86 Corona


Jeffrey Williams

Excerpt from Visit Amarillo regarding restaurant closings in the area.

Initially, I was going to write a news piece regarding the effects of COVID-19 on students here at West Texas A&M University. But we can all see the impact. However, most of us may not be aware of the repercussions these shutdowns are having on jobs and the economy. People are losing their jobs. Students are losing their housing, and our futures are confusing and unclear at the time. While some of this fear may be due to the sudden dose of cabin fever, the reality is still as serious. This contagious virus has practically stopped all activity throughout the world. Never in our lifetimes have we witnessed such a global event. Never have I been advised to stay away from friends, family and school.

It is a tough time for all of us. Not just Americans, but for the world. Here at a local level, and everywhere, businesses are closing down or severely limiting their services. I’m a server at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen in Amarillo, and as of last week, March 18, I’m technically not an employee there. Services at Cheddar’s and many other restaurants have been limited to to-go or curbside service. Dine-in services have been closed until further notice. Until April 3 if I remember correctly. For two weeks, at least, all of us servers are without a job. Restaurants are just one industry affected by this pandemic. For as much as I thought this would blow over quickly, it’s very real now, especially with cases in the Panhandle area.

I know we all crack jokes and share memes regarding the virus, but while we may not contract the disease, the economic and social ramifications will affect us all. We’ll be feeling this for the next year. When all of this is over, we will have to regroup and begin building once again. Local businesses are having to shut down for good right now due to the virus. Corporations will merely write this off. In the coming days, we will have to support our own, and go out to these local establishments that braved the unknown and survived. But after all of this is over, we will get to appreciate the company of strangers once again.

We will be able to go to the movies, attend graduations, sporting events, shake hands, and embrace each other once again. This invisible enemy has shaken us to the very core, and we must show one another that we are strong. Never again will we take for granted the pure privilege of going to class and seeing one another in person. We will wake up on those Sunday mornings and attend church service without hesitation. We will cherish the company of our elders, thankful for their legacy and wisdom. We will get to love once again come time. First, we must do our part and fight this pandemic. So stay at home, do some actual deep spring cleaning, put a puzzle together and watch some TV. The cabin fever and boredom will all be worth it in the end. See you on the other side. Go Buffs.