You have heard about my bike ride adventures in my blog as well as my daily morning walk observations in my recent poems. It is indeed true that the stay-at-home phenomenon during the COVID-19 lockdown is bringing forth new experiences for us all. I am now paying more attention to the world around me and learning something new almost every day.
One late evening when my son and I were riding home on our bikes, a sheriff came around and asked us to stop. He pointed out that we didn’t have backlights on our bikes, and he was very concerned that because of poor visibility someone might hit us. He was not pushing us or humiliating us in any manner but politely explained that it could cost a lot if he gave me a ticket. I had never been out biking so late before, and this was the first time I was made aware of the cycling law in Florida that requires backlight on bikes. Another learning during these unusual times for us.
I have never seen so many young couples and children playing in the park, as I have seen in the last four weeks. Where were all these people before? Probably homebound for many years. It seems as if all these people have arrived here from another planet. Suddenly my town does not only contain the older generation anymore.
Last week in our town of Safety Harbor I found a totally new park which I never noticed before. It’s called Baranoff Park. I was sitting there quietly after a long bike ride when a young lady appeared with a camera. She asked if she could shoot a picture of me sitting there. That led to a brief conversation and I found out that she was working at the ‘The Tiki Tavern Bar,’ which had been closed for a while. But the bar was now open for To-Go orders. She didn’t feel like sitting inside the bar and waiting for the customers, so she picked up her old camera and came out in search of them. What a creative idea to reach prospective customers.
I came across another such story which also raised my ‘spirits.’ The Troubled Water Brewing figured out an innovative way to serve their To-Go customers by offering beers in re-sealable large-sized cans.
In both cases, the local businesses reinvented their sales and marketing strategy to be able to continue to serve customers. These two businesses re-affirmed my faith in the American entrepreneurial spirit. I think nobody does creativity in business better than Americans.
In the past couple of days the city has slowly started opening restaurants and what I observed is a civil way of maintaining social distancing. I checked out a few restaurants and most have kept the tables 4 to 5 feet from each other. Most of the older people are carrying masks and law-abiding citizens are also keeping a distance of at least 6 feet while interacting with each other. The streets look crowded but beautiful, like an aesthetically designed workspace. People around me may look new but their laughs and conversation bear the same Floridian warmth.
It is interesting to observe a new world taking shape around me. But I do look forward to the days when we will once again be able to hug, and to shake hands – maybe someday! Until then, let’s enjoy the time we have together. Here is a new poem I wrote about this situation.
Made in India, Serving Humanity, Living in Safety Harbor Florida, USA. Healthcare Entrepreneur. Author ”A Philanthropist Without Money” Driven by an inherent desire for knowledge and creative thinking, I harnessed my “Mid Life” energies to becoming a student again, challenging myself to take an executive course in ‘Global Healthcare Innovation’ from Harvard Business School and a Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of South Florida. Not satisfied with personal success alone, now I’m on a mission to help other aspiring entrepreneurs through mentoring, nurturing, raising funding, and connecting people with more possibilities.