Yes, coronavirus is stretching the social and financial fibers of our lives, but efforts are being made from all directions to strengthen those fibers.
In this season of COVID-19 coronavirus-induced change, it would be easy to get an empty cup and cry into it every day.
After all, most of our Plant City social contacts that bring warmth to our lives have been taken away from us. Most of our organizations have shut down, the victims of social distancing to defeat COVID-19. St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is not meeting. My Noon Rotary Club is not meeting and the two big fundraisers that power all our services to the community have been postponed. The Photo Archives Soiree has been cancelled. Our Plant City Family YMCA is closed. Applebee’s, Outback, and Carrabba’s and all our other restaurants where we enjoy lunches and dinners out with our friends and family, have adapted to only offer take-out and delivery. Our new wine bar is locked up and Krazy Kup is now limited to a walk-up window. Downtown Luncheon Club is not meeting. Bruton Memorial Library is closed.
Our lives have all been put on hold. We know the fabric of our lives will come back, but when? Woe is us, and there’s not a lot in this description to take away the woe.
But wait, let’s look a little further. Let’s look at the frequent press conferences and the work of all levels of our government, from our Plant City commissioners and all the fine folks that serve us. Let’s look at our county government. Let’s look at Tallahassee. Let’s look at Washington. Next time you turn on your television to listen to a press conference, look how tired our government leaders look. Look at the serious looks on their faces — not many smiles there.
The season of coronavirus is unprecedented and we have little experience to guide us in how to fight it, but good minds at all levels are working to find new ways to soften the blows, to find new ways to push it back. Special assistance to employers to keep their workforces employed and to the people to help with extra expenses is on the way.
And aren’t our private and non-profit sectors stepping up? Grocery stores like Publix and Winn-Dixie have established special early hours for our senior citizens, who are more vulnerable to coronavirus, so they may come, shop and maintain their social distance from the rest of us. Many of our restaurants have expanded their take-out modes to continue to serve their patrons.
All the branches of our Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA may be closed, but those branches are not dark. They have turned on a dime in a week’s time and set up a program of relief care in Plant City and 20 other branches, to provide child care for 1,500 of the children of first responders and health care workers who must staff our health care organizations to care for those of us who contract coronoavirus. I have served on the Metro Y Board for a dozen years and I have never been prouder of our services than I am now.
Our churches, like St. Peter’s, are using ZOOM and Facebook to hold electronic services for members to stay in touch with our new Rector Alissa Anderson, each other and the God we worship. My investment counselor began a newsletter he sent to all his clients this week by quoting Psalm 62.
Yes, coronavirus is stretching the social and financial fibers of our lives, but efforts are being made from all directions to strengthen those fibers. We need to complement those efforts by complying with social distance recommendations and supporting our public and private leaders who are working so hard to get us back to normal.