In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, we are all presented with a unique opportunity to be good neighbors, ambassadors of good will, and awesome members of our community!  Recent events have changed – at least temporarily – our way of life as we know it.  Some of the things we’ve taken for granted are, for the time being, no longer available to us.  Restrictions have been placed on us which are, for lack of a better word, “confining”.

Most of us will make minor adjustments, muddle our way through these trying times, and come out relatively unscathed on the other end.  For that reason, most of us aren’t overly concerned about our own well-being.  But what about those around us that don’t fall in the “most of us” group?  We should recognize that, because of recent developments we have a golden opportunity to help others.

By now, we are aware the virus is more likely to attack the elderly and individuals of all ages who may have a compromised or weak immune system.  These people are being told to stay put.  While typically we wouldn’t think twice about making a quick run to the grocery store or pharmacy for what we need, these people are likely (with good reason) to be apprehensive.  They shouldn’t have to worry about getting sick while making a trip to get the basic necessities.  I challenge every able-bodied person reading this to be vigilant for someone who could use your help and offer your assistance.  I guarantee you’ll make their day AND yours.

In times like this our survival instincts naturally kick in.  However, survival doesn’t necessarily mean going down to the local grocery store and filling three carts with enough food to outfit a small army for an impending zombie apocalypse.  I saw some of that years ago on 9/11, and I saw it again just this week.  Supply lines have not been cut.  Manufacturing and processing facilities continue to operate.  Trucks remain on our highways, and stores will re-stock.  We‘re not in the midst of a drought, a flood, or a locust infestation threatening our food supply.  Please use common sense and think of others.  If we take more than we reasonably need, some people will have to do without.  It may be someone you don’t know, but there’s a good chance it will be someone else’s elderly parent, disabled sibling, or possibly children that wouldn’t understand and surely don’t deserve to go without.  Please be compassionate to your neighbor, just as you would want them to be to you or your family members.

The economic impact of the pandemic to business is sure to be acute and far-reaching.  For the most part, larger companies have sufficient assets to absorb a downturn such as this without breaking them financially.  Our local small businesses will need time and help to recover.  I encourage you to support them during these lean times and continue to do so when things start getting back to normal.  Our local businesses provide jobs for our friends and family.  By supporting them, you support the entire community.  Likewise, I encourage our local businesses to do their best to keep their employees on the payroll through these times.  Maintaining an active, vibrant Main Street is vital to the survival of any small town.

In closing, I quote the late President Harry S. Truman: “All will concede that in order to have good neighbors, we must also be good neighbors. That applies in every field of human endeavor.”

Thank you,

Patrick Degen