Some windows have essays, reflecting on why the business has been forced to temporarily close, and urging us to stay healthy and to stay safe. Some are minimalist, with no sign apart from the one that says “closed” and the sight of cleared shelves or chairs upturned on tables; we can figure it out for ourselves.
Others gently and not-so-gently admonish us to not come in until we’re invited, or to come in a few at a time, and when we do come in, to make sure we keep at least two metres away from each other. And, definitely don’t come in if you’re sick.
Restaurants have a variety of approaches to doing business not-as-usual. Many have a table at the doorway, sometimes with a menu and ordering instructions. Others have locked their doors and the dining room is dark; they are still cooking, but only accepting orders by phone or online for pickup and delivery.
On every other block of downtown Victoria, there seems to be a person carrying an insulated bag, coming to a restaurant to pick up an order for delivery.
Restaurants and bars have been ordered by the province to close their dining rooms and only offer takeout or delivery. Hairstylists, pedicure salons and dental practices have also had to close, because it’s not possible to provide service and maintain a two-metre distance.
Many other businesses, which haven’t been directly told to close, have chosen to do so anyway. Some of them continue to operate behind locked doors, happy to continue serving customers, though not in person.