Local businesses react to the COVID-19 vaccine’s arrival
As the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines arrives in Craig, many businesses are hoping to get back to normal both for community and commerce. One of the biggest things some business owners hope comes out of the vaccine is an increase in business by those who would now feel comfortable going out.
“I mean, I do hope that people that are willing to get it feel more comfortable being able to receive personal services and things like that,” Emily Padilla, a hairstylist at Lox Salon, said.
Even though COVID-19 has impacted many businesses around the country, that has not been the case for some Craig stores, including the Moffat Mercantile and Healing Naturally Within.
“I really don’t think the vaccine will have a huge impact as far as Craig downtown is concerned. I think this year has already been great,” Kevin Villard, a co-owner of the Moffat Mercantile said.
“We’ve had a strong increase since May 1 when we reopened, I’ve been booked out a month, a month and a half with people trying to get in, addressing their own immune system, just trying to make sure they are healthy that way,” Yvonne McAnally, a massage therapist at Healing Naturally Within, said.
The members of Lins Fitt have supported the gym throughout the pandemic, even when they were closed for a few months, said owner Travis Linsacum.
“Our support has been unbelievable, it’s been heartwarming, it’s been surprising and we’ve picked up through it,” he said. “Even when they did close the gym for a couple of months, we didn’t have a single member cancel their membership, and they continued to pay and support the gym, so we had a place to go back to and like I said, it was incredible; we have unbelievable members and unbelievable support.”
The reception to the vaccine arriving has been mostly positive, with both Villard and Kirstie McPherson, the owner of the 518 Wine Bar, sharing their excitement at its long awaited arrival.
“I’m excited that our community was able to get the vaccines and move forward with front line workers,” McPherson said.
While COVID has dramatically changed the world, local business owners said they will give employees the choice to take the vaccine or not.
“I’m definitely not for a mandatory choice for that, having people concentrate more on their health of their individual bodies and boosting their immune systems is more important than to do a vaccine to prevent the spreading,” McAnally said.
That is echoed by Linsacum, who believes that it is everybody’s choice.
“I think that even before the COVID pandemic, people have their own beliefs on vaccines and that is not something that I would feel right forcing on anybody,” Linsacum said.“ I think people have their right to choose, but I’m going to get a vaccine when it becomes available.”
As the vaccine is distributed to frontline workers and the vulnerable population, it will be awhile until it is rolled out to the rest of the community.
“I think we are all being very realistic though that it could continue into 2021, with being more cautious with the virus,” McPherson said. “So, I don’t think any of us are expecting to have our businesses back to full capacity and doing everything until the middle of 2021.”
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