We’ve all been touched in one way or another by the COVID-19 virus.

The majority of us escaped the illness itself, but many were involved in all the medical aspects of caring for those who needed care or at least to be tested, from the thousands working at essential jobs, to all who volunteered in aiding in caring for and supplying us with the necessities. It took a Herculean effort to handle this devastating event. The federal government was walking down a new road in trying to find solutions to the spread of the virus, and trying to keep up spirits when all news was frightening

Though we will all have dark memories of these events, I wonder if before long, we can acknowledge some beneficial happenings as well. Sense of community was displayed in the people who, from their driveways or balconies, joined in celebrating birthdays, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, exercising, singing and welcoming home a friend from the hospital. This was unheard of before we were told to keep our distance from one another. Love was shown by those who found it was necessary to visit their elderly relative only through a nursing home window. Concern for those unable to go out to purchase needed food and medicines was evident in the thousands who ran that errand for the shut-ins.

When it became evident that there was a shortage of face masks, volunteers began sewing them at home and donated them where they were needed. Businesses both large and small rewarded their employees as best they could with continuing to pay them a wage although they had no business income. Some television networks put on educational programs for children who were unable to attend their schools.

Our governments at all levels forged out bills to purchase needed supplies, to provide money for medicines, research, expanded temporary medical facilities and even to give each citizen taxpayer a $1,200 check. They have extended the deadlines for paying Federal taxes, and for getting a Real ID. Many institutions and businesses have given extra time to pay money owed. Tuition loan payments have been deferred.

Many weren’t prepared for shortages such as we’ve seen. But I remembered my wonderful Mormon neighbors in Nevada. They had a room where they kept necessities to last for months, such as baking flour, sugar, seasonings, canned meats, vegetables and fruits. There were dried foods, soup, pasta, powdered milk and cereal. They had tins of water, soap, laundry detergent and yes, even toilet paper. They shopped for items on sale so they never had to pay high prices for scarce items. And they offered to share it with me if there ever was a prolonged trucker’s strike or other calamity, but thank God they didn’t need to.

But I carried the lesson with me, to be prepared for the uncertainties that lay ahead, to lessen the stress of store closings and shortages such as we have seen.

Kathy Brown Dodds is chair of the Rice County Republicans.

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