Much has changed in the past week. What has not, is the sincerity and vigilance with which local officials navigate the COVID-19 crisis.
Like most readers we have seen the reaction of leaders across North America. There were obvious differences in approach. Some tended to focus on the macro-economy while others had more sympathy for the micro-economy, which in layman’s terms is about people and the local angle.
An innocent query by text, came our way this past Friday night asking if we “were stressed yet.” The quick response was “no, you?” The conversation continued “I’m surprised being a business owner” she responded. She had me there.
It has always been our nature to be the optimist in the crowd. Yes, this virus is uncharted territory and it would be flippant to suggest there aren’t areas of significant concern, but we have faith.
The vast majority of residents are wondering and searching deeply for answers that just aren’t readily available. This event is like something never seen before.
For business owners, many questions arise. Will the economy collapse? Will cash-flow start to trickle? Can we perform our job if we lose staff to illness? What if the government imposes a three-week shutdown like Italy? All of these things bounce around in one’s mind, but the largest, most grueling question is can we pay our staff and see this thing through. That’s the stressful one. We have no doubt that same question plays on the minds of small business owners and employees across Wellington.
The rainy day for which most businesses saved is upon us, but the payroll adds up quickly. It is an equation dependent on revenue earned and revenue going forward. It is taxing on the heart and mind.
What isn’t a worry, for us at least, is that local leaders will do the right things to ensure the safety of citizens.
The County of Wellington, working with each township and agency in the area, will make smart choices based on the best of advice from health authorities.
This past weekend an out of town media source wondered about the daycares and other services remaining open in Wellington County. They have since been closed. What seemed obvious to local officials seemed to sail over the heads of the inquirer – how will parents work if they don’t have childcare? Efforts to keep services open to people and help them, shouldn’t require an apology let alone explanation.
The absence of solid standards across the province, like those instituted for public school closures after March break, left the option to have the sites remain open. Similarly, hopes to keep programs available during March Break were well intentioned – in the absence of authority from above.
Since that time the threshold limit for gatherings has been helpful in making choices. This week auctions were cancelled for fear of drawing large crowds. This is the start of things to come.
Perhaps if there is a weakness in the system to identify, it is that higher-ups seem more worried about the politics of the situation. Yes, a disaster like COVID-19 is a moving target that politicians wouldn’t want to make mistakes with, but these times call for decisive provincial and national action as opposed to a patchwork quilt of ideas.
Without hesitation we suggest residents fully trust the efforts of the Emergency Management team in Wellington County. Their efforts are a hundred per cent in favour of the people.
In the meantime, every effort will be made by our publication to keep residents informed on local aspects of this issue.
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Stay informed and stay well.