My Anxiety, Your Anxiety: Our Anxieties: Small Business Owner & COVID-19

March 19, 2020

Well hello & welcome. Here you will enter the inside of my brain, on March 19th, 2020.

Today I am writing to you all, but specifically to my unborn boy who is currently safe inside his anxious mothers womb, unaware of everything going on in the world. I am writing today so that in two, five or ten years we can all read back on the absolutely absurd life that we are currently living.

Today, I challenge you, and you, and you, and YOU to also write down your feelings right now too. You will want to read back on this one day, OR your kids, kids will one day read what you have written with wide eyes as they realize the historic moment that their Grandparent was a part of. I promise you.

Before you read: NO, I am not describing the movie contagion. I am indeed describing the reality of mine and your, current life.

If you’re new here: I am a professional photographer based in Edmonton Alberta: one of the many cities in the world that is currently being affected by the novel coronavirus. This virus, also known as COVID-19 is spreading through the world at a rapid rate, creating a domino effect of sickness, lost jobs, hysteria & anxiety.

As of today; All elementary schools in Alberta are suspended. Universities are suspended. NHL, NBA, and large sports games are all suspended. We can not gather in groups larger than 50. Grocery stores are out of toilet paper, antibacterial & lysol. People are literally lining up hours before Costco opens to charge to the back of the store for… you guessed it…toilet paper. Don’t worry, we are now limited to the amount of toilet paper we buy & store workers actually have to hand you the toilet paper from behind yellow tape. Am I lying? No dear son, I am dead serious. Don’t worry though, your grandmother has always hoarded toilet paper. Our bums will be squeaky clean, even amidst the crazy virus that has 0 to do with toilet paper.

What else? The borders are semi closed. Right now, even if we wanted to go to the family cabin in Montana, we couldn’t. Bars, casinos, restaurants, daycares, recreational centres, gyms, movie theatres, stores & basically anything that is not necessary, are closed. Travel warnings are issued, and every responsible citizen has cancelled their planned vacations to avoid additional spread.

But what about me? How is this affecting me? Well personally, I feel blessed for the family & friend support that I have around me at this time. But if we are talking specific examples: I won’t be walking the stage for my university graduation. Ethan has been limited to online courses for a program that cannot be done only online: bringing on quite a bit of stress when it comes to… “how long will his program be now?” Weddings are postponing and cancelling, removing our only source of income. I am pregnant, so I should not be gathering around others at this time for precautionary measures; So even though my sister and her kids live only 15 minutes away, I haven’t seen them. Schools are suspended, meaning I cannot even pick up a substitute teaching job for additional income help.

Though this time in life is financially scary & everyday literally feels like we are running from a HUGE wrecking ball chasing behind us, we still feel hopeful that everything will go back to normal soon. At this time, I try to place the things I am thankful for above the things that scare me. It puts things into a more clear perspective & allows me a way to cope with what’s going on outside our doors.

The government of Canada has added so many additional things to help us Canadians out financially, making me ever so grateful to live in the wonderful country that I live in. But the times are still scary. The updates come in every day about new things closing, more people being diagnosed with the virus, and even EARTHQUAKES hitting.

Life honestly does not seem real right now. How can this all be happening? How was it that 5 months ago, we were able to walk through a grocery store without panicking at the sound of a cough? How was I ever able to go a full day without washing my hands 245777 times? How am I going to find it normal to stand closer than 2 meters to someone again? It’s just bizarre how MUCH can change in such a short amount of time.

The jobs that we used to think were “safe economically”, are proving to be unsafe as many, many, MANY people begin to get laid off. Did we ever, EVER think this would happen to us? NO! This life was meant to be in the movies, not our reality. But here we are, living it.

With so many of my readers being small business owners as well, I just want to say: WE GOT THIS. Let’s do this. Let’s not let this get us down, but let it help us build our businesses up. Add to your websites, update your blogs, re edit photos to spark creativity, contact your clients & check in on them. Come up with a plan for how you will recover once business is back to normal. Get on your social media & just say hi! Share how you are overcoming this hard time with HAPPY news! Be the best role model you can be for the other people following you.

We are all going to feel this financially and we are all going to need to take steps to make sure we stay afloat, but we can all do it.

Cut down on costs if you need to. Check your subscriptions, make sure you aren’t paying monthly for something unnecessary. If you are using ADOBE and paying monthly, they are offering a few months FREE! GO cancel your monthly plan and before you get to the last page they will offer you the free months. Take that offer! Check in with your wifi providers, they may have new plans to help in this time! Contact your CRM system providers, they may have a way to help you with the monthly bill. Like I said, we are all small businesses working at this together.

Xoxo, Kens