Coronavirus a year later: Duane Isaacs, ‘In my lifetime, I’ve never seen anything like it’

A year ago today marked the moment that COVID-19 went from a emerging threat on a somewhat distant horizon to a grim reality that would kill more than 500,000 Americans in its first year and alter the lives of millions.

The Dayton Daily News checked in with 12 area business and community leaders and let them tell us what they learned about their lives, businesses and policy making during the pandemic.

Duane Isaacs of Treasure Island Supper Club

Three decades of owning Treasure Island Supper Club in Moraine was not enough to prepare owner Duane Isaacs for the length of the state-mandated restaurant closure that would follow.

“I just thought it would be a week or something,” Isaacs said. “I didn’t think it would be anything like it was going to be now or has been the last year, but you never know. In my lifetime, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Because Isaacs had owned the business for so long, he doesn’t about “a great big debt burden” and was able to withstand the financial punches thrown by the pandemic. His main concern, he said, was paying employees, something accomplished via Paycheck Protection Program loans.

A year into the COVID-19, Treasure Island Supper Club is only able to be open at 50 percent its capacity, but is managing that via reservations, Isaacs said. He remains optimistic about what lies ahead.

“We’re just going to hope that get everybody immunized and go from there so we can get back to doing business,” he said.

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