We are in it for the long haul

Published 6:50 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2020

By Christopher Cornwell

Christopher Cornwell

Neighbors, where do I even begin? Let’s start by addressing the obvious elephant in the room. Never before in most of our lives have we found ourselves submersed with such strife, yet here we are in the midst of a global, national, and local crisis, one that has affected our quality of life, and one that discriminates against absolutely nothing. This threat is our new, very real reality. We cannot see it, smell it, taste it, nor touch it, yet more of us have died already domestically from it than on 9-11 and we’ve only yet begun, with these numbers expected to reach the status of staggering proportions.

All of us are being affected, we will continue to be physically, fiscally and mentally shaken for many, many weeks to come. Know that whatever issues you are personally facing they are not unique to you alone as we are all in this together, figuring it out as we go.

Nationally we face furloughs, layoffs, illness and infections, quarantine, social distancing, the sacrificing of many of our civil liberties and the associated inconveniences caused by these restrictions, homeschooling our children, our economy, my head is spinning just thinking about the ripple effect associated with all of these realities.

What do we do during times of extreme crisis and uncertainly unlike anything we have every known before? How will we handle the challenges we face with stress, physical health, mental health, drug and alcohol abuse both in our own lives and in the lives of our family, friends, and community? What choice will we make when faced with what seems to be an impossible situation? Who has the answers to the questions that we all seem to have when it seems as though no one has the answers to any of our questions?

Be assured that we are very busy working hard to conduct the business of the county as unscathed as possible given the ever-evolving circumstances we currently face. Every effort is being made to ensure all essential business is not put off indefinitely, [but] rather conducted in a prudent and expeditious manner. As I’m sure you all can relate, social distancing presents many challenges for us, having just recently conducted the first-ever electronic meeting of our Board of Supervisors is historic in and of itself. Our annual budget process continues as our regularly scheduled budget workshops are planned for every week in the month of April. These meetings will be unlike anything we’ve seen before here in Southampton County and throughout the entire Commonwealth. Provisions are being made for these necessary meetings of our localities to legally take place electronically, within the confines of the law, while at the same time allowing the public to participate.

Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. We are in it for the long haul, we have to be as there is no other choice. Surround yourself with others utilizing social media to its fullest potential as a resource like never before. Virtual church, virtual face-time with friends, virtual school are all a very real part of our new and present normal. It’s time to be creative, do the best we can for ourselves and others, and try our best to make the most of the hand we’ve been dealt. Remember, “Though we may not understand, we must depend on our faith more now than ever before. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” ~ John 14:27

My prayers for all of you, our community, our commonwealth, our nation, our first responders and healthcare workers are more fervent than ever before. May God continue to bless you and your families during this challenging time.

Stay safe out there.

CHRISTOPHER CORNWELL is the Southampton County Supervisor for the Berlin/Ivor District. Contact him at ccornwell@southamptoncounty.org.