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Remember, we’re all in this together

As we all face unprecedented times of rapid change in our country, we can still remain calm and hopeful. Small town America is still the heart and soul of this country and we are all lucky enough to be part of “small towns” and benefit from that mentality.

As Gov. Tom Wolf’s shutdown proclamation went into effect, we all immediately felt the impact at a local level.

It’s important we all do what we can to keep our high-risk friends and families safe. The CDC says we can do our part to slow the spread if we all follow the guidelines laid out to us by President Trump’s “15 Days to Slow the Spread” plan.

Here are a few of the guidelines we should all be following:

¯ Listen to and follow your state and local authorities

¯ If you feel sick stay at home

¯ If someone in your household has tested positive keep the entire family at home

¯ If you are in the high-risk categories, such as an elderly person or a person with a serious underlying health condition, stay at home

As we try to flatten the curve and slow the spread of this virus reach out to not only high-risk family but friends and neighbors and see if there are things to be done to help like picking up food or prescriptions for them so they can remain safe at home.

For those that do need to go out to pick up prescriptions and groceries, consider using pick-up or delivery services offered by several local stores. Call ahead to find out what services your pharmacy or grocery store may be offering.

Several local stores are designating certain times each day just for high risk customers to come in and do their shopping without the crowds. These are all things that can have a great impact on slowing of the spread.

These are the uncertain times for all of us personally and economically and a little kindness, a smile and common sense can make a world of difference. These are times when “community” takes on a deeper meaning then just people living in the same place. Let’s all do our part to keep each other as safe and healthy as we can.

Our personal lives and health are not the only concerns as we all face this together and work to figure out a new, temporary norm. Our local economy will be greatly impacted.

Mifflin and Juniata counties are home to many small local businesses that are being directly impacted by the shutdown guidelines laid out by Gov. Wolf.

All non-essential businesses were asked to close their doors for at least two weeks. This is a devastating blow to small businesses, but we can all work together to help.

Call local stores and businesses and purchase gift cards to use for birthdays/holiday gifts or for ourselves when this is all over. These little gestures may be what help keep our local businesses afloat during these uncertain and difficult times.

Many of our local restaurants are offering pick-up or delivery options and are still serving our local communities as best they can.

Visit your favorite store or restaurants’ websites or Facebook pages for updated information about their hours of operation, what they may be offering during the shutdown and ways to help them through this.

Impacts will be felt by all but we can join together — in spirit, at least — and do our part to keep our communities safe, healthy and thriving.

¯¯¯

Sarah Hurlburt is a Sentinel reporter. She may be reached at shurlburt@lewistownsentinel.com.

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