Last week we wrote that Door County has proven over and over again that we are unmatched when it comes to taking care of our neighbors and solving our problems. We told you that in the midst of the spread of the coronavirus, one of the most effective ways we can help each other is by doing less for ourselves and more for each other.
That goes for this paper as well.
This week, for the first time, we delivered the Peninsula Pulse to every mailbox in Door County. We hope that the information in these pages will help our neighbors through this difficult time. It is heartwarming to receive the notes of thanks from readers who have already put this information to use.
We trust the experts who tell us that the best guidance to slow the spread of the virus is to limit the number of people you interact with and to avoid crowds and public gatherings. It sounds drastic – maybe even impossible – but if it works, it will save lives, including those of some of our neighbors.
Our bars and restaurants have shuttered their dining rooms. Our schools are empty. Our playgrounds are off limits to playdates. In many ways, the Door is closed. In other ways, we’ve never been more together.
But our focus is now looking ahead to how we can help each other get through the months to come and put our community in position to welcome visitors once again.
The Door County Emergency Support Coalition has asked us to host vital information on our website about how to stay safe, where to get help, and how and where to do what Door County does best: help each other. This information is provided by the Door County Emergency Support Coalition, Door County Medical Center and the Door County Department of Public Health.
In Door County, 29.8 percent of our population is older than 65. In northern Door County, that percentage is even higher, putting our community at particularly high risk if the COVID-19 virus spreads. We can all do our part to prevent that from happening.
On this peninsula, it’s not about a young person being a few contacts away from infecting an at-risk neighbor. Here, you basically can’t do anything without coming face to face with someone in the most at-risk category – older than 70, with underlying health conditions. And you’ll be doing that in a community with a very small number of hospital beds and personnel to treat them. And we now know that the young are not immune to the worst of the virus.
There are questions we need to answer – child care, food, education, restoring our economy. But first we have to take care of each other, and ourselves. Volunteer to check on a neighbor, to take phone calls from people in need, to deliver food to those who can’t shop.
Make a call to an isolated friend. Send a tip to a server out of work. Donate time to a nonprofit filling a need.
Or just call your family and friends. This situation has forced us to slow down, and there’s something good in that. Look through a family photo album with your kids. Write a letter to a friend. Or write a letter to us and let us know how you’re making the most of this.
We may not be able to sit side-by-side at the bar, the high school baseball game, or at church, but we can still connect. Turn your focus away from what we can’t do, and toward all the things we now have the time to do again.
We take pride in the knowledge that on this little finger of Wisconsin, we take care of each other. We have no doubt that we can find a way to feed our kids, figure out how to care for our neighbor’s children, and do what needs to be done.
The rest we will figure out. In Door County, we always do.