Although not unprecedented, a pandemic is beyond the experiences of everyone who calls northwest Illinois home. While COVID-19 impacts nearly every country in the world, it’s how we deal with this virus in our local communities that will determine how we come out on the other end as we show our mettle, compassion and willingness to help others.
The COVID-19 pandemic impacts every organization, business, family and individual in this area. Schools are closed and area educators are either dusting off or setting up plans for e-learning. Restaurants and bars are unable to serve customers under their roofs and may only sell take-out food and beverages.
Some churches have cancelled services while others are making alternate arrangements for worshipping. Some municipal governments have locked their doors to protect staff and have made a commitment to helping their residents via telephone or email.
Banking institutions have locked their lobbies choosing to serve customers through their drive-up facilities or by appointment.
It’s almost incomprehensible how many difficult decisions are being made when so little is unknown including the question: How long will this last?
How we come through on the other end will be determined by how we take solace in each other; how we help and nurture each other.
It’s heartening to know that people offered to help whether it’s providing guidance for children learning at home or running errands. We are pleased to read these offers and know that in the coming weeks they will be vital to being of help and comfort to those afflicted or shut in.
But we must also remember the business community. We are blessed in this region to have a strong and vibrant tourism economy which supports hundreds of businesses, provides employment and supports our communities with taxes and contributions. As a result of this pandemic, tourism has ground to a halt and most likely won’t be resuming anytime soon.
It is our hope that in the midst of this pandemic our local businesses and our local communities forge new and stronger relationships and support one another in the short and long haul.
There are efforts to support local restaurants and bars and their take-out food service business. There are also retail stores and service businesses who shouldn’t escape your attention.
The Galena Gazette is in this mix as well. Advertising is the lifeblood of the newspaper and provides the means to send reporters to cover public meetings, concerts and all the other things that are part and parcel of your hometown, locally owned newspaper.
As you acquaint yourself to this new normal, remember that reaching out a helping hand is how we make this our finest hour.