Updated: Mar 28, 2020
So, Lockdown, and while thousands of bars and cafés and restaurants have been forced to close, the ones who can do delivery can stay open...THANK FUCK. I can deliver cereals.
So all my staff went into self isolation from the 15th March and I continued to figure out how to get the business to survive, and so were Deliveroo and UberEats. There seem to be many "grey areas" of what is allowed during what is known as "social distancing".
The first few days I thought, "fuck it" let's just to a big sell off just to make my money back on the stock, then wait to see what the government are going to do to help every business who will be forced to close.
Then, Macron makes a wonderful speech saying "don't worry, not a single person will lose their job and no business no matter how small will be allowed to go bankrupt. We will put billions of euros into a big pot to help everyone" Lovely words.
But in reality this is not the case, and I shall tell you why.
1) First of all the billions available for all businesses are "loans" so at some point they need to be paid back. if your business now has a new expenditure called "COVID-19 loan" then some other cuts will have to be made to the business to be able to make these payments.
2) The free money of 1,500€ to all who are under 70% of their last years figures again is a double edge shafting. Firstly, businesses have been closed for only 50% of the month so the only way to be 70% down is if you are struggling anyway. Plus that 1,500€ isn't going to cost the cover of the bills and losses anyway.
3) The state will pay your staff for you....eventually. I need to pay my staff and then the State will pay be back. If this is done in the first month before the next payday then awesome...but if not...then there will be riots in the street and everyone will be spitting in each others mouths to spread this virus from Monaco to Calais.
4) Insurance do not give a fuck and will not be paying out a penny. "act of God" whose god? the Chinese God? Jesus's dad? Darth Vader? This too will also screw over many businesses.
So, a few days had passed, I was working alone and found that the delivery service was working amazingly. Breaking record after record. But I'm having to work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week just to be able to not have to sack my staff? How does that work?
So I dug in a little more. Loads of places still have their staff in supermarkets and other delivery services, so why not me. I find out that I can bring one of my staff back, sweet. So I call him, he is not happy to come back and asks why him and nobody else, how he doesn't feel safe, that he might die of the virus...anyway, after assurances and pep talks and the fact that he doesn't have a choice, he is coming back this weekend...I hope. So now I can spend time with my family who I have missed dearly, even though we FaceTime all the time.
It will be about another month before bars re-open, at least. So many places that have been closed for 6 or 7 weeks will need to sit down and figure out how to pay for it all. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to work and get a head start on the pain. I often describe it as diverting a kick in the nuts to a kick in the face, but it's still gonna hurt.
April we will aim to be open for all the hours we are allowed, but this time I am sharing the burden with one of the team, and when this is all over, I shall kiss him on the lips with appreciation of helping me not just save the business, but save my family too.
OTHER THAN WORK...we are super lucky to live out in the countryside, in a village of 62 people with endless horizons to feel separated from the rat race. Super lucky that my wife is a teacher and is allowed to stay home and look after the kids, super lucky that the business has a Metro cash and carry card to get supplies in bulk for not just us but family members in the village. There are many many things to feel grateful for in our lives right now, so there is no negativity from me or my family when so many people are suffering from many other things.
Me and my wife had 2 hours of time together on our first day isolated and we had a fight straight away about her wanting to do Yoga and me wanting to go for a walk because the kids were getting restless. We laugh about it now but when I think of if I was isolated with any of my ex girlfriends...wow, I am super lucky to be stuck with this one for sure. Also to think of any person stuck in a loveless or abusing relationship, and the kids too, and being trapped in a small apartment...it is very tough for many people right now.
Anyway, tomorrow is my first day off now that the café will run its first day without me. I can't wait to spend time with the kids and to also take the kids away from their mother for a while as she has found it quite tough.
To put all of this into perspective, this virus is affecting every country in the world and every person inside each country, and each person has their own story on how they survived or not. My story, my-solation feels like nothing compared to others. I have built a website, written some poems, tried to do an online music competition...not much at all really.
See you next blog x
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