We Are Community for the week of August 10th, 2020, by Joyce Steiner

Somewhere in my home there is a copy of the book “Love in the Time of Cholera”.  I have not read the book even though it is written by an award winning author because the name seems so melancholy. Now I feel our country is writing a new book “Unlove in the Time of Covid”.  This makes me very sad.  Every time I drive into Plymouth, I am met by hateful sign after hateful sign.  I know people who think this pandemic is just a hoax.  People do not wear masks and do not social distance.  There are parties every weekend.  Yet we have active cases as close as Augusta.  One of the churches in Bowen had to close again because there was exposure to some in the congregation.

The pandemic has caused untold hardship for so many people.  Our economy is suffering but that is not the main cost.  Over 165,000 families are dealing with the loss of family members.  Many more have had the disease and will suffer with symptoms for a long while.  Others have no symptoms or mild ones but there are those who suffer blood clots or are hard hit by the disease.  We need to keep these people in mind.

When customers come into my store, I ask them to wear a mask.  All have been happy to do so.  But later they forget or the masks slip below their nose or are taken off to talk.  I love each of my customers and want to see them remain safe and well.

Then there is the economic impact.  I have done 3rd Sunday Market in Bloomington for over 30 years.  For the first time ever, it has been cancelled from May through August of this year.  I know what a gut wrenching decision this has to be for my friends who run the show.  I also have an idea of the economic impact on the Bloomington area.  Think of all the hotel rooms cancelled and all the meals not eaten in restaurants by the vendors and customers of the Market.  I am sure  the impact would be in the millions of dollars.  Yet when the August show was cancelled this week, one person responded with a clip of sheep jumping over a fence.  There was no compassion for the horrible decision which had to be made.

There is also the unimaginable cost to our country.  I know exactly what a million dollars looks like.  It is the amount of debt that we had in cars when we started Gentry Motor Company.  But the figure  a billion is just a word.  Then there is the concept of a  trillion  that has no meaning to me at all.   Our president had his name put on the stimulus checks so that people would think the money came from him  but it did not come from him.  The money did not come from the government either because the government has no money.  Tax receipts are down because business is down.  Tax cuts have also affected government income.  If a person becomes so far in debt that there is no way to function, they can declare bankruptcy and start over.  How does a nation ever recover from  too much debt.

We have to do better.  We have to consider each other.  We need to wear masks, such a small thing to help protect others.  We should not continue to make the virus a political issue.  It is not.  We can only hope that someone in our own family or community circle does not have to die to make people understand that this is real.  I feel so sorry for those who have to make decisions regarding school openings and also for the parents, teachers and pupils.  Just know that I think of each of you and that you are in my prayers.

It has been a pleasure to welcome Andrea Hopper into my home for a while.  She is the daughter of Melanie Danner of Plymouth.  Trying to talk her into staying in the area.

The house is now booked for the first shotgun deer season.  Thanks guys.  Always looked forward to seeing the Huering family but now I am welcoming new hunters as the Huerings sold their property.

Got more fan mail this week.  Love it.  Thanks so much.

There are a lot of important birthdays lately.  David Hess of 323 Pinecrest Dr., Macomb, IL 61455 will be celebrating his 80th birthday on August 17th.  He will be known to a lot of my stoneware friends.  Why not send him a birthday card this week.

Lets really work at being kind.  Lots of people live in one person homes, reach out to them.  So many are without work, reach out to them.  Let’s try to get around the political divide and realize that we are all on this earth to support each other no matter which party we may identify with, what color our skin may be or what language we may speak.

Scatter Kindness.

Posted in Plymouth News