I have lived in Southwest Florida for almost twenty years and in the City of Naples for the past ten. In that time, I have worked in advertising, marketing, photography, and as a pastry chef and restaurant manager/district manager. Covid-19 was unexpected, unyielding, and continues to affect our home, but what is more alarming is the Floridian response. We closed our doors to wait for more, better information about a virus to keep each other healthy and safe.
Now that we have reopened, the threat is far from ended in Florida and we are struggling to decide how to serve our community as an industry. We are pummeled with expectations of service, cleanliness, and consideration, but our patrons have no interest in complying to those same graces in a hypocritical, entitled defiance.
Our community desperately needs caution and empathy to guide our actions. We need to wear protection to keep each other safe. My mask doesn’t protect me; it is worn for the benefit of others. Let us try to remember that the servers, and clerks, and management of these businesses are willing to risk their own good health and that of their families. Let us do them the courtesy of keeping them safe in return and let us show compassion and kindness to those who are serving us in spite of potential health risks.
With a little kindness, we can change the world in a big way. Wear a mask. Keep a distance for now. Be nice.
Daniel P. Vogel