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Posted: March 22, 2020

We need to shine in this dark place

Stephanie Stevens

Homegrown

Op-Ed Commentary

Wow. Of all the columns I have written in my career, none have been started and deleted as often as this one about the coronavirus.

I have taken out anything about virology (because let’s face it, I am not virologist), where it originated (because right now it is irrelevant) and what the government(s) have done right or done wrong or what balls they may have dropped (because again, at this point what would the point be?).

It is scary. Even the best-case scenario is scary, let alone the worst case. But that does not mean we should panic. It means we should stay put, hunker down, take precautions and protect our most vulnerable.

And there are few ways we can do that.

First off, don’t hoard anything.

Let me repeat that for the ones in the back: DON’T HOARD ANYTHING.

I took a lot of really bad swear words out of that sentence.

Remember not everyone has a hefty wallet and may be waiting for payday to pick up some extras. Our stores are working hard to restock and reorder and doing a hell of a good job. We need to make sure we all have enough to eat, enough to keep our homes clean and safe, and although I cannot believe I would even have to say this, everyone deserves to have some ding dang toilet paper. If you can, donate to the food bank. They are feeling this keenly and are going to be stretched to the point of breaking.

Cough into your elbow, wash your hands with hot soapy water a lot, don’t touch your face and socially distance yourself. There are excellent resources out there for you to educate yourself… social media is not generally one of them. Please make sure you are getting your information from credible sources.

And while we need to take care of ourselves, we also need to take care of others. I am seeing Facebook groups pop up that are meant to ensure we all have what we need, a place to reach out if we or someone we know needs something… an online community to be reached out to. And while not everyone is online, most of us know someone who is and can post for us.

This is not the time to be flitting about from place to place, nor is it the time to be selfish. If you are a second homeowner, please don’t decide to wait it out in your lake house… we have limited medical resources here and an aging population. We love you; but stay home please.

We need to stay calm and stay vigilant. The beauty of the internet and social media is we can keep tabs on each other. For those not on-line, call and check on them, make sure they are stocked and doing well.

The ramifications of this are going to be felt keenly by a lot of us and for a long time after the virus is gone. There will be significant financial impact… for many businesses and individuals there already has been.

We need to take care of ourselves and take care of each other. We need to shine in this dark place. And we can do it. Let’s use the resources we have at hand and keep our communities strong.

Let’s come together while we stay apart.


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