Local impact of a global crisis
What a year this week has been.
Just a few days ago, despite clear evidence from China and Italy that things were about to get very serious, there was still a sense that perhaps life would continue much as before.
No one is under any illusions about that now.
On Monday we asked our team to start working remotely from home, rather than from our studio in the centre of Lancaster, so we could all become accustomed to collaborating while practising social distancing.
It has not been easy, and I miss my colleagues, but it is clearly necessary to support efforts to flatten the curve.
We know coronavirus is coming our way and we do not want to make its spread any easier.
We are fortunate to be able to work remotely and communicate using a mix of calls, chat and email.
From the outside it probably looks like business as usual, and we can operate in this virtual state for as long as we need to.
Many of our clients are not so lucky. Over the past few days I have spoken with many shell-shocked business owners and employees in sectors such as hospitality, travel and retail.
While the gears of government grind and churn, those running pubs and restaurants were left in appalling limbo after the Prime Minister advised people to avoid them, while not mandating that they close or providing any relief.
At Hotfoot we are doing all we can to support our clients in the sectors under most threat.
Next week we will be launching a campaign to encourage people to support the local businesses they love by buying gift vouchers to use after coronavirus has run its course.
We all need something to look forward to, after all, now more than ever.
And if you do not want to buy a gift voucher for a loved one, you could always buy one for your future self.
If we pull together and support each other then we have a chance of getting through this stronger, in some ways, than we ever were before.
By Guy Cookson, Partner at Hotfoot Design