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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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Living through COVID-19 – Part VIII

Giving back

Putting in the work for the I AM My Sister’s Keeper food distribution. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises)

Margaret Cowan, founder of I Am My Sister’s Keeper, spent Wednesday (May 20) distributing food boxes, in partnership with the Mid-South Food Bank, at Longview Heights Seventh-Day Adventist Church at 685 East Mallory.

The give-away, Feeding the Community of 38106, distributed 108 boxes of fresh produce to 65 families. The effort also was helped by $1,000 from the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis to Cowan’s nonprofit.

I Am My Sister’s Keeper works with single, working mothers to increase their earning potential.

One of the women, who is the mother of a two-year-old, lives with her mother, who recently learned she has contracted the COVID-19 virus, Cowan said.

Now, the young woman is concerned about herself and her child contracting the virus. Cowan said she is helping the young woman find temporary housing until her mother recovers.

Schooling customers

Barber William Gandy Jr. went back to work May 11 after a health directive for Shelby County allowed hair salons and barbershops to open under strict guidelines in the first phase of the Back to Business plan for Memphis and Shelby County.

William Gandy Jr. is back in business, albeit with safety measures designed to counter the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises)

He was behind his barber chair at 6 a.m. because so many of his customers were eager – some desperate – to get a haircut.

He quaffed 21 customers that day and 13 the following Tuesday. Since then, he has been averaging nine to 11 customers a day.

He is scheduling his appointments 30-minutes apart to give himself time to serve a customer and to sanitize his equipment before his next appointment.

“My appointment system right now works for me,” but not so much for some of his customers, he said Wednesday (May 20).

He still has customers who think they can just drop in without an appointment and some of them are not happy when he turns them away.

People arriving late for their appointments are “another issue” because it impacts his schedule and the schedules of those who made an appointment.

A settlement and another car

James Cook, whose beloved – and paid for – Mercedes-Benz S500 was totaled May 8 when a careless driver rammed into its rear end, reached a settlement with his insurance company and has replaced the car.

He found a 2011Mercedes S550 in Dallas, although the settlement did not cover the full cost of the car.

The accident caused him to miss time from work, but he said he will be back on the job Thursday (May 21).

Cook had to close his two businesses at Memphis International Airport – Runway 901 Bar & Grill and Lenny’s Grill and Subs – in March because of sparse airport passenger traffic.

James Cook (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises)

Since then, he has been working with his father’s landscaping business and working for another Lenny’s franchisee.

On the air travel front, Americans are booking more flights than they are canceling for the first time in weeks, and U.S. airlines is adding flights to its schedules, CNN reported Wednesday (May 20).

The semi-good news, however, is tempered by the fact commercial flights were down 73.7 percent in April, compared to 2019, according to Flightradar24, a global flight tracking service.

Cook said he cannot think about reopening his airport businesses until there is improvement in those numbers.

Until family and leisure travel make a big jump, there is “not enough business to keep us open,” Cook said.


Maneuvering through the perils of COVID-19

Living through COVID-19: A trio of profiles – Part II

Living through COVID-19: A trio of profiles – Part III

Living through COVID-19 — Part IV

Living through COVID-19: A trio of profiles – Part V

Living through COVID-19: Part VI

Living through COVID-19: Part VII 




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