To the Editor;
There are many things about the coming days that we do not know. But there’s one thing we know for sure – viruses do not discriminate.
Food banks across the country are seeing volunteers disappear and supplies evaporate as fears mount. Food and cash donations have decreased, even as the logistics of feeding our hungry have become more complex.
Our Harvest House Food Pantry is already feeling the impact of the Coronavirus.
The need for food is increasing dramatically and the need will quickly out pace our resources. Many families who were already food-insecure now find themselves with children out of school – children who normally received more than half of their daily nutrition at school.
Laid off employees struggle to pay rent and utilities. Our senior citizens who are practicing social distancing struggle, too.
The fallout from the coronavirus has highlighted how we are one disaster away from physical, emotional and economic ruin.
Now, while we wait on federal and state assistance, those of us in a more financially secure position have an opportunity to step up and help our neighbors.
In cooperation with the Pocahontas County Commission, we have launched a Corona Virus Relief Fund. Checks may be made payable to the Pocahontas County Family Resource Network (PCFRN) and deposited at Pendleton Community Bank or mailed to P.O. Box 3 Marlinton, WV 24954.
Let’s take care of each other.
We’re all in this together.
Laura Young, Director
To the Editor;
There’s a certain clarity that crisis can bring. Extraordinary events can often make one focus on what really matters. If your house is about to catch fire, you probably aren’t worrying much about how you forgot to pick up milk at the grocery store.
And make no mistake, the spread of COVID-19 is a worldwide emergency. It has already demanded the closing of schools and many businesses, and we’re just beginning to feel the economic impacts. In order to keep everyone safe and keep our clinics and hospitals from being overwhelmed, we need that clarity of crisis. Lives are at stake. We need to make a plan, quickly, and do what needs to be done with skill and efficiency.
I’m proud to say that my community has started to do that. The governor ordered the schools to be closed on Friday, March 13; by Monday morning, buses were going throughout the entire county to deliver breakfast and lunch to every student that needed it. My own kids’ teacher called each of her students personally to make sure they were doing okay and to answer any questions they had. Staff at all of the local hospitals, clinics and pharmacies have been doing their absolute best to treat everyone while preparing for what is coming. The post office continues to deliver my mail every day.
Of course, not everyone has been acting for the common good. Several senators received dire briefings on the coronavirus in late January – and instead of informing the public or taking steps to help their fellow Americans, they sold millions of dollars of stock ahead of the crash they knew was coming.
But others have not been so selfish or callous. The West Virginia Can’t Wait movement has been organizing for over a year, building a network of volunteers committed to making their state better, to putting people over profits. Almost overnight, they shifted their resources from political advocacy into ways to help and inform fellow Mountaineers — even setting up groups to check on neighbors, to make sure that nobody is forgotten and that everyone gets the support they need. Where current leaders might have failed, others are stepping up.
I do not know how long this crisis will last, but I do know that West Virginians are strong, resilient, and will help each other through thick and thin – as we have for generations.
We should use this moment to see what is important, what really matters, and what is just getting in the way.