Vanessa Cárdenas, who runs a neighborhood butcher shop in Alicante, recalls with great inner anxiety the initial weeks of confinement after the state of alarm decree, but also evokes conversations with other colleagues in the commerce sector and with her own workers about the mission that corresponded to them in the pandemic, which was none other than “to cover the supply of fresh produce, and to be strict when it comes to transmitting calm to customers and the message that they would not lack for anything and that we were not going to leave them unassisted or underserved in that scenario of uncertainty and loneliness. Only his butcher shop, a bakery and a computer shop remained open on his crowded street from minute 1. “Except for that, the rest of the shops were closed and there were days when a military vehicle would come because people were nervous and crowded” . Local trade and fresh produce went one step further and, especially in the neighborhoods, it was an essential link with vulnerable groups that could not leave home, especially isolated older people without being able to do the shopping. Their relatives in other provinces called essential stores to bring them basic necessities. A demand that, in difficult times, required a vocation for service, attachment to the neighborhoods and their people, while forgetting to pay. What is having its compensation: “We have the feeling that our client has returned to local commerce because in a complicated and difficult moment, when many people closed the blind, essential services took a step forward. It has helped me to discover that, apart from being merchants, we have a vocation for service and a professionalism that led us to overcome a situation as complicated as confinement ».
The singularities of the pandemic force them to innovate and they began to facilitate purchases through channels unrelated to small businesses until then, such as mobile calls and WhatsApp that promoted and enhanced home service, now very consolidated. «It was an express adaptation to the situation, due to the desire to spend more hours inside to try to cover the entire service. It keeps making my hair stand on end to remember those first days, when we had to go to the neighbor’s house alone and handicapped, who had been left without a caregiver, to bring him bread, meat, so that he would not be without food. That, from the heart, regrouped the trade. The thing about taking off our apron and putting it on as a cape seems to be new because we are under the spotlight but it is always “. Cárdenas’ experience is only one of thousands in a sector doomed, on the contrary, to closures due to lack of business. INFORMATION recognizes with an “Important” the merit during the pandemic of essential services in the first line, which also includes the pleasures of the municipal markets throughout the province that were organized to deliver home deliveries to the elderly and other vulnerable groups .
Who does not remember the supermarket cashiers and cashiers without security measures or a mask -the first one that Cárdenas wore was made by a client with a cloth bag- in the midst of an avalanche of customers emptying the shelves of meat, toilet paper or hand alcohol and hysterical situations? It seems like a nightmare, but it happened. They also played an important role in that battle trying to understand the nervousness and calm the situation. Not forgetting either the press vendors who are always open to keep citizens informed of the evolution of the covid on time.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.