GUERNSEY – There actually are some stores still open for business in Guernsey.
So far, Charles Howshar of Howshar Do it Best Hardware is seeing some signs of spring and hopefully an end to the coronavirus by the foot traffic that is coming through his doors.
“Business is not horrible,” Howshar said. “Most people are just really unsure of what to do and how this virus goes so that they’re not getting into things very much or getting into projects that they were going to be doing as much.
“But with the weather change, they are starting to get to the point of saying, ‘ah, we’re going to do this anyway, we’re not going to worry too much.”
Howshar said economics plays a big part in projects that were planned also. Money that had been earmarked for spring projects last fall is now being saved as the economy has taken a major hit due to the coronavirus. You’d think that with the forced “staycation” imposed by quarantine and virus precautions, people would have more time to do projects. Howshar looks at the other side of that coin. Literally.
“People are holding that pocketbook a little tighter because they just don’t know how much money they are going to have,” he said. “So, they’re not really sure what to do. Our business has been affected, but it’s not bad, but this is the time of year when things start to pick up. So, it has picked up, but not as much as maybe I had hoped.”
As for how he sees the coronavirus’ impact, he said, “There’s no more community get-togethers any more. All the bars are closed. All the restaurants are closed. All the places people are used to getting together are closed including the bowling alley and the churches. I think many people are a little lost on what to do. And everyone is staying home a lot more.”
Options that he sees people exercising are more video conferencing, live streaming, phone calls and social media.
“It’s been a very interesting change in the way people are thinking about just their normal lives,” Howshar said. “You can tell some people haven’t thought past next week. It really hasn’t sunk in that you’re still going to be doing the same thing in a week, two weeks.”
He related a story about one of his suppliers who lives in Connecticut who calls her customers just because she was quarantined and wanted to talk to people, and he sums it up by saying that it is affecting everybody all over the world.
“Just hang in there,” Howshar said, speaking to his community. “Take care of your family, take care of your house, we will get through it. It’s just not going to be a lot of fun. If you need help, just ask. Everybody that I have spoken with that’s in the business community has been more than willing to offer. If they can’t help, they can at least get you in touch with someone who can. It’s very much a community thing.”
He emphasizes that you must get out of the house as the weather warms up, get your landscaping done, don’t fall into the same routine, find some flowers, find outdoor projects for the kids.
“We are all like family here,” he said. “We are all in this together.”