Our View: Act on COVID-19 anxiety in proactive ways
Are you anxious?
Looking at recent COVID-19 cases in Nevada County can do that to you.
You can bet school administrators, principals and teachers are anxious. Maybe even scared. They’re exhausted, too.
Making lesson plans and teaching over Zoom will drain you. Everyone’s socially distant, because we have to be. Again, look at the positive cases we have. Things aren’t getting better.
It’s a tug-of-war in our schools, our businesses and our community. We want our schools and businesses to thrive. We also want to keep our coronavirus case numbers down.
Anyone will find themselves anxious and exhausted by trying to accomplish both of those at once.
The anxiety level grew a bit more last week, when four new cases of COVID-19 were reported in our schools. That was followed by another two cases confirmed this week. Some of these schools have only just returned to in-person classes, and we’re already seeing infections.
To cap all this off, now the threat of more restrictions on our businesses hangs over our heads. Our numbers are too high, and we’ll find out next week whether capacity for some businesses will get reduced, while other spots must close completely.
Restaurants would have to go to 25% capacity from their current 50%. Bars and breweries would have to close.
It’s obvious some people are, and they’re dealing with it in different ways. Some people refuse to accept reality, lash out against mask mandates and act like nothing has changed. Others, like Supervisor Dan Miller, said he wouldn’t support the enforcement of state restrictions on businesses. We’re nearing the holiday season, he said. Local businesses need as much traffic as they can get.
“I’m not quite sure how much of a compliance we’re going to get from businesses because I’m certainly not going to ask for any type of enforcement on it,” Miller said.
Listen, we all want our businesses to succeed and our schools to remain open. Local shops need our dollars, and kids need social interaction.
We’re all anxious and exhausted, and we want this to end.
But the pandemic won’t disappear because we’re tired of it, and there’s still work that must be done if we’re going to not only get through it, but thrive.
First, let’s have more transparency. Most schools are open about when someone tests positive, but Lyman Gilmore Middle School shut the door on open information with its case. No school is a self-contained bubble. We’re all part of this community. When you have a case, be open about it. Dodging the truth helps no one, and only makes you look bad.
Second, let’s shore up our businesses while obeying the state’s rules. Taking a stance of willful disobedience won’t end well for our relationship with Sacramento or our COVID-19 case count. We’ve got to support our businesses. We also must remain aware of a pandemic that appears to be growing worse.
Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stay six feet away from others. And shop local.
Even now, after all we’ve gone through, some people refuse to wear a mask. This kind of behavior will only hurt our chances of getting through this pandemic, which in turn continues to hurt the health of businesses and schools.
There is no existing map for where we’re going, but we can draw it ourselves based on what we’ve learned over the past several months. We can limit the spread of the virus by shopping curbside, limiting the number of people indoors at one time and staying home when we must. The cold months will make it more difficult, but we can keep our local economy afloat while we push forward to better days.
It’s OK to be anxious about this. Most of us are.
As long as we act on that anxiety in proactive ways, soon enough we’ll have nothing to worry about.
The weekly Our View editorial represents the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@ TheUnion.com.
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