Tech­nol­ogy has risen to the occa­sion when it comes to keep­ing us con­nected in these days of “social distancing”.

Online shop­ping and pick-​up ser­vices have enjoyed a surge in demand at retail.

Once we move past the COVID-​19 cri­sis, it will remain to be seen how this retail shop­ping seg­ment fares.

Restau­rants of all lev­els of ser­vice (fast casual to high end, white linen) have been hard hit in keep­ing the doors open. Ones that can offer curb­side pickup or take out, are being cre­ative in adapt­ing menus.

Feed­ing con­sumers is deemed an essen­tial ser­vice. Restau­rants have been there for our cel­e­bra­tions. Every mile­stone– birth­day, anniver­sary, retire­ment or pro­mo­tion feels spe­cial when enjoyed at a favorite din­ing place.

To those who are the reg­u­lar week­night home cooks, din­ing out is a big reward. The break from the norm gives an indi­vid­ual a chance to relax and be “waited on”.

Din­ing out typ­i­cally gives choices not usu­ally in the home meal plan rota­tion. Fewer choices is new norm. Picky eaters are with­out their favorite go to.

Read more: Curb Appeal →

The Spring Equinox, also called the Ver­nal Equinox, has long been cel­e­brated as a time of renewal and rebirth.

March 20th marked the first day of spring in the north­ern hemi­sphere. In nor­mal times, this gives peo­ple a chance to gather and focus on the sea­sonal events that lift us up.

Cul­tures cel­e­brate spring fes­ti­vals and hol­i­days – like Easter and Passover – around the equinox. Sport­ing events, con­certs and the like boost our social inter­ac­tions and spir­its.

We are not liv­ing in nor­mal times. How­ever, there are some things we can do to ease our psy­che dur­ing this chal­leng­ing period as we fol­low the edict to dis­tance our­selves from oth­ers.

As self-​quarantines and man­dated restric­tions are fol­lowed, there is cheer­ful work to be done. Take this time to pre­pare gar­dens, flower beds and planters.

The ground soft­ens and the dirt becomes warmer. If it’s too early to plant, take this chance to pre­pare. Groom, weed, hoe and turn the soil.

Read more: Cheer­ing Up →

If you are the pri­mary gro­cery shop­per for your house­hold, you’ve had a taste of what retail mad­ness feels like.

For all oth­ers, it’s only a wild tale of unprece­dented activ­ity. It may rein­force why you leave the shop­ping to oth­ers.

Long lines to get in to stores. Longer lines to check­out. Empty shelves for more than paper tow­els and toi­let paper. Eggs are at a pre­mium if you can find them.

Major chain stores have now imposed lim­its on cer­tain items to pre­vent hoard­ing. This comes later than nec­es­sary. We hear about indi­vid­u­als stock­pil­ing paper goods, hand san­i­tiz­ers and clean­ing sup­plies.

Costco, Kroger’s, Whole Foods and oth­ers have dis­con­tin­ued prod­uct sam­pling. No free nib­bles.

The spike in “social dis­tanc­ing” does not yet seem to apply to retail envi­ron­ments. Pan­icked shop­pers crowd aisles and fill carts with every­thing from ramen to Spam. Even if those things are not what is nor­mally eaten for din­ner, there is some illog­i­cal ratio­nale for pur­chas­ing them.

Read more: Retail Madness →

Under­stand­ably, there has been a recent surge in hand wash­ing mes­sag­ing and activ­ity.

Indi­vid­u­als are empow­ered to resist the spread of virus and infec­tion by this proper, fre­quent and soapy sim­ple act.

The advent of Spring lends itself nicely to revisit the power of a healthy lifestyle and other sim­ple acts to fight off sick­ness.

The media reminds us daily that peo­ple with com­pro­mised res­pi­ra­tory and pul­monary con­di­tions are most at risk from COVID-​19 and other viruses. Dia­betes also puts one in a “high risk” cat­e­gory.

Spring is the per­fect time to reboot healthy habits. Every part of the body, includ­ing the immune sys­tem, func­tions bet­ter when pro­tected from envi­ron­men­tal assaults. Healthy liv­ing strate­gies bol­sters not only the immune sys­tem, but the abil­ity to cope with ill­ness or injury.

Top­ping the list is the inclu­sion of plenty of fruits and veg­eta­bles in daily menus. This helps main­tain a healthy weight, con­tribut­ing to over­all good health.

Read more: Spring Thinking →

For the next few weeks, we will be post­ing the PRO*ACT Mar­ket Report in place of our usual Gen­eral Pro­duce version.

To read the full issue of The Source, includ­ing this week’s com­modi­ties update, click here.

For the next few weeks, we will be post­ing the PRO*ACT Mar­ket Report in place of our usual Gen­eral Pro­duce version.

To read the full issue of The Source, includ­ing this week’s com­modi­ties update, click here.