My fear is downtown Detroit won’t come back when this pandemic goes away.
The place is not a ghost town, but it is far from being the robust and bustling place I enjoyed visiting alone or with my son. Some of my favorite bars and restaurants are still hemorrhaging although Big Gretch says it is OK to return.
I enjoyed an outdoor picnic lunch in Campus Martius last week and I was one of the few people enjoying a beautiful sunny Friday. Normally office workers young enough to be my children would be listening to music, skipping work for a quick drink or enjoying carry out during their lunch break.
I saw none of that.
I knew something was up when the street parking was free.
The majority of the 19,000 Quicken Loans employees are working from home. The company has encouraged those workers to walk about downtown when they return next month and buy lottery tickets, beverages and sandwiches from store front places that are struggling.
I spoke to a person in human resources at a downtown business who fears the worst.
She said: “You know what they say. When the country gets a cold Detroit gets pneumonia. That’s what I fear is going to happen.”
Even when these workers return, they are not likely to patronize restaurants as much. They’ve been hit in the pocket book too and it makes perfect sense to take a bagged lunch to work for a bit and eat at home after work until finances are replenished.
Near my house we’ve lost a Subway and a Chinese restaurant. Keep a running count of the places around your home that are not coming back. It could be worse downtown, a place I frequent and a place I root for.
When I poked my head into Avalon Bakery in midtown I noticed two places were closed for good. My fear is that list will grow as the pandemic continues.
My wife, who is the female Dr. Fauci, fears that we are returning too soon. She fears that people are careless and don’t take this virus serious enough. It hits home for her because she knows multiple people who’ve gotten the virus and died. So do I.
I’m not a good candidate to get the virus because of age and previous health issues. My family is convinced that if I get Covid-19 that I’m a goner. I want to hang around a little longer so you might not see much of me downtown or anywhere else for a while.
Let’s be careful out there. This thing is real and its real dangerous.