Tea in the Time of Coronavirus (Covid-19)

For weeks I’ve been inundated with emails from companies we work with on a variety of levels, from the people we get herbs from, the people we get pens from, some of the places we acquire tea, banks, insurance companies, payment processing…

…all trying to reassure.

In some cases I appreciate the data, in many it feels mostly like the same cascade of slightly tweaked boilerplate that happened after the EU changed how data needed to be dealt with.1

Mister Tea and I weren’t really sure how we should approach talking to you about Desert Sage Natural and hot beverages in the time of plague. We’ve been discussing it off and on for a couple weeks now.

I’m still washing my hands as obsessively as I did prior.23  Not much has changed there.  I’m adding in extra iterations after interacting with anything that came from the Outside World, and Mister Tea takes some fairly thorough steps to decontaminate himself after the errands we cannot avoid.4

I was mostly housebound prior to these events – so now we just don’t have any plans for any of those rare “SageNatural gets to have an out-of-the-house adventure potentially involving contact with other humans!” occurrences.

A stylized plague doctor head with lilac blooms behind it. Written underneath is "Keep Calm and Stay at Home." (Pencil sketch/drawing)

Our fulfillment times have slowed.

I’ve lost direct access to the most effective pain mitigation method I’d had prior, which coincided with a relatively gnarly increase in my baseline pain levels.  I’m slowly getting used to the increase, and am figuring out some combinations of things that have given me back some more fully functional time.5

However, I’m still not working on all thrusters – and the current world crisis has, of course, added a number of complications and new stresses – as I assume it has for everyone.

I have no idea how well our supply lines are going to hold up. I’d restocked recently, so we’re not hurting for anything in the tea toolbox yet – but I do not know if that scenario will continue.6

One of our suppliers was hit so hard by the initial panic-buying rush that they had to suspend ordering.

But none of the others seems to be bothered, as yet.  It’s mostly, I think, going to depend on how this plays out worldwide, in the longer term.

What we do is relatively dependent, right now, on the concept of there being a GLOBAL economy.  Not everything we use grows in the United States with ease, much less in New Mexico.

So, short term, things should be fine.  If, in the more middle term, we end up having issues acquiring ingredients, I will give warning – and, if it comes down to it, we will down check blends as they need to be.

Additionally, in the case of our medicinals, if they need to be down checked I will see if I can figure out shifts to the blends that will be effective with whatever we can still acquire.

So, I guess what it comes down to is we will continue to be willing to create tea, coffee, and cocoa for you for as long as we can, as safely as we can.

We do urge you to take care of yourselves as best you can. I know that not every life allows for a complete self-lockdown – and that’s speaking just of the people who are not out there on the front-lines, in so many arenas, trying to keep things running for the rest of us.7

We’ve made so many connections, had so many friendships form through our work of tea, and we worry for all of you – scattered across the world as you are.

Be safe. Take care. You will be in our thoughts… and in our hearts.

Older style illustration that brings to mind illuminated texts of an armoured man on a horse with a shield and lance, pointing at a human standing nearby. The text underneath reads "Verily, tis not a lance, tis my social distancing rodde."
Seriously. Do what you need to to stay safe. Social distancing, staying home… I know there’s a lot of guilt-tripping, gas-lighting, and magical thinking out there…
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  1. Amusingly enough, the best of the lot has been the newsletters coming from one of our packaging suppliers. Quite a bit of useful information, and feels more like “real” contact than many of them.
  2. And taking even more care not to let them get to “cracked and bleeding” because our current stock of gloves may be all we have for quite some time.
  3. Also, the gloves we use are graded for food service, but not for medical use. Feel like that probably needs to be specified, in these current times.
  4. Unfortunately one of my chronic illnesses complicates the concept of grocery delivery. We’d love to take advantage of it, but avoiding the virus via anaphylaxis seems… ill-advised.
  5. With luck and time I should have direct access again. We will hopefully, eventually, get me back to something resembling my old normal.
  6. This is not a call to suddenly buy large amounts of anything of ours you think you might need.
  7. Thank you. All of you. So very much.

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