As the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow, we are in continual discussion about whether or not to remain open.
On the one hand, we don’t want to overwhelm delivery services, or put increased pressure on postal workers. It’s fair to say that the items we sell can be classed as ‘non-essential’ items.
On the other, we send beautiful tarot decks and other self-care goodies out into the world, which our inbox can tell you are lifting spirits and helping folks feel connected in what is a very lonely time for many. We hope our course and decks are helping folks stay indoors. We’re raising funds for care support, refugee and sex worker charities. We’re also a tiny business hoping to weather this storm and keep providing income for me (Beth), Hele (shop assistant), and the many independent artists we stock.
It’s a dilemma, one we are working on regularly. I am in regular discussion with local delivery workers and Post Office staff and we are prepared to cease trading if or when that becomes the most compassionate, appropriate and safe thing to do.
The current decision (27th March 2020)
- The shop will remain open.
- Hele’s shop hours are reduced to one day per week, and she will work from home the rest of the time, providing customer service.
- The remainder of the time Beth will work in the shop (which is in her spare room) and ship orders.
- We practice stringent hygiene and distancing measures.
- Parcels are delivered to the Post Office in small batches in an almost-contactless way. Post bags are disinfected before being handed over and after being handed back.
- If/when it becomes necessary for Hele to stop coming in at all, she will do so – this can be triggered by either Beth or Hele, whenever any of us feels that this is the right decision. Hele will continue to receive full pay throughout this crisis.
- Delivery workers are receiving a tip for each delivery, and we are looking into supporter membership of the Communications and Postal Workers’ Union.
We will continue to keep a close eye on the situation, stay in regular dialogue with Post Office staff and delivery workers, and are prepared to continue adapting – including closing if necessary – as time goes on.