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Opinion
Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Apr. 27, 2020 2 months ago

Ormond Beach, we will get through this together

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The efforts to flatten the curve are working. Let's continue to do our part.
by: Guest Writer

By Bill Partington

Mayor of Ormond Beach

“We are all in this together.” You’ve heard that a few times lately, I’m sure. Looking around our community today, it is impossible to miss the impact of COVID-19. We have all felt these impacts, some more than others, together.

Schools are closed, restaurants are now drive-thru or take-out only, some businesses are closed, and people are staying home and away from their friends.

It seems like a strange new world out there, but through it all, our city is continuing to work.

Our school system is providing meals to thousands of students every day. Teachers continue to provide education and vital support for all of our students online. Our churches are ministering to the needs of their members and the community at large. We are all checking on the health of our neighbors, friends, and families. Our hospitals, first responders, physicians, and their staff are providing the highest quality of healthcare to all of us.

Prepared food is available from restaurants, our friends at grocery stores are working around the clock to restock their shelves, pharmacies have medicine, our gas stations are open, and packages and mail are being delivered.

Our police officers are patrolling our streets and our firefighters are responding to your calls. Water and electric power are available at your home. 

All these things continue to reflect how hard our community is working to face this crisis together. 

As a city, we are operating in an environment where we don’t always know what’s next, but what we do know is that your well-being is a top priority and that we need your help to stay healthy. Each of us has a personal responsibility to take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of the virus and minimize its impact on not only ourselves and our families, but our economy, community and health care system. Please continue to support the restrictions that are in place so we can continue to stop the spread.

As we prepare to address the challenges the next few weeks will bring, we want you to understand the overall direction that city government is adopting in order to serve our community and protect you and your families.

First and foremost, we are dedicated to maintaining the governmental services that you depend upon. All of our departments have taken measures to maintain their ability to function as normally as possible. From the police and fire department to the operators at our water plant, we take our duties seriously and our responsibilities personally.

City departments have modified reporting requirements, re-arranged shifts, established protection policies and have taken a wide range of other steps to ensure that we have the manpower, equipment, and materials to continue to meet your needs and expectations.

We will not let our community down.

The circumstances and full effect of what is happening right now will not be known for some time. This “unknown” factor can be a worrisome thought and the situation we are experiencing changes daily, sometimes hourly, and we need to be calm, flexible, understanding, and patient as we work through all of this together. 

We do know one thing though: The efforts we are making have already begun to make a difference. We are flattening the curve. We are asking that you continue those efforts in the coming weeks as we navigate this new landscape. We ask that you stay at home as often as you can, only leaving your house for essentials like food or brief recreation. Keep in mind that social distancing does not mean emotional distancing. Practice self-care, check on your neighbors who may have no one else, take a walk with your family, and be easy on yourself — it’s a complicated time. 

If you are ordering food for delivery or carry out, we encourage you to visit the restaurants here in Ormond Beach who are working hard to provide for our community. Retail shops are the backbone of our economy and the ones here are working hard to figure out how to meet your needs. Follow them on social media to find out their available options for shopping. Think about Mother’s Day or graduations — any upcoming celebration you could shop in advance for. We can all stand together to support our local businesses.

The next several weeks will continue to be difficult at times. But I know you, Ormond Beach. I know your community spirit. I’ve seen your strength and your perseverance. I know you have it in you to do whatever it takes to protect our community. We are strong. We will persevere. We will get through this together because we are Ormond Beach, and we can weather any storm that comes our way.

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