How has the CoronaVirus affected you?

I can remember the measles quarantine signs. I had the measles accompanied by fever high enough that I was hallucinating. And I can just remember the annual fear that came with the "polio season" before the Salk vaccine. I was very, very young, but the fear was real.
@walesmaven wrote:

I had the measles at about age 4 or 5 and our house was quarantined, complete with the sign on the front door.

Oddly, my father, mother and brother could come and go, since that had all had measles before. But no one except them could enter. I had to remain in a darkened room for 9 days. My big brother brought me his crystal radio set, so I could listen to soap operas (which even I understood were lame) and then, during after school hours, thrilling adventures of Sky King and Penny, The Lone Ranger, and similar shows. To this day, falling asleep while radio plays or similar broadcast shows are playing has a very calming affect on me. We all could use a big dose of The Great Gildersleeve right now, IMHO.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008

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THAT just freaks me out. I am sorry that you are having to go through that, among other things. May there be divine blessings for you ahead.

@anniemaria wrote:

Recently someone tried to kill me by putting motor oil into my brakes. That alone puts all of this into perspective.
As I explained to someone recently I am worth much more alive than dead because right now I owe a lot of money and that amount has to be paid off which would leave very little in the estate.
fyi, this is the 2nd update I received from Customer Impact re coronavirus:

Hello to our great shoppers and field representatives,

We want to provide an update on the status of Customer Impact shops and projects we all deal with the effects of the coronavirus. As states continue to close down restaurants & non-essential retail areas, we are already seeing temporary holds on mystery shop programs and other retail service projects. Customer Impact is currently in the process of reaching out to every customer and getting guidance as we all go through this together.

As we receive word and guidance from our customers, we will in turn deliver that to anyone specifically affected by being assigned shops or projects. Additionally, if you are assigned a mystery shop or retail project and are no longer comfortable making the visit due to the coronavirus, please contact your scheduler or project manager and we will remove it from your log, no questions asked. Your health and safety is of paramount concern to us.

The only way we get through this is together. And we do that with good communication, planning, offering to help others in need if able, and exercising good judgment. As we have additional updates from our customers, we will continue to get in touch with those directly affected by any holds or adjustments to those visits.

Thank you,

Scott Hiller

Daniel Price
I only received one from CI. I like working for CI

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/2020 02:48AM by Isaiah4031a.
Got a call last night. Telecommuting at least until the end of March. Fine with me. DH is a teacher, his last day was today. Online classes for him from 8:45-2:30 PM. He is allowed to go in to the school. Tonight, I ventured out to Aldi. Got everything I wanted with exception of potatoes; Milk, grapes, avocados, fresh mozzarella cheese, Jalepeno Havarti Cheese, bananas, cashews, chips, broccoli and frozen pizza. There was no frenzy. Lines a bit longer than usual. The bread and canned food aisles were bare. Last Wednesday, I went to Trader Joe's and everything was fully stocked. I had a retail shop cancelled by a MSC for next week. I did an upscale dining shop last Friday. The only one left is a take out shop which should be good.
Today, my husband and I had lunch with our grown children, celebrating two birthdays. We did take out, at my son's house. We told them that this would be our last outing, as we would be hunkering down. That we would video chat, text, and talk on the phone. We thought maybe for two months. Then today, the Administration advised that we may not come out of this health crisis until July or August.

I hugged each of my children tightly, for the last time for several months.
@Mert; While the crisis may continue for a while, I have hopes that test kits will become more widely available in the shorter term, allowing people like me to feel safe visiting my parents without the worry of infecting them.

We are moving to a 100% remote workflow for my job, so I can essentially quarantine myself for a week and then get tested to ensure a safe visit with them. Meanwhile, I'm trying to get them comfortable with video chats every day.

And Kudos to Daniel at Customer Impact for reaching out to shoppers and posting here on the forum as well. I haven't worked for CI for a while, so perhaps that's why I did not receive their emails, but did receive a very professional email from Guest Check today, suspending all future assignments until further notice. Good to see some of the MSC doing their part...
It seems that the majority of clients and MS Companies are tone deaf and not concerned for their shoppers or the general public. I'm in Seattle. Of the 20 MS companies I work for, I have not received ONE email covering COVID and steps they are taking to deal with this. Very, very disappointed, especially that they were still posting assisted living facilities as late as last week, even though visitors were banned nearly a week earlier.
They were still posting assisted living? That's horrific. I am also in Seattle. After a recent job change a couple months ago, I turned off all my notifications because I temporarily don't have time for mystery shopping. All the same, I received a text message today from a scheduler asking me to do a shop and emails this week for Seattle retail shops. I politely expressed my concern about the text and the scheduler was non-receptive explaining that shops are pretty safe and mystery shopping may cease to exist as an industry. I'm over here trying to coordinate the safety of various family members with pre-existing conditions and getting texts like that -- it's so irresponsible on MSPs part. Companies need to pull their weight on this. I understand and have great compassion and concern about the financial hardship of all of this, but I expect more from MSPs. Much more.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/2020 04:41AM by db1142.
Would anyone be open to sending a group (very polite, compassionate, professional) letter expressing concerns to companies that have been less accommodating in this moment? The more I reflect on the interaction I had this evening, the more I'm deeply disturbed by it.
@Tarantado wrote:

The head scratcher to me is people aren’t driving less due to the higher risk of dying in a car accident than contagion of coronavirus...

This didn't age well.

I’m a gym rat and go everyday. I basically schedule my mystery shops around my gym visits and 24 Hour Fitness allows me to go to different gym locations. Just got an email that they are closing all of their gyms until further notice.
@2stepps wrote:

What time zone does this go by?

You can set your own time zone. Click on your name in the top right corner then click on the “Control Center”. Then click on the “Options” on the left side, then “Forum Settings”. From there you can set your time zone.
I've gotten a number of emails and phone calls from companies (most small companies, but I got the Guest Check one and also one from Bare) detailing specific responses to COVID-19. I agree, this is appreciated and comforting.

I also had a dining shop this past weekend that I had to cancel as the location closed indefinitely after lunch service on Friday (my shop was Sat/Sun). I emailed the scheduler and got a somewhat terse response that I needed to send in "proof" that the restaurant was really closed or it would negatively affect me.

I did so (easy enough to get proof - screen capture on their website) but was more than a little put off by the attitude. It was a fine dining shop that was reimbursement only, why the heck would I take the shop, then "lie" about how I couldn't do it as planned. I'm in Seattle too - and things are rapidly changing every day here.

As far as going forward, I won't be taking any new shops for a very, very long time. I understand and hope that shops will come back sooner than a "very, very long time," but also recognize that others may need those shops more than I, and that we as a society may be very well changed for good (no pun intended, but certainly hoped for the pun to be reality).

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/2020 06:42AM by MickeyB.
I'm being contacted by schedulers desperate to finish shops this week before Orlando's tourism industry shuts down, if it hadn't already. Doing a valet shop on the final day before the hotels close or grabbing a last-minute bite to eat seems really inappropriate. It's a public health concern. Normalcy changes pretty quickly.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/2020 11:48AM by greenwhite11.
I'm not at all upset with MSC's that are still trying to get their shops done.... Many are almost certainly facing financial ruin just like countless other small businesses. Schedulers are just as stressed about losing their income stream as many shoppers are. Moreover, a person's understanding of the full dangers of COVID-19 will differ significant based on where s/he lives and what news programs s/he watches (if any). I live in Seattle were this is very, very real. I get my news from several different outlets - with different biases. I have a family member in rural Idaho who only gets her news from one news outlet plus Facebook. She believes that the coronavirus is a hoax. People are going to act upon what they perceive as the truth - not what the truth actually is.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
@MFJohnston wrote:

People are going to act upon what they perceive as the truth.

That said...don't we, as a group, have some social responsibility to promote people taking taking action based on reality (AKA truth)?

While I don't have animosity for someone trying to get their job done, I would expect them to be understanding when it was pointed out that there were potentially sending someone into harms way to make $5. I would not have suffered the response that MickeyB received nearly as well as she most likely did.

We all; shoppers, MSC's and the majority of the world, are going to take a large financial hit from this pandemic, so it's time to start looking forward to the future of what this industry can and will be, rather than hanging on to the crumbs of dining shops for clients that are going to see an enormous business decline in the coming month(s) and have their mystery shopping report pretty far down the list of items that are important to them.

My assumption is a massive cancellation of all shopping programs that involve public interaction coming shortly. We live in a social media driven world now, and companies cannot afford the public perception of treating employees or customers with disregard any longer.

Many of my friends in the L.A. area that are being shut out from work are still being compensated by their employers for the time off. Businesses realize that not only is it bad PR to lay off employees in a crisis, but they want to retain their trained workforce for when business returns to the "new normal". That sort of forward thinking is seemingly absent from the majority of MSC's (with some above noted exceptions) and that's somewhat ironic, for a business that seemingly informs others about public perception....
That's a scary and valid thought. Hell, there's even been posts about the effects of loyalty status from some of the big chains for hotels and airlines about getting them revised, as I'm sure will absolutely happen in the upcoming months. In other words, it may be a fact that this market correction will trickle into all sectors.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 30 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
I have had emails about loyalty points not expiring that otherwise might have done so (due to inactivity).

I am soooo glad that I use SWA for all but international travel. No questions ask for cancelation of my May flight and the price of that flight will be credited to any flight that I book in the next year. And, that is their ordinary policy, not just for "the duration." With first 2 check bags always free, no wonder their loyalty club members are sooo loyal.

Many other firms in the hospitality industries need to take note.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
@walesmaven wrote:

I have had emails about loyalty points not expiring that otherwise might have done so (due to inactivity).

I am soooo glad that I use SWA for all but international travel. No questions ask for cancelation of my May flight and the price of that flight will be credited to any flight that I book in the next year. And, that is their ordinary policy, not just for "the duration." With first 2 check bags always free, no wonder their loyalty club members are sooo loyal.

Many other firms in the hospitality industries need to take note.

I should have been more details: United is one of them that's basically one of probably all that's revaluating their loyalty programs:

"At this time, we are not planning any changes for our 2021 Premier program but we will continue to evaluate our options as we learn more about how the current climate is affecting members' activity. In the interim though, we do plan to give members who are participating in a MileagePlus 2020 Premier Status Match Challenge promotion an additional 30 days to complete their challenge. This extension will automatically be reflected in member accounts within the next week."

- A recent email providing updates on how COVID19's affecting the overall business and its affects towards us, the customers.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 30 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
Email from A Closer Look re coronaviris:

"Hello Shoppers!

Like most of you, we continue to closely monitor the daily developments regarding coronavirus (COVID-19). We encourage shoppers to follow the advice of medical professionals and take appropriate precautions when in public places by practicing the CDC's recommended health and hygiene practices. If you are feeling unwell or have been at risk of exposures, please contact us to reschedule your shop.

In the event that you are interested in completing any mystery shops, I have included the available opportunities in your area for March and April.

We will continue to monitor the situation on a day-to-day basis and ask that you continue to check your email for any updates from our great clients regarding any currently scheduled assignments.

Feel free to contact me with any questions. Stay Safe!"
Bare added this note to the emails sent to announce jobs:


Please do not complete evaluations if local, state, or Federal authorities have advised individuals limit exposure/travel outside the home to essential activities only. Please do not complete evaluations if you are sick or have recently been in contact with someone who is sick or showing symptoms of illness.

Please use your best judgment before completing any evaluations, as your safety is a priority."
Sharing some stats for anyone who thinks that the severe restrictions California is implementing are too Draconian, or that dining shops will be a good idea in April, or anywhere in the near future. BTW, USA is at 4,661 documented cases right now, so you can pretty much fill in the blanks on this chart. We are 11 days behind Italy:

Thank you for the visual reminder.

As I slowly grow wise I grow briskly cautious. - Mark Twain
I am not panicking and I am one of those senior citizens with an underlying condition. I am taking the opportunity to: sleep more, catch up on paperwork, get things done outside, make repairs inside, watch movies, play with my puppy more, communicate with friends more via social media. There's so much more. However, I realize that I am one of the lucky ones in the sense that both my husband and I are retired with fixed retirement income. We have cut back on unnecessary entertainment and cancelled travel. But I look at it as a different lifestyle, temporary, with a new lifestyle to come once we clear this pandemic. I do worry about my elderly relatives, one already sick from other issues. I worry about me but I refuse to let my worry take over me, for a while it almost did. Then I stopped watching so much news. I do not believe the news is fake, but I don't like bad news constantly blasting at me. I take it in little pieces and get the broad news. I look forward to planning things for the future, something I would not have had time to do before. I am not as upbeat as I used to be, but DH and I still laugh a lot. Example, I broke my foot. DH told me to tell the doctor that I broke it kicking his a$$! Stupid stuff. smiling smiley smiling smiley smiling smiley
As for ms'ing, I have cut back almost totally. I do keep an eye on the boards, mostly looking for shops that can be done from home or minimal/no interaction with the public. Maybe that is the future of ms'ing? There are still online shops and shops that involve things I must do anyway. But things will certainly change. In the meantime, everyone have a good day and stay safe.

LET ME BROADCAST THIS! Life is good. I did not say it was "perfect", but it is good. Perfect leaves me something more to strive for while enjoying where I am smiling smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/2020 04:30PM by CureMS.
It looks like they are halting some shops that make up 50% of what I do. This is not good.....I have a shop today and then no more of these shops until further notice. Ugh....
@Roxanne SB wrote:

It looks like they are halting some shops that make up 50% of what I do. This is not good.....I have a shop today and then no more of these shops until further notice. Ugh....

White House looking to get $1,000 checks to all Americans . . .stay tuned to that news everyone!

That could prevent people from having to risk their healthy going out for non-essential reasons.
(p.s. I don't know what the thumbs down button does, but I pushed it thinking it was a thumbs up...sorry if that went to some people's posts. I dunno how to undo it. I also don't have the thumbs up option.)
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