While the coronavirus has disrupted nearly every aspect of our daily lives, it has also provided moments for many to shine. Individuals and businesses alike have come together – metaphorically – in the midst of social distancing and mandatory stay at home orders to do what they can to help those in need. For example...
While hotels have been hit hard in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, many owners have rallied to provide services for those still in need. In recent days, the American Hotel & Lodging Association has launched its “Hotels for Hope” initiative, which aims to boost collaboration between hotels and government agencies to provide the housing and support that health care workers may need in combatting the growing public health crisis.
Within the borders of West Virginia, local hotels have been seeking to do their part as well. For instance, the Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place has been making rooms available for day use for those in need of temporary office space during quarantine efforts.
Many have also rallied to support our favorite local restaurants, who have been hit hard by mandatory closures. Organizers of Charleston’s Restaurant Week have been promoting a “Distance Socially, Eat Locally” campaign aimed at helping keep restaurants running through permissible takeout and delivery orders. The West Virginia Tourism Office is also maintaining an interactive dining guide of those Mountain State restaurants providing takeout and drive-thru food services. And more than 100 restaurant companies throughout the United States participated in the “Great American Takeout” in an effort to support dine-out options.
In an effort to bring some much-needed color into many isolated seniors’ daily lives, Gritt’s Midway Greenhouse is offering tulips, hyacinths and Easter lilies for the public to purchase and donate to seniors in assisted living centers.
West Virginia’s distilleries have been stepping up to the plate as well. West Virginia distillery Smooth Ambler has joined a national effort to produce American-made hand sanitizer given the drastic increase in demand. Lewis County-based Manncave Distilling Inc. has followed suit after getting a recent call from the National Institute for Health. Owner Stephen Mann notes that the company is ramping up to hopefully produce between 300-600 bottles of hand sanitizer per day.
Meanwhile, Sheetz has announced a much-needed boost for its employees who are continuing to work through the COVID-19 crisis, as the company intends to pay its employees an additional $3 per hour through April 23rd. The President and COO of the company noted that “[t]his special compensation is just one way to express our gratitude during this difficult time.”
These stories and many others like them are a shining reminder that there is much more that unites us than keeps us apart during these difficult times.