With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, nonessential businesses and places have been ordered to shut down in Indiana, as well as throughout the United States.
Nonessential businesses include community and recreation centers; gyms including yoga, barre and spin facilities; hair salons, barbers, nail salons and spas; casinos; concert venues; theaters; bars; sporting event venues and golf courses; retail facilities, including shopping malls, except for pharmacies or other health care facilities within retail operations, said Gov. Tom Wolf.
According to Wolf, licensed child care centers, adult day care centers and senior community centers were also to close.
Essential businesses included grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, post offices, gas stations, banks, laundromats, pet stores, public transportation and hotel and commerical lodging.
If businesses deemed nonessential still remained open, the punishment could include citations, fines or license suspensions, according to Wolf.
Stores across the United States have closed their doors. Retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Bath & Body Works, Hollister, Kohl’s, Nike and Urban Outfitters have completely closed, as well as electronic businesses such as Apple.
McDonald’s have closed dining rooms but are keeping drive-thrus open. Starbucks has closed their doors in the hard-hit areas. Walt Disney World and Disneyland have shut down as well.
For students who have remained at IUP or in Indiana, this can mean a shift in where they get supplies, clothes, food and drinks.
Grocery stores such as Martin’s, Giant Eagle and ALDI have remained open for business for the community, as well as Ollie’s, Dollar Store, Dollar General and Family Dollar. While these stores may not be the first place to shop for food, they have a variety to choose from at a fair price.
Dollar stores mainly offer non-perishables, such as canned goods, dried fruit and pasta.
Walmart has remained opened; however, business hours have changed. Rather than be open 24 hours, it is now opening at 6 a.m. and closing at 11 p.m. until further notice. While Walmart is usually stocked with everything you need, there have been shortages in not only toilet paper, but in food and medicine.
Stores in downtown Indiana have closed their doors as well. Restaurants, such as Thai@Indiana and Insomnia Cookies have remained opened for business but only for carry-out and delivery. Valley Dairy and Eat’n Park offer deliveries through programs such as DoorDash and Grubhub. Some bars are still offering carry-out or delivery of their food and alcohol.
You can check individual restaurants’ websites or Facebook pages to see how they have modified their businesses.
Retailers that have already put their stores online are still doing online ordering and delivery. Amazon, Bath & Body Works, Kohls, Walmart and others are still catering to online ordering.
When it comes to shopping, it seems the best bet is Walmart for household goods, clothes, makeup and more. However, when groceries are needed, Martin’s, Giant Eagle and ALDI have your back. However, the hot food and salad bar at Martin’s and Giant Eagle are closed, while already-prepared meals are available to purchase.
Life around campus has also taken a shift. Classes have been moved online via Zoom, D2L or Moodle and students that still reside in Indiana may sense a change in where to get food, hang out or get other forms of entertainment.
North Dining Hall, Crimson Cafe, Java City and Subway have closed their doors until further notice. The Hawk HUB is still operating; however, new business hours are in effect. Breakfast is served 7 a.m. until 9 a.m., lunch will be served 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and dinner is served at 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Students can use one meal swipe for anything in the food court.
Chick-fil-A and Einstein’s are closed until further notice as well. The hours are still subject to change, and IUP Dining suggests following their social media on Facebook for updates.
The Philadelphia Street Playhouse has closed their doors until further notice, as well as the MovieScoop movie theater located in the mall.
STATIC events for the rest of the semester have been postponed or canceled, as well as concerts and festivals that were to be held in the upcoming months have experienced the same. For the first time since 9/11, Broadway in New York City has closed as well, and IUP’s Lively Arts productions have been canceled.
This can be difficult to navigate. With popular stores and restaurants closing their doors, it can be challenging to find the best place to buy much-needed supplies and groceries. However, there are stores still opened that are doing their best to carry essentials. Ordering online is always an option, even while maintaing social distancing to remain healthy.
To quote Abraham Lincoln, “this too shall pass.” In the meantime, if local businesses are opened, show them some extra love. You may find more bang for your buck.