Service sector

TIME OUT: The service sector continues to strengthen | Lifestyles

Today I’m going to talk with you about a topic that you’ve already been aware of since we started chasing this dreaded COVID-19 bug out of the room.

Without a doubt, the deadly virus has caused incredible health problems all over planet Earth, and Our City has certainly been no exception. Many of us have lost loved ones, friends and colleagues to the monster generated by the pandemic. Other people have lingering health issues related to the virus that they continue to suffer from every day. The fact that we had vaccines brought to the treatment table in just a few months is beyond sensational. Truly, countless human lives and sufferings have been aided beyond our wildest expectations, thanks to our incredible scientific/medical community.

What has been much slower to respond is our supply chain economy and our service sector. I told my bride, Lady Deborah, at the end of March 2020 that I believed the economic impact of a global pandemic would be beyond imagining. I believe that my previous assumption to her was not quite right, but we had some major difficulties in the long journey back to “economic normalcy”.

No surprises here, I’m an active person; I always was. The pandemic and confinement did not please me, but I mostly forced myself to do it for many months. The only out of town trip I took was a few road trips to visit family and close friends. No occasional trips to area airports to board a jet and fly away, as has been my normal modus operandi for most of my life. Well, after my vaccinations in early January of this year, I started moving around Our Town more and more. The more I moved, the more I saw the local business/service sector, and the same activities in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, certainly weren’t the same as before March 2020. Many businesses had limited hours of operation or were closed, some permanently. Those that were working had aid issues, mostly in the form of a lack of manpower, from the employees’ perspective. Consequently, the commercial “service” was no longer what it was. Customer (me/us) expectation and frustration was the norm, instead of the usual exception.

My fiancée and I finally got back to the air. In these adventures, whether airports, planes or their support services, such as car rental agencies, again and again, for us the mantra is “hurry up and wait “.

While it really didn’t affect Mrs. Debbie and me too much, the product supply (lumber, automobiles, electronics, major appliances, etc., etc., etc.) was also severely disrupted. Of course, because of these shortages, there are also significant price increases ($$$), IF you are even able to obtain the products. Also, what has interested me in the last few months are the countries of origin of the various manufactured products that I look at or buy. Most items continue to be made in China, but I’ve actually witnessed a shift to other countries of origin, mostly in Southeast Asia.

When it comes to my international travels, I’m not even looking in that direction until 2022. Why, you ask, wait until then to continue seeing the world? Simply because most foreign countries are still wondering how to handle COVID-19. I’m certainly not interested in getting involved in the medical hassles of a distant country, and the extra loads of paperwork to go through, while trying to get back to the good old United States.

Over time, our national free enterprise economic system will eventually prevail, and our supply chains and service sectors will solve most of the unfortunate problems created by the virus nightmare.

Our incredible economic strength is one of America’s many virtues. No viral pandemic is going to defeat us.

Robert Breedlove is an editorial journalism graduate from Oklahoma State University and a former journalist (including News Press). He resides in Stillwater and has spent most of his life there. He has contributed to various media in the United States for years. He can be contacted at dermrefmd@aol.com.