Time to get back to work

The past couple of months have seemed like some kind of weird vacation without the fun and relaxation. Thankfully, my family and friends have been fortunate throughout this pandemic, and we pray for all those who have been affected.

As I began to write this blog, it has started to sink in that the coronavirus crisis has absolutely changed all of our worlds, and it’s shocking how quickly it changed. It seems like such a long time ago that we started the season on the St. Johns River and a few weeks later we competed in the 50th Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville.

Then life was put on hold.

I, like most who have watched and read everything available, tried to prepare my family for whatever was to come our way, and now two months after the first shelter-in-place orders were implemented, there’s a small ray of light at the end of the tunnel. Some states are starting to ease restrictions on local businesses trying to get our economy back up and running again.

There are so many world leaders and experts with varying opinions on how we should start living a somewhat normal life again that I don’t know who to believe. In my country-boy way of looking at things I believe it’s time we go back to work.

It’s a scary thing to do, but the economic price will be far worse than this virus, in my opinion.

There are folks that need to stay sheltered because of pre-existing health conditions, and we must take care of them. But there are diseases of all kinds out there, besides this one, that could produce a substantial threat. And there will be more after the coronavirus finally goes away.

I come from a small family-owned business, and I know how bad this situation is hurting folks like the entrepreneurs in my family.

All our political leaders want to give their big speeches about how we must save our small businesses, but very few have a clue about being a small-business owner. Small businesses, for the most part, are comprised of tightly knit families — from the owner to the last employee — and they depend on each other to survive.

To those that have never owned a business, it seems like the owners are getting rich, and how great it must be. But after years of watching my mother make payroll for our family business, and pay all the insurance, SSI, federal, state, city and county taxes, along with all the other bills we had, it becomes apparent really fast that the profits are nowhere near what most might choose to believe.

I’ve watched my dad worry himself sick when work was slow, not because of the business, but because he knew how much each of his employees depended on the income and benefits their jobs provided. I watched as they poured their lives into their business, just like I have, and the U.S. government won’t come close to providing enough funding for most to survive.

I pray that things continue to improve. Hopefully very soon I’ll get to load up in my Skeeter and get back to work. Until then, I’ll keep my eye on the calendar looking forward to June 7 when I’ll be on Lake Eufaula for the second stop of the 2020 Bassmaster Elite Series.

Stay safe everyone!

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