I can only speak for us, and the way it is for us, now, as full-time photographers on Maui with a young family whose business is almost 100% driven by tourism. When the pandemic began and the island was closed to visitors, I felt relieved for our health system, scared for ourselves and our friends. To be honest, I was mostly concerned with how to manage two kids at home at once, our 4-year-old is normally at preschool and his spring break had just begun. “How are we gonna budget our time now,” I joked to Adam, “having Ash at home for TWO weeks instead of one?!”
Two weeks turned into a month, then two months, then three. We managed, and continue to manage. We received dozens of cancellations a week consistently for around 3-4 weeks, then silence in an inbox normally full to the brim with inquiries. At the end of each month of travel restrictions, we wondered what the next announcement would be, and whether we’d be able to plan for a return to tourism, what to tell our clients who wanted to rebook their trips. We honestly don’t know, no one does.
I cringe at the phrase “new normal” – it makes me grieve for the time before the pandemic took hold. Instead, I’ll just call it normal. Because that’s what I need to call it to stay positive about the future.
Thank you to everyone who has supported our business and other small businesses on Maui and in Hawaii. When things return to normal, we’ll be here. The sunrise will be here, and the island’s economy will stand again, albeit, at first, with shaky knees.