The coronavirus pandemic has left us all in uncharted waters, with no horizon in sight. But with businesses and schools closed, national pastimes on hold, and the traditional flow of life ground to a halt, one thing’s for sure: We’re carrying on. With new worries and “social distancing” habits, but also with new perspectives and priorities. We're sharing several of your personal stories.
People don't go to coffee shops just for coffee.
Brandon DelGrosso knows that. He knows customers come to his coffee shop for the high fives and the hugs. For a place to sit and talk awhile.
That’s what makes this so hard.
"You come in the morning at 8 a.m. and it's usually full with people," said DelGrosso, who owns Switchback Coffee Roasters. "It's so weird to come to your cafe and it's empty.”
Switchback, like other bars and restaurants around the state, is closed to dine-in customers due to the spreading coronavirus.
"To be honest, it sucks," he said. "It’s hard to know what emotion I’m feeling. It feels somber."
But coffee is still brewing. Switchback is offering online and pickup orders. They’ll even bring a drink out to your car.
In recent days, more emotions have poured in.
A friend gave DelGrosso enough money to keep paying Switchback's staff of 10 during the 30-day shutdown. He hasn't talked to some of his high school classmates in 20 years, but they ordered bags of coffee online to be shipped across the country. A regular bought $500 worth of gift cards. If you walk in for a coffee, you'll see smiling baristas keeping busy.
“We’re seeing the outpouring of love,” he said. “People are saying, ‘We’re going to keep you open.’”
Whatever you’re doing to weather this storm, The Gazette wants to know. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and include a selfie if you can.