How Lives Are Being Upended

Just before school ended, one of the permanent teachers asked if I’d ever seen anything like this pandemic before in my lifetime. At first I was a bit taken aback, but when I realized I was (by far) the oldest person in the room, I said no, I hadn’t.

This crisis is going to upend our lives in so many ways. Have you ever heard of an “unknown-unknown”? This means that not only do you have a problem, but you won’t know you have that problem until it bites you. (Don’t ask me how I learned that.)

In the past few weeks, I’ve run across some pandemic impacts that may not be so obvious.

— Restaurant chains are scouting for new, prime locations by trying to guess which local restaurants are not going to be able to reopen.

— Large retailers that sell groceries, like Walmart and Kroger, have been kept open because everybody needs the food. But they sell other items, too. How many small specialty stores are going to be lost because people have found substitutes in the large chains?

— What about vendors at concerts and sporting events? One example is the Kentucky Derby, which has been postponed until September. According to the NPR program Marketplace, each year more than 120,000 mint juleps are consumed during the Derby. But with the postponement, the farm that supplies the mint has been stuck with 2 tons of product. Bill Dohn’s farm has been providing mint to the Derby since 1980. “It’s a very big chunk of our annual income,” he told the Washington Post. Now what?

By the way, if you’re missing your mint julep, here’s the Derby recipe.

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