By Rebecca Adcock
“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” ~ Aldous Huxley.
That quote from Brave New World rings so true in today’s “new normal.”
With our “shelter at home” order in place, we have come to realize what little things we took for granted; trips to the store just to browse, ball games, church services, and getting together with friends and family at the local restaurant.
Larger life events; graduations, weddings, dance recitals, funerals and birthdays have been put on hold as well. Not only do these large and small events help us celebrate and reflect on life, but they also help us mark time. During this “shelter at home,” I have lost track of time so much and miss the social gatherings.
This week, the Governor has released his Forward-Virginia plan on how we will start to ease restrictions. The first phase was supposed to begin on May 8, but has since been pushed to May 15. Within this first phase, non-essential businesses may open, but will have to work to maintain social distancing, wear recommended masks and continue enhanced cleaning. We all hope we can move ahead on the game board as quickly as we can, but must do so in a responsible way, as well.
The Patrick County Chamber of Commerce staff has been busy with Zoom and other virtual meetings. We have weekly meetings with the COVID-19 Task Force with the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance. These meetings are informative because we hear what everyone else is seeing in the Southern Virginia area and how we can assist our communities.
The chamber also has been working with the Town of Stuart to open the Farmers’ Market as a pre-order and pick up only venue. This weekly event provides a little normalcy during this time, even if the market operates differently.
Looking ahead to the coming summer months where a “normal” Patrick County summer is full of events, the uncertainty of what events can and will happen is frustrating for everyone. We have all had events cancelled so far, and I am sure there will be more to come. Please be patient with all organizers as they are trying to make the best possible decision with factoring in government mandates, public health guidelines, sponsorship options, public perception, availability of vendors and goods and countless other factors.
If the chamber can assist you with any issue, please feel free to contact us. While the office is closed to the public, I can be reached via email and phone.
Together, we will move forward.