Weekly update with the Portage County Executive
By Chris Holman
As numbers continue to climb in our region, we have heard that this is a community challenge from public health leaders, local officials, Governor Evers, and his team at DHS and other state agencies.
The reason for this is that government officials, health care workers and leaders, and even the White House COVID-19 task force can tell everyone what they need to be doing, but at the end of the day it starts with each of us and how we go about our daily lives.
It’s not easy to just stay at home for most people, so that’s why the request is that people stay at home as often as possible. Why? It helps to keep your circle small, which in turn will minimize the risk you encounter and pass along to those who you do interact with.
Limiting travel does the same thing. Everyone realizes that people need to get food and other needs at local stores and there are things that pop up and need to be addressed. That’s life, but we’re not back to ‘normal’ now and the old normal that we were all familiar with is not on the horizon.
We will continue to be confronted by challenges, too, but these are challenges that we can overcome as a community. One of the reasons we all like to live here is that we still have and are fond of the strong community ties that are sometimes watered-down or non-existent in other parts of the country.
In general, we are a very giving community, too, and that’s true whether you gauge it by the spirit of volunteerism that persists here or by the large number of successful fundraising efforts put on by local non-profits and others. We’ve always done a good job of holding on to what’s important despite the forces in the world that seek to pit one person against another, one point of view against another, or one community against another for political points or some other counterproductive reason(s).
So, let’s focus our energy on the strengths we see across our community, see these strengths in ourselves ,and then mute the negative noise and work together.
Thankfully, the measures we need to take for this virus are super simple and easy-to-follow. Wearing a mask is simple. Socially distancing is simple. Limiting travel and avoiding high-risk situations is simple.
It’s simple choices that will make the difference, and those choices can relieve some of the tremendous pressure that’s on our local economy, our health care systems, our community, and our daily lives.
This is especially important to keep in mind as we head into the cold weather months given the projections showing the pandemic getting worse as people spend more time inside. Holidays or celebrations that usually bring people together should also be put on hold or celebrated creatively and safely. It may get worse before it gets better, but the sooner we can do the right things collectively, the speedier our recovery will be.