Tim Cook quotes Abe Lincoln as he closes Apple Stores to fight COVID-19 coronavirus

Have you ever been to an Apple retail store? They are very hip and fun -- a great way to get a hands-on experience with a product before buying it. Unfortunately, Apple retail stores are also wildly disgusting. Look, it is in my experience that most people in these stores aren't actually buying anything, or planning to make a purchase, but instead, they are killing time by playing with things. Germs can have a field day at the Apple Store!

In particular, Apple stores inside of shopping malls are often places parents drop their kids to play while they shop. Apple doesn't ban food either, so it is not uncommon to see people eating Auntie Anne's Pretzels with their hands and then touching iPhone screens. The spread of germs in an Apple retail store is a legitimate concern.

With all of that said, thankfully, Apple CEO Tim Cook has decided to temporarily shutter most of its retail stores globally to help fight the rapidly spreading COVID-19 coronavirus. The stores will reopen on March 27. Cook even quotes Abraham Lincoln, arguably the best US President (he abolished slavery, after all), by saying "The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew."

The exception to this is the stores in Greater China, where they have already closed and reopened. Apple will clean all of the stores extensively, hopefully killing all traces of COVID-19. Don't feel bad for the Apple Store employees either, as the company will continue to pay its hourly workers while the stores are closed -- much respect, Apple!

The Apple CEO explains, "We will be closing all of our retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27. We are committed to providing exceptional service to our customers. Our online stores are open at www.apple.com, or you can download the Apple Store app on the App Store. For service and support, customers can visit support.apple.com. I want to thank our extraordinary Retail teams for their dedication to enriching our customers’ lives. We are all so grateful to you."

In addition to closing these stores, Apple has promised $15 million to fight the disease. While I won't entirely criticize the amount of that donation, I will say it is rather low considering the amount of cash the company has on hand. But hey, a donation is a donation, I suppose. Evey bit helps. The company is also providing flexible work options for its other employees, such as remote access from home.

Photo credit: Maen Zayyad / Shutterstock

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