ANTIGO - For Tapped Maple Syrup co-owner Jeremy Solin, harvest season usually means enjoying the outdoors with his four employees, neighbors and family.
"Maple syrup is a big family and community time for us usually," said Solin. "We love to have people out in the woods with us, tapping trees and collecting sap and being part of the cooking process. We just can't do that this year and so its kind of a lonely maple syrup season.
But the growing fears of coronavirus shrunk the team down to just five - making his farm in Antigo eerily quiet.
"I think we'll be okay," said Solin. "It just means a lot more work for fewer people essentially to try and keep up and more stress in a sense during the process of the season."
It's more work for Solin, but still same volume of syrup.
Supply won't be the issue - Solin is concerned about the demand.
"We work with a lot of restaurants, bars, coffee shops who are obviously really struggling at this point," said Solin. "We're concerned about their survival as a small business and partner of ours and friends of ours so as we lose those businesses that's going to affect our business as well."
Coronavirus does not discriminate between essential and non-essential businesses.
Solin is asking everyone during this pandemic: when you have to leave the house to shop, consider local options.
"The more people can buy local, the better off we're going to come off of this," said Solin. "So, I encourage people to find those local businesses that they want to see in their community after this is done, and find a way to support them - especially the food-related businesses. Ultimately, this is difficult, but necessary, and we need to adapt and understand there are a lot of amazing things that come out of this. The amount of time we get to spend together as family and taking care of ourselves and understanding that we are part of something bigger. We want to be part of making that work for everybody, and also building an economy that we all want after this."