By Sue Moore
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” so said Charles Dickens in the opening line of A Tale of Two Cities.
People are dying because of the novel coronavirus pandemic all over the world. Yet kindness and empathy are being displayed everywhere.
Right here in our small towns of Schoolcraft and Vicksburg, we experience school being called off, athletic contests cancelled, yet teachers are doing great work with assignments and communicating wherever it is needed. Breakfast and lunch programs have begun at each school with pickups taking place once a week for any family that wants it.
So many in the service industry are out of a job, many thousands in the state of Michigan applying for unemployment insurance this week. Yet people are trying to help, purchasing gift cards from stores and using take-out from our restaurants to keep them at least treading water.
Our health care workers are bearing the brunt of the disease and risking their lives to keep us all alive. By observing the quarantine edict from the Governor, we can help them all.
Is There a Silver Lining?
There seems to be a lot of respect shown to the “elderly”. Although I’ve resisted being put in that category, I really had to face up to it when Vicksburg’s village manager politely requested that I not attend the village council meeting, as he didn’t want me to be exposed to any possible virus. Fortunately, I was able to cover the meeting via the new streaming service the village started in January.
It actually worked very well and I would recommend that anyone interested in how our village government functions plan to watch on the first and third Monday night of each month at 7 p.m. The April meeting will only take place on the 20th. There were 10 people watching it including me and probably Bill Adams, village president, whose wife Carolyn, insisted that he stay home too.
Personalizing the News
It’s been a long two weeks while trying to get the paper out without ever meeting anyone face to face. It’s been a challenge to say the least. I never recognized how much news I gathered just by going to meetings. People often ask me where I get the news and my answer is always there is so much going on, it’s easy. This week, it hasn’t been so easy because I haven’t been out of the house for 17 days. I’ve had to email and call (I don’t like being on the phone a lot) and because you can’t look people in the eye, it’s hard to gauge the tenor of their responses. With lots of help from Sheri Freeland, our advertising sales representative and our reporters, we’re getting the job done.
An Apology to Kalamazoo County State Bank (KCSB)
In my column last month, I thought I chastised PNC Bank for closing up shop in Vicksburg. Instead the board members of KCSB felt that I was throwing their bank under the bus with my comments. That was certainly not my intention as they have proven their durability over the years, having been in business in Schoolcraft for 112 years and in Vicksburg for 24 years. “We have given back to our communities in so many ways,” said Scott Hines, bank president. My comments made it look like they hadn’t done much in the villages over these years, which is not what I meant at all. They are a community bank and as such, have given back ten-fold to our population, in personal ways and public contributions, especially with the 4th of July celebration in Schoolcraft.