Nearly two months has passed since Governor Greg Abbott issued the initial 14-day isolation for the state of Texas. During that times, non-essential businesses were forced to close their doors until further notice.
Bars, malls, gyms, movie theaters, hair salons, nail salons barbershops, and a variety of other retail stores suffered from the decision and left many without a job and uncertainty for what will happen to their businesses.
Plans to reopen the state were put into action during the month of April and the first rounds of openings came on May 1. This included malls, restaurants, movie theaters and retail stores. While this allowed for more businesses and people to get back to work, there are many people left behind because their line of work is not deemed as essential.
Covid-19 has left a lot of room for doubt and uncertainty in the nation. While most people are waiting for the virus to pass and to get back to normal living; others are using this time to their advantage.
On May 8, Governor Abbott declared that nail salons, barbershops, and other beauty related services can resume. While many in those services were excited to get their businesses started back up, others remained weary of the state of the pandemic.
Ulta salon manager Cheryl Goodwin says, “I’m happy we can get back to our livelihoods but I’m not quite ready to risk anything just yet.” Cheryl has been enjoying the time away from work with family and cherishing the small experiences with them.
“I’ve been doing recreational activities that I haven’t done in years and starting new family traditions. It’s been both wonderful and rewarding experience” says Goodwin.
While she wanted to personally extend her time away, local barbershop owner Andre Wiggins had a different outlook on the situation. He closed his shops doors during the middle of March.
“I’m going to watch how other barbers operate first. I need to how business is for them before I plan on reopening to the public”, says Wiggins. He has been taking a slow approach to into reopening for the public to ensure his safety for not only himself, but his customers are to priority.
Wiggins have personally begun make upgrades and modifications to his shop since downtime. Most service professionals and contractors are practicing social distance measures still leaving manual labor to be done by the customers. Upgrades include LED lighting, new mirrors, signage, and services.
“I want the customers to have a new experience when they come back to me. I realize that if I wait for these things to get done that it may never happen”, says Wiggins.
The time for do-it-yourself (DIY) projects have never been greater for those with nothing to do. Search engines such as Google and YouTube has seen a surplus of DIY related videos ranging from haircuts, cooking tutorials, hair tutorials, makeup tutorials and pretty much anything you can imagine.
Wiggins is no stranger to creativity. Outside of cutting hair he offers other services such a wash and fold services at the laundromat that his shop is conveniently located in. In addition to that service, he is now taking free certification courses online to help him become more tech savvy and business oriented.
“The way I see it, you can’t either let the hard times get you down or use this time to come out stronger than what you were before” says Wiggins.
There are many things you can do to turn these hard times into learning lessons or memorable experiences for you and you family. While access to certain things may be limited such as enjoying the day at Seawell Park or having training sessions at the gym; many people are sharing their ideas on social media where you can get an idea of how to utilize this time and in-home resources.
Rivers and beaches have now reopened for public use while social distancing measures are still required. On May 18, gyms can become operational again. While leniency is being granted, people should continue to practice these safety measures in order to keep potential exposure low. Continue to social distance and use sanity precautions as you get out and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.