On Valentine’s Day, if you told me the entire world would be shut down due to a bat in a wet market in Wuhan, China, I would have said you’re crazy. Now I wonder if I’m crazy.

The Corona Virus, or Covid-19, originally dismissed as a passing flu that would blow over in a month or two, is giving a bad name to my favorite beer.

The hospitality and travel industries have been hit hard by this terrible disease. Many companies are going out of business, as President Trump is launching a war-time response that includes a trillion-dollar bail-out plan.

My company has had a significant slow-down as well. Instead of six rides a day, I have had two, then one and then no rides a day for the past week.

The VIP passengers I did have were very pleasant and tipped well. One Client was coming back from visiting a friend in the Dominican Republic. He tipped me $40! For another Client, I drove to Washington, DC, for a pickup at 10:00, going to Manhattan. The Client cancelled his ride as I got there. I turned around and went back to New Jersey.

The same day, I picked up a young lady in Manhattan and brought her to Western New Jersey. She had three grocery bags filled with food and a suitcase. She told me she was escaping New York until all this goes away.

The Corona Virus is teaching us the importance of hygiene and proper hand washing (20 seconds under warm water and vigorously scrubbing with soap). Hopefully, this will give more attention and therefore more seriousness to taking precautions against the “regular” H1N1 flu as well.

We may also have to deal with other, more serious and deadly viruses in the future. Stephen King’s novel, The Stand, told a once fictional story of a Super Flu, and how it changed the world as we once knew it. Was that fiction or could it become fact?

This pandemic will also be responsible for changing our hospitality and travel industries as we once knew them, before Valentine’s Day.

Article by RH Stovall, Jr

R.H. Stovall, Jr. is a Senior Executive Chauffeur, trainer and mentor for Royal Coachman Worldwide in Denville, NJ.

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