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This is an incredibly difficult and scary time for all of us. The coronavirus is an invisable enemy that is infecting people and causing deaths in our country and around the world. There are now three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Linn County -- our medical community tell us there will be more and there will lily be deaths.

The economic impact on our area businesses and their employees is already troubling, but, it is not time to panic.  It is time to take all the prescribed precautions very seriously—wash hands frequently and well, practice social distancing, stay away from groups and stay home whenever possible.  Please don’t buy more groceries and supplies than you need. You can also help local businesses by ordering food for take-out or delivery and buying gift cards.

Thank you again to our area bars and restaurants who closed for St. Patrick’s Day when we asked. They chose to help protect the public and their employees over the revenue that day would have generated.

Please know the city, the county, the schools, the medical community, our neighboring communities and non-profits are working together to fight the spread of the virus.  This coordinated effort is working to feed children and provide shelter for our homeless population, too. 

We know essential services must continue and they will. Thank you to our city team still working to provide those services, including our police and fire departments.  For specific information about Cedar Rapids services please go to our website—cedar-rapids.org.   For surrounding communities please go to your city’s website for specifics.

Parents, please keep your children home during this critical time, no matter how much they might, and they will, complain. 

Students, here is your chance to make a difference, to impact those around you.  Stay home and keep your family and friends safe.

We all need to remember, the actions we take today may directly save lives…or take them.

We will get back to “normal” much sooner, and with far fewer people contracting the virus and dying if we all do what’s right…stay home as much as possible.  This fight is far different from our fights with the river.  Instead of sandbagging or mucking-out homes, we need you to stay home and physically away from people, especially if they are 60 or older or have underlying medical issues.  Please continue to check on your family, friends and co-workers by phone, email and text. 

Driving to city hall today, worrying about how we will recover from this latest crisis, I noticed all the new buildings and was reminded that the 2008 flood damaged or destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, but not our community spirit, and we recovered.  This virus is attacking our spirit and causing severe economic hardship on so many, but our homes and business locations are intact.  I hope that our ability to be in our homes and in our business while we recover from this crisis will help speed that recovery for many of us.

Finally, this is a resilient community.  Our strength is that we come together in times of crisis.  In this fight we must stay physically apart, but still come together—in spirit, in common purpose and in kindness for others. 

We will make it through this……I’m sure of it.   Thank you and stay safe.

© 2020  Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 101 First Street SE

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