The opposite of ka-ching!

Their flight’s been cancelled.

The Mayflower Society events they were planning to attend have been postponed.

They are older, more vulnerable, afraid to travel.

They were coming for the weekend but, heck, everything’s shut down.

No parade.

No fireworks.

No business.

What’s the opposite of ‘ka-ching?’

Gulp?

2019 was a great year for our Airbnb.

2020 looked to be even better.

By February we already had bookings through October.

Then every reservation we had for March was canceled.

Then every reservation for April was canceled.

So far May is following suit, and we have already begun to receive cancellations for June, July, August and beyond.

It used to be that when a certain chime sounded on our phones we knew it meant, ‘a new reservation.’

Now that same chime means a new cancellation.

I’m not complaining.

I understand.

But more than that, I understand that if it is bad for us it is just as bad for Plymouth, actually worse.

Businesses come and go, and the reasons for that are often outside of our control: competition, poor planning, ineffective strategies, and yes, the overall economy are all factors that affect businesses, large and small.

But this is different.

This time the culprit has a name.

We can point a finger, we can assign blame.

Covid-19.

And this time Plymouth itself, our community as a whole, is particularly vulnerable.

We are a community that thrives on visitors, from near and far, and whether they come for the history, the scenery, the restaurants or the entertainment venues they are all vulnerable to the virus.

Even if we open up every business tomorrow it is very likely that we will not see the numbers we saw before.

Many businesses operate on a very thin margin.

Is there any doubt that 2021 will be a very bad year for tourists?

Most travelers are older, and the older they are the more susceptible they are to illness.

Why should they come to Plymouth, even given our 400 (+1) commemoration, even given our beaches and our state forest and our 430 ponds?

We need to give them a good reason.

We need to assure potential visitors that our entire community is going above and beyond in our efforts to provide a safe environment.

  • There will be state guidelines which businesses and places where people congregate will be asked to adhere to, for the safety of everyone.
    • We need to be first to implement more thorough, specific guidelines.
  • There will be testing, and contact tracing, to assure everyone that the ‘curve’ has been flattened and will remain so.
    • We need to test everyone who works with the public – even if they work in the kitchen, the back room or the warehouse – so that we can “certify” that a business is, like Caesars wife – above suspicion.

We cannot require that these special community standards are adhered to, but we can certify those that do.

We can wait to see what the state will do, but can we afford to wait?

2 thoughts on “The opposite of ka-ching!

    1. Not sure I would say that ‘faith in the state’ is the takeaway message. Rather, whatever the ‘state’ sets as the criteria for re-opening, I am arguing that we in this special community need to exceed it, precede it. Many communities will try to get back to ‘business as usual,’ but for Plymouth to get back to where it wants to and should be, will require a true community effort. Is that possible? We won’t have to wait long to find out.

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