The Covid-19 Virus: What We Are Doing

Our world has really changed the last 4 weeks.  I’m sure that everyone is fully aware of all the issues concerning the Coronavirus.  The hard part for all of us is not having enough information. We see the news every day and are overwhelmed with statistics and rates and comparisons and forecasts and ….  The purpose of this newsletter was to talk about cut-off dates, but we don’t know enough to even guess at what they might be. Maybe just information and bringing everyone up to date is what we should do.

So, first, what we do know.  As of this moment, we are still open and operating with some precautions and some changes.  We have temporarily closed or reduced the hours at some of our offices. Sheldon, IA, Mitchell, Minneapolis, Sioux Falls, and Big Stone have all adjusted at some level to accommodate directives from Governor’s offices or recommendations from the CDC or local health officials.  At Big Stone, we ask anyone coming into the office to wait in the entrance for someone to come to them. If they are interested in an appointment, we ask if they have a cough, if they have been well, and ask if they mind if we take their temperature. Assisted Living areas, dentist offices, etc. are doing similar things.  At our other offices, even if temporarily closed, we will visit with customers if they call us or come in, but we are not contacting them for appointments unless asked to. Business through email, text, and phone is preferred by most people.

In our facility, Lori and Mary are trying to disinfect twice each day.  Surfaces, light switches, door handles, railings, keyboards, phones, etc.  All employees have their temperature taken in the morning as we try to monitor for coughing or a fever or any other symptoms identified by all the experts.  We have 3 employees who are self-quarantined as a result of travel or coming into contact with someone who has the coronavirus or with someone else who has.  

As of today, we are still templating and installing countertops in customer’s homes.  We have had some customers who have asked us not to come and prefer to wait till things get back to more normal.  As of now, our lettering and monument installation crews are planning to begin working as soon as weather conditions allow.  Hopefully, that will be soon.

Delays Overseas

We are having issues getting the granite that we have ordered, both domestic and the imports.  Right now, domestically, it depends what state the granite or supplies are ordered from. If states go to “shelter at home” status, we will not be able to have product shipped to us.  Until then, we will continue to get granite. Overseas, that is not the case.  India just went into lockdown for 3 weeks.  China is just considering reopening some of their manufacturing facilities.  Either way, loading containers and getting them to the ports to be shipped is way off schedule.  When they get to the US, we have no idea if our ports will be able to promptly unload them and ship them to their destinations.  There have been multiple delays already and I can imagine more delays coming.

All of this just means, as I’m sure you all know, we have no way of knowing what is coming or what is going to happen in the next 2 months.  We officially do not have a workable cut-off date for this Spring. We will do everything that we are allowed to do and still keep everyone as safe as we can.  I think it is important to let your customers know that nothing is sure for Memorial Day this Spring. We can all hope and pray for the best, but in the end, only God knows for sure.  I know that both you and your customers are well aware of all of this, but I just thought it was important for you to know exactly what we are doing and what that might mean going forward.  Things are rapidly changing, and our actions and plans will accordingly.

It is important to remember that your health and the health of your customers is the most important thing.  Many of the people that we deal with are in the most vulnerable group in our communities. So please err on the side of caution and remember that eventually, the business side will get back to normal.  But, the impact on people is much more serious and will impact them for much longer.

We want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.  We wish the best for all of you.

God Bless you all.

Mike Rausch