The pandemic pandas

Shutterstock.com/ EQRoy

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The coronavirus pandemic has taken an emotional toll on most people. While many people have said that things will ‘never be the same again’ this just isn’t the case. Although a second wave of the virus has hit and many more lockdowns have come vaccines are also on the way. We will likely be finished with the coronavirus in 2021 or at the latest 2022. The world will return to normal so if you are suffering during these times reach out and talk to someone about it. One restaurant recently came up with a novel idea that copes with the coronavirus situation and provides its customers with support.

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A restaurant in Thailand recently went viral for the positive way they are keeping their customers safe. In many countries, the coronavirus has caused restrictions in bars and restaurants. Restaurants that are allowed to sit customers often have to do it at a reduced capacity. We have seen countries all around the world with this restriction in place.

Some of these restaurants have put up tape to mark off the sections where customers can eat, others have simply removed the chairs and tables that are no longer available. Whatever solution was put in place they have all, for the large part, shown where people can sit and where they can’t. However, they have also highlighted the bleak situation that exists today. They show the coronavirus in its full light. When we look back at this time it will be the empty restaurants, the masked people, and the quiet streets that become the strongest reminders of a strange time in our lives.

A restaurant in Thailand decided to take a different approach. In every seat that is not available to a customer, they have placed a gorgeous stuffed panda toy. This may seem simple and you might even argue that it is unnecessary. They could have just placed a sign on each chair if that was what they wanted. It is true, but instead, they chose to spend money at a time when restaurants are struggling on a large number of stuffed animals. Why?

The answer is simple. It is because they care not only about the restrictions that are ongoing. They also care about their customer well being. The last thing they wanted was to open their restaurants to bring guests in and have them all sitting in isolation and likely have a bad time. This would not be a good reflection on the restaurant but more importantly, it would not make their customers feel good, and isn’t that the aim of all good businesses?

The stuffed pandas successfully mark where customers sit but they also ensure that every client is not eating alone. How can you be upset when you are eating and there is a smiling panda sitting opposite to you.

It is amazing to see that after more of a year of this virus businesses are still going the extra mile to show they care about their customers. It is this kindness and caring that will be in full flow when the virus ends.
Humans are inherently social people and while stuffed pandas are not the ideal conversation partner, they are a bit of fun. Many of us are suffering from the lack of social bonds during this time but fear not. This virus will end and when it does the world will be full of happy, grateful people.

Perhaps the end of this virus will spark social creativity that has not been seen since the Great Renaissance. We don’t know what the future will hold but we do know that this virus will end. Until then, I for one am glad that we have pandas.