Perspective by Portage County Executive
By Chris Holman
Thanksgiving has passed us by, and the news is full of expectation. That is, given the trends with COVID-19, most people are anticipating another uptick in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
The lower daily case counts have provided the county and others with a little breathing room, and we are taking full advantage of that. Of course, everyone is hopeful that we continue to see fewer cases and less pressure on our health care systems, which have been overwhelmed with the impacts from COVID-19.
Personally, I am thankful for everyone out there who is wearing a mask, watching their distance, limiting travel, and avoiding gatherings that help to transmit the virus. I’m especially thankful to those of you who may have changed your mind and started doing more of these preventative measures or had a close friend or relative convince you that doing these things in the short-term is beneficial and will help us get closer to vaccines, proven medical treatments, and a new normal.
As Ronald Reagan said, “With freedom comes responsibility. A responsibility that can only be met by the individual.”Of course, when it comes to this virus, our individual actions have a collective impact and it’s up to us to decide if that impact will be positive or negative.
As Christmas nears, I urge you all to continue taking the necessary precautions and to realize that with all of the promising developments in the world of health and public health, this will not last forever.
After having dealt with this virus for so long now, it can be hard to think of a day where one can wake up and just have what most of us might call a ‘normal’ day.
So, know that while passing on some celebratory things this year may be frustrating and disappointing, it is the safer way to go for you, your family, and the community.
Portage County Health Care Center
And speaking of a good safety record, the Portage County Health Care Center was in the news recently to highlight that despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, they have not had a resident test positive for the virus.
It’s well known how hard the virus has hit nursing homes across the country and that residents are among the most vulnerable in our population. Everything they’ve done since the facility was preemptively locked down in March as well as the staff who have all been working hard under challenging circumstances should be commended.
End of an era
The end of 2020 is in sight, but I would also be remiss to not mention the end of an era in the Portage County Circuit Court system.
Judge Thomas Flugaur recently retired, and while he will probably help out from time to time as a visiting judge, it’s unfortunate that COVID-19 also prevented the community from giving him the send off that he deserves after such a long career in public service.
I have learned a great deal from him in a short time, and I have admired his patience and willingness to educate me and others as we have worked through one issue or another where the state (i.e. courts) and the county overlapped.
While he leaves the Courts in good hands, and many are wondering who might be appointed in his place, he will be missed. If you see him around town, please be sure to say, “Thank you.”