Record editorial: In a time of crisis, look for ways to lighten the load |

Record editorial: In a time of crisis, look for ways to lighten the load

By early Wednesday morning, the nerves of many — if not most — Parkites were already frayed given what had transpired in the previous week, which saw the first local case of the coronavirus snowball into an abrupt shutdown of the resort economy and a dramatic restructuring of daily life in Summit County.

In a world changing in significant ways at such a breakneck pace, many residents were likely clinging to the solid earth beneath their feet as one of the few constants they could still count on.

Then, at 7:09 a.m., that illusion was suddenly stripped away, too.

For a lot of Parkites, the state’s strongest earthquake since 1992 was yet another shock to the system, another significant and uncontrollable event that had a negative effect on their mental health.

It was the last thing any of us needed. The situation our community finds itself in is unprecedented. Many of our neighbors are out of jobs, others are worried about themselves or their loved ones getting sick and still others are simply concerned about the state of the world amid a daily deluge of bad news.

In short, people are hurting.

Fortunately, there are many organizations trying to help. The county Health Department, for one, plans to hold online group support sessions for residents dealing with personal challenges created by the coronavirus. Connect Summit County, meanwhile, is also providing virtual mental health support, as well as offering additional resources aimed at helping residents care for themselves in a time of such strife.

Those efforts and many others are critical and appreciated. Nearly all of us are struggling in one way or another, a challenge only exacerbated by the requirements — crucial for public health — that we limit close contact with other people, including loved ones in many cases.

Now, more than ever, we must ensure those of us who are facing mental health issues get the help they need and understand that they are not alone. One important step we can all take right away is recognizing the burden we are all carrying and being kind to one another.

It could be be a long while, it seems, until life is back to normal, here and in many other places in the world. We’ll see our way through this. But until then, we must all look for ways to lighten what is becoming by the day an increasingly heavy load.

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