At a time when Charleston is normally gearing up for an influx of visitors from all over the world coming to our lovely city, we find ourselves fighting and working through one of the worst events since the Fire of 1861. Instead of volleying for business, we are working together to serve those in the city who need and provide help.
In the past through fire, hurricanes, and other disasters, communities worked together to help each other. The difference — these major events had a beginning, a projected end. COVID-19 does not. This quote from the local paper describes the heart of the Charleston citizens in 1861,
“Great indeed, has been the calamity which has fallen upon our noble old city. But let us, with unfailing hope and courage, bestir ourselves at once to amend the losses we have sustained, and to relieve, each one according to his means, the great suffering which the fire must entail upon its poor victims.” — The Charleston Mercury, Dec. 12, 1861.
That legacy carries on now during COVID-19 in 2020.
But what we’ve seen now is that not just the city, but our entire County, State, and the whole Country coming together…..working together to help each other during this unprecedented time.
Our law enforcement and first responders are often on the front line protecting, rescuing our citizens. Now we add our Health Care workers who are putting themselves in harm’s way every minute of every day to keep the rest of us safe and heal those who have been infected with COVID -19. There will never be the right words to express our deep gratitude for the ongoing sacrifices they have made. In comparison, after the Fire of 1861, as devastating as it was, there was an end and recovery could begin. What we have now is uncertainty: No predictable end. No recovery plan to fall back on. The unknown state of limbo itself has caused another pandemic – fear. Then there is the isolation that adds another dimension to the unrest.
There are devastating statistics coming out every day.
HOWEVER… There is good news! Neighbors are looking out for each other AND following the Stay At Home instructions to help stop the spread of the virus. They are spreading HOPE instead. Some are using their businesses to provide space or supplies, suspending payments for mortgages, credit cards, phones and other utilities. Churches are gathering food and supplies to distribute to those who have lost their jobs. Schools are providing meals and continued classes. Families are spending more time together, learning together, building stronger relationships. Strangers are sharing smiles, sending cards lighting up the day of those feeling alone. We have learned not to take simple things for granted… like an unending supply of toilet paper (NO, you don’t need to freeze it). Business owners are still paying their employees as they can or offering work options to keep them employed. Sending the message that LIVES are more important than bottom lines.
So THANK YOU CHARLESTON! We have recovered before. Stay strong; continue to be considerate of others and helpful wherever you can.
We will get through this together.