Editor’s note: This commentary is by Deb Billado, chairwoman of the Vermont GOP.
The coronavirus pandemic is causing disruption of all segments of our society. Government has ordered the closing of many businesses and the suspension of activities that created economic wealth, services, products and pastimes for people. Theaters, sporting events, political rallies, church services, and gatherings beyond a certain small number have been ordered to end. Even schools have been closed.
With the free-fall of the stock market comes the fear for the retired and those close to ending their time working, that they will not have enough funds to make it through retirement. No longer can you treat yourself at the end of the week with a Saturday morning pancake and maple syrup breakfast at your local eatery in town. All have been ordered closed. We are also seeing empty grocery store shelves, and this is adding to the apprehension of it all.
It all seems so overwhelming, but instead of dwelling on all the negativity and being consumed by fear, we must count our blessings. God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power and love. We should look for good things and opportunities to make a difference. We should be inspired to do random acts of kindness. Take joy in the loved ones around you. Read some inspiring literature. Study your Bible. Play with your dog or cat and be thankful for the smiles of your grandchildren.
The current crisis that is affecting our retirement plans, our investments, and our daily movement will pass, but for now it gives us the opportunity to make a choice between fear or recognizing the blessings we have living in such a wonderful country, surrounded by people who care about us. We should reciprocate those feelings. If we know of an elderly person, we can be assured that few will be visiting them out of fear of transmitting a virus to them. Send them a card, call them or send an email. Offer to drop some food off on their doorstep.
Small business is the backbone of our state and they are the ones adversely affected by the governmental measures taken to reduce exposure to the Covid-19 virus. Try to think of ways to encourage the ones we can in these hard times that impact their livelihood. Send them a note with a compliment about their service and how you look forward to coming to their store and buying from them. Maybe offer to buy a gift certificate from your local closed eatery by email, website or phone so they will have the funds to use to get them over the hump. You can always choose to use the certificate later, or even give it back to the owner as a gift after they reopen. Make sure when this is all over, to support them so they will be there for you tomorrow.
America is a nation known for its ability to always overcome the odds and come out the other side a winner as a stronger and better nation. The United States knows adversity and we learn to live with that for we must, however, we will not countenance defeat. We will overcome this, and we will be stronger because of it. A must lesson to take away is the need for good government, one whose leaders make decisions in the bests interests of those they represent. That used to be the Vermont way and it can only happen again when the Republicans are back in control of that government. The most important election you will ever vote in is just 8 short months away. Republicans must hold the presidency, the US Senate, win back the US House and return the GOP to power in Vermont state government.
Hard times can also offer us the chance to pursue a different course in life, something you didn’t do before but now are forced to try. Maybe run for office yourself but whatever it is, be persistent,
know your purpose, be optimistic and never give up. You have been through tough times before and you made it and prospered. You will again!