An Abundance of Potions

Day 16 – Not Or, And

Good morning to all 229 subscribers. I'm still collecting songs for a collaborative playlist from Potions readers. If there's one you’ve been listening to that you’ve found comforting, please send it along. —Jack

Today’s challenge: Buy a gift card.

Life and livelihood. Some have said that it’s either one or the other. Both, of course, are inextricably linked. Health is linked to nutrition is linked to relationships is linked to work is linked to health. To treat any of them as wholly separate—or separable—is to ignore the dew-laced web. Many leaders, in government and in business, are less making a choice between life and livelihood than they are asking this question: What will, in the long run, cause the least amount of harm?

First, take a breath. Then, remember: You can promote both life and livelihood. You can safely distance, while taking action to help the businesses in your community, which in turn, helps their employees safely distance. Lives and livelihoods.

As you know, local service businesses—restaurants, especially—are at the epicenter of this crisis. If you haven’t already, look up the websites and social media pages of the ones you frequent. Many have been holding fundraisers to keep paying their employees. If concern about health risks has given you pause from ordering takeout or delivery, there are best-practices for staying safe.

One of the quickest, simplest things you can do for these businesses, if you have the means, is to purchase a gift card. Check local food-related media outlets like Eater for round-ups of what restaurants in your area are offering. Many businesses who use the payment service Square also use it to run their gift card programs. Find ones in your area by running a search here. If all else fails, call them up and offer to buy one over the phone.

Not only is a gift card is an interest-free loan—a small lifeline—it’s a promise. A promise that you're here for them now, and that you'll meet them on the other side, when this is over.