Writing about COVID 19 as a Grandparent is very painful. To think that 1% of all Grandparents in America have been taken from us in the lonely way COVID patients die, without their family members present is heat wrenching. The pain their families feel missing their Mother’s, Father’s, Grandpa’s, Grandma’s, Nana’s, Papou’s, Yaya’s, Bubbe’s and Zayde’s, must at times be unbearable. Nobody ever imagined that the pandemic would last this long and eventually take more lives than all the combat deaths in all the wars America has fought to date.
Governing through the pandemic has been difficult, but originally with the technical knowledge of Trustee Hollie Rogin, we all became accustomed to what is commonly known now as zoom meetings. It was a difficult adjustment, but Staff and Trustees and Commission members soon became accustomed to the process that was mandated as a safety protocol, thankfully.
The decisions that were required to assure the public’s safety were challenging as well. We had to limit attendance at our parks, provide masks and sanitizer and require marked off physical distances at businesses. The town was eventually funded for these precautions and we did a splendid job implementing strategies that are known to work.
There was one blatant challenge to now commonly known successful practices and the Board of Trustees took the necessary action to close the business to assure the public’s safety. First and foremost, that’s our job, to assure everyone in town as safe an environment as possible. For some members of the Board this was a very difficult decision, on one hand closing a business, on the other, assuring the public safety, really, there was no choice.
As far as governing remotely on a computer screen, juxtaposed to being on the dais together in person, no comparison. The closeness of the Board Room simply cannot be matched. It is where personal & professional relationships are formed. It’s never about always agreeing, that has never been the point. It’s about common respect between all members of the governing process, the Board, the Staff, presenters and especially the public. COVID has eroded our willingness to engage respectfully somewhat. Let me be honest, it’s much easier to take a cheap shot through the ether than if one were just feet from one another.
Hopefully, finally this current Board of Trustees will get to assemble in person. This article is not about what we’ve achieved, we’ve done OK in that departments. This is a reminder to be vigilant, remain cautious, continue to mask, physical distance & wash our hands regularly. We now have three vaccines and soon the supply chain & the capability to administer millions of shots will be in place. Stay safe, stay smart, we are rounding the curve, and soon we will be able to enjoy life more completely. A little bit of love for one another can go a long way!