Record editorial: In an uncertain time, Parkites will rise to the challenge
Much of what has transpired in the Park City area in recent days would have been unthinkable even a couple weeks ago.
Within a matter of days, life in Summit County changed dramatically as a result of what the World Health Organization is now calling a pandemic.
The ski resorts are closed, alongside many other businesses. The restaurants that haven’t been temporarily shuttered are restricted to providing delivery and curbside dining. The tourism economy has grinded to a halt weeks before anticipated.
Individually and as a community, we are reeling from a situation that is both unprecedented and unexpected. Now, it’s time for residents to rally.
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The challenges we face as we respond to the coronavirus crisis are immense. That fact cannot be sugarcoated. But we will address them, head on and with one another, and eventually emerge on the other side.
At this point, the path to getting there is uncertain. No one, including the health experts, knows when this will be over. And even when establishments reopen and residents can resume their daily lives, the effects will linger.
The ultimate impact on our community will not be clear for a long time.
What we do know, though, is that there is work to be done right now to ensure we minimize the harm to our neighbors and our economy.
With dozens of businesses closed or operating on a reduced basis, owners and their employees will be struggling. Find ways to help them, such as supporting the restaurants that remain open or buying gift cards for use in the future at local eateries and shops.
Many senior citizens and people with preexisting medical issues, meanwhile, will be at home, closed off physically to the rest of the community and the outside world. Offer to make a grocery store run for them so they don’t have to put themselves at risk, or call every so often just to see how they are doing.
And by all means, we must do everything in our power to avoid jeopardizing the health of others, which should remain the top priority of everyone in our community.
In a place like Park City, it’s simple: We’ll get through this by neighbors helping neighbors.
Already, we have seen dozens of examples of kindness, as individuals, businesses and organizations step up to lighten the load of the people hurt most by the crisis.
The Christian Center of Park City, for instance, had its food pantry up and running Monday, providing necessities to people who may not get them any other way. The Park City Community Foundation, meanwhile, has created a fund to aid other organizations in their efforts to help residents.
On a smaller scale, local Facebook groups have formed to brainstorm and execute ways regular members of the community can pitch in.
That outpouring of support offers a dose of much-needed optimism.
And it is proof that, even in a period as demoralizing and uncertain as this, our community will always rise to the challenge.
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Our view: Against a once-unimaginable backdrop, and with little margin for error, county officials have made painful but prudent decisions in an attempt to spare us from the worst of the pandemic.