Abraxas: Can’t beat ‘em? Join ‘em
The Abraxas Studio of Art is now Studio of Art, Masks and Hand Sanitizer.
“My liberty flame is burning bright,” he said recently. “I understand public safety but I think the government has gone too far this time. You have to push back. My message is simple: fair play for small business. We are all capable of being responsible so give us small business owners the same opportunity to survive this crisis and do it now!”
When Reopen Delaware activists were demonstrating Saturday in Rehoboth Beach, Abraxas was explaining to a Lewes Police Officer why he was risking what the officer suggested as criminal arrest. “I told him that even though lots of people are saying we’re all in this together, that’s really not the case. He’s getting a paycheck. I’m not. Lots of people are, but many small business owners are not, and haven’t been able to do business since March and it’s getting serious. Bills are coming, rents have to be paid and we're told we can’t open for business. This is about survival. Meanwhile here I am being told I can’t be open while I’m watching the coffee shop across the street doing a steady business and the same with the liquor store down the street and the gourmet shop around the corner - all because they’re considered essential because of what they sell and what I am doing is not. That doesn’t sit well.”
So, rather than risk conducting sketching classes in a jail cell, Abraxas decided to adapt.
“If selling masks and hand sanitizer - that the government is mandating - doesn’t make my business essential, then I don’t know what does.” He quickly pivoted from non-essential to essential.
It wouldn't be surprising to see other small businesses following suit. Memorial Day weekend is just a few days away and many small businesses want to be open and doing more than just the ludicrously cumbersome and ineffective curbside shopping allowed at this point by the state.
It’s time for the government to allow all businesses to show they can be responsible in terms of requiring masks and social distancing, and it’s time for the government to trust that the vast majority of all the people can make the right decisions to protect themselves and others so coronavirus can be contained while the economy begins to rebuild for everyone.
PS - Abraxas reports that over the weekend he sold eight masks and 12 bottles of hand sanitizer. “Two families had biked from Rehoboth and were hungry - left their masks at home and were grateful I had some so they could get takeout downtown!”