This last week has been quite the week. The spread of COVID-19 and an earthquake interrupted our normal way of life. Kids aren’t in school, many are working from home, and our favorite restaurants have closed their doors to dining customers. It may not be life as usual for now, but this is just temporary.

We’ve received updates almost daily from the federal government, state government, and county health department regarding COVID-19, with various guidelines that have changed as the situation has progressed. The directives of the state and local health departments are meant to keep us safe and limit the spread of the virus, and our adherence to them will help reduce the overall impact of the outbreak.

As we respect the instructions given by our officials, I hope we all realize that we can continue to do many of the things that we enjoy. For those of us not on quarantine or self-isolation, we can still enjoy much of life while also practicing social distancing. By taking extra precautions, we can walk along the trail, go for a bike ride, take a scenic drive, order take out and watch a movie at home, request books from the library, or even play outside.

Situations like the COVID-19 outbreak, and the earthquake and aftershocks we had on Wednesday, are good reminders that we need to be prepared at all times for an emergency. We may not always have the ability to go to the grocery store to purchase water, toilet paper, food, medication, or other emergency supplies.

It’s also important to remember that we don’t have to do this alone — you are likely not the only person looking to purchase certain items. By getting only what you need, you help your neighbors and fellow residents also get what they need. This must be a community effort.

There are some in our community, including our seniors, who may have reduced access to what they need, or may be feeling lonely. I appreciate local businesses who have set aside specific hours for seniors to shop so that they reduce their exposure to the public while also having a chance to get what they need. Reach out to those you know who may need extra assistance and identify how you can help them. It may be as simple as a phone call to see how they’re doing, or it may be dropping off groceries on their porch. A small act will go a long way in making sure we all get through this together.

As many in the community have increased their shopping at our grocery and club stores, other local businesses are taking a hit from having fewer customers. The Spanish Fork & Salem Area Chamber of Commerce have created a Facebook Group (Local Businesses & You / Covid-19) to help show what local businesses are doing to still meet your needs during this time of reduced access. I encourage us all to continue supporting our local businesses while still taking the sanitary and distancing precautions given to us by health officials and professionals.

As we adjust to these temporary restrictions, I hope that we can continue doing what we enjoy, that we’ll look out for one another, and that we will find ways to support our local businesses.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!