We are NOT powerless.

We are living in unprecedented times.

There is no way to proceed with a "business as usual" attitude.

There is a tiny, unseen enemy attacking everything we took for granted.

The economy is taking a huge hit. The health care system is going to be stressed to its capacity and the numbers of loved ones who are being physically affected grow each day.

It began with Wuhan, a spot on the map which many of us had never heard about before, but has quickly become the start of a worldwide pandemic that affects us all. Now it is in our neighborhoods, demanding that we stay home and stop seeing one another in a collaborative effort to keep one another healthy. We are an army of Health Ambassadors, trying to fight this little enemy one isolated day at a time.

I am a Homebody. I like staying home, gettin' cozy and chillin' with my family. This is not a hard transition for me, honestly. It's sunny outside, I have shelves full of books to read, Netflix, Prime and Disney+ to watch, puzzles to do, a fridge and pantry full of food and the health to enjoy it all. Things could be worse.

My heart goes out to homes in which moms are struggling with frustrated Littles who don't understand why they can't play with their friends and why the parks are closed.
I feel for the couples who are forced to be together all the time, living with tension and hurt of an unhealthy relationship.
I worry about the seniors who are independent and now isolated from supports and feel depression slipping in a little more every day.
What about the homeless, cognitively challenged and indigent who need regular intervention support and don't have the luxury of checking social media for updates every 8.5 minutes like most of us.

Libraries are closed. Bookstores are closed. Schools are closed.

I realize how grateful I am that my little Bookshop on Wheels has been able to float above the chaos that other businesses are drowning under. I do not have the limitations of monthly rent or employees or overhead of an address-based business. As much as part of me aspires to a base location one day, I am grateful that I haven't found the ideal location yet because the cost of paying for space I could not use would certainly take my business down. It makes me think about my indie bookstore brothers & sisters who are struggling to keep their heads above water during this difficult time.

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL INDIE BUSINESSES, PEOPLE!!

When we come out the other side of this thing, what kind of society do we want? Who we choose to support right now will be about creating the kind of world we want. It's like an economic do-over. If you choose to support the "Big Boys" (**maz*n and W*alm*rt) then we are going to lose the value of the unique, Mom & Pop shops that help our communities thrive. If there is an indie bookstore near you, and YOU NEED BOOKS, come on - admit it, you know you need books; then support them to keep them alive! The Big Boys will be fine after all this. Mom & Pops won't. Not without you. You are their life support.

As much as we are looking out for the people in our neighborhoods who are struggling with COVID-19 effects, let's also look out for the indie businesses. Buy their Gift Cards, order online for deliveries, share their social media posts, keep the conversation going about the value they add to your community.

We literally have the power to decide what sticks around and what doesn't. And in a time of uncertainty, it feels good to have some power, doesn't it?



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