A mere couple of weeks ago, messages started filtering into my inbox asking when the Cheviot Gazette would cover the coronavirus. My answer in short to those messages was, "When the coronavirus starts affecting Cheviot, or the Westside of Cincinnati, we'll cover it. Hopefully, that never happens."
Well, a lot can happen in two weeks. Many of you, including myself, have never seen anything on a scale of this magnitude, bring life as we know it to a screeching halt. All the while we are being told, the worst is yet to come. Americans are no longer asking themselves what will we do if the coronavirus makes it to our shores? They are looking inside their kitchen pantries and asking themselves if they have enough food for their family. Regardless if you think the government's preventive measures are an overreach or the first sight of our looming demise, coronavirus has now affected you, and everyone that you know.
So, what can we do? Well, regardless of what camp of seriousness you fall into the most important thing is not to panic. No matter how bleak our situation becomes, no good can come from fearful impulsive decision making. Be diligent but stay rational. We will make it through this. It may be a good idea to keep your mind occupied with activities that prepare you for what is to come without having your eyeballs glued to the news for the latest infected count. We need to remember life is still going on and it's important to unplug so we don't get doomsday tunnel vision. Keep your mind occupied with things like cleaning your house, organizing essential items, telling your mother you love her, things like this.
Let's remember, in times like these, to keep our sense of community. Our high regard for a strong community is what makes the Westside so special. As of this moment, people's livelihoods are in limbo. Overnight, the restaurant and entertainment industry has been grossly impacted, or completely shut down. Not to mention with one of their more profitable days of the year now becoming a big fat zero.
These business owners are our friends, our neighbors, family, and our spouses. It doesn't just stop there, they, in turn, employ our friends and loved ones as well. You may know someone who lives paycheck to paycheck and overnight just had their income become nil. Think about that in this context when you're worrying if you have enough toilet paper or not.
My heart goes out to each and every one of those individuals who were affected by these unprecedented times, with all signs pointing to the worst is yet to come. The situation is at a point now where I’m sure no one believes, that in the next 24 to 48 hours, all nonessential businesses won’t be closed for a significant amount of time. Regardless if any of us actually get sick or not, a true test of our humanity lies in the wake.
Abby Erwin came up with the idea to ask the community to help compile a list of restaurants that would continue to provide carryout service and their hours of operation. I surely do not have the answers on what steps we need to proactively take as a community to help one another see this through, but I think Abby's idea is a great start.
Please join the group forum where you will be able to add and edit information to our list of establishments. You can also start your own topics of conversation on any other ideas you may have that we as a community can work towards. No matter what waits for us ahead, we are undoubtedly in greener pastures together than in chaos apart.
We will see this through and be stronger on the other side.