Facing challenges head on


According to the World Health Organization, as of February 2022, there have been nearly 397,000,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 5,745,000 deaths worldwide. Unfortunately, America is leading the way in both cases and deaths.

If you look back on your life two years ago, it was around this time in 2020 that was the calm before the storm. It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since we’ve adjusted to this “new normal,” which isn’t so new anymore. It’s safe to say that, with the vaccines and research, we are on the road to recovery, although no one knows exactly how long that road is.

It feels like a constant, never-ending loop that everyone – and the hospitality industry is no exception – has been stuck in for two-plus years. Holding on to a glimmer of hope, keeping it together just a bit longer, thinking, “We can do this. This will be the end of it.” Until, well, the next time. Another variant, another reason to calculate every risk involved in what should otherwise be simple decisions.

Vaccinated or not, no one is immune to the devastating effects of this pandemic, and I’m not just talking about getting sick. The rules seem to change often and what we know about the virus is continually changing.

How many more times can hotels tread water when flooded with cancellations? How many more times can we pressure our government officials to provide relief? How much longer can we maintain our businesses with the alarming labor shortage?

The list goes on.

To say we’re living during challenging times is underplaying the situation, and quite frankly, a bit cliché. But take a minute to reflect on your life. Weren’t the most challenging times the ones that helped you grow? Haven’t all the struggles you’ve faced given you a broader perspective on things?

It’s hard to feel that way now or see the bigger picture in the middle of a pandemic, but one day, you will look back on this time, too, and see how far you’ve come.

We asked an AAHOA Member who recently opened a new restaurant in the Houston, TX area, why they felt comfortable opening a business at a time when so many businesses are struggling and while there’s a nationwide labor shortage. He said, “These challenges are what drive us to create something that, 10 years from now, we’ll say, ‘Yeah we did that during a pandemic, and we crushed it.’ Yes, there will be challenges, but we’ll get through it and make the most of it.”

I hope that’s the attitude we can all continue to have going forward.

Be grateful for what you do have, try to stay positive, count your blessings, and help others where you can. Perhaps right now, the best thing we can all do is stay optimistic and focus on the opportunities vs. the setbacks.

After all, you didn’t get to where you are now taking the easy road, right?


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