With so much uncertainty and fear circulating across the world today, the team at Fourth Street wanted to share some insights into how you can protect yourself, and others, as well as continue to support the incredible businesses that we know and love all along Fourth. Things might not be business as usual, but it’s important to support businesses as usual.
COVID-19 and Flattening the Curve
Most everyone is aware of the novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 by now. Currently, best practices for slowing the spread of disease (also known as flattening the curve) are simple and easy to incorporate into your regular routine.
- Wash your hands. Vigorously wash your hands often for 20 seconds (or about as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice). Do this after being in public, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water aren’t readily available, use 60% alcohol hand sanitizer. Cover all surfaces of your hands with the sanitizer and rub together until they feel dry.
- Social distancing, not isolation. Avoid close contact with anyone who has cold or flu symptoms. Maintain a safe distance between yourself and all others, with a minimum of 1 metre of space. Remember: we need to create distance, not isolation. Stay in close contact with family and friends through video calls, text messages, letters and phone calls. If you do see someone you know, namaste, foot-taps and elbow handshakes are a safe way to greet someone without contact risks.
- Stay home if you’re at risk. We cannot stress this enough. If you are sick, in any way, do not go out except for medical care.
- Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or do so into your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash immediately. Wash your hands immediately following step 1.
- Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily. This includes cell phones, remote controls, faucets, doorknobs, tablets, toilets, countertops and handles. If surfaces are dirty, clean them before disinfecting using diluted bleach, alcohol solutions or other EPA-registered household disinfectants. More information about that right here
Supporting Local During a Pandemic
While many local shops have temporarily closed down to follow the guidelines in place by the federal and provincial governments, we can still support each other during these uncertain times. Fourth Street is a community first – and Calgarians know plenty about banding together during tough times. Here are some things you can do to support your favourite Fourth Street businesses:
- Buy a gift card. Whether the physical location is open or closed, many of our service providers, clothing shops and beauty boutiques would be happy to provide gift cards online. Get them for yourself or your family to use when this passes. Businesses need cash flow now more than ever, and buying a gift card is one of the easiest ways to help support this. Bonus: you can get a jumpstart on birthday, anniversary or holiday shopping!
- Get delivery from your favourite restaurant. While some restaurants have temporarily closed along Fourth, many are still open and serving take out or delivery. In fact, most of the delivery apps in Calgary (including UberEats, Foodora and Skip The Dishes) are offering no fees to local restaurants for delivery. They also are offering discount codes to encourage customers to shop. Call ahead or message them on social media to confirm that your favourite restaurant is open, and then enjoy a delivery meal!
- Tip like you’re a millionaire. Service staff are some of the most vulnerable people to be affected by something like COVID-19. Baristas, hairstylists, nail techs, delivery drivers, waiters and other service providers are often part-time or casual employees who may not have access to paid time off, sick leave or benefits. Help ease their burden by tipping more than you usually would (if you can afford it).
- Skip the refund. Yes, we know you were really looking forward to that comedy show, concert or ballet. But the Arts can also be a vulnerable sector during a pandemic. If large groups can’t congregate, then performances can’t take place. Write your ticket off as a donation instead of requesting a refund.
- Boost your fave brands with reviews. A little increase in brand awareness and recognition can go a long way when businesses re-open to rebuild. Let’s give them a head start by leaving a kind 5-star review on Google, Facebook or Yelp. Share their social media posts, write kind comments, and leave a review for your favourite places along Fourth. We know they will appreciate it.
Remember: tough times never last but tough people do. The road ahead might be veiled with uncertainty, but Calgarians are tough cookies who have survived recessions and natural disasters with grace and ease. Look after yourselves and call neighbours or elderly folks who may be more isolated during these tough times. If we can help, please send us a note on our Twitter, Facebook or Instagram accounts. We look forward to seeing you on Fourth!