(Editor’s note: Adam Joss, president of the Vertical Connection Carpet One Floor & Home in Columbia, Md., recently dealt with a very real health scare that gave him new appreciation for the COVID-19 pandemic and what medical professionals throughout the country are going through in an effort to save lives. Here’s his account in his words.)
“Are you having a heart attack?” my wife asked me. “No, this is all just very emotional,” I responded. I had just finished a call with our entire team, explaining the path forward in these unprecedented times (at least in our lifetimes). Reduced pay, uncertainty, questions of how to pay bills, thoughts of unemployment, etc. We all understand these questions and the anxiety they bring. My heart broke to deliver the message: 43 years in business and we’re facing the greatest challenge any business can ever imagine. I’m hesitant to even use the word “business.” A local business isn’t some giant technology-driven, money-making machine. A local business is the sum of hard-working individuals—neighbors. Our team. Our family. My heart broke for them.
Following the call with the entire team and with the chest pain I was experiencing, my wife convinced me to go to the ER to get it checked out. This was Thursday, March 19. Between young children at home with minor symptoms and my shortness of breath, I was tested for COVID-19. I was put into isolation in the ER at 1 a.m. while awaiting other test results (you can imagine the thoughts in my head). I would soon learn that I wasn’t having a heart attack. (Phew! What a relief!) The COVID-19 results take two days, so I was sent home.
The next day I received a call from the ER that they took another look at the x-rays and discovered I had a partially collapsed lung. With my COVID-19 results still pending, I was called back to the hospital for additional x-rays and admitted into isolation in the coronavirus wing of the hospital. It was like being in a horrible movie. These days, when you go to the hospital, you go alone. No visitors. I had a newfound understanding of the horror of this virus. The following day, my lung was healing and my COVID-19 test result came back negative. I was released and sent home to be with my family. I’ve been recovering at home with plenty of rest.
Our business. Our team. Our family. Under normal circumstances, if you implemented across the board pay cuts with no clarity as to what the future holds, how do you think you would react? Obviously, these aren’t normal circumstances. Our team isn’t made up of normal individuals either. We’re made up of exceptional individuals! “We’ve got this,” is the resounding message from everyone on our team. Tears rolled down my cheek every time I received this message. I was in awe of a group of individuals working together to overcome the greatest challenge a small local business can ever face. We’ll get through this!
The nurses, doctors, medical professionals and countless others on the front lines of this war— I witnessed it firsthand. Their sacrifice is remarkable. They have children, emotions, bills to pay and lives to live. Yet, they’re working tirelessly to save and comfort others. I’m sure they never imagined they’d experience a global pandemic this severe. They deserve all the credit and recognition in the world. They also deserve our support now and in the future.
As a result, we have decided to donate $100 from every order, through Aug. 31, to support our incredible medical professionals. Although our showroom is closed and we don’t have all the answers yet, we remain committed to supporting those on the front lines, their families and the incredible individuals working selfelssly to save others. We will work through ACS of Howard County (acshoco.org) and Building for America’s Bravest (an organization founded to support soldiers and now refocusing to support medical professionals) to ensure funds go to the proper uses. We’ve always supported a number of non-profits throughout the community, and this will just be one more cause. Additionally, we’ll continue to work hard to support our local staff and their families.
We need your support
Please shop local now and in the future. Allow us to help you get your project started, even if it’s a few tips and advice to help you plan for the future. Our team is working remotely and able to provide free consultations via FaceTime, phone, email or text. We’d love to hear from you. Contact us even if only to share your support. Our team would love it. Email us at info@VerticalConnection.com; text us at 410.730.7423, or visit VerticalConnection.com.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for your support, now and in the future. We hope you and your families stay safe and stay healthy.
The Vertical Connection Carpet One