Be Kind To Each Other, Astoria: A Message From The Thirsty Koala

Owner/Chef of The Thirsty Koala, Katherine Fuchs.

As phase two begins in Astoria, there seems to be a lack of direction and divided opinions in regards to the COVID19 situation. Thirsty Koalas owner Katherine Fuchs describes these frustrations as additional difficulties in keeping a business alive during the pandemic.

The rules and regulations of reopening have not been clearly defined, and often owners are misinformed or the information is delayed. Fuchs says they just want to know the rules as to operate safely and provide a safe experience for their customers. Furthermore, businesses become stuck between a rock and a hard place because of issues that arise from trying to worry about policing customers and others around the storefronts for not wearing masks. This is in addition to all the day to day struggles of running a business during these hard times. Now three months into the pandemic, there seems to be conflicting views of COVID between those who follow the suggested guidelines seriously and are staying in as much as they can, those who don’t care at all, and those who fall in between trying to support small businesses and get out there while still doing their part to stay as safe as possible.

At Thirsty Koala the safety of their staff and customers is their first priority, and they will do whatever they can and follow all the necessary precautions. “What are the rules. There are no rules. In some ways it is the wild west.” Unfortunately, controlling other people’s actions is very difficult, even for the police, when wearing a mask is only a guideline and not a law. Thus the solution to avoid conflict would be for leadership to provide more guidance and enforce the rules that would make our community safer. The COVID19 situation needs to be treated seriously and there needs to be consequences for those who don’t comply. So far the consequences have only fallen on the businesses rather than the individuals who opt out of wearing masks and recommended behaviors.

The only way to tackle this situation is to work together, says Fuchs who’s main message to Astoria is just to be kind and considerate to one another. Everyone comes from a different place and has their own circumstances, feelings, and their own truth. We have to learn to be understanding of one another.

Even given these recent rifts in the community, Fuchs also describes how there has still been incredible support during these difficult times, and still holds a vision for better days ahead. Thirsty Koala has done tons of fundraising to help give back to the community and first responders. They have received lots of positive feedback and contributions towards this as well. The restaurant is looking forward to expanding their operations soon, and intends to do so as the guidelines become clearer. Until then, if you order from their website, you will receive 20% off your order for pickup and delivery.