Life changed as we know it in 2020. Wearing masks, social distancing, working from home and quarantining all became “normal”. Instead of simply searching for keys and wallets on the way out the door, grabbing a mask is a must. COVID affected everyone and every business. Some experienced minor setbacks and unfortunate mishaps while others faced great difficulties and loss.
The Annandale Blog did a feature on closings and openings this year; you can read the full list at this link.
Some closures may be a direct result of the pandemic – such as Lee’s Cleaners, which closed down because customers were no longer needing business clothing cleaned. Heidi’s Nails, a long standing business with affordable prices, closed down in the fall, no doubt from a drop in customers. It’s sad to see these businesses close due to the realities of social distancing.
It’s heartening to see our community making an effort to purchase from small businesses. Whenever we make a stop at Beanetics coffee shop there are always a few customers waiting on orders, despite all transactions happening outside. People are making an effort to order take out directly from restaurants or through services like Grub Hub. Other ways we can help would be to tip workers extra right now – knowing the service industry is taking a hit. Writing online reviews when you receive good services can also help increase traffic to businesses, and all it costs is a few minutes of your time.
Charitable organizations in our area have been busy stepping up donations for needy families.
Annandale United Methodist Church’s Mission Center, which provides food for families in need, has seen as many as 200 people lined up in a day, looking to receive donations. Food for Others, in Fairfax, has also seen a major increase in needs. Scouting troops have been busy doing food drives to help with these efforts, and no doubt there have been others doing this as well. This is one thing we can all continue to have on our radars, to ensure all our neighbors have food to weather the pandemic.
On the positive side, the Annandale community was no stranger to drive-by’s, video calls and promoting positivity in small gestures. Close to the beltway, the Sleepy Hollow neighborhood lined the streets with positive messages and signs of encouragement throughout the spring. Other neighborhoods exhibited yard signs thanking frontline workers; some also put stuffed animals in windows for children to do “bear hunts’ while taking walks. The Camelot, Prosperity Heights and Winterset neighborhoods started hosting regular food trucks, allowing neighbors a chance to say hello in a socially distanced way, and providing some delicious food to brighten the day. In our area, it wasn’t uncommon for neighbors to not know each other due to the DC grind. This has changed due to the pandemic, and it’s certainly one of the positive changes we should hold on to.