The phrase “let them eat cake” supposedly originated in the 17th or 18th century. After being informed that the peasants had no bread to eat, a helpful princess suggested that they should just eat cake instead. The phrase indicates either a complete disregard for the well-being of the peasants, or a class of society that is entirely out of touch with the daily life of the common man.
We may look back on this global pandemic and realize this was our “let them eat cake” moment.
Brands, companies and even private clubs will be remembered for how they acted during the global health pandemic of 2020. There are many great examples of private clubs rising to the occasion.
Spring Brook Country Club in Morristown NJ has been busy donating sandwiches, bottled water and Gatorade to the overworked nurses and employees of nearby Morristown Medical Center. This is not surprising, since David Bachman and his team annually donates up to $45,000 to local agencies, through funding provided by members.
Upon hearing about the efforts of Spring Brook, members at nearby Fairmount Country Club organized an initiative which delivered two truckloads of beverages to Morristown Medical.
These two clubs have provided exactly the type of example needed today. They will be remembered for doing the right thing for their community in a time of crisis.
Alternatively, we’ve seen a lot of news stories about private clubs keeping their courses open while making their best efforts to keep members safe from the coronavirus. If you’d like to argue the merits of these types of efforts, that’s fine. But here is what I see: wealthy people ignoring stay at home orders to play golf and justifying it as “exercise.” That is a PR nightmare.
The CDC is currently forecasting up to 240,000 deaths as a result of this virus. They have recommended that everyone stay at home for the next 30 days and practice social distancing in order to best mitigate its spread. In the last two weeks, there have been nearly 10,000,000 new unemployment claims, with more to come. People are worried about how to pay their rent and how they’re going to make money when this is all over. Many have lost their health insurance as a result of losing their job. People are scared of dying as a result of COVID-19.
It’s said that the character of a man is defined by what he does when no one is looking. Well right now everyone is looking, and many private club members are out playing golf.
So I guess we can just let them eat cake. Now we just need to decide, are we completely out of touch with what is currently happening in our country, or do we not care?