I was asked a couple of weeks ago if I could explain the toll on the business and the ongoing emotions that go along with the pandemic. I’m going to try and explain with as much detail as I can without getting into a lot of the business details.
I think most businesses will have the same general timeline when it comes to how the virus affected them. Mid-March the bottom literally fell out. I will say that it was the best start to a year that I have had and then the third week of March….boom, literally in one week we were down roughly 60-70% when it comes to patient visits. Sure, it’s not as if we had no one coming in the door but I haven’t been that slow in a very long time.
It gave me a lot of solace after talking with local colleagues and classmates from around the country and everyone was experiencing the same thing. Everyone that I talked to was either forced to closed due to government mandates or patient visits had fallen off a cliff. I had even talked to some local chiropractors considering closing down for a while because they did not want to be the business or clinic that was linked to numerous positive cases.
The emotions that go along with this are familiar with anyone that has a pulse that this point. Scared, frustrated, fearful and unknowing are all words that come to mind. Everyone was probably going through these exact emotions. We did not know what was coming the next day, was the state going to step in and shut down chiropractic offices, were myself or Marty or Carol going to get sick, was there going to be an imminent health threat to myself or my family. All of these things were going through my mind.
I told myself and the girls in the middle of March that we were going to need to be prepared to shut down for 2 weeks at some point and that is kind of the contingency plan that we were going to lay out. Take each day at a time and stay healthy. Patients will come back in when they feel safe or need to get back in. I had enough of a cushion that we did not need to lay anyone off or file for unemployment, which was my number one fear. As a small business owner, as much as you need to provide for yourself, you are also a lifeline for your workers as well, but we ultimately did not need to resort to this.
The end of March and April were actually very strange times around the office. Numbers were WAY down and collections were reflective of that. The crazy thing is that May was an awesome month and I hope that the office can put the worst behind us and keep moving forward. It is still quite difficult to project how the next couple of months will go but in my mind I continue to tell myself to take it one day at a time, to stay healthy and keep the cleanest environment that I can in both of the offices.
With all this being said, we look forward to continue to serve the communities of Minden and Kearney along with numerous surround towns. We will continue to take precautions (masks & disinfecting constantly) while trying to provide the highest level of care that we are able to provide. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of things into perspective for myself and the business. Personal health and safety will come first and foremost for my family and for me. If there is ever illness in the office or in our families just know that we will take every precaution to protect ourselves and our patients, including shutting down if need by.
We look forward to finding a new normal and hope that June is another exceptional month for Spracklin Chiropractic.