Coronavirus crunch time has arrived

Back in the days when we had didn’t have to do a risk assessment to hold or attend a fund-raiser auction, dinner, youth sports event, etc., we often had chances to win free services and stuff provided by local merchants in support of local charitable outreach and other beneficial activities.

As we look at the calendar for the upcoming holidays, on page 6 in today’s issue, it’s pretty clear how much things have changed.

And when we look at the local businesses that are once again facing forced shutdowns, thanks to the coronavirus, we also notice that many of them are exactly the ones who generously donated to those auctions, gift baskets, dinners, etc. that we used to enjoy – and often score on.

As we enter this next COVID-19 “freeze,” it will be incumbent on local residents – all of us – to consider how we can continue to support business owners who now find themselves perilously close to being on the rocks through no fault of their own.

There are two obvious ways we may be able to help them. One is to reach out and let them know we’re ready and willing to help – renew our gym membership, be alert for ways to support the theater (another hot dog sale?), get some take-out at our favorite restaurant.

Another is to toe the line in terms of personal behavior. One thing is clear: At least in the eyes of our state leaders who have instituted this “pause,” its length is going to be dependent on the numbers. There’s no question that there is more sickness now than there was a month ago, and whatever we each, individually, think of the coronavirus threat, there’s no question that following the basic guidelines we all will remember the rest of our lives – distancing, masking up when in a public space, using sanitizer – probably will at least help prevent us from at least contracting that cold that’s going around.

This is a tough row to hoe for all of us, but we can be thankful that we can still get a haircut, that we can still watch a football game.

It’s clear that the governor is getting tough: “in terms of individuals, I am not asking you, I am ordering you,” she said last Friday, threatening jail for those who break the rules. Whatever we think of her tactics, as a community our goal should be to get ourselves out of this mess, to get our kids back to school, to get the gym and the movie theater and our favorite eatery open again, to get back to church without having to fear incarceration.

If we can figure out how to drop our numbers and do that, we don’t have to worry about her threats.

Most of us probably know someone who has had COVID by now – look at the article below if you don’t. Though there are a lot of murky things about this situation, sickness is sickness, whatever it’s called, and we don’t want it here right now.