Will people be largely changed by the pandemic, or will they revert to the way they were? My initial thought was that people would all be changed to some degree by the pandemic. I am now leaning towards thinking that it will depend on two things: the degree it impacts them and the plasticity of the individual.
By plasticity, I mean malleability but in a way that once reshaped, you likely do not go back to your original shape. Some plastics are very easy to reshape and some are not. I think some individuals are like thin plastic bottles that crumble with the least pressure, while other individuals are more like thick plastic bottles that revert more or less to their original form once you release the pressure on them.
Plasticity is one thing. The other thing to consider is the impact the pandemic has on a person. A person that lost a loved one or their job or their business suffers a big impact. If your biggest impact is missing going out or to the gym or getting a haircut then the impact is little.
Given that, I think the pandemic will change people in the following ways:
|Impact vs plasticity
||Hard to shape
People easily shaped that experience a big impact will be seriously changed by the pandemic. Most others will experience some change, and a certain class of person will not change at all.
Many many people were blown away by this piece written by Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune fame: My Restaurant Was My Life for 20 Years. Does the World Need It Anymore? in The New York Times.
She’s a great writer, and a great restaurateur, writing about a time of peril for all restaurants.
During the pandemic I’ve thought about it often, as well as the future of restaurants. I don’t know a fraction about the business Hamilton excels in, other than to recognize that even for someone good at it, it’s a hard business. It was a hard business before when places were jammed with hungry eaters. It may well be impossible now.
My hope is that knowing that restaurateurs are smart, hard working and passionate people. They have managed in difficult situations before. They will find a way to make the foods that they love and feed them to us. And we will find a way to get out and support them.
I have had a number of meals at Prune, and they have been some of the finest of times for me. Here’s to it and many more places coming back soon and giving us meals and memories that make life worthwhile.
(Image is a link to the Village Voice.)
I don’t know how typical the economics of Prohibition Gastrohouse in Toronto is with other restaurants, but I imagine they all have something in common with it. If true, then I can’t see it being easy for any restaurant to operate for long in the coming phase of post pandemic, short of getting significant financial relief or radically redoing their business.
To see what I mean, read this: Prohibition Gastrohouse shuts down after 13 years in Toronto and owner says he lost his house too