Those were the days. I used to dream about nail polish, nail polish colors and names, fragrances for lotions and scrubs and my next beach vacation.
Now all I dream about is face masks (WTF, who knew what a N95 or KN95 mask was before this crisis?), gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant and alcohol (I wish I was dreaming about Bowmore 15 & Oban), this is about isopropyl alcohol. I am also dreaming about hand soap, body wash, shampoo, cotton rounds, and foil sheets.
Michigan is a Stay at Home state like many others (why the Governor can decide and not the President is another story). Luckily, TNG is an essential company and our distribution center is open while all other employees work from home that can. Due to demand from the medical community, we stepped up efforts to supply critical supplies to that industry and hence the reason for my dreams.
We are in unprecedented times. My colleagues in NYC tell me that the city is way more scared and frightened than 9/11 because at least with 9/11, it was a one-time incident and they could go on with their lives after grieving. COVID-19 affects everyone, hence you walk around Times Square and can be by yourself. As virtually all businesses are shut down, consumers resort to online for everything from ordering goods to entertainment. Suddenly massive chain stores have zero advantage over online companies and in fact, are severely disadvantaged as they have to deal with fixed costs and millions of employees.
THE INDUSTRY SOURCE is the only beauty company open that has inventory of essential goods industry needs. How ironic the likes of Sally, Cosmoprof, Salon Centric and others ran out of isopropyl alcohol weeks ago and we are still shipping it. Other essential supplies from them? Forget it. In a crisis situation, size no longer matters, nimbleness and the ability to deal with the supply chain is everything.
We have KN95 masks coming in next week. We have surgical 3-ply masks coming in next week and the week after. We have hand sanitizer coming in from Italy and now making our own formulation of ForPro Hand Sanitizer Spray which we hope is in stock next week. Hospitals, doctors, nurses and others are very happy to work with us. I spoke to my friend who works at Patterson Dental. He told me they were out of N95 masks weeks ago and will not have any for weeks. This is a company that does more than $4B in business. 3M is running at full capacity but it is not enough.
Our factory that makes Ginger Lily Farms products is churning out for us three truckloads a week of gallons of body wash, shampoo, conditioner, hand soap and hand lotion. With everyone at home, there are more showers taken than ever before. Essential company employees like doctors and nurses are sleeping in their cars at night hoping not to infect their family so the need for shower stuff is greater than ever in places like hospitals not accustomed to this demand.
The government just passed a $2T (yes, that is one thousand billions) aid package. Our deficit was just over $1T and now the government just did that. What does that tell you? Who needs Hollywood! We are living the worst case scenario movie that any writer could ever dream up. India with its population of 1.3B just went into 3 week lockdown as did Pakistan. We already know what is going on in Italy. MI hospitals are reaching 100% capacity and we are only in the late beginning stages of this.
What do I think is most interesting about all this? My kids have called me more this past 7 days than the past 7 years. I have seen more people walking this week than the last decade. People are talking, playing traditional games and no longer taking everything and anything for granted. Yes people are scared and nervous, but they feel safe in their own home and home is more important than ever. Once this passes, how long will these new ideals last?
One thing for certain. Once this ends, certain words, phrases and other unique things from this will cease and desist forever. First to go: Social Distancing. Second to go: Elbow bumps. Third to go: Stay safe. Perhaps the X & Y generation have this whole perspective nailed: WTF, what ever happens, happens. Let’s hang out at the beach, drink some brews and dance the night away. Or in my case, dream about nail polish again.