Carts stood in lines stretching back to the aisles at Cosentino’s Price Chopper on Saturday, as the news spread about Johnson County being in a state of emergency from coronavirus.
“It’s busier than Thanksgiving,” a cashier said with a kind smile.
The FedEx delivery man coughed into his elbow as he dropped off a box at the house. Since it takes 24 hours for coronavirus to leave cardboard, it will be a day before that box gets opened up. Churches and synagogues do services by remote, and even Cher has cancelled her concert in Kansas City. The Jayhawks could’ve won the NCAA Basketball Tournament, but now it’s cancelled, too, along with festivals, meetings, and every kind of gathering.
Not all work can be done by remote, and for some people, cancellations mean there will be no work at all. No work means no pay. No pay means no food, no rent, no electricity. In Gardner, this health crisis hits at a time when the all-electric customers have seen their electric bills soar.
In the midst of the melee, three pro basketball players have thrown lifelines to arena workers who make an hourly wage, workers who will have no wages due to the National Basketball Association cancellations. Milwaukee Buck Giannis Antetokounmpo pledged $100,000 to the Fiserv Forum staff. New Orleans Pelican Zion Williamson pledged to pay salaries of all Smoothie King Center employees for the next 30 days. Detroit Piston Blake Griffin donated $100,000 to employees of Little Caesar’s arena.
It remains to be seen how Gardner and Edgerton will step up to the challenges. The senior living center had to close its doors to visitors, and the people who work there don’t get to stay home and work remotely. Veterinarian technicians, grocery store employees, public safety professionals and more have to go to work and risk contagion.
The Heart of America wing of Commemorative Air Force issued the best tip so far: Wash your hands as if you just finished eating Kansas City Barbecue Ribs with extra sauce and now you have to put your contacts in.
Let’s hope our community has some heroes, like those three basketball players, people with the resources to help the ones most affected by the economic fallout from this public health crisis Everyone can do something to help somebody else, even in this time of social distancing. Whether it’s buying groceries for a neighbor, picking up a prescription for a friend, tipping a delivery person, taking dogs for a long walk or calling someone who lives alone, now is a time for all of us to care about each other.
Heroes step up during Coronavirus scare