At press time, there were fewer than a dozen cases of COVOID-19 in our health district. But the virus’ disruption to our everyday lives and livelihoods is already well under way. As we all struggle to adjust to this new normal, C-VILLE talked with local artists whose careers have been turned upside down by the sudden cancellation of shows, classes, and tours, and reported on efforts to help restaurants that have been forced to temporarily close or pivot to take-out only.
We are all figuring it out as we go, and those of us who are still fully employed and healthy should consider ourselves lucky. But the governor’s announcement Monday that schools will not reopen this academic year posed a seemingly insolvable problem to thousands of working parents: How do you take care of young children, let alone supervise their education, while simultaneously working full- time? (If you’ve got an answer to this one, I’m all ears).
Meanwhile, as our city, state, and federal governments struggle to provide an adequate economic response, locals have been stepping up to help: A GoFundMe for restaurant workers has raised more than $20,000, an emergency relief fund has $2 million, and a grassroots effort called Equip Cville has begun gathering personal protective gear for frontline health workers.
In normal times, this would have been our neighborhood issue (that feature is still here). But the theme that emerged in talking to residents before this crisis is even more resonant now: In all the city’s neighborhoods, it matters to people to feel like they live in a place where people watch out for one another. Over the past two weeks, our community has shown an amazing capacity to mobilize and help each other. In the coming months, we’ll need that spirit more than ever.