Dear Clients and Friends:
What a difference a virus makes, right?!!!
It seems like everything is different. For example, we submitted our spring newsletter to the printer weeks ago and as we write this, it still hasn’t been printed. We assume they are short-handed and over-loaded.
Another example is life at our offices. Mary Alice has not been driving to Jonesboro and Springdale since March 21! Our Jacksonville office employees (the ones who aren’t working from home) have never had this much quality time with Mary Alice J ! And poor Becca (shown in featured photo)…she has been the lone ranger in Springdale. We know she’s ready to see folks!
At the beginning of the “social distancing”, we had to cancel 3 very large pre-retirement workshops that were scheduled for after Spring Break. Since March 23, 2020, all of our appointments have been via ZOOM or phone conferences. We have definitely missed the face to face conversations and the congratulatory hugs for those retiring.
Arkansas, and our nation, are beginning to “open up” for business. As owners, we are grappling with what to do next. Allow us a minute to explain…
Lisa’s son (Joel) is autistic, non-verbal and, even though he is 23 years old, he lives with her. Joel has a weakened immune system. Lisa’s “olderly” mother lives next door to Lisa and they see each other multiple times a week. Mary Alice’s mother is also “olderly” and lives in a retirement community that has been in lock down for weeks. Haley’s grandparents (whom she checks on multiple times during the week) fall into the “olderly” category, as well.
Our point is this: If we open our doors to face to face meetings, we are increasing the risk of COVID-19 for ourselves, our “high-risk” family members and our employees.
These are tough times and very difficult decisions.
With all of the above weighing on us, at this point, we have decided on the following procedures through the summer of 2020:
- For those individuals and couples who want an appointment, we will continue to recommend ZOOM or phone meetings. ZOOM meetings (video through computer) have been very effective and we don’t see any reason why we can’t continue to meet in this fashion.
- For those who need to complete investment and/or annuity paperwork, we will complete the paperwork over the phone and overnight it to the client for signatures.
(An electronic application process is in the works. With this, we can “share our screen” and do the application via ZOOM or over the phone.)
Those that insist on coming into the office to sign paperwork will be asked to wear a mask, bring their own pen & maintain social distance.
- We will mail applications to individuals who need dental/vision, cancer, Medicare supplement, Medicare Part D and life insurance.
- As we have done since March, we will continue to thoroughly disinfect commons areas of our office multiple times a day & wash our hands frequently.
Nobody knows what our future holds where COVID-19 is concerned. It is unknown as to whether or not there will be a second wave of the outbreak or if scientists will come up with a cure, a treatment and/or a vaccine. Teachers have no clue about the fall semester and kids are left wondering if they will go back to public schools, colleges and universities.
For those with loved ones in retirement communities and facilities, we have no idea when we’ll be able to go visit. We don’t know if we’ll go back to stadiums and arenas or if we’ll continue to be without sporting activities.
One thing is for sure. We are all in this together!
As owners of a business, as the mother of a special-needs adult, as children of “olderly” parents and as employer to ten very special employees, we have to make wise choices. Each and every day we bow before our Creator, asking Him for wisdom & protection. It is our firm belief that He is listening and providing!
Please know that we miss the daily interaction with our clients. As Linda Valley said a couple of weeks ago, “No offense…but I’m really getting tired of seeing the same four people I’m paid to see every day!”
Most of all, we miss the hugs! (And we’re kinda tired of Mary Alice being in one place!!!)
Thank you for your understanding. Please call or e-mail us if you have any questions or concerns. We will get through this…together!
With much appreciation,