There is no area of life left undisturbed by the ravages of the global pandemic of ‘Corona Virus’. Our daily anxieties and gravest concerns pull us in every direction like a rag-doll; fear for the safety and even the lives of loved ones, economies of the world in free-fall, health systems which are struggling to cope. Uncertainty in terms of jobs, and therefore income, is certainly one of the most prevalent and painful issues. Last week more than 6.6 million people in the US filed for unemployment benefits – those 6.6 million people had all been employed mere days beforehand and so were able to support families, pay rent and buy basic living essentials. This week however, they find themselves out of work and facing the kind of widespread, punishing hardships which have not been such a commonly felt reality since the dark days of the subprime crisis in 2008 and the consequent devastation lasting years thereafter.
However, whilst the conditions that we all currently face are tremendously challenging, with many more hardships yet to come, there is no reason why the Corona Virus need cause our sense of kindness and morality to wane, in the same way that our optimism may have waned during the last few days. We are, in fact, presented with an opportunity of sorts. This is a chance for us to look beyond our own introspective needs and panic driven reflex reactions and search out those of far greater need.
It provides immeasurable comfort and encouragement to see the reins of this concerted effort to act with more kindness be seized not just by individuals, keen to enthuse and inspire, but also by corporate entities, many of whom are using these dire circumstances to show beyond reasonable doubt that they do indeed have a conscience and are ready, willing and able to act upon it.
ARCADIA is proud to have worked alongside the Dorchester Collection for a number of years and we now take even more pride in highlighting some of that group’s own efforts to set a positive example and improve the lives of, not just their own employees, but also their fellow man.
The Dorchester Collection has categorically vowed to protect all of the jobs and wages of all their employees. This means that each and every person employed by the group is not suffering endless sleepless nights, wondering how their families will be looked after if their job is lost due to the indiscriminate ruin of the Corona Virus.
In the US, the Beverley Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air, both Dorchester Collection hotels, have thus far donated more than 400 meals to ‘first responders’ to the crisis, 400 meals to the staff at the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital and 200 meals and 200 care packages to hospitality workers who have lost their jobs due to the economic decline directly resulting from the senseless destruction of the virus.
During this deeply testing period it is all too easy to feel powerless and hopeless. The universal guidance to global citizens is to take the utmost care in terms of sanitation; thorough hand washing may not seem of particular importance in terms of fighting the spread of this malevolent and invisible enemy, but it is. It is in small things that each individual may indeed make a difference – though this reaches beyond the basic message of rigorous social distancing and good hygiene and extends to the generosity, kindness and support we too can offer our fellow man during this time of extraordinary and universal adversity.