April 16, 2024
  • 3:04 pm Catawba’s Women Soccer 2023 Season
  • 6:28 pm Catawba Track and Field Prepares for Championship Season
  • 12:57 am Men’s Basketball Caps off Another Successful Season
  • 1:45 pm Give My Regards To Broadway
  • 7:22 pm Catawba Men’s Lacrosse

              COVID-19 has impacted us all and has changed all our lives significantly. I think we can all agree that we wish we could just go back to the way things were and never have to worry about forgetting our mask or instantly worrying when we hear someone cough. However, the impact that COVID-19 has had on the fast-food industry has been different than what you may expect. At the start of the pandemic, the local doughnut shop didn’t shut down, but rather required all its employees to wash their hands every hour and to be “cautious” when dealing with sickly looking costumers. Subsequently, when the pandemic got serious, we shut down the front lobby of our shop, and shifted to being drive-thru only, which at the time wasn’t a problem due to the lack of traffic from the stay-at-home orders. Then once the stimulus checks were released, our business jumped up exponentiality. Between people being out of work, students not going to school, and people looking for something sweet to take their mind off of the chaos, I had experienced the greatest number of customers than I would have ever expected working at a doughnut shop. There were many days when our line was out of the parking lot and about 2-3 blocks down the road. It amazed me that all these people who were supposed to be at home in quarantine decided to come and get doughnuts. After about two months of constant lines, people started to run out of the stimulus money and business took a turn for the worse, we had lost 75% of sales and were running on a skeleton crew throughout the whole summer. As we moved into phase two of the COVID-19 relief plan, we re-opened our front lobby and gained about 25% of our business back. Although this caused more issues than you would think due to the lack of training for the new employees. No one knew how to properly greet customers, and the fear of getting exposed to COVID-19 made it awkward to speak them face to face. Luckily, we have received minimum exposure, and we’ve only had three COVID-19 scares at our shop. Our shop is lucky to have seen such little exposure, as we have experienced many deaths of fellow employees further up in the company. Though the pandemic has been very stressful and harsh on our community, it is very important that we do not give our hopes up. We may never go back to how things were, but we can find ways to live with our new restrictions and learn to respect the dangers of COVID-19.

              Throughout COVID-19, I have personally learned that while many people are afraid of the virus, they don’t always follow the rules and restrictions. This has surprised and confused me, because everyone would always talk about how they were afraid of catching COVID-19, yet wouldn’t wear mask or social distance. It was also prevalent that the fast-food industry established these regulations, but management wouldn’t enforce them due to personal beliefs. Since COVID-19 has hit, nearly everyone has gone back to almost completely normal. There are not that many people who wear masks into stores anymore and everyone seems to just forget that there is a pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been slowing down, and there are new strains that are vaccine resistant, so even with the push for companies to have their employees get the vaccine, there still is a chance that their employees can catch the virus. COVID-19 hasn’t really impacted the fast-food industry other than causing some change shortages and putting a few new rules in to action. You should just be careful and understand that those working at fast-food jobs during the pandemic are likely just as confused and afraid as you the next time you visit your local doughnut shop.

Franklin Stutts