As we face COVID-19 virus potential in our community, it’s important for us to continue to support one another in a way that is sustainable. I learned this lesson firsthand in the summer of 2005 when I worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a public information officer in response to Hurricane Katrina.
During that yearlong employment following the crisis of Hurricane Katrina, I learned two valuable lessons.
First, telling someone to ignore their fears in a time of hardship or fear only creates more anxiety for the person. Rather than dismissing their concerns, take a moment to listen to the person who is worried or ill. Keep in touch with them. Send them a text message, or call them on the phone. Check on them often. Social isolation in times of crisis can lead to serious problems not related to this virus.
Second lesson, the crisis doesn’t last forever. When you’re living inside the crisis, it may feel like it will never end. The days can drag on and on, and basic things might sometimes seem impossible. Times like these are hard emotionally, economically, professionally and in many other ways. And after the crisis subsides, things may be different than they were before. But the circumstances will not last forever.
Goodness abounds around us all the time. We know, because we tell the stories of so many good people month after month, year after year. As a community magazine that highlights the wonderful people of this place we know and love, we encourage you to support our neighbors.
Think about how you can help in some small way. Spend a few extra dollars on a meal with a local business or give your server an extra percent on their tip. Find a parent who needs a break and offer to keep their child for the afternoon. Thank a healthcare worker. Listen to an older adult who is scared and upset about this reality.
We will continue to be bombarded with voices of fear, worry and anxiety, but I believe we must balance those with voices of calm, wisdom, peace and love. If we can do that with friends, neighbors, coworkers, church members and others, we will be stronger. This is a time in our lives and our world we won’t soon forget. My hope is that we will also reflect upon the fact that in small, important ways we came through it together.
— Rachel M. West, Publisher