First and foremost, it’s important for me to address the corona virus crisis. We didn’t realize we’d be in a pandemic when we decided which articles to run in this issue. By the time the pandemic was in full swing, all articles had been submitted and we were heading into production. This is why you won’t see any articles mention the pandemic itself or the catastrophic economic fallout. Rest assured, we are well aware of the difficulties and uncertain future facing our small business and gig community.
I made the decision to publish this spring issue in electronic form only because our main distribution points of the print version are restaurants, cafés, salons, and spas, all of which are closed or only serving curbside. However, our current plan is to publish a spring/summer issue in mid-May or early June. It will include everything in this electronic issue as well as content we add for the summer issue. It will be a bigger, juicier version of The F-Suite!
Ironically, we decided on self-care as the general theme for this issue way back in January.
Who knew stress levels would be so high as we take steps to avoid further spread of the corona virus and contracting it ourselves. We’re only beginning to see the economic impact of quarantines and social distancing. The social interaction necessary for good mental health and opportunities to get exercise and be outdoors will be lacking as more and more people are quarantined or hospitalized. The immediate future looks rather grim, and the need for self-care more critical than ever.
A first step in self-care is limiting how much time we listen to news reports and engage on social media about the pandemic. Of course, we need to stay abreast of the immediate news that affects us. But constant monitoring of the situation only leads to unproductive stress and worry, which can lead one into a downward spiral of anxiety and panic. I encourage you to get your corona virus updates from city, county and state websites, not social media. The Center for Disease Control (cdc.gov) and National Institutes of Health (nih.com) provide excellent updates and information.
Columbia has a large community of entrepreneurs. Many of us went into business for ourselves following a job loss when the economy crashed in 2008. Necessity is what pushed our creative juices into overdrive, resulting in the business you own today. No matter when you started your business, you came up with a creative idea and made something of it. I am confident that our entrepreneurial, creative and determined community will overcome the obstacles before us and emerge, in the end, stronger than ever.
I wish you all good health and encourage you to practice social distancing recommendations. May we greet one another face-to-face again soon.
Anna Gelbman Edmonds, Publisher & Managing Editor