I’ve written and rewritten this post in my head every day this week, but always got stuck on how to start it out. It feels disingenuous to write the same old lighthearted beer stories. Yet, it feels out of character for us to get too serious. But you know what? These are serious times, so be warned – this shit may get real. We normally like to tell the stories of the fun we’re having, but things have changed. So while we come to terms with all the changes in the world that have caused us to stay home, I feel like it’s only fair we share our story of dealing with this pandemic.
Looking Back, We Saw it Coming
Just over three weeks ago I was in Las Vegas, attending a conference. It was a great time. I did a lot of networking, learned a ton of new stuff about our HRIS system — shoutout to all my fellow HR system nerds! It was business as usual, mostly. But the coronavirus was already affecting places in the U.S., and we could all feel what was coming. The topic came up a lot during lunches, and there were far fewer hugs and handshakes. The most popular hand out in our swag bags was the hand sanitizer. The day before I flew home, both Nevada and Colorado announced their first COVID-19 cases. When I arrived at DIA, the airport was empty. It was clear, changes were coming.
Just around two weeks ago Jeff went on a work trip to San Diego. He was there for training and support as they changed phone systems. During the trip he went to the office, ate out every night, and visited a few breweries (of course!) It was business as usual, mostly. That week many companies across the country, including his own, announced they were stopping travel. People were being encouraged to stay at home. By midweek, the coronavirus was deemed a global pandemic. Jeff flew home a day early on a nearly empty 747. It was clear, things had changed.
It was just about one week ago that we were finally back home, together, but the seriousness of the situation still didn’t feel real. We went out on Friday night like we often do, and had a few beers. On Saturday we met with a large group of friends for early St. Patrick’s day drinks and lunch. We knew that we were supposed to be social distancing, and we tried, mostly. But in both experiences, it was clear that keeping our distance was tricky at best, and nearly impossible when surrounded by good friends and a few beers. It was clear, we had to make a change.
Since Sunday, March 15 we have been staying at home, mostly. We’ve made a couple of runs for necessary provisions, such as beer, alcohol, groceries, and tacos. But other than some quick trips to pick up supplies (and tacos) we’ve been home 24/7. And now, based on the latest order from Governor Jared Polis, Colorado is under a state-wide stay at home order from March 26 until April 11. So, it looks like we’ll be staying home quite a while longer.
Had I known this would be my last brewery selfie for a while, I might have taken it more seriously. Nah, probably not.
Why We’re Team #StayHome
Granted, we’re in a unique situation that makes staying at home easy to accomplish: we both already work from home. That doesn’t make staying at home feel any easier. In fact, working from home is why we typically like to spend our free time out of the house. We miss our friends, we miss our favorite breweries, and we miss just wandering around Target for no reason and buying a bunch of stuff we didn’t need. We miss a lot of things, but not enough to put our family, friends, or community at risk. If staying home is the best way we can help avoid the conditions other cities and countries have faced, we’re more than happy to do our part.
Clearly, not everybody agrees with this Stay at Home order. Some of you may think it’s unnecessary or dumb. You may think we’re dumb for buying into it. You may not even believe in the severity of this pandemic, because you don’t know anybody personally touched by COVID-19. I hope, for you, it stays that way. At first, we didn’t know anybody affected by it either. Unfortunately, that’s not the situation we are in anymore. We can assure you, this virus is real, it is affecting real people, and it is really awful. We don’t want it, and trust me, you don’t either. If by staying home we can stay safe and help slow the spread, then we’re happy to do our part.
Moving Forward & Staying Positive
I’m sharing this story today so that you’ll understand that we take our current circumstances very seriously. However, we don’t want our little corner of the internet, Bottle Makes Three, to be a sad or somber place. We created Bottle Makes Three for the beer, and all the fun and adventures we have while visiting our favorite breweries. So, while we’re all cooped up and unable to visit these places, we’ll keep telling their stories. We will also do our best to spread joy and provide a much-needed distraction during this challenging time. Join us here and on our social media channels, and we’ll do our best to be a positive diversion while we all wait for the coast to clear.
Please, Support Local Beer & Businesses
We get that social distancing and staying home is hard on the small businesses we love. That’s why while we’re staying home, we still do all we can to support our local businesses. The best way to support your favorite local brewery, restaurant, distillery, coffee shop, or other business during this time is to continue to buy from them. Most are still open for pick up, carry out and/or delivery service. For those who aren’t, consider buying merchandise or a gift card. Check with your favorite places directly on Facebook or their website for their hours and more details. Additionally, the Colorado Brewers Guild has posted an interactive beer-to-go map that you can use to find a brewery near you.
Finally, please know that there is no evidence of COVID-19 being transmitted via food or food packaging. So be careful, wash your hands, keep your distance, and stop touching your face already. If you follow these guidelines, you can still safely enjoy your favorite drinks and food from home. Please show your local favorite places some love if you can.
Stay safe, y’all.