By: Mark Lenske, International Sales Manager, Bay Tek Entertainment

Let me start by saying that I am no expert on this very serious subject.  I’m just a person working in a great industry that has been affected by and has seen the effects of this virus across the globe.

What should we make of it?

My take is that we need to: Listen, Understand and ACT.

Do what you think is best for your family, community and business.

This too shall pass.

In the past week, news of COVID–19 has spread like wildfire on the news and in our communities.  Our lives are going to be disrupted for a while: Businesses, Schools, Churches,   Only God knows how long it will last but rest assured we will come out of this situation on top with a much better understanding of how to handle epidemics and global pandemics the next time.

Top Action Item: Wash your hands again and again.  Most experts say this is the best course of action.  This is the easiest thing for us all to do.  Sneeze or cough in your sleeve.  This will keep the airborne particles from traveling to surfaces we touch.   We are told that masks really don’t help unless you are the person who is sick.  If you are sick, do everyone a favor and please stay home.  I flew down to New Orleans and I didn’t see one mask on the plane this time.  Traveling abroad the last few months, masks were more common.  Do what you think is best for you.

I’ve seen four of my significant work events postponed so far in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.  Whole countries are being locked down as they struggle to control the outbreak.  Our Latin American representative just canceled his trip to Argentina out of precaution.  During this time, we need to be mindful of our customers and their needs.  Reach out to them, see how they are doing and offer support.

The Amusement Expo in New Orleans was last week and while attendance was light, there were a significant amount of people doing business, talking about the industry and networking with colleagues from across the world.  There were some greeting of fist bumps or elbow touches.  Coronavirus was on people’s minds.

Several of the seminars I attended, specifically about VR, addressed Coronavirus.  I believe hygiene is on everyone’s minds, especially for VR.    It really must go further to include all products and surfaces in a game room.  Players touch when they play our games.  It only makes sense to have employees wipe down the games, countertops, door handles and anything else customers touch regularly with the proper cleaning products.  Be diligent.  Make parents and players feel comfortable when they visit your location as they watch your staff sanitize.

With many of our schools closing for extended spring breaks or even longer,  if allowed, parents may bring them to your locations to pass the time.  If so, do what you can to help stop the spread of this virus so things can get back to normal as soon as possible.

This too shall pass.