The new normal

Published 12:53 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Covid-19 has changed our world, even in Polk County


A month ago, the newly re-branded Polk County Health & Wellness Coalition was celebrating our community’s good health and wellness at the Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours meeting. A good time was had by a crowd of people, and everyone was looking forward to an uptick in routine local health and wellness. Little did we know that a month later we would all be in some state of lockdown, sheltering in place, social distancing, frantic handwashing and keeping up with bad health news that changes hour by hour.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

We are now in the era of Covid-19, what some are calling The New Normal.

I hope they are wrong: I hope Covid-19 will soon run its course with as little pain and suffering as possible, and we can all get back to enjoying life. I certainly hope living in constant fear of each other’s physical contact will not be The New Normal. Time will tell.

As of this submission, Polk County has had only four cases of Covid-19, but that could change by the time you read this newsletter. Health officials have worked hard to prepare for the curve that will come our way. Actually, we have all been amazed by the local agencies, government, healthcare system, businesses and individuals who have worked together to blunt the virus in Polk County. They have prepared information hotlines, Facebook pages, websites, databases and e-communications to keep us informed. Hopefully, the virus’s curve will flatten out before it comes to Polk County, but it will come, so the authorities warn us.

Personally, I’m already tired of sleeping late, eating (too much) whenever I want and communicating with friends and family only from an electronic distance. With Polk County being so rural and not (yet) in the virus’s curve, it would be so easy for us to slack off: Have a family meal, go to church, shop, just hang out with people. Because–so far–Covid-19 is something many of us have only seen on television or Internet, it would be so easy to ease up on the caution: forgo some hand-washings, go on a group jog, sit next to someone and not have to shout the conversation from six feet apart.

We have been warned! The fight is just beginning. Now is not the time to go slack. Just because we usually enjoy the Good Life doesn’t mean we are immune to what is coming. Overly cautious? Too extreme? Health professionals don’t think so. Keep doing all you can to prevent the spread and flatten the curve.

Thanks to the hard work of a great many people, below are several online resources that might be useful. Also, Polk County Health & Wellness Coalition’s Facebook is updated daily with the latest shared news and health tips. Please visit it. If you know of resources or important information that needs to be shared, let us know, and we’ll push it out on Facebook.

Submitted by Polk County Health and Wellness Coalition