The pandemic we are in is taking its toll on people, on business, on health care and some of our freedoms.

These are uncertain times in the economy. Will jobs be there? Will schools be open with traditional classroom teachers? When will a vaccine be available to treat this frightening disease? And ultimately, when will the fear of so many uncertain things be stabilized?

I have asked a lot of people how they are dealing with the stress, fear and uncertainty. The responses have varied and some may be worth considering.

Some have said they just don’t eat in a restaurant now unless there is outside dining. They do take-out and drive-thru.

Many people have said they are not going where there are groups of people and do grocery shopping and other shopping very carefully and always with a mask.

Some churches are starting to open up in a limited way, but seniors and those with pre-existing conditions say they will worship with church services online for an indefinite period.

Many companies have improved the safety of their offices by providing good ventilation, space between workers and plexiglass shields. Some companies are able to have a number of their staff work from home and have made provisions with computers and phone systems.

But there are many restaurants and retailers that haven’t reopened and many are shutting down totally.

The Payroll Protection Plan has given some very solid relief to small business, but more help will be needed.

Government programs have been very helpful in bringing stimulus checks that help with food, rent, mortgage payments, insurance and transportation.

Various parts of the country are spiking with the disease. There are those who feel they can do whatever they want in the name of freedom so they are not wearing masks and practicing distance in groups.

Little by little we are hearing encouraging news on therapies and vaccines that are now in trials.

It is hard to know who and what to believe. Generally, I have more confidence in our medical community than I do in the political arena. You probably feel that way, too.

When someone in a family is stricken with the virus, it’s difficult for the rest of the family in the same household. The larger the family, the more difficult.

Good advice is to use common sense, don’t take chances, and wear a mask whenever you are indoors in public. If you have symptoms, seek immediate treatment.

It becomes difficult for people in nursing homes and senior facilities, and even in your own homes, where you feel restricted. People need people to interact with. Pick up the phone and call family and friends, send emails or write letters.

 

Gene Johnson is publisher emeritus of Press Publications.

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