Panic vs Informed
I am in daily contact with Portsmouth City Officials, Scioto County Officials, Emergency Management Personnel, Health Care Workers, Teachers, and First Responders.
These professionals are working (in most cases) seven days a week. There are constant updates and communications coming from the State of Ohio government and health agencies. On the local level, our front line representatives need to process that information, communicate with staff and committees, and develop plans to accommodate the mandates and data. Next, they begin to implement the required protocols.
At each step of the process, members of those branches of government and healthcare release information to the public to keep them up to date.
It is a far cry to believe that local government has a spontaneous, knee-jerk reaction, on a whim. There are many brains (most of whom we elected to represent us and to appoint others to lead us) that are foregoing family obligations, the idea of an eight-hour workday, sleep, and even their own personal safety to ensure we remain safe, healthy and civil.
Now, you decide. Is this a government in Panic or a government that is keeping you Informed?
Honestly ask yourself these questions:
- Did my local officials decide to close the schools?
- Did they want to reduce food service to take out or delivery only?
- Did the Mayor, City Manager, Police Cheif, Sheriff, or County Commissioners demand that people should not gather in groups of more than 10?
- What advantage does any of them have by closing nearly every business and daycare in Scioto County?
- Is there a local conspiracy to prevent you from voting?
- Do my elected or appointed leaders (most of whom are parents and grandparents) not want our children to play at the park or shoot some hoops?
This is the shortlist of the many questions like these we can ask ourselves. The natural conclusion is simple. There are no financial or political advantages to these difficult decisions. So, what does that leave? The safety and health of ourselves and those we love in Portsmouth and Scioto County.
This is not a local issue. It’s not a State issue. It’s not a national issue. The problem is global. There’s not one person shaking a golden pen trying to ruin our lives. Nobody asked for it. Nobody wants it. The problem came to us. Now, our local leaders work in lockstep with State and Federal Mandates to reduce the vulnerability of the citizens.
Let’s bring this right to your front door. If someone breaks down your door and comes into your home, what do you do? Wait to see if they go away on their own? Remind them that they weren’t invited and please exit? Or, do you do every single thing, implement every tool at your disposal, to protect yourself and your family?
The facts are clear. Every single household in Portsmouth, OH, and Scioto County is feeling several (or many) adverse concerns about the situation. It is also clear, from the Ohio Department of Health, that we won’t realize to the totality of this blight until it has passed. We are still climbing the mountain. In plain language, Dr. Acton states, adamantly, that we won’t begin to see the real face of this monster until May.
Steps have been taken to help keep people from losing their homes, utilities, food, and essentials. Recently, updates have been made to unemployment requirements and maximum payments. For the first time in history, the self-employed can file for unemployment. An unprecedented stimulus package was passed to help individuals and small businesses.
Still, many jobs have been lost. Some families aren’t emotionally healthy and the strain of a “Stay at Home” Mandate will cause those underlying issues to magnify. Toilet paper…never mind. The church steeples that highlight our downtown skyline and greet us on a country drive, may crest a new wave of abandoned buildings. Gas is cheap, but there’s no place to go. Traditions from birthdays to funerals have, largely, been taken away.
Mental Health experts list many of these stressors as individual triggers that can cause someone grief, depression, anxiety, and a host of other serious issues. Trouble is, they are all hitting at once.
These leaves us to call on our internal morals, compassion, restraint, and sense of humanity to avoid civil unrest and anarchy. Side note to the anarchists: there’s nothing gain. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Therefore, suck it up, buttercup. We’re in it together.
Our community (like thousands of others) is resilient, enterprising, intuitive, and filled with people who raise their hands each day and offer to help.
Concerned? You bet