at local restaurants, leave tips and recommend local stores to your friends on social media! A little goes a long way these days.
5. Find some "normal" in the world- and for us, that meant continuing with the Farmers Market. Because Farmers Markets are considered essential, we were thrilled to have that personal interaction between vendors and customers. Masks required, of course, and extra precautions in place, but it feels like a time before the pandemic began. If you haven't joined us before, we'll be out at 267 N. Mills Ave from 5pm-8pm this Thursday.
6. Make the mundane FUN again- tired of watching movies every night? Make a change and make it special with different popcorns or ice cream sundaes. Better yet, you could check out the new Drive-In movie nights at the Lodi Grape Festival. This past Saturday, they showcased "The Goonies" and we can all learn a little something from that cult classic- "goonies never say die."
7. Travel, travel, travel- this has clearly changed from the days of flying to far off getaways, but we live in a beautiful state with day drives to the coast or the mountains. Like my trip to Idaho and beyond, the best way to recharge is to get out of the bubble we've been living in (safely and socially distant, of course). Have a trailer? Plan a camping trip. Need a weekend away? Book an Air BnB on the coast (make sure the host is upping their cleanliness standards). There are plenty of places to go see and explore just in our own backyard.
8. Check-in with your family, friends, employees, coworkers- like we did this morning, a simple "check-in" to see how everyone is faring goes a long way. It brings to light any anxieties and disconnection that people in your life may be feeling. And that disconnection is also something we are all feeling in some capacity, which means knowing others feel it too could remind us how NOT alone we think we are.
And as a reminder for local small businesses, we have a Business Recover Survey that will help us get you the most pertinent resources, help, etc. in the coming weeks. Please take a few moments to fill it out here. We are still working for you as a catalyst for business growth, a convener of leaders and influencers, and a champion of the community. Rested, recharged, and ready to tackle more work, I am honored to continue my role as your President & CEO. Until next week- Pat Patrick